Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The envelope travelling from Bristol, UK to Alaska


We have long been intrigued by this idea of the four corners of the world.
To us it conjures up images of far-flung places, intrepid explorers, undiscovered lands.
We decided it would be wonderful to have contact with people living in these four corners, learn about the nature of these places and create an opportunity to marvel at the richness of our shared planet.
Research into the subject failed to deliver any concrete evidence as to where these corners might actually be located.

So we endeavoured to undertake our own research.
In 2006 we held an event asking people to comment on where they believed the four corners of the world to be. This research produced valuable insights.

The research highlighted the enigmatic nature of our planet and that it’s mysteries may and should forever remain undiscovered.
However there were four areas on the planet that were mentioned more frequently than others.
We acknowledge that these represent a very UK-centric view of the globe and that everyone’s opinion of the location of the 4 corners are equally valid. Being stubborn in our quest however, we decided to take these places and for the purposes of this particular project, identify them as the four corners of the world.

They were:

Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
New Zealand

We then set about the task in finding people in each of those places who would be happy to join in the next phase of the project.
By contacting the British embassies in each of the four countries we established links with our participants and the next phase could begin;

We posted a parcel on 14th August 2008 to Diddy Hitchins in Alaska.
The parcel contained a note book, 2 disposable cameras, some parcel labels, forwarding on envelopes and some instructions.
The idea was for each participant to contribute to the parcel by adding to the notebook, taking photos, adding items to the parcel and then to send it on to the next participant.
It travelled from Alaska to Argentina to New Zealand to Mongolia.
It arrived safely home (see; Serendipitous arrival!) on the 10. June
It travelled 30,299 miles and took exactly 300 days to complete its journey.

“A symbol of goodwill, linking peoples from the four corners for the world.”
Lilicherie McGregor

This project happened because of the spirit of generosity and endeavour of the participants.
They were
Diddy Hitchins in Anchorage, Alaska
Estela Caipillan Rio Grande, Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina
Lilicherie McGregor, Whangarei New Zealand
Urgaa Dagvadorj, Ulaanbaatar Mongolia

Our very big thank you to them and to those who they encouraged to contribute to the parcel.

They are;
Andrea Dominguez
Bob Davidson
Douglas Karanga
Juan Pablo
Karina Cardonaz
Mariu Taua
Moira Aberdeen
Nolia N Lezcamo
Richard Wihongi

The parcel contained poems and photos and stories and articles and postcards and newsletters. Some of them are represented in these pages. You will find them by clicking on the labels found to the right.
They all give flavour of what these 4 corners of our planet are like and highlight the diversity of our lands and also those things that connect us.

The parcel has completed its journey and another phase of the project can emerge.
This project now belongs to all of those of you who would like to contribute to these pages.
Do add your comments, be in touch with participants, share your own stories that tell of your corner of the world.
Ideas of how we might take this project further are very welcome.

To contact tinker & bloom please email

Urgaa's explanation. Photo of box to follow

Sorry Eileen at the post office I was asked to put the parcel in the box

The envelope travelling from Alaska to Argentina

The envelope travelling from New Zealand to Mongolia

The envelope travelling from Argentina to New Zealand

Transcript of the notebook enclosed in the parcel

A journey to the four corners of the world
14. August 2008

The parcel arrived in Anchorage Alaska (62degrees north/149W) at the end of August when I was actually up on the north slope of Alaska- pity I could not take it there to photo with a polar bear!
By the time I had it, it was already September and the weather in Anchorage was terrible- heavy rain, grey and dull. I kept waiting for a sunny day to take photos but there were no sunny days.
So in the end I just went ahead and took photos in the rain- of downtown Anchorage: the HQ of the Alaska railroad, which was associated with the founding Anchorage and the first train.
A totem pole. Two totem poles in front of the federal court House. The statue of captain James cook whose ship visited Anchorage (Where he dropped anchor is where the town developed) in early June of 1778. He looks out over the inlet that was named after him, after his death. He was searching for the North West passage- also seeking out the four corners of the world of earth. There are also photos of the new Denaira Convention Centre and Anchorage museum of the Planet Walk garden. As you can see, Anchorage is a thoroughly modern city; a complete contrast with Kaktouik on the Arctic ocean where I was last week, where indigenous people still practice subsistence in a culture that depends on harvesting the bowhead whale.
The biggest thing that has happened to Alaska since the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, is that our Governor, Sarah Palin, was chosen last Friday, while the parcel was here, to be the running mate of the Republican John MCCain in the US Presidential Election in November 2008.
My contribution to the parcel is a copy of that announcement in the Anchorage Daily News- and I have also included a report “Smart Cars appear on Anchorage streets”- because it is my Smartcar!

Diddy Hitchins, PhD MBE
British Honorary Consul for Alaska
Emeritus Professor Political Science
University of Alaska Anchorage

Hello people! The parcel arrived in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego on October.
We took some photographs of Ushuaia city and added material made by children of Rio Grande City
Enjoy them!

The best for 2009!


The parcel arrived in Whangarei Northland on 01.01.09

A symbol of goodwill for 2009-08-06 Linking peoples from the four cprners of the world.

