"One World" kooka3's Profile

Easily and quickly help people who need it

I originally pointed people to my external website after the tsunami disaster in December, but with disasters such as this, Katrina/Rita, and now the earthquake in Pakistan, it's more and more important to do something to help.

Simply by clicking on this link will help people. Please take a minute out of your day to help!

Let's face it - we can't all travel to help or sends lots of money or supplies. However, there is something you can do: if you click on the external link, it will take you to the The Child Health Site. Bookmark this and click on the "donate now" button every day! The site sponsors donate money according the number of clicks they get each day! It takes you seconds a day and will help people all over the world who desperately need it. There are also 5 other links to sites that will help provide food, rainforest protection, mamograms for women who can't afford them, etc. Please help! Thanks!

Welcome to my pages!

I'm trying to get pages updated as time presents itself, so keep checking back. If you find errors in my pages, please let me know so I can fix it. I haven't been to some of these places in a few years (and some have been much longer than that!) and things change all the time.

Traveling has been a great eye opener for me. I found that I don't have to go far to have great experiences - the more I travel, the more I find that wonderful things and wonderful people are out there, waiting to be discovered. I've found some great friends on my travels, even when it was the next town over. I can't wait for my next trip. :)

** NOTE ABOUT PICTURES: I finally got a digital camera -- and a scanner! Now if I could just get the scanner to actually WORK, I could quickly get pictures attached to my pages. I love technology . . . . :/

About me -

I'm finishing a Master's Degree in socio-cultural anthropology. During my gradute studies, I found that my interestes were ever expanding. There's so much out there to learn. I started grad school thinking that I would focus on 1) diaspora, mostly groups entering the US, 2) Caribbean festivals, particularly the Junkanoo festival of the Bahamas and Jamaica, or 3) a combination -- looking at the diasporic effects on festivals, such as the Caribbean festivals in London or Toronto, the Italian festivals in the North end of Boston, etc. The further I get into my work, I found that my interests haven't changed but I keep adding to the list. I found that what I'm really passionate about is the cultural aspects of Education - not surprising since I originally trained and worked for several years as a teacher. By a sheer stroke of luck, I ended up with a research project that took me to Vanuatu last summer for 5 weeks. It completely wasn't what I expected, but these things never are. The immediate project was to learn about and document traditional ni-Vanuatu (indigenous) educational practices and helping to re-integrate these into the educational system. I became very interested in Post-Colonial education and the cultural politics that accompany this. I find it all fascinating, and I'm sure I'll be able to apply it to the Caribbean, too ;)

Favorite Places/travel memories & Travel Wish-List

FAVORITE PLACES: Sydney; Runaway Bay, Jamaica; Rome; Edinburgh; Ithaca, NY
- Laying down in the grass at the Verezzano Winery in Tuscany, inhaling the scent of the earth and enjoying the sunshine. This is where I fell in love with Italy.
- Pub-crawling with a friend through the countryside in Devon, England, trying to find the best named beers around. The winners: The Dog's Ballocks and Old Bastard.
- Making it to the top of Uluru (Ayer's Rock).
- Getting picked to feed the wild dolphin at Monkey Mia
- Spending the night at Paddington Station because I missed the last train out.
- Having a wild kangaroo on Kangaroo Island shove its head into my pocket to get at the "Roo Food"
- Putting on rollar blades for the first time and blading through the streets of Zurich, around the tip of the lake to a park on the far side, where we went swimming before heading back through the city.
Hopefully my future travels will include:
Seeing my grandparents' homelands of Germany and Turkey/Armenia
Hike the Grand Canyon
Tour the California wineries
Walk across the Lakes District of England from coast to coast.
Walk the Pilgramage route to Canterbury
Visit at least 8 more Caribbean islands (I'm hoping for DR, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Trinidad . . . and whatever else presents itself!)
Take an African Safari
Cruise: the Nile, the Amazon, and the Greek Isles
Travel through VietNam and Cambodia
Go to Rio and New Orleans for Mardi Gras
See Manchu Pichu
Photograph: the Pyramids; Kilimanjaro; Angkar Wat

This is Chia, the dog who's shared my life for about 7 years now. I got her from the Humane Society when she was 9 months old, after being brought in with her mother and the rest of her litter and being adopted once and brought back :( She's the sweetest thing in the world, and I can't imagine someone giving her up! (although, to be fair, she's very "enthusiastic" around new people, and when she was a puppy, she had a tendency to knock little kids over in her eagerness to lick their faces . . . ). She wasted no time in making herself at home, as you can see in the picture.

