The event attracted a good breed of independent thinkers and creative visionaries, generating great discussion and making innovative progress.
Our team is most grateful for all who attended, with your thoughts and participation, encouragement and support.
Delara, thought that learning Farsi is important in preparation for our next visit. She is right. She should know. She teaches Farsi. Helen remembered that our Chinese team member warmed the hearts of our Iranian team members by sharing simple words of Farsi that she had learned, during meal times. So Helen thought one could learn Farsi even better in the context of cooking. That got Dr. Arthur Clark all excited. He remembered Conflict Kitchen in the US. Team member and artist Marilyn also supported this idea. Irene chimed in by adding music (thank you for your homemade bread) and Judith went on to invite oil patch CEOs to the quickly evolving Silk Road Food Fun(d) Raiser or Festival. So Helen and Dr. Arthur Clark will discuss organizing a special event early in the New Year. Many were excited by combining these possibilities. If you wish to help, please let me know. Maybe we will try a beta version at Christmas? Food for thought, food for stomach.
Dr. Clark also reiterated his wish that a group of emissaries from Calgary accompany us on our next mission. He originally stated this after seeing a very nice presentation on the Silk Road to Peace by Sara Tehranian, Anahita Atashbiz and Marilyn Mora at the November 2 Vision 2020 conference.
Our next plans for Nowruz 2014 encompass a short series of educational vacations that combine seminars and "hands-on" workshops on relevant topics such as solar cookers, peace permaculture, food security, passive solar rammed earth greenhouses, and water conservation and ganats. The ecoVacation is capped with a guided heritage tour.
I met with a group of Iranians after the presentation. One of them followed up afterwards. Subsequently, I also met with a local electrical engineer willing to assist with contacts and experts in Iran. A professional engineer sent her resume and wants to join the team, as a volunteer.
Here are a few unsolicited comments given as feedback, for your entertainment:
1) "....A bit of a miracle happened at your talk! ..." BH
2) "....you are always so kind and considerate. Thank you for a very informative and uplifting evening, Cathy and I greatly enjoyed ourselves...Best wishes on your ongoing journey." RC
3) "You are a true philanthropist with a poetic soul! The event might have been a little long but a lot of your pictures and commentaries were fascinating! I still think a cooking programme on City TV or other similar station might do a lot to promote Iranian culture through food ! ...Thank you and your wife Helen again for all the energy you put into that most edifying event about the fascinating Caravanserai~.... maybe you never know, Martin and or I might come on an excursion...." JA
4) "Thank you for the wonderful presentation. I enjoyed being there ... I saw your passion that you have for the project, to rebuild the Silk Road. It would be probably a long term project. If you need any help from me, as a volunteer or not, let me know."
5) "As usual your latest was fascinating." MF
6) "Thank you for this evening's presentation. It was informative and inspiring. I have added traversing the Silk Road to my bucket list and hope to visit a recofitted caravanserai or two in the course of the journey. I gather that recofit is a term that you have coined to describe an ecologically sustainable re[tro]fitting of a structure. You may find it useful to add this term to Wikipedia in order that others may come to understand the meaning and concept."
The next presentation will be on Friday January 24 (time and location to be announced) for those who could not attend, and those wanting to see further developments. 3 new documents should be available for introduction and review:
1) a formal written report on our trip
2) draft 1 of an applied scientific RD&D proposal (research, development and deployment), for circulation
3) a proposal to ICHTO to seek permission, partnership and start of the actual recofit of 4 historical structures.
Here are 3 shots by Saeid Saeedi that captured the spirit of a wonderful evening of discussion and exchange, encouragement and support. Thank you all you generous companions and intellectual minds. If you have a photo or two of the evening, will you please send it to me? If you have a friend who also believes in pragmatic approaches to peace, please let me know.