For several years now The Intrepid Foundation has been supporting the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Asia Pacific Program and environmental protection projects in Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea. Lee Tan from ACF has recently given an encouraging update on their marvellous achievements with our funds…
Haburas, a local non-government organisation in Timor-Leste, ran an Ecotourism conference in Dili in August 2009. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao announced that community-based tourism will be a national development priority for Timor-Leste and cited Tua Koin on Atauro Island and Veru Sere (at the eastern end of the country) as positive examples of this kind of tourism. Intrepid was very pleased to hear this news, as the last thing the country needs is inappropriate large-scale tourism development. Intrepid travellers can attest to the successful operation of Tua Koin Eco-lodge, with our groups staying here during our 15-day trip. It remains a very important tourism venture as well as an income generating activity for the community of Atauro Island.
Travellers to the magical region of Ladakh in Northern India will know of the spectacular Himalayan scenery, the monasteries with their colourful frescoes and prayer flags fluttering in the breeze and the gracious hospitality of people – many from Tibetan origins. Tragically, this area has also been swamped by the torrential monsoon rains that are flooding Pakistan.
Our friend Anshu Gupta, from The Intrepid Foundation partner organisation GOONJ writes: “I visited Ladakh shortly after this disaster and the area is certainly devastated – financially, geographically and more importantly psychologically. Imagine a place known for dry mountains and mud houses, where people had never seen rain water in the lanes. All they had seen was the melted water from the glaciers in the nearby Indus River.
Spain is famous for its passion and nowhere is this more evident than in the rhythmic beats of flamenco. This dance is atmospheric, colourful and soulful and, as Intrepid’s Summer Davis discovered, there’s no better place to witness it all than in the historic city of Jerez…
“Arriving late into Jerez de la Frontera, we headed out to search for the traditional ‘peña’ where our own private flamenco performance was booked. This small city, nestled in the south of Spain and only a few hours from Seville, is famous for both its sherry and flamenco and as we didn’t have time to visit a wine bodega we were eager to see a proper flamenco show.
After an exhausting flight and the excitement of exploring your new surrounds, every traveller could do with a little pick-me-up. Intrepid Express reader Mike Uyyek went in search of a culinary adventure in Singapore, and ended up finding a wine that promised to make him feel like the man of steel…
“At the Imperial Herbal Restaurant, near the famed Raffles Hotel, they serve a variety of dishes you won’t find at any other establishment. The restaurant has its own Chinese apothecary and herbalist on the premises, and if you tell him what medical problems you have, he can suggest menu items that will treat them. We didn’t have anything specifically wrong with us, so we simply each ordered something we’d never tried before, and if it helped to balance our yang humours, so much the better.
Since time immemorial people around the world have been coming up with ways to look and feel younger. Some pretty strange potions and practices have been trialled, and Intrepid’s Nicki Gibson discovers some beauty techniques in South East Asia that could make your eyes water…
“Coming from the western world, we admire the beauty of the South East Asian ladies – their lovely brown skin, brown eyes and slim physiques. Yet my experience is that many South East Asian women are also envious of our pale complexions and curves.
As Intrepid marks its 21st year in the travel game, co-founder Geoff Manchester (Manch) sits down with Jen Hall, Intrepid UK’s Online Sales Manager, to reflect on some of his most memorable Intrepid moments. From spending time with mountain gorillas to eating pig blood salad… and the reasons why he’s still very passionate about the Intrepid way of doing things…
1. What’s the most amazing thing you’ve seen, that you think should be on everyone’s ‘bucket list’?
Seeing the mountain gorillas in Congo, Uganda or Rwanda. Being carefully watched by the gorillas from just metres away, observing their hands which are just like ours, watching the young gorillas annoy a silverback, having an adult gorilla come an sit right next to me while my fellow travellers tell me not to move so they can take photos. There was no way I was moving!
Thanks to the contributions of many Intrepid travellers to Vietnam, last year we raised AU$32,940 for the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. Half of this amount was raised through Intrepid travellers and supporters and it was matched dollar for dollar by Intrepid Travel. Michael Brosowski at Blue Dragon has recently sent us an update of the marvellous work they are doing…
“Funds from the Intrepid Foundation have been critical in enabling Blue Dragon to run its Step Ahead program for street children in Hanoi. Our drop-in centre is unique in Hanoi; there is no other centre where any disadvantaged children can freely come to play, have a meal, and talk to social workers or psychologists. The centre is based in a rented building near the Red River, where thousands of rural-urban migrant families and children live in slums.
Waka waka! With World Cup fever upon us let’s really make it ‘this time for Africa’. The Intrepid Foundation is very pleased to announce its newest beneficiary: Thusanani Children’s Foundation. Thusanani works at a grassroots level in South Africa to ensure a brighter future for babies and young children who have been orphaned through HIV/AIDS, abandonment or abusive home environments.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa is widespread and vast numbers of people are suffering. A national survey found the HIV/AIDS prevalence in females is 62% higher than males and therefore South Africa stands to lose too many mothers. This results in a growing number of orphaned and vulnerable children.
A very big thank-you to the many donors to Intrepid’s Peru Floods Appeal. Along with matching funds from Intrepid Travel, The Intrepid Foundation is very pleased to have raised AU$40,000 for the work of Plan in the Cuzco region.
A quick recap of events: This year’s rainy season led to devastating flooding and landslides in Peru. In the Cuzco region, rain falling since January 2010 caused 3 major rivers to burst their banks, several areas including Zurite were hit by landslides and an entire town in Quispicanchis province virtually disappeared. In the weeks following the initial disaster, intense rainfall led to further devastation, particularly in the Taray district. At least 27 people have died, more than 10,000 homes destroyed or seriously damaged leaving thousands homeless and there has been widespread destruction of infrastructure and crop loss.
You’ve made many children and elephants in Thailand very happy! Thanks to everyone who joined in our Twitter and Facebook campaign to raise money for Thai charities impacted by the recent unrest in Bangkok. Since 21 May we got a great 458 ‘likes’ and re-tweets, so to show our appreciation Intrepid Travel is doubling the money raised and rounding it up to a cool $1000 (to be split between both charities).
Intrepid’s pledge was to donate $1 to selected Thai charities for every Twitter post re-tweet and for every person who selects that they ‘like’ Intrepid’s status update on Facebook. “We’re concerned that a lack of tourists means that these charities miss out on valuable donations that help them operate on a day-to-day basis,” said Eliza Anderson, spokesperson for Intrepid Travel. “We are praying for a peaceful resolution to the current situation but in the meantime are asking people to help ensure these charities continue to receive support.”