I love having a dog, even though they do tend to cramp the wanderlust . . . I guess it keeps my insane "pack up and go" urges in check (and therefore also keeps some money in my bank account!)


Languages fascinate me. I wish I had more time to study/learn languages.

I'm fluent in: English and Gibberish

I can muddle through in: Spanish, American Sign Language

I know a few key phrases in: German, Italian, Armenian, Jamaican Patois, Bislama, Japanese

I would love to be able to be conversant in all of those plus: Portuguese

Favorite things to read:

Most of my favorite books give me a flavor of a place or a culture. Several times, these books have inspired a trip or at least put the place on my "travel wish list".

- Fool on the Hill: This is one of my favorite books! It takes place in Ithaca, NY. The author does a great job of weaving fantasy with reality; as a graduate of Cornell University, he is well acquainted with both the university and the surrounding town, so if you know anything about Ithaca, you'll love that he remains faithful to the locale. Even if you don't know Ithaca before reading this, you'll feel like you know it afterwards.
- Memoirs of a Geisha (inspired me to check out Gion).
- The Canterbury Tales (I've been to Canterbury, but have yet to do the pilgrimage).
- Crow Lake (It's an amazing picture of Northern Ontario as well as family life)
- What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day (great look at small town Michigan life as well as a great plot).
- Alien Son (immigrants in Australia)
- Coornadoo (Australian outback life and Aboriginal experiences in colonial times)
- Tony Hillerman mysteries (he's amazingly well informed about Navajo culture)

check back as I add to the list . . .

Favorite song refrain:

"May the rain run off your shoulders when you're caught in a storm.
When the frost comes a-calling, may it find you safe and warm.
May your place be set; may your promises be kept.
May you never forget you are loved."
~ Fred Small

  • Intro Updated Aug 18, 2006
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Comments (71)

  • kahnjetta's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    Happy Birthday, best wishes on your special day:)

  • toemayn's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2014 at 5:47 AM

    Hope your birthday is filled with all the fun you can handle!

  • planxty's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    Hi Marissa, just dropping by to wish you a very happy birthday. Hope you have a great day. fergy.

  • 850prc's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Happy birthday, Marissa. Today is also my son's birthday. We're taking him and his fiancee out for dinner. Come join us. :)

  • nomad7890's Profile Photo
    Apr 14, 2009 at 6:16 PM

    Hello Marissa, thank you for leaving the note and all the best with your job opportunity! -Regards, Martha

  • SWFC_Fan's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2009 at 11:58 AM

    A belated Happy Birthday, Marissa! Hope you had a great day :-)

  • Dester's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2009 at 4:17 PM

    Happy Birthday Kooka. You came really close to only getting one every four years, eh?

  • aussiedoug's Profile Photo
    Oct 14, 2008 at 6:08 PM

    Hey stranger. As my only VT friend online at the mo' I thought it was definitely time to drop by & say G'Day. Feel free to drop me an email letting me know what's happening in your life at present. Regards from Sydney

  • wilocrek's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2008 at 1:23 PM

    Excellent homepage! Very descriptive and informative, more home pages should be like yours! Thanks for visiting my SF page. I just finished building it so I have more tips and I hope you have a great visit!

  • winterson's Profile Photo
    Apr 26, 2008 at 10:56 PM

    Hi Marissa Thanks for you comment and greeting. Yes, there is not enough time to see this word- its sad! I like your photo on your page but I was always told 'never stand up in a boat' Have a nice time in SF John

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