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Photographer/filmmaker Charlie Eckert and balloon hat maker Addi Somekh traveled to 34 countries in four years, taking over 12,000 images and countless film footage. Together they wanted to explore how people can be connected by laughter. With only 20 cents worth of deflated balloons, these two men discovered that they could break down cultural and language barriers. With photo essays and stories, www.balloonhat.com shows the universality among people. It’s striking to see balloon hats on Mongolian horsemen, East L.A. tough guys, Ghanaian babies, and Chinese communist officials—and everyone is smiling. Check out the short video Universality; I dare you not to smile yourself and want to share it on Facebook.

About the Author

Ron VandenBurg is a Christian school teacher and a theatre and media buff. He is a member of Jubilee Fellowship CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario.