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Girls See The World – The Passport Party Project™

July 14th, 2011 · 2 Brilliant Opinions · Random Things That Make Me Smile

When  I was growing up in Brooklyn, every summer my classmates would head down South to see their relatives.  They would eagerly ask me if I was going down South too.  Well not exactly.  I was traveling in a southern direction, but not to Georgia or South Carolina.  I was going to the Caribbean.  My grandmothers lived in Carriacou, Grenada.  Carriacou is a teeny  tiny island with a population of 5,000.

I got my first passport in 1970.  I didn’t realize then what a wonderful gift my parents were giving to me. It never crossed my mind that many girls my age did not get to travel to another country. I got to leave the hot, mean streets of the city for the blue sea, fields of chickens, sheep, and goats.  Traveling as a girl gave me an appreciation for another culture and made me grateful for the life my immigrant parents had built for me.  I began to think of myself as a global citizen.

Only 30% of Americans have a passport.  Yep, it’s a daunting statistic.  Years ago I was in line at a  local bank.  A woman started arguing with a teller because she could not perform a transaction without proper i.d.  The teller asked her for a passport.  The woman proudly exclaimed, “I don’t have a passport. I’m a born American!”  A West Indian gentleman then remarked, “You obviously have never left America either.”  A few laughs and snickers followed.

In fact, access to travel is no laughing matter.  The Passport Party Project™ is the brainchild of Tracey Friley , the blogger extraordinaire behind One Brown Girl.  The Passport Party Project™ is merging travel with philanthropy and raising funds to gift 100 girls with their first passport over the next 18 months.  If you want to sponsor a passport party in your hometown or give to this great cause (small donations are welcome), contact Tracey.  Lets help more girls see the world beyond their own suburbs, cities, barrios and country.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • OneBrownGirl

    Ann!!! Thank you for your support of The Passport Party Project and for sharing your story! Although I was raised in Los Angeles, my maternal West Indian grandparents settled in Cambridge Massachusetts, so I can relate to traveling east and then “traveling south” (although you didn’t need a passport to go to Barbados when I was growing up). Cheers to water, wine, travel, West Indians and passports! *Clink*

  • Ann

    Thanks for doing the Passport Party Project! It’s a great cause. Cheers!

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