You are hereBlogs
This is my first visit to the US. Everything I knew about this country was what I saw on television or what I read in books. But thanks to the World Press Institute fellowship, I have the opportunity to see it first-hand. Before I came here, I stereotyped Americans as people who don’t give a damn about foreigners. After all, many Americans are expatriates. How wrong I was that I actually feel a bit embarrassed.
One of the joys of being in Minneapolis and St Paul is walking next to the Mississippi River. I didn't know before I came here that the river flowed through this part of the world. (In my mind the river only existed in the south somewhere, courtesy of Mark Twain).
Photo by Wilson Vega
My name is Olavi and I’m from Finland. I’m staying in the USA until October, travelling around the country and learning about the society.
It’s easy for me to be open-minded, because I already have a good feeling about you guys. That is because of one person.
No, I don’t mean Barack Obama.
Gerald Tyler lives up at Ely, northern Minnesota, a town of about 3,500 people just shy of the Canadian border. It’s wilderness country, canoe country, and, most controversially, wolf country.
Tyler is a retired property developer who put himself through law school, but never really practiced as a lawyer. A few years ago, he and a friend, Minnesotan cattle rancher Dale Lueck, began agitating for a wolf hunt. Tyler says he and Lueck were worried about the number of wolf attacks on cattle and domestic dogs and feared there could be an attack on humans.
A few years ago, when I came to America for the first time, I went on a driving holiday with my then girlfriend. We went for a couple of days - New York City to Connecticut. It was short trip to look at the autumn leaves.
The first fellow I’ve met after disembarking in United States was Neha Dixit, from India. For the very first time I’ve put my eyes on her I knew we would get along.