About Worldviews 2000 and Roger and Nancy
Worldviews 2000 Trips began in 2004, when friends asked me to lead them to visit Southeast Asia. I had worked in the region for years, with the last position as Peace Corps Country Director for Thailand.
Since that beginning I have led over thirty trips, 3-4 per year, including visits to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Kampuchea, Myanmar (Burma), Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and along the Silk Road in China. I have also welcomed travelers to the unique U.S. state of New Mexico. In 2010 my wife, Nancy, and I led our first group to Bhutan; in Nov. 2019, we will lead our 9th trip there.
We keep our trips to 8-12 participants plus ourselves in order to deepen the experience for all. To this end, we emphasize travel to places where Nancy and I know wonderful local people who can share who they are and what is important to them and their community and natural environment.
We want to give back as we travel, so a portion of each trip fee is set aside to donate to social welfare and development causes that the group selects as we go.
In planning each trip, I seek to combine some of the highlights of past trips with a new locale or set of activities, so that each trip is fresh. I seek spontaneous opportunities, too, as we travel along.
For example, one year our group attended Lao Hmong New Year in Luang Prabang, Laos. Great as the celebration was, I was sorry to miss the Hmong pan pipes (“khaen”) performance that is usually a part of the festivities. But the next day, as we drove through the hills of Laos, we spotted a Hmong man and his daughter walking to his village carrying his pan pipe. We stopped the bus, asked for a song, and were treated to a spontaneous roadside concert! And what a treat it was to give the khaen player’s daughter some of the Laos children’s books that we had purchased for such occasions from the Big Brother Mouse book project (bigbrothermouse.com)
Prior to each trip I ask each person about his or her interests and what will make the trip special for him or her, and then try to make this happen. And, in addition to the planned group activities, all are welcome to join Nancy and me on various days for early morning photography, silent meditation/reflection, or Chi Kung exercise. As we travel, I seek to present anthropological and other perspectives on what we are experiencing.
Assisting travelers and local people to connect in lighthearted, non-threatening ways is a delight. I seek opportunities for us to observe, to participate with local hosts, to discuss together in our group. and to provide individual time and space. My hope is that we all will deepen through experiencing new ways of seeing and being and, through doing so, sustain and improve our world.
Brief Info about Roger and Nancy Harmon.
I was trained as a secondary school teacher and in my early work years taught as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi, Africa, at the International School of Bangkok, and then taught at and directed a bi-national language learning center in Savannaket, Laos. I returned to the U.S. and completed a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at the University of Washington, using fieldwork on Buddhism and social change conducted in Thailand from 1972-4. Fortunately, my career path was to be in applied anthropology: I worked for 15 years in refugee resettlement and education, first in Washington State, then in Washington D.C. and finally in Southeast Asian refugee camps in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand with the U.S. State Department-funded education programs for refugees bound for the United States. From 1995-1999 I facilitated various training activities for Peace Corps, including leading Pre-service Trainings in Thailand, Eritrea, and Kyrgyzstan. From 2000-2002, I was Director of the U.S. Peace Corps for Thailand. I speak Thai well and Lao reasonably well.
While in Thailand, Nancy and I hosted many guests and enjoyed showing them around. In 2004 I began Worldviews 2000 Trips, based in New Mexico, and in 2008 established Roger Harmon, Limited Liability Company (LLC).
Nancy joins me on about half of the trips. She recently retired from teaching English, English as a Second Language, media literacy and service learning in a number of multi-cultural settings, including the Navajo reservation. Nancy spent her Junior Year Abroad in Beruit, Lebanon, and upon college graduation returned to Lebanon as a volunteer teacher for two years. Nancy has recently partnered with another educator to start a non-profit to provide innovative curriculum materials that focus on global issues Currently both Nancy and I are passionate about refugee and asylee issues facing our country and the world.
Let us know about your interests and any questions you have about our trips.
"In the beginnegr's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." Shunryu Suzuki in Beginner’s Mind.