Travel 2016

After returning on 31 December 2015 from 21 days of travel during the month, I was off on 1 January to Pontedera in Italy for six days with the Stendardo family, before starting a calmer period without much travel planned. I did attend a conference in Geneva called Geneva Engage helping international organizations to use the Internet to increase participation in their meetings. A last-minute request took me to Marrakech, Morocco, in mid-February for the AIESEC Global Leaders Summit, where I moderated a panel of candidates for International President and gave the opening keynote at their Global YouthSpeak Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals (see separate page). In March I went to the Netherlands for 9 days of university seminars, Baha'i gatherings, and the Justice Conference, where I presented a keynote and co-led a workshop (see separate report). The first week of April I was back in Pontadera, and the third week I went to Arendal, Norway, to participate in a UNEP writers' sprint to draft a new set of guidelines for Integrated Environmental Assessments (see separate report), followed by a workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals in Geneva, where I spoke on values-based education. In mid-May, I participated in the ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future annual conference in Milan (see separate report), and at the end of May I went to Kuwait to speak at the Vision Gulf Business Conference (see separate report). While it was not actually a trip, I spoke at a second workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals in Geneva in early July. Later in July I participated in the French Baha'i Summer School near Angers, France (see separate report). The last part of August I spent with my brother Greg and his family in the Czech Republic, mostly in Hluboka nad Vitavou with its castle (see separate page). The second week of September I was invited to an interfaith retreat on everyday spirituality at La Garde near Bourg-en-Bresse, France (see separate page), before speaking at an ebbf breakfast in Zurich and spending a week back in Pontedera, Italy, helping the Stendardos with their garden. October was the last busy month of the year. On 6 October I flew to Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, where I organized the 20th annual conference of the International Environment Forum at Nur University (see separate report), before going on to Santiago, Chile, for the dedication of the Baha'i House of Worship for South America on 13-16 October (see separate page). Then I participated in a Baha'i camp at La Chapelle d'Abondance in the French Alps, 23-27 October (see separate page), and then directly to Belgrade, Serbia, for the 12th Conference of the European Center for Peace and Development, 27-30 October (separate page). I finished the year with two months without traveling while I convalesced from hip replacement surgery, but I did attend the Swiss Baha'i Winter School which was held near Geneva (separate page).

Pontedera, Italy

The Stendardo family has been part of our Baha'i community in Vernier for many years, but they have bought a house in rural Tuscany near Pontedera, between Florence and Pisa, with a big garden for their autistic son. In early January I went for a week to help clean up construction materials around the garden, build an area for composting garden waste and a garden workbench for potting, weatherstrip almost all the windows, and paint those that had weathered. For more pictures, see separate page. The first week of April I went back again for a week to finish weatherstripping the windows, seal and waterproof a terrace, paint a gazebo and 20 garden lamp posts, restring the clothes line, and plant some flowers. I also made a quick trip down in August with a friend to deliver some furniture, and returned for a week of intensive gardening in September.

Stendardo house . Luigi in the garden . sunset from the house
The house and part of the large enclosed garden; sunset from the house

inauguration of the compost pilehappiness is a place to compost . Luigi and Vida in the garden
Luigi and Vida inaugurating the two-bin compost pile; the happiness of composting

Marrakech, Morocco

AIESEC, the international students organization, held its Global Leaders Summit in a resort outside the city of Marrakech, Morocco, in mid-February (see separate page). There was no time for tourism, although we did cross the centre of the city through ancient gates going to and from the airport, and I was able to admire the snow-capped Atlas Mountains in the distance, so my only pictures are of the hotel and its gardens.

Hotel Eldorado Palmerai . Hotel Eldorado Palmerai . Hotel Eldorado Palmerai
Hotel Club Eldorado Palmerai where the meeting was held
Hotel Eldorado Palmerai . Hotel Eldorado Palmerai . YouthSpeak Forum
There was no time to enjoy the sports facilities; one of the conference sessions

The Netherlands

Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, now an Assistant Professor at Wageningen University, and her lovely family, hosted me for Baha'i gatherings and university events, before we went on to the Justice Conference at de Poort (see separate page).

gathering at Sylvia's . Justice Conference . giving my keynote
A gathering at Sylvia's; the Justice Conference; giving my keynote

Arendal, Norway

Arendal is an old port town on the southern coast of Norway, where I attended a UNEP workshop to prepare guidelines for Integrated Environmental Assessment (see separate page). It has many old buildings from its heyday as a major trading centre.

