It’s over a week now since Jane Crouch, Intrepid Travel’s Responsible Travel Manager, and Intrepid’s five sponsored trainees emerged from their intense three days at The Climate Project Asia Pacific Summit. Now their independent work begins with consolidating their learning and preparing personalised presentations for their audiences.
Each presenter has pledged to do at least ten significant activities within the year, including presenting Al Gore’s main slideshow, engaging the media, politicians and key decision makers and training ‘connectors’ – individuals who are motivated to get active on climate change. Jane shares with us some of her lessons…
Our world is faced with one of its most extreme challenges yet, so Al Gore is preparing his ‘Truth Force Team’ for the road to Copenhagen. After three exhilarating days of training at The Climate Project, Asia-Pacific Summit, held in Melbourne, Intrepid’s Responsible Travel Manager, Jane Crouch reports…
“Intrepid Travel’s five sponsored trainees and I have emerged from an amazingly inspiring ‘incubator of learning’ from a fabulous range of teachers including the Honourable Al Gore, geneticist and environmentalist David Suzuki, eminent scientist Dr Graeme Pearman, Andrew Hewitt, Executive Director of OXFAM in Australia, Sharan Burrow, the President of the International Trade Union Confederation, Gaurav Gupta, Director of The Climate Project India, Agus Purnomo from Indonesia’s National Council on Climate Change and many more.
Al Gore referred to the concept of satyagraha as espoused by Gandhi – roughly translated to meaning ‘holding on to the truth’. So there we were, 300 delegates from 19 countries across the Asia Pacific region, there to be updated on the truth of climate science and solutions to this diabolical problem, and be empowered to go forth and share this knowledge in the coming months leading up to the December summit in Copenhagen. Here’s some of the impressions gained by the enthusiastic bunch of Intrepid’s sponsored trainees:
The Intrepid Foundation’s ‘Intrepid Perpetual Fund’ has chosen to defy the global financial crisis and spend big on three causes we consider very important, timely and worthy.
The Australian Conservation Foundation and The Climate Project AU$40,000:
Congratulations to the five successful Intrepid Foundation-sponsored applicants (out of more than 120 through the Intrepid Travel promotion and over 2000 entrants in total), who will be trained by former US Vice President Al Gore at The Climate Project – Australia Asia Pacific Summit (A-P Summit). They are:
Aarti Bhalla, India – Intrepid group leader and responsible travel coordinator;
Harley Spence, New Zealand – the director of two environmental organizations;
Marita Manley, Fiji – agriculture and forestry policy adviser at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Penny Crossley, Australia – account manager with Flight Centre; and
Indira Naidoo, Australia – television journalist, broadcaster and producer.
Intrepid group leaders in Russia are sponsoring two babushkas (grandmothers) in Kyrgyzstan this year. Pensions in this region are inadequate and ‘babushka adoption’ enables these vulnerable women to meet their financial needs. Our adopted babushkas, Alexandra and Nina, look forward to visits from Trans-Asia Express groups when they are in Bishkek.
Alexandra, eighty, was born in Kyrgyzstan, attended school for seven years and then worked on a collective farm. She was married in the village and gave birth to one daughter. After becoming divorced, Alexandra moved to Bishkek in 1953 and started working as a seamstress in “Kirgiziya” factory. She was promoted to a tailor and then a manager and worked for forty-three years.
India is high on so many people’s ‘bucket lists’ and thousands of travellers make a pilgrimage to this country rich in culture and real life experiences.
Intrepid’s Yvette Thompson was overwhelmed by the beauty, contrasts, chaos and spirit of India, but it was the generosity of the Sikh temple that moved her to tears…
“Finally, I have found a religion that makes sense to me! Today we visited a Sikh temple: a place of peace and prayer in the middle of a seemingly disordered, dusty Delhi. As we made our way into the marble entrance, we walked through a pool of cool water, cleaning our soles, or perhaps cleansing our souls, or perhaps both. We made our way up the inside steps, the calm and quiet a vast difference from the perpetual beeping and yelling out on the streets.
For centuries, pilgrims have walked Spain’s Camino de Santiago to reach to the Galician city of Santiago de Compostela, where the apostle St James is said to be interred.
Intrepid Express reader Barbara Reid was among the weary worshippers whose spirits were lifted by the experience…
“My soul soared and reached the rafters with the magnificent censer in the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela. After walking with my daughter through mid-northern Spain, we arrived in Santiago in time for the pilgrim service.
Intrepid Travel has given away more than 15,000 cotton bags to travellers in Thailand since 2005. Each printed with the important message, ‘Intrepid Supports No To Plastic’.
In addition to being a trendy keepsake, these bags have contributed directly to a cleaner and greener world in a remarkable number of ways…
The bags are produced by a women’s cooperative named Tae Moh Hai, or Our Friends Hands, in Sri Saket, north-eastern Thailand. The initiative was set up by ex-Intrepid Group Leader Dtor Dtae in her home village, to create work for families and to motivate local people to support environmental conservation.
Rita Fargiorgio knows that part of the fun when travelling is taking time out over a cup of coffee.. “I just had to stop, in the middle of the street, [...]
It’s no coincidence that we commenced Intrepid Family adventures around the same time that our co-founders, Darrell Wade and Geoff Manchester, started travelling with their kids. Always eager to do what they love doing most – travelling – Geoff jumped at the chance to take his family to Egypt…
“Everyone in our family was enthusiastic about a trip to Egypt! Children often have a fascination with the region. They seem to go through a period of intense interest in dinosaurs and then turn to mummies and pyramids. Added to this is that they now study Egyptology in early school years. (So they know more than you do!)
Want to look and feel five years younger? According to legend, that’s the result when you bathe in Sendang Gila Waterfall on the island of Lombok, so Intrepid’s Sally Arnold couldn’t wait to take a dip in Indonesia…
“From the small rustic village of Senaru, nestled between the base of Mt Rinani and the edge of the lush rainforest, our journey begins. We head off though the jungle to the waterfall. It’s not long before we come to an aqueduct-type bridge. We climb the staircase and step carefully across the bridge, which is actually a water channel suspended over a ravine about ten metres below – not for the faint-hearted! We continue following a series of irrigation channels until we reach the river, then it’s time to roll up our trousers, hold onto our guide and cross the icy water that’s refreshing in the heat.