Fulbright scholars and their families took a road trip in October 100 miles north to Gettysburg, PA. This small town is infamous in American history. During the American Civil War in the 19th century, the Battle of Gettysburg, also known as the High Water Mark of the Rebellion, was the pivotal moment that led to Union victory. While Confederate General Robert E. Lee attempted his second invasion of the North, the bloodiest battle of this war was fought in Gettysburg. It also served as the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln‘s famous Gettysburg Address.
Fulbright Scholars and their families pose in front of one of the many famous monuments at Gettysburg
The scholars ate lunch at the visitors center and were given an educational tour from a Licensed Battlefield Guide. They retraced the steps of the battle and looked at monuments dedicated to the soldiers who fought at Gettysburg.
A glimpse into battlefield life
After the battlefield tour, scholars and their families visited the Gettysburg Foundation museum. The artifacts held within the museum offer insight into the lives of important key figures of the Civil War, such as President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Scholars ascending above the beautiful fall foliage
Who said Fulbright Scholars only engage in academia? Our DC area Scholars were given the opportunity to experience the beautiful monuments in the city on a Segway tour. A Segway is a two-wheeled motorized personal vehicle consisting of a platform for the feet mounted above an axle and an upright post surmounted by handles (check out the pictures!). On their two-hour tour, they visited and learned about famous landmarks such as the White House, the US Capitol, the Smithsonian Museums, and other attractions located in the heart of our nation’s capital!
Scholars on Segways in front of the White House
Although Segways might seem difficult to command, our scholars found that they were surprisingly easy to drive after a quick practice lap. With a bit of encouragement, they soon were zipping through the historic streets of DC. It was a wonderful way to tour the city without tiring out too quickly.
Scholars on Segways in front of the Washington Monument
After the tour, the scholars munched on a delicious Italian lunch. They were all thrilled with the Segway tour and DC’s monuments!
Fulbright Scholars eating after a great Segway tour
What’s more American than a good game of baseball? Fulbright Visiting Scholars and their families were able to experience this great American pastime in Baltimore. Before heading to Camden Yards, the home field of the Baltimore Orioles, Scholars and their guests were invited to a private tour of the Sports Legends Museum. Fun fact: the building used to serve as a passanger terminus for the country’s first commercial railroad before becoming a museum.
Group in front of the Sports Legends Museum
At the museum the group learned about the complicated rules of baseball through a guided tour. Children of the Fulbrighters were even able to try on some baseball gear in the hands-on section of the museum.
Mike Gibbons shows participants a catcher’s mask
Then it was off to the field to see the Baltimore Orioles take on the New York Yankees!
Group waving from the stands
On a sunny day in early May, Visiting Fulbright Scholars and their families located in the greater New York City area trekked to a famous neighborhood in their host city. Although not publicly known for tourism, Harlem proved to be a rewarding and unique area to visit.
Tour guide, Anthony Bowman, answering the scholar’s questions after the church service
The group was guided by a specialist in African-American history through the vibrant streets of Harlem. Beginning at the famous Apollo Theater, Fulbrighters learned about events such as the Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance. Eventually the scholars landed at their midway destination, the First Corinthians Baptist Church, where they listened to beautiful Gospel hymns and listened in to a service on the need for justice in the black community. Reverend Lekisha related this necessity to the social unrest unraveling in Baltimore.
Scholars and their families walking down 116th Street in Harlem
After the moving experience at the church, the group toured a part of Harlem known as “Little Africa,” named for the presence of West African immigrants. In this area, scholars passed the mosque Masjid Malcom Shabazz, where they seized the opportunity to discuss Malcom X’s philosophy of unifying Muslims from all cultural backgrounds.
Anthony talking about the evolution of Jazz
At the end of the outing, scholars were treated to discover American “soul food,” with delicious samplings such as fried chicken, candied yams, macaroni & cheese, and sweet tea. Overall, scholars were amazed at how safe and lively the streets of Harlem were, which is typically stereotyped as a poor and dangerous neighborhood of the city.
Fulbright Visiting Scholars in the Greater New York City area were fortunate enough to go on a sailing adventure on the Hudson, one of the rivers that surrounds the island of Manhattan that creeps through the state of New York.
Fulbright scholars learning how the Sloop’s crew navigates along the Hudson River
To begin the day on the water, scholars and their families were taken to the old capitol of New York, Kingston. This city was once a transportation hub for railways and ships. The group then had a three-hour long sailing experience with local non-profit, Clearwater, an organization that influences environmental policy and heightens awareness about ecological issues. The Fulbright crew learned about the river’s relationship to New York City, its role in supporting local ecosystems, and the environmental issues it faces. They also had the chance to drop a fishing net into the water, man the sails, and navigate the Hudson. Beyond the beauty of the Hudson Valley, Fulbrighters also saw an American Eel!
Fulbright scholars helping to raise the sails of the Clearwater
After getting back their land-legs, the group took a stroll on the longest pedestrian bridge in the world, known as the Walkway Over the Hudson. The participants were astounded at how beautiful their ecosystem was, especially considering that the big city was only a few miles away. With a landscape that gorgeous, who wouldn’t want to preserve its wonder?
The Fulbright group on Walkway Over The Hudson
Dutch scholar Mathijs Van de Sande, Irish scholar Ailbhe Kenny and her husband Richard getting their bearings
Visiting Fulbright Scholars in the New York area escaped urban life to learn about the daily life of the Lenape tribe prior to the arrival of the European settlers through a visit to Winakung at Waterloo. Winakung means “place of sassafrass” and recreates what life in a historic Lenape village was like.
Scholars learn about Lenape cooking.
During a tour of Winakung, participants visited 12 interactive stations about aspects of Lenape life, ranging from cooking, fishing and hunting to medicine, courtship rituals and religious beliefs. Scholars also took part in hands on activities that allowed them to experience how the Lenape lived.
Scholar Khaled Taktek from Canada tries Lenape-style target practice.
Scholars were impressed by Lenape culture, learning that it was a matrilineal society where women had considerable rights including property and divorce. Lenape had a deep respect for the environment that influenced how they ate, made clothes, hunted and fished. They knew how to preserve meat and used all parts of the animals.
Scholars, Bin Jin from China La Lashvili from Georgia touch a deer pelt.
The day at Winakung was extremely valuable and exposed a part of American history and culture rarely seen by visitors.
Fulbright Scholars and their families at Winakung at Waterloo.
Boston area Fulbright Visiting Scholars traveled back in time to 1830’s rural New England at Sturbridge Village, a living history museum in Sturbridge, Massachussetts. Costumed actors, historic buildings and activities such as pottery making, smithery, weaving, and cooking, brought Massachussetts history to life in this small village.
A local schoolchild in period clothing.
Scholars spent the day enjoying aspects of 1830s life. They took horse-drawn rides in stagecoaches and hay wagons. Some watched the making of butter in a wooden churn and tasted the final product. Others learned about the history and crafts of the period through books in the General Store and Bookshop. Still others enjoyed taking hiking trails around the millpond and through wooded fields.
Visiting Scholars enjoy a hay ride.
One highlight of the day was the annual springtime Family Farm Fest, which featured newborn farm animals and activities for school children. Everyone enjoyed playing with lambs and bunnies, while staff in period costume explained the historical context of farm activities.
Barbara Harrison of WorldBoston with a young Fulbrighter.
The day was packed with learning about Massacussetts history and culture. Several Scholars commented that although they spent the day at the village, they could spend many more enjoying the many things to see and do!