While travelling the globe Intrepid staff are fortunate to meet many extraordinary women who are making a difference. One very special lady whom we have enjoyed getting to know through The Intrepid Foundation is Sabriye Tenberken. Originally from Germany, 39 year old Sabriye founded Braille Without Borders and late last year she was one of 13 expatriates honoured with a You Bring Charm to China award. With thanks to the China Daily newspaper, we share with you the following story…
“Sabriye Tenberken not only developed the Tibetan Braille script, but also travelled to the Tibet autonomous region alone and founded the first school for the blind there.
While some children arrive at the Amani Children’s Home, an Intrepid Foundation Community Project in Tanzania, having already spent some time at school, others have never sat at a desk or ever touched a book. Such was the case with Baraka and Ima Mathayo, two brothers who arrived at Amani Children’s Home in late 2009.
Baraka, aged 12, and Ima, 10, fled an abusive home in search of safety and an education. The brothers eventually ended up at Amani and, since their arrival, their smiles have been lighting up the library. Though Baraka was wary of adults when he first arrived, he could not resist the allure of books with bright, full-page pictures of wildlife in the Serengeti. Ima sat patiently at a table with Christina, Amani’s special education teacher, receiving his first lesson. In only an hour, Ima had mastered the vowels and had written his first words: his own name, and “ua”, the Swahili word for flower.
Intrepid Travel and The Intrepid Foundation have launched an appeal to support the flood-affected people of Peru.
We are pleased to report that the Intrepid Peru Floods Appeal has already raised AU$4160 to support the response of Plan Peru in devastated communities. But with the latest news from Peru, we understand the need for help is growing each day.
The Cuzco region of Peru continues to experience further landslides nearly two weeks after the initial flooding. At 5am on 06 February there was a second landslide in the Zurite area, an area in which Plan works. This landslide was severe, bringing mud up to the second floor of Zurite’s municipal building. According to Plan Peru, no one was hurt.
Emily and Stuart have tossed aside (momentarily) their corporate lives and instead are trying their hand at documentary making for Intrepid in the depths of South America. Here’s an update on their adventures thus far on Sacred Land of the Incas…
“The Amazon jungle immediately struck me as an incredibly peaceful place, where everything is bursting with potential. The earth feels as though it is heaving with life, both visible and invisible to the eye. As I write I am sitting in our jungle lodge room which has no wall to the outside and looks onto a mass of lush and tangled greenery. It is simply furnished with mosquito nets over the beds and a hammock that hangs lazily in the dappled sunlight. It feels like a lifetime away from the noise and bustle of Lima, which we left just a day and a half ago.
The New Year festival of Tet takes place in Vietnam on February 14 this year and this is a joyous time to indulge in eating, drinking and social activities. It’s also when spring is in the air and the wedding season is in full swing, but ex-Intrepid leader John Kirk discovered that getting married might not be as simple as popping the question to your loved one…
“In the past, families enlisted the help of matchmakers to choose marriage partners. Great care was taken to ensure equality, similar background, compatibility in social rank etc. These days, even in the rural areas, couples have more freedom to choose their life partners. However, some Vietnamese are deeply superstitious and fortune-tellers are still consulted by many couples to see if their horoscopes are compatible.
The last year has been another amazing one for Greenpeace and their Amazon campaign. We are delighted to learn that our last Intrepid Foundation donation has contributed towards some incredible progress. Charlie Adlum at Greenpeace reports…
“In July, after a huge concerted campaign push, sportswear giant Nike Inc announced it would stop using leather from cattle raised in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, saying the move is part of the company’s commitment to curbing the region’s deforestation.
Dance has a long history in China. On 5000-year-old pottery there are paintings of people dancing and nearly 1000 distinctive folk dances are performed throughout the country. But it was dance of a more unrehearsed kind when Rachel Wasser’s Intrepid group took to the floor…
“Visiting the Longji Rice Terraces is an experience in itself. The stunning views, gorgeous people and invigorating hiking are enough to send you home with a smile on your face. One of the highlights is also when the Ping’An cultural show coincides with our trip.
After a five-hour hike through the terraces and a massive meal, our group sat down to enjoy the guesthouse show. The local women wore their traditional Zhuang minority dress and performed one song and dance, and then they opened the floor up to us.
Thanks to the support of travellers and the Intrepid community, the Intrepid Foundation is able to assist many community projects around the world. In South America we are proud to support four great projects that focus on the health and welfare of the people and also help protect the environment.
Living Heart is centred around five communities in the Sacred Valley, near Cuzco. It hopes to improve the quality of life for the Andean people and particularly address basic issues such as health and nutrition for the women and disadvantaged children. Also in the Sacred Valley, in the small district of Taray, the school of Escuela Winaypaq has been established to provide an education for children who would otherwise not have access to any formal learning.
“Are you happy in your heart?” This typical Guatemalan greeting is a thought-provoking question for Intrepid Express reader Bobbie Jo Traut…
“Tossed by turbulence and feeling a little queasy during my short but intense flight, I futilely try to flip through my book on Guatemalan history. The small, Central American country lacks the eco-cache of some of its neighbors and still faces serious administrative and social challenges in addition to carrying the burden from its devastating civil war that took more than 200,000 civilian lives. I can’t help but ponder the wisdom of my trip to the hinterland of the Polochic to work on infrastructure projects in some of the remotest villages in the country.
As we speak, Emily Mitterhuemer and Stuart Dawson are enduring the coldest weather Cuba has experienced in 15 years, but that’s all good preparation for their Patagonia adventure that starts at the end of February!
They have just commenced their huge Intrepid adventure through Central and South America, and we get to go along for the ride! Emily and Stuart are travelling with video cameras in hand to show us all the goings on, plus they’ll be giving us blog updates from the road so you get to find out from the horse’s mouth (no offence guys) what it’s like travelling Intrepid-style through Peru and Patagonia.