Tullow is the name of the town in County Carlow, Ireland that Lawrence Burns, my great-grandfather, left in the 1880s when he emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts to start a new life in the United States.
My uncle Lawrence was the next global nomad in my family. He spent almost 30 years doing mission work in South America, most of it in the Beni region of Bolivia.
He sent us copies of his trip reports describing travels up and down the rivers, stopping at villages along the way to minister to the people. Because of the challenges communicating in the 1960s, we had to rely on letters, visits from brother missionaries and ham radio. I have fond memories of many evenings huddling around a telephone handset as a friend with a ham radio would patch through a call from my uncle. We had to punctuate every thought with “over” to signal that it was now time to switch speakers.
My uncle’s trip reports, letters and calls, supplemented by National Geographic, sparked my fascination with learning about the many cultures in our world, leading to my own international career. Thus the choice of Tullow honors family history and celebrates my own passion for helping others build their own bridges across borders.