Ryan Bell, 2015-2016, Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow to Russia and Kazakhstan, visiting the ranch he helped start in Voronezh, Russia. (Photo Credit: Michael Hanson)
The train was stopped at a border crossing between Russia and Kazakhstan. I opened my cabin door and saw three guards walking down the aisle. One carried an AK-47, another led a bomb-sniffing dog, and a third held a briefcase, presumably for processing each passenger’s immigration documents.
My passport and visas were in order; however, my cabin was not. The small table was crowded with my laptop, audio recorder, and notebooks. Camera equipment and clothing spilled out from my roller bag where it sat on one of the vacant bunks. A messy cabin would not make a good impression, so I hurried to tidy up before the guards reached my door.
(A Russian friend had let me in on a secret of traveling by rail: you can often get a four-person cabin all to yourself by reserving a bunk next to the bathroom. “It didn’t smell that bad,” she said.)
As a Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow, I logged 33 travel days riding in a train car, zigzagging 23,780 miles across Russia and Kazakhstan. That’s just a few hundred miles short of matching the Earth’s circumference – 24,901 miles. Mobility was key for my research project Comrade Cowboys about farmers in Russia and Kazakhstan who were rebuilding their livestock industries with the help of cattle and cowboys imported from the United States.
Our Fulbright U.S. Student Program tutorials have been updated for the 2018-2019 application cycle, which opens on April 3.
The tutorials are up-to-date, online slideshow videos designed for applicants and Fulbright Program Advisers (FPAs) to learn about program and application basics. Since some tutorials may be a prerequisite for attending webinars, we recommend that Fulbright applicants and FPAs review them before registering. We hope you find them useful and informative!
To listen to and watch our tutorials, click on the General Overview Tutorial below and here.
Takeshi Miyata wanders through Auschwitz during his 85 journey around the world on Peace Boat’s 80th Voyage.
“Everything is connected,” exclaimed Takeshi Miyata as he walked along the railway at the Auschwitz death camps, almost 70 years after Jews were carted off to slaughter in the same location. “Jewish scientists escaped the Nazis, helped America build an atomic bomb, and it was dropped on me.”
Anyone who entered Hiroshima and Nagasaki within two weeks of the release of the only two atom bombs detonated over people were designated as Hibakusha: “Exposed to the atomic bomb/radiation.” Miyata, and eight other members of the Peace Boat Hibakusha Project, had traveled halfway around the world from Japan. They shared their cautionary tales of nuclear power in each port of call along the way. Some spoke publicly for the first time in their lives. I was their web reporter.
Peace Boat, part cruise ship, part political lobby, was on its 80th voyage in 30 years. The Hibakusha Project was participating in a Peace Boat voyage for the sixth time. Our journey in 2013 started in Da Nang, Vietnam, where we spent the day with victims of Agent Orange who have experienced generational effects of the chemicals wartime use. We confronted Japan’s own violent past in Singapore at the National History Museum. We shared testimony with a Hungarian-Polish Auschwitz survivor at the center for Dialogue in Poland, and befriended El Salvadorian revolutionaries in Central America.
Daniel Koehler, 2014-2015, Fulbright National-Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow to Botswana
Want a window into the day-in-the life a Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow? Read 2014 Fellow Dan Koehler’s account of how he deftly handled a truck breakdown in the middle of the Kalahari desert en route to doing some filming for his project.
Interested in learning more about the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship? Attend the webinar, Fulbright-Nat Geo: Introduction, this Wednesday, June 24 at 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET.
Live in the Washington, DC area? Come hear the first five fellows share their experiences on Tuesday, June 30 at 1:30 p.m. ET. For more information on how to attend this even, click here.
Mosodi shut the hood of the truck. “It’s the gearbox.”
Earlier that morning, we had departed New Xade for another round of filming in Metsiamanong in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Shortly after passing the border gate into the reserve, the engine of our truck started making a loud clacking noise.
Putting the finishing touches on your application and need a few last minute tips? Attend today’s webinar, review the FAQs and application components. Have questions? Send us an email. Good luck!