Currently viewing the tag: "adventure"

It has been a while since I last wrote about my friend and Fletcher grad, Charles Scott, F94.  After a relatively typical post-Fletcher career, Charlie relaunched himself in recent years as the “Family Adventure Guy” and a speaker for corporate and other settings.

Most noteworthy among Charlie’s recent activities have been as a member of “Team See Possibilities,” three super-fit runners who accompany a fourth — who happens to have lost his sight as an adult — on daunting adventures.  In November, the Team tackled Mount Kilimanjaro.  At night.  Their “Kili in the Dark” run took them up the mountain at high speed, and their days in Tanzania and Kenya included visits to schools and other activities to support children who are blind.

This wasn’t their first inspiring trip, though.  About a year ago, the team climbed Machu Picchu, and before that they ran the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim.

International adventure wasn’t new to Charlie, whose pursuit of demanding travel started with a trip by bicycle around Japan with his son.  Then a trip around Iceland with his son and daughter.  These and other rides have linked him to a community of bicyclists and even a bike travel film festival, which has featured films that Charlie made of his travels.  Take a look at a clip of a recent video called “Perceived Limits.”

Adventurers are a new, or newly prominent, subset of the Fletcher student and alumni community.  Fletcher is a place where just about everyone has experienced wanderlust, even if not all of our travel is the super rugged variety.  I’ll need to catch up with Charlie soon to find out what’s next in the plans for Team See Possibilities.

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Today I’m going to gather links to news items that have flowed my way in the past couple of weeks.

I’ll start with Commencement news!  Here’s a story, with photos, that captures the events of Class Day and the Commencement ceremony itself.

Read also about two of this year’s graduates, Jeremy Blaney and Jessica Meckler, who were featured in a group of graduates of all of the University’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

Commencement featured the granting of the inaugural “Fletcher First Ten” award, to be given annually to an alumnus who has made a noteworthy contribution to the community, this year going to the inimitable Rocky Weitz, whose accomplishments outpace those of nearly anyone I know.

And speaking of awards, Center for International Environment and Research Policy researcher Rebecca Pearl-Martinez this week received the Advocacy Award from the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy, MIT and Stanford University.

Next, our friends at APSIA have written a feature on alumnus Nursultan Eldosov, who currently works for the U.S. Foreign Service.

And finally, alumna Masha Gordon has climbed Mount Everest, the latest in a series of extreme adventures.  In a Facebook post, she wrote, “On May 19th at 7:30am Nepali time I became 400th woman to summit Mount Everest.  It was a culmination of a month long journey full of poetry, drama and self-discovery.  I am now just 1 summit removed from breaking female world record in Explorers Grand Slam.  Follow my journey to the peak of Denali by liking my Facebook page.”  And you can also follow Masha’s adventures on her Grit and Rock blog.  Here’s a photo that she shared, with obvious Fletcher love.

Masha Gordon

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One of the most loyal friends the Admissions Office could hope for is about to embark on a new adventure.  Han Kim, F10, has had a varied pre- and post-Fletcher career in Korea.  This past year, in addition to working for a start-up company, he has dedicated himself to training for an around-the-world yachting event, the Clipper Round the World Race.  His path was recently featured in an article in the English language Korea Herald and on its website.

Han was a student member of the Admissions Committee, and he has been a great friend as an alumnus, helping to welcome several years’ worth of newly admitted students to the Fletcher family with receptions in Seoul.  He was an active participant in the community during his student days, too, and was featured in the Admissions Blog a couple of times, most notably when he participated in the Boston Marathon.(

The Clipper Round the World Race starts on August 30.  Han is a member of the Clipper Telemed+ crew, for those who want to follow the results over the 335 days he anticipates being at sea.Han(Photo from the Clipper Round the World Race website.)

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This past weekend, I made a quick trip to visit friends in San Francisco.  On my way home, I was watching the flight progress map on the seat-back TV and realized I might have been flying over Scott Snyder during his cross-country bike trip.  The plane’s path later veered to the north, but the map nonetheless reminded me to update you on his progress.  Scott’s recent blog posts describe their days in Wisconsin, and his fundraising page indicates he has passed the halfway mark on his goal to raise $12,000 for the Ace in the Hole Foundation.

The other aspect of this update is that (being a little slow to connect the dots), I only realized last week that Scott’s travel companion is a fellow Fletcher MIB student, Joel Paula, who is also blogging.  Same trip, different perspective!

I have one more cross-country adventure to describe, this time an alum’s trip, but I’ll hold that for now so that you can catch up with Scott and Joel’s progress.

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I encourage you to keep up with the adventure of Fletcher alum Charlie Scott and his two children, but they’re not the only ones taking unusual trips this summer.  Consider Alex Wise and Colin Wood, both 2011 grads, who describe their upcoming trip below.  I know I’ll be following their progress, and I’ll provide updates via the blog.

With each successive trip, the ante is upped:  for Alex, first it was backpacking in Europe, then climbing Kilimanjaro; for Colin it was editing a Sumatran guide book and then moving to Algeria.  Colin and Alex (collectively known as Team Fletch) graduated from Fletcher this past May.

A bit older and a bit wiser, we’ve decided to tackle a new challenge — a road rally, or more specifically, the Mongol Rally.  The Mongol Rally is an adventure-quenching, bone-rattling 10,000 mile drive across three deserts, five mountain ranges, and fifteen countries.  The Rally begins in Prague and ends roughly six weeks later in Ulanbaator, Mongolia roughly six weeks later.  The only real rule is that vehicles must be tiny — with an approximate engine size of 1.2 liters (think your grandmother’s car) — otherwise it would be too easy.

The Mongol Rally is a charitable event and Team Fletch is raising money for two worthy organizations.  The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation supports Mongolian street children, and the Afghan Scholar Initiative (ASI) provides high school and university scholarships to top Afghani students.  ASI is special to us as we’ve both worked in Afghanistan, and our friend and Fletcher classmate, Qiam Amiry, founded the organization.

For the 300 rally cars that have entered, there is no set route, no winner, no adoring fans, no support, and not many paved roads.  Our planned route will take us from Prague eastward to Central Asia and through the (affectionately dubbed) “-stans” (except Afghanistan & Pakistan).  Along the way, we’ll visit cities that evoke grandeur of old — Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad, home to Mother Russia, the tallest statue in the world), Samarkand (trading post on the Silk Road visited by Marco Polo); and Sevastopol (popularized by Lord Tennyson and site of the Charge of the Light Brigade).  This will be our first rally experience and, with limited navigational sensibilities, and zero mechanical know-how, it will be a true pedal to the metal test of whether charm, book smarts, and a lot of travel experience is actually enough to reach Mongolia via tiny vehicle.  As the Rally kicks off on July 25th, follow our progress at teamfletch.org where an interactive map will receive location updates every ten minutes.

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