Yesterday, Nomkhubulwane returned home to South Africa, after a busy year of travel all throughout North America. Traveling over 26,000 miles (approx 41,000 kms), Nom-Koo’s tour brought creativity and environmental awareness to nine cities throughout the US and Mexico. Her tour started at WILD9, 9th World Wilderness Congress (Merida, Mexico, Nov 2009) and finished in Chicago, USA. Traveling with her, an educational program, designed by The Civic Knowledge Project, The University of Chicago, Division of Humanities, encouraged creative environmental relationship building with tens of thousands of children.
Nom-Koo’s tour was a collaborative effort with the Human Elephant Foundation, the Magqubu Ntombela Foundation, WILD, Imagine Chicago, Papalote Museo de Nino, Municipio de Cd. Juarez, El Paso Zoo, Walmart, Office of the Mayor (City of Chicago), InterfaceFLOR, Illinois Institute of Technology, Field Museum, Bozeman Public Library, Project Nomkoo, Marygrove College, the Charles H. Wright Museum and numerous other organizations and individuals.
Hundreds of thousands of people surely saw Nom-koo throughout her journey. Some perhaps along the highway as she traveled by truck — that must have been a sight to see! Just looking at her visit to Paso del Norte (Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas USA), Nom-Koo was part of:
- Parade of Children into Juarez on Panamerican Highway with 3000 students in the parade and 1000’s more along the route;
- Installation in major shopping mall with between 5,000 – 10,000 visitors;
- Installation in the Cultural Center with daily activities and school visitors;
- Crossing the International Bridge, one of the busiest bridges in the world;
- Weekend at the Chamizal National Park; and,
- Opening of the new African Exhibit at the El Paso Zoo with daily hands on activities for children and families.