Past Westport, CT Event: VOL 1



October 12, 2015
@ Westport Library

This Westport PechaKucha Night will include stories about exploding sloths, mid-century furniture, non-Western traditions, and finding a message in a Coke bottle.

PechaKucha is a special format for sharing individual passions and stories -20 slides @ 20 seconds each! After the program, attendees are invited to meet and socialize at nearby Matsu Sushi, 33 Jesup Road.


Catherine Onyemelukwe lived for 24 years in Nigeria and discovered non-Western traditions that are rich and meaningful. She compares Nigerian concepts with Native American traditions and the European Doctrine of Discovery, creating a personal story about the celebration of Columbus Day. Kwesi Osafo tells the story of his life-long curiosity with design-elements and how his personal connection with mid-century modern furniture restoration brings joy and meaning to his life and others. Nina Lesiga shares how finding a message in a bottle created so many beautiful and special connections. Mary Luvera shares her exciting family adventure to Costa Rica in which a sloth unexpectedly explodes.

“This is such a fabulous way to get to know what amazing things other people in your area are doing,” said Lesiga. “A PechaKucha could be on almost anything—eco fashion, paper art, good cheap food in Tokyo, you name it. It’s about authenticity and passion and connecting. If you like TED talks, you’ll love PechaKucha.”


Columbus and I Make Discoveries

@ VOL 1 ON OCT 12, 2015

Catherine Onyemelukwe joined the Peace Corps in 1962, when it was a new organization, and Nigeria, where she was assigned, was newly independent. 

Catherine's PechaKucha presentation on Columbus Day is connected to her memoir, Nigeria Revisited My Life and Loves Abroad, published in 2014. She shares her discoveries connected to Columbus and European "discoveries" of new land. Many Native Americans believe Columbus Day should be abolished, saying that to honor a man who "ushered in genocide against indigenous peoples as well as the transatlantic slave trade,” is not reason for a holiday. In 24 years living in Nigeria, Catherine discovered non-Western traditions that are rich and meaningful, just as Native American traditions are. Some were denied validity by British colonizers based on the Doctrine of Discovery, just as Native American's rights were denied by that Doctrine, first by the American colonizers and then U.S. leaders.


Connecting the Dots

@ VOL 1 ON OCT 12, 2015

Kwesi Osafo, originally from Ghana, West Africa, lives in Bridgeport, CT. In this PechaKucha presentation he shares his passion for furniture design, which began as a young boy and and progressed while studyuing Industrial Design at the University of Brideport. He relized the inextricable link between his heritage of primitive African form and the clean line design philophy of American post war design. He shares his insights related to his journey of exploring, acquiring, restoring and cataloging curated examples of American Post War furniture.


Message in a Bottle

@ VOL 1 ON OCT 12, 2015

Nina Lesiga’s passion is the use travel as a source of empowerment and self discovery. Her passion for beach combing has led her to collect all sorts of items washed up upon the shore near home and during her travels.  Each piece that Nina picked up “called” to her and she didn’t worry about what to do with it. Then one day during a solitary walk on the beach, she found a message in a bottle.  In an instant she knew what to do - she would pay the happiness forward and this decision began a chain of magical connections amongst strangers.


The Night I Saw a Sloth Explode

@ VOL 1 ON OCT 12, 2015

"We are 'Travel Collectors'. We don't collect things so much as ideas and knowledge of the places we go."

In "The Night I Saw a Sloth Explode" from PechaKucha Night Westport Vol. 1, self-proclaimed tech geek and globetrotting mom, Mary Luvera shares the story that she collected with her family on a recent trip to Costa Rica. While researching Costa Rica and plans for what to do there, the family became captivated by sloths which would become one of the trip's main focus ...and eventual highlight (no pun intended.) Mary shares some fascinating facts and mysteries the discovered along the way about sloths, and the story of the night in Costa Rica when she and her family saw one exploded.

This was "PechaKucha of the Day" on Wednseday, Octobern 21st, 2015.


Nina Lesiga
Travel Artisan , Entrepreneur in Stratford, CT
Catherine Onyemelukwe
Speaker, Blogger, Author in Westport, CT
Kwesi Osafo
Engineer,Curator & Furniture Designer in Bridgeport
Mary Luvera
Director of Product Management