Interview Thursday: Brian Green
August 9th 2012
Tell me about the journey that led you to World Savvy.
Growing up, I never imagined that I would travel the world and meet so many interesting people. I’ve been blessed to have lived, worked, or traveled throughout almost 20 countries and I see how it has shaped my life. I think it’s important for students to be exposed to different people and new ideas. Prior to coming to World Savvy, I was an educator in South Korea. During my vacation time I would try to spend a few days doing some volunteer work in whatever country I happened to be in. When I returned to America, I felt a strong desire to work for a nonprofit that focused on education and engaging youth. World Savvy was the perfect fit and I’m so happy to be here!
Can you pinpoint a moment when you remember your worldview expanding? Where were you and what caused that to happen?
When I was a Peace Corps volunteer, I lived in Costa Rica for two years. I lived in a small, rural town of about 500 people. My town was surrounded by hundreds of acres of bananas and the majority of the people worked for the banana plantations. They worked six days a week, often 10-12 hour days. They worked hard and were paid little. Despite that, I was amazed at how friendly and happy most of the people were. What little they had, they were always willing to share. My life lesson was that poverty does not equal misery, nor do money and possessions equal happiness.
What advice would you give to a high school student who wants to expand their worldview?
See the world. And when you travel, don’t be in such a rush to see or do so many things that you fail to interact with people. Some of my best memories are of the times that I tried to have a “conversation” with someone who didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak their language. A lot can be communicated through body language and gestures. More often than not, it also leads to a lot of smiles and laughter.
What is the most interesting food you’ve ever eaten?
In the summer of 2010 I traveled to Beijing. I went to one of the local night markets where you can eat snake, pigeon, cat, and many other things. I tried them all, but the most interesting thing that I ate that night was scorpion. They deep fried it and sprinkled on some seasoning; it tasted like a potato chip.
What are some items on your bucket list? Where do you want to travel, what adventures do you want to have?
Eventually I’d like to learn to play the trumpet or piano. Over the last few years I’ve done so much international travel that, believe it or not, I’d like to do a lot more travel within North America. I want to get to the Montreal Jazz Fest, the New Orleans Blues Fest, and take a week-long bicycle tour throughout the US.