I have added to the parcel a piece of fabric, black and white, the colours of the “All Blacks” NZ’s rugby team. With words in Maori, map of NZ, native birds, trees, Wharenui (Maori meeting house) and lighthouse at Cape Reinja- farthest northern tip of Aotearoa, where in Maori belief, their sould leave to travel to Tohawaiki
- Mythical homeland in Pacific ocean.

-DVD of Kauri Forset- NZ’s most famous native tree- found in northland.

-Postcards of
- Tuatara-Lizard-whose ancestors go back 200 million years.
- Kiwi-flightless bird, nocturnal
- Kakapo
- Tui- found in many people’s garden it has distinctive song

-Hand woven flax flower, example of Maori traditional weaving.

-Colour copies of photos swimming with dolphins from book made by Wade Doak. Wade lives in Ngunguru close to me and the Poor Knights Islands- famous for their crystal clear blue waters and diving visibility

-our waters also harbour sharks

-Newspaper article on the Maori flag

-Poetry by Hone Tuwhare
+ paintings by Ralph Hotere
Two NZ Maori artists

Ralph lives in Dunedin in the north of NZ and suffered a stroke so can no longer paint and Hone passed away last year.
Together they often made collaborative art- and political comment on their world. “No ordinary sun” is inspired from nuclear explosion.

-An oral history told by Freda Parekaitu Tito at Parihaka.
Te Whiti was a famous prophet who led a protest of passive resistance against the British settling and confiscating Maori land.
3 white feathers is the symbol of peace- from Parihaka- on the west coast of the north island.

-A brochure on the small town of Kawa Kawa- north of Whangarei
- Where Griedrich Hundertwasser made his home for six months of each year.

-Two examples of contemporary Maori art-

- Illustrations for a children’s book of Maori myth- Paikea and the Whale
- The Maori creation myth

-NZ calendar

-photos of
- primary school entrance in the small town of Ngunguru- where the children have their swimming lessons in the sea.

-Map of Aotearoa New Zealand
on which is marked

1st Anchorage of James Cook in 1769 at Gisborne
also a significant Maori settlement
The east coast is the first land to receive the sun each day on our international clock.

-Year 10 class Tikipunga High School
photo’s of students engaged in drama exercises.

+ short stories written by the students – work in progress

kindly given in their unfinished state.

If any students in Mongolia or England would like to send a story to these NZ students that would be cool.
Send to email:

Best wishes from Aotearoa NZ

Fourth Corner of the World
Great land of Chinggis Khaan

We received the Parcel on 10th of March 2009 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Since then it has been a long time to send back to you Eileen!
Sorry that it took so long as Ganzo was abroad, and me too, and finally we were waiting for his return from countryside where he took some pictures on video( by the way it was his main job to shooythat video for his TV) and later we cut a piece off from that movie.
Here is what we have included in our package.

CD - Urgaa’s photos (me and my family’s some pictures)
CD – Ganzo’s photo collection about Mongolia
CD - Ganzo’s Video in 2 parts: one is his shoot in the city of Ulaanbaatar (sorry it’s too slow) and another one is his shoot about North part of Mongolia. Here is the beautiful Egiin Eol (River) and its nearby areas : Khantai Range.
2 set of postcards
7 postcards
“Archidal” (Democracy) newspaper in Mongolian Language from 13 May 2009
(There are 2 candidates for the presidential election: Left Mr N. Enkhbayar- president of Mongolia and on the right: Mr Elbegdorj- Former prime minister and the leader of Democratic Party of Mongolia
there is a presidential election here in Mongolia on May 24th 2009
(I will vote for Mr. Elbegdorj. ;-) )
UB Post newsparer- May 19 in English- I suggest you read this- it’s interesting.
“That’s Ulaanbaatar” – visitor’s guide 2008
“Enjoy and love Mongolia” magazine
May 2009-cultural events brochure
Travel Guide book – 2006 (sorry this is quite old-couldn’t find new one)
Nomad’s winter festival calendar
Chinggis Khaan Hotel guide
e-news from Monisame agency

I put them all in a separate plastic bag (zipper bag)
If you need to contact me in future, please keep in touch and phone me on:

(my mobile numbers)
I’ll visit London between 25-31 July. So hope I can see you in UK!

Wish you the best in your project!!!
With best regards

Urgaa and Ganzo
From Mongolia

The notebook enclosed inthe parcel

The notebook enclosed in the parcel

The notebook enclosed with the parcel

The notebook enclosed with the parcel

Year 10 Class, Tikipunga High School, New Zealand

Students engaged in their drama class.

Primary school in Ngunguru, New Zealand

Children going to this school have their swimming lessons in the sea.

Photo by Lilicherie, New Zealand

Photo by Lilicherie, New Zealand

Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego

Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego

Anchorage, Alaska

Statue of Captain James Cook, Anchorage, Alaska

"His ship visited Anchorage (where he dropped Anchor is where the town developed) in early June of 1778. He was searching for the North West Passage-also seeking out the four corners for the world." Diddy

The HQ of the Alaskan Railroad

The Alaskan railroad was associated with the founding of Anchorage and the first train.