Arendal waterfront . Arendal waterfront . Arendal waterfront
The Arendal waterfront

Arendal church . Arendal . Arendal
The church; main square; old houses

view over Arendal . view over Arendal . view over Arendal
View over Arendal from the heights behind the town

Milan, Italy, ebbf event

In mid-May, I was in Milan for the ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future, spring event on the topic of "consultation: beyond decision making, a tool for learning" (see separate report).

ebbf AGM . ebbf event . Arthur Dahl contributing
ebbf Annual General Meeting; the conference; participating in a discussion


At the end of May, I was invited to Kuwait to keynote at the Vision Gulf Business Conference (see separate report), which was held in a beautiful hotel on the beach. However, since the daytime temperature was up to 48°C, I only went out briefly, and never saw much of the city.

Jumairah Marsilah Beach Hotel . Jumairah Beach Hotel . Jumairah Beach Hotel
Jumairah Marsilah Beach Hotel

beach at Jumairah Beach Hotel . Gulf coast with Kuwait City . Gulf coast
Hotel beach; Gulf coast looking north to Kuwait City; coastline south

Jumairah Beach Hotel . Jumairah Beach Hotel . Jumairah Beach Hotel
Jumairah Beach Hotel
Jumairah Beach Hotel . Jumairah Beach Hotel . Jumairah Beach Hotel
Jumairah Beach Hotel interiors

Angers Baha'i Summer School

The French Baha'i Summer School was held at the Jardins de l'Anjou in La Pommeraye near Anjou, in the west of France (see the separate page).

Les Jardins de l'Anjou . Les Jardins de l'Anjou . Les Jardins de l'Anjou
Les Jardins de l'Anjou

Hluboka, Czech Republic

This was mostly a family visit to my brother while his children were home from school, but there was time to walk along the river near their home, visit Hluboka Castle, and attend an International Symposium on Ethics and Environmental Health in nearby Ceske Budejovice (see separate report).

Gregory, Emi and Mina at Townshend School . Hluboka Castle . Ceske Budejovice town square
Gregory, my sister-in-law Emi, and Mina at Townshend International School; Hluboka Castle; Ceske Budejovice central square

La Garde, Bourg-en-Bresse, France

On 7-11 September, I participated in an interfaith retreat (see separate page) in the Domaine de la Garde and its chateau near Bourg-en-Bresse, France.

Domaine de la Garde
Chateau de la Garde . Chateau de la Garde and stables . Chateau de la Garde
Chateau de la Garde
Domaine de la Garde . Domaine de la Garde . Domaine de la Garde
Domaine de la Garde from the cross

Pontadera, Italy

I spent the week of 16-23 September with the Stendardo family in their new vacation home in Pontadera (see separate page for all visits) and helped some more in the garden.
new bougainvillea . me with the Stendardos . ruins
Part of the garden; me with the Stendardos; old barn wall in the garden

20th IEF Conference, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Santa Cruz de la Sierra is a city of 1.5 million in the interior of Bolivia east of the Andes. The International Environment Forum chose the Baha'i-inspired Nur University there for its 20th Annual Conference on 7-9 October on the theme "Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals as Communities and Individuals" (see separate report) and further photos here. I also gave a talk for 90 students at the university on Monday, on their personal responsibility for addressing climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Santa Cruz has a beautiful old town centre with a central square and cathedral, and a lively night life with many celebrations and music in the square.

cathedral . central square . city hall on the square
The cathedral; the central square; city hall on the square

central square . Nur University
The square is full of people; Nur University where we held our conference

Baha'i Temple Dedication, Santiago, Chile

The last continental Baha'i House of Worship, for South America, was dedicated in Santiago, Chile, on 13-16 October, with 5,000 Baha'is attending the dedication and associated conference (see separate report). I made a brief presentation on behalf of the Swiss Baha'i Community, and met many old friends from all over the world.

Chile Temple . dedication conference . finding old friends
The new Baha'i House of Worship for South America; part of the audience at the conference; finding old friends

La Chapelle d'Abondance, France

The high alpine valley of the Abondance is a beautiful place for study and recreation. Our Autumn Baha'i Camp was a delightful experience (see separate page).

hike up to Sur Bayard . group . hike up to Sur Bayard
Valley of the Abondance; the group (after I left)

hike up to Sur Bayard, waterfall . hike up to Sur Bayard - waterfall . hike up to Sur Bayard
The waterfall/La cascade

Belgrade, Serbia

The European Center for Peace and Development conference was held as usual in the Belgrade City Hall with distinguished speakers (see separate page).

conference . speakers

Swiss Baha'i Winter School

The Swiss Baha'i Winter School was held at Chavannes-de-Bogis near Geneva, so I did not have to travel far (see separate page).
music . children . children pinned hearts on parents

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Last updated 17 February 2017

Photographs copyright © Arthur Lyon Dahl 2016