On Tour Across The Heartland

Touring across America. A different world in many ways from the Jamaica I just left. And in some ways, not different at all. In spite of all the challenges I experienced in Jamaica, I loved helping and supporting the homeless shelter (http://www.greathuts.com/shelter.htm), and I miss the friends I made in Jamaica and the beautiful nature, especially that magical cove of Boston Bay.

I started this tour in Indiana, supporting What’s Your Tree? (WYT) and the Center for Community Empowerment in Bloomington and Jasper. There are some absolutely wonderful folks participating in both of them. I was hosted the first night in the home of two absolutely lovely and caring people, one of whom is a WYT group leader. They made a fantastic vegan Indian dinner and friends of theirs brought decadently delicious fruit salad with candied ginger and vegan chocolate cake. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! From there, I went to Manchester College in North Manchester, Indiana. Again, I met some truly wonderful people who care very much about wanting to make a difference in the world.

Next up was Minnesota and College of Saint Benedict and partner college of St. John. The shared campuses of these two colleges are quite beautiful. St. John’s campus is huge and includes gorgeous lakes, prairies, forests, and an arboretum. I met some incredible people there and wished I had a couple extra days to spend visiting both the land and some of the people I met there. If only when I went to college, I had gone to a college like this one! I want to go back and take classes from these combined campuses!

Sioux City, Iowa was next on the journey. Kristin, the young woman who was tasked by the Sustainability Committee with bringing a speaker to the campus, and discovered my story while searching online, blew me away with her commitment and follow-through. Morningside College Campus is a long way from sustainability—at least they recycle, but that is about it. So people like Kristin and Tom, the director of the Sustainability Committee (who is also a Joyous Vegan! : ) really are courageous leaders!

And, of course, as most everyone knows about me, I LOVE food—well that is good food. : ) I was treated to a really delicious dinner at Morningside. The college catering made the dinner, and I was actually blown away by the quality and diversity of options for the dinner—especially considering I was in Iowa and considering the level of sustainability awareness on campus! There were roasted potatoes and squash with sautéed shitake mushrooms; Asian rice noodles with avocado; summer rolls with tofu, basil, and mixed greens; salad with a fruit vinaigrette; ginger vegetable broth consume, and fruit skewers for dessert! On tour, I have gotten used to “making do”, so a few days thus far with really delicious vegan fare has been a fabulous treat!

The event, although attended by a small number of people, the QUALITY of people there blew me away! It was SUCH an honor and a joy to spend time with such incredible people! It is one thing to be aware and active in places like California and New York. It is another thing altogether to be aware and active in places like Sioux City, Iowa! I am so humbled and touched by my experience with these special people!

I am now off to go to a gathering with people from my early childhood days. They are people who were members of the church my Dad started when I was about 3 years old, and whom I have not seen since I was about 12 years old. A total blast to my past!

I am continuously humbled and blessed by the people I get to meet in doing this work and the incredible places I get to see and work to protect.

Here is to you and the courageous leaders everywhere they may be!

Love in Action,


Published in: on April 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm  Comments (11)  

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Julia,

    I wish I had known you were so close by. I’m in Terre Haute, IN (about an hour and half from Bloomington). Tiffany, Heather, and Brooke are in the Indy area. I would love to see you if you are ever this way again!

    Love you,
    Aunt Shere

  2. Aloha,Julia
    I just wanted to share with you this phenomenal resource For Water Soverignty (back in the hands of the people who love her the most) that has forever changed my life:www.findaspring.com
    .This website is totally free,open source,grass roots based ever expanding database.I know they have several springs in PA and all over the country and world.I have been comsuming some of the most magical, pristine, wild water I’ve ever had the benediction of drinking here at a new found spring a half a mile from where i live in Haiku for a week now . It feels so incredibly rejuvenating.Finding and learning as much as i can about Natural Springs has brcome has become a newfound facet of Visionary Activism for me! See wherever you are on our EarthMama the Holy Waters of Life are here to engulf u,dearheart!

  3. Dear Julia,
    These people are so lucky to get to hear you speak and to meet you. The lecture I heard you present last year has made such a lasting and profound effect on me. As I think of it it reminds me of beautiful music, the melodies of a new song spinning throughout the room, written for this particular moment in history, of cherishing and nurturing our sacred land and being gentle and truthful in the face of serious challenges. When I think of this work you do I can’t help but think you are a treasure for this country. I can’t imagine the satisfaction this must give you. So the humbling and cherishing goes both ways.

  4. Thanks Sam.

    i pray that my time and conversations and efforts are truly being a positive contribution, because that is the only reason i remain in the public sphere.

    My heart longs to make a positive difference for the planet and all its beings, including humans, and so i show up with all my humanity at events and in my writings and interviews with a heart and prayer-filled commitment to this. i am delighted and honored that my time in your community was a positive contribution for you in your life and in making a difference in the world.


  5. Thanks Zoe!


  6. HI Aunt Shere!

    i realized too late that i had meant to contact you all to see if we could connect! i am so sorry to have missed you! : ( Next time i promise!

    i love you!


  7. Sounds like the Midwest is good for you! If you come through St. louis, look us up.

  8. Hello, Julia!
    While you were in Indiana, you spoke at my high school. I would like to thank you for being unafraid to speak your views and for your self-less service to our world. I know your visit opened some eyes in our little community, because your wisdom is hard to miss. I hope that happiness and peace follow you wherever you find yourself.

    PS Please, when you visit, say hi to Luna for me!

  9. Ms. Julia- Thank you for all of who you are and do. I have been following your inspiring example for years. You are a beautiful light of soul and I pray all the best to you and yours always. –Ava

  10. Julia

    I look forward to hearing you talk tomorrow.

    We played Apples to Apples in Troncones a year ago (with funny side comments throughout the evening), and we all danced in a lot of heat at my friend’s birthday party (to which you brought a delicious fresh dessert). Good to know you are bring inspiration to the heartland,

  11. See you at the Operation Food Search Benefit Deborah!

    love, julia

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