March 8, 2022 @ 7pm. Traveling as a Family
Growing up on Mount Desert Island is a wonderful experience thanks to our close-knit communities, fascinating history, and a wide array of outdoor activities that change with the seasons. However, growing up here can also isolate children from the rich and diverse world outside of Maine. John and Raney Bench believe that introducing their two boys, Oakley and Emery, to a wider world of cultures, foods, beliefs, and natural environments is an important part of their development, and the family has been fortunate to travel overseas together several times. Starting with their first family vacation to St. John to see how the kids would tolerate long-distance travel and new experiences, the family adventures have taken them to Central and South America, Qatar, Thailand, and the Philippians. Along the way, they have learned how to be flexible, support one another, and be open to new foods, ideas, and cultures. These experiences are lived and re-lived in their daily lives as they share memories, try to recreate favorite recipes, and plan future trips. Traveling with kids presents certain challenges, but also amazing opportunities for play and exploration. Join the Bench family as they share some of their favorite stories and pictures, and answer questions about traveling as a family.
April 19, 2022 @ 7pm India
Martha Andrews Donovan will be sharing photographs and stories from her experiences during a month-long journey to India in 2019. She spent three weeks touring Rajasthan with ten other travelers, with a focus on the forts, palaces, and stepwells in that region. During the last ten days of her journey, Martha traveled to South India and spent a week in Kodaikanal, a bustling hill town located at 7,000 feet elevation on an eastern spur of the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu – where her mother and three aunts attended boarding school. Martha looks forward to providing her audience a glimpse at the beauty and whirl of India.