Before coming to Tulsa, I really didn’t have any idea about the city. I was just so busy clearing my desk of work before the travel to the US that I was not even able to access Tulsa’s website nor able to read about them in Wikipedia. I was not even familiar about Oklahoma State so everything was pretty much new when we touched down at the Tulsa International Airport.
Our host was the City Mayor’s Office headed by newly elected Mayor G.T. Bynum. His administration was just 10 months into their term yet they still took on the challenge of hosting YSEALI Professional Fellows. It was the 1st for his administration and they were pretty much excited as us.
Jack Graham, our main coordinator, during our 1st day at the City Mayor’s Office wasted no time. We were immediately introduced to the Mayor and his senior staff during their regular Senior Staff meeting then we were made to observe as they discussed various issues and initiatives that the City government is working on. Tulsa’s economy relied heavily on oil industry in the past but because of the unstable price of oil, the City is working hard to diversify its economy by creating a business environment that would allow for other industries to come in hence the City’s catchphrase: “City of Tulsa: A New Kind of Energy”.
Deepu, a fellow from Singapore, and I were housed at a hotel located within the Inner Dispersal Loop (IDL) of Tulsa or more commonly referred to as Down Town Tulsa. The place is within walking distance from the City Hall and other landmarks. I enjoyed walking around and savoring the scenery of the Art Deco architecture inspired buildings that are reminiscent of the City’s former glory as America’s Most Beautiful City in the 1950s.
The trip to from the Philippines to Tulsa City is a long and tiring one. It includes a 22 hour flight from Metro Manila to Washington D.C. with 2 stops (Narita & Detroit) plus a domestic flight from Washington D.C. to Tulsa with 1 stop (Charlotte). I also had to struggle with jet lag, which I wasn’t able to overcome until recently. But a week in Tulsa City sparked my curiosity, rekindled my sense of adventure, and gave me a new kind of energy.