Traveling through the Northern Neck was a wonderful experience!  I truly enjoyed the unspoiled landscape!  Seeing the culture, strong agriculture, and tie to the water was very intriguing!  The people were truly welcoming during our visit!

I also enjoyed traveling out to Tangier Island!  Traveling on a boat for an hour out to the island was very much a new experience for this mountain woman! Coming from deep Central Appalachia with all our issues, I felt kindred finding similar struggles and similar cultural attributes!  

During our seminar, we focused on the subject of vulnerability and this brought a lot of strong emotion in many and set others to thinking.  I found it an interesting subject the idea of vulnerability and good leaders.  During the trip, we met several strong leaders, but the one who stick out to me was James “Ooker” Eskridge, Tangier Island’s Mayor.  When I think about vulnerability, I think about honesty and the ability to be honest with yourself and others.  I found Ooker to be very open and honest with us!  He was willing to answer questions that many would have avoided.  In the past, I have often myself tried to hid or down play some of the issues of my region. In recent years, I have attempted to be more honest about the issues and be more open.  Ooker was willing to share and be open and honest. Not only did he share with us about their problems, but he also opened up his fishing shanty to show us what life is like as a waterman!   In a world where people often try make thing look  and sound better then they are, I found it very refreshing!


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