Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

-Mary Oliver

I graduated from Haverford College in May 2010 and now I’m spending a year traveling the world (current itinerary: Guatemala, Egypt, Uganda, Indonesia, Mongolia) as a Watson Fellow. I’ll be writing about my travels as I go!


9 responses to “About

  1. Hello Maddie,
    I have been following your wonderful, amazing blog. What is apparent is that you already have had a lifetime of experiences–thank you for sharing so many beautiful places with us–travel safely and know we are sending good vibes your way.
    peace, pat

  2. Hello Maddie,
    You have a terrific blog! Great way to share about your experience with real, first hand knowledge of Fair Trade in action! In particular, I like the posts about Indonesia – we have had similar paths! I have added you to my Friends of the Journey list on my blog as well.

    Have a great and experiential year abroad!!

    Mitch Teberg

  3. Hey! We met at Stepperiders. I successfully stalked your website and I’m so glad i did! I love all your stories. David and I can’t wait to read them all. Congrats on finishing up your adventures. You’ll have an exciting future I am sure. ūüôā

    -Sarah (and David) Rheams

  4. Hi Maddie – I’d love to talk to you about your travels in Indonesia…I’m the founder of Andean Collection, a sustainable line of accessories that is sold in over 1500 locations throughout the world….can you drop me a line sometime soon? amanda@theandeancollection.com
    if you haven’t heard of us – check it out: http://www.theandeancollection.com

    I’ll explain more when i hear from you!


  5. Hello, Maddie—

    I am a student at Haverford College, and I am working on designing a summer internship with a women’s craft cooperative in Morocco through the CPGC. Chloe Tucker gave me your name because of your CPGC internship and your work with craft cooperatives during your Watson Fellowship. I just looked at your blog, and it is amazing—it is basically everything I hope to do this summer. If you could tell me more about your experiences and give some advice on designing a CPGC internship for this summer, I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you!
    Rosa Cohen


  6. Hi Maddie,

    I love your blog-it is so inspirational and motivating, especially because it gives a glimpse of what I will hopefully be doing in a year! I’m currently a senior at Colorado College, majoring in Art Studio and minoring in Environmental Issues. I would love to talk to you more about about my own Watson project proposal which is due in a couple of weeks and pick your brain! I think you might be helpful for advice on places to travel to in Mongolia especially, as well approaches to take when designing the project (how long to stay in one country, or even within a country, etc).

    I want to learn about different culture’s relationships to their tools, and how studying the process of how these functional objects are made, processed, and used offer insight into the current and shifting values of the culture- whether cultural, spiritual, environmental, social, and/or communal.

    I think I’d like to frame the whole Watson year as exploring contrasting lands that have varying geographical elements which influence the functions of of the daily life of the people and what tools are a part of that process. Also, I want to study these tools and societies recognizing the globalization and extensive importation/ exportation network that has shifted production from addressing local needs to meeting global demand. This would mean traveling to a remote series of islands (Chuuk Islands) , an island off the mainland (Azores and Portugal) , remote and landlocked (Mongolia), and industrialized and integrated (Finland). Depending on each countries specific tool/object interactions, I would work alongside designers, craftspeople, toolmakers, and workers making and using traditional objects, as well as community organizations which use both traditional and modern tools that are part of the predominant historical community industry (ex> working with cork harvesters in the traditional agricultural capital of cork in Alentejo, Portugal). I’m still working on solidifying this list of countries, as well as researching whether some other/additional countries would be good to visit.

    To give a bit more explanation, here’s a more thorough example. The ger in Mongolia is a functional object that serves as a tool for moveable shelter (as you know!) and demonstrates the influence of a nomadic lifestyle in the Mongolian tradition. The ger’s design lies in the fact that it needs to be easily disassembled and transported, and it form allows for this necessary shelter. But past meeting just basic needs of survival, the ger can facilitate a nourishing home life by serving as a permanent social space with a set interior and shifting exterior, a sense of home renewed each time the ger it rebuilt in a new location. I would explore this by living in nomadic communities and witnessing the role the yurt plays in people’s daily life, as well as hopefully getting to learn how to take them apart/built them. etc/set up the layout of the items. And I would explore the changes that are influencing the nomadic tradition. What does it mean then, that gers are being built as permanent structures in Ulaanbaatar? I’m hoping to be there 2-3 months exploring these ideas, and want to travel to different parts of Mongolia, but don’t know specific places yet.

    Did you come in contact with the yurt/ nomadic lifestyle? Do you have good contacts of people I could potentially see about staying with or connecting up with in Mongolia? Any recommendation for how to make contacts in the craft, toolmaking areas in general? Were you able to do make these contacts before, or was it so community oriented that it required deep inquiry once you arrived? I want to make sure I have some structure to the places I travel to!

    My proposal is due soon, so I’d love to be able to either email your or even call/skype and pick your brain in the coming week if that works. I’m currently in the midst of trying to get establish some contacts, and am struggling! Let me know if you can help!


    Sarah Velez

  7. Annie Trowbridge

    Hey Maddie! I have no idea if this would reach you at all at this point, but I am about to go on a watson about textiles and I would love to ask you a few questions! Email me at annietrowbridge@gmail.com if for some reason you see this!:)

  8. Hi Maddie, I’m a knitwear designer and looking to explore working with cultural artisans. I’m hoping to be part of the community that can support preservation of cultural arts, as well as empowering artisans. I read your piece about the Berkah Lestari Cooperative in Jogjakarta, and would love to contact them and speak with Nani. I will be traveling to Indonesia next week! I hope this message reaches you, my email is cfong.dd@gmail.com. Thanks and all the best! Crystal

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