Third world survival

Our neighbor down the road in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic is a 25 year old mother of a 4 year old diabetic son. Her mother died when she was 4 and basically raised herself. Through her eyes, I am getting a look at the health care system of what the impoverished community deals with in the DR. She has no job, as her son is often sick and she is the only one who can take care of him, which has, at times, involved several days in the hospital. No job means very limited income, she gets very limited child support from her son’s father, but it is not enough to sustain her son and his medical needs. This results in him not eating the foods he should be eating. He has been fed powdered milk his whole life and wants nothing else, in a bottle. As she lives with multiple relatives in a two room shack with a kitchen-cook room fired by a wood fire, there is little to go around and rice and beans is the staple, with no-nutrient puffy white bread. So when there is no milk which is often, the child eats high starch, which turns to sugar that exasperates his diabetic symptoms, resulting in her not being able to hold down a job. The viscous cycle of poverty. Continue reading

Medical Volunteers

Around the globe are people in need. Some years ago I met Mark Stanley and became familiar with a passion of his…Getting young American university youth out into the world to gain experience. During their spring break, many come to the Dominican Republic to make a difference. Volunteers Around the World is how students planning to be in the medical field donate their time, expertise and resources to make a difference. This 2 min video is about three such young women. One of the recipients of their work is a neighbor who is a four year old diabetic child. Today when I took him to visit the mobile clinic for a check up, I had the chance to talk to these three young woman about what they do and why. Below is another video of one volunteers broader outlook on life.

Motion Picture Deal

In early November last year I did a keynote for PNC Bank at the Ocean Reef Club in Florida. I made reference in my keynote to the desire to make a motion picture on my story that the audience had just experienced. Following the keynote was a book signing of Journey of a Hope Merchant. An attendee asked for an autograph and inscription dedicated to her son who was an aspiring screen writer in Hollywood. This was to be his Christmas gift.

filmteam2New years eve an email pops up. Travis Geiger had received his Christmas gift and read my book cover to cover. He then re-read it again. I quote from that email Travis sent: “The prevailing elements of adventure, adversity, history, heroism, and of course hope, make for a story that Hollywood not only would want but needs.” We began a dialog with the dream of making a film together. He continues…”As an Eagle Scout and Sailor I was drawn in to your time on the open ocean. As a storyteller I was drawn to everything else.” Continue reading

Eric Litman – Jazz Player

If you love jazz, then you want to hear Eric Litman, one of the most amazing jazz musician…

Eric_Litman2I have known Eric for 5 years and heard him play many times. He once played on my yacht for me and each time I experience his music, he is amazing. That night on board when his sax rang out across the water, was one of the most incredible experiences people in the anchorage had ever heard.  Recently he and a group of old friends of his played at the much unknown Cabarete Jazz festival which we attended. Really great music and Eric should be considered for corporate events. Eric is out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He is one of the best sax players in the Caribbean.

Eric_Litman1Eric third from left.

Creating a brick pizza oven.

P9281007Thinking about building a pizza oven. This was a long, hard process, the thinking about it. Needed to sleep on it a bit, consult my side kick Darlene, motivate myself, then get Jacques aboard, not that it was hard as he follows where ever I want to go.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen I had to do some more thinking about what I was about to undertake. This was going to be a big project.



So we lit the first fire. Now we have to finish the outside cover. The arch I created will be chiseled out as it does not work. A new one will be built and inserted, then the outer stone work can start.

Customer viewpoint on Neal Petersen

Dee Costa is the president of Asset Marketing Systems and hired Neal to be the closing motivational keynote for her annual conference. This one minute video is her response to working with Neal and Darlene.

We got the job because we were referred by a Cisco attendee who heard Neal speak years ago that told her friend, who put Neal’s name forward to Dee. Our business is all about referrals.

The Unlimited Possibilities

Each day we are presented unlimited possibilities. Today it is possible to make a new friend, find a different business partner, enjoy someone to laugh with, share an encounter. Each possibility could be perceived as positive, or negative. We are not in control of what is being presented daily to each one of us, but we are in control of how we respond. Do we accept what is presented – is it a gift, does it fit our immediate or long term needs, or do we reject the offers. Every awakening moment we learn, we discern, we make snap, instinctive decisions, we make judgments, we share, we reflect. We are alive, but at different degrees.

You and I are here at this moment for whatever the reason it is that we find ourselves sharing this space. We may have chosen to share these moments together, or were brought together here by circumstances beyond our control. Fact – we are here, and must decide what we shall do with this opportunity. We may choose to acknowledge each other’s presence, or not. I choose to acknowledge that you are here, that you exist, that you are on the peripheral of my bubble. Based upon the interaction we shall have from this acknowledgement, we shall instantly decide how to proceed, if our bubbles will merge and engage. Continue reading

NCACC Public Service

Following the standing ovations Neal Petersen keynote for the opening of NC Association of County Commissioners opening general session, Neal conducted a 3 hour workshop on leadership. Interviewing Commissioner Sidney Dunstan who shares the lessons he learned in the session…


Each new adventure brings us something. As we shift through the island chain, we shift not just languages, culture, food, but we deal with official-dom. Customs and immigration are the doors to these island adventures that we must pass through entering and departing each island. They hold the keys of who enters and who does not. Entry is always granted, the unknown is with what type of system, attitude, and at what financial cost. Some are really good, some are unique, and others are just inefficient representations of their nations. Having visited most of the islands between the United States and Venezuela on the Eastern Caribbean chain over a period spanning a quarter century, I have seen changes and formed opinions based on personal experiences. Here are some of those experiences ranking from the best to among the worst. Continue reading

Neal Petersen public free event Asheville, NC

South African- born, Neal Petersen is a world-class professional solo racing yachtsman, global investor, award-winning author of Journey of a Hope Merchant and the subject of a PBS documentary. Petersen has faced many challenges in life – poverty, discrimination, childhood disability and other insurmountable barriers – and he always responded by looking for opportunities and solutions to achieve his dream. His experience shows that imagination coupled with determination to achieve, can break through the toughest challenges. Neal completed the 1998-99 “Around Alone” the most dangerous extreme sport in the world, a 27,000 mile yacht race, 9 months at sea – alone, and in a yacht he designed and built himself.

In sharing his high-impact, unique and extraordinary adventure, Neal delivers a powerful message that “In Life There Are No Barriers – Only Solutions!”

Following the event will be a book signing. All including children welcome.

You are invited to this free event:
Saturday August 16th
Black Dome Mountain Sports
140 Tunnel Road
Asheville, NC 28805