When considering supporting local events such a the Pamplona running of the bulls or bullfighting in Catalonia, as with most animal welfare matters Intrepid Travel has chosen to side with the experts at the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).
While we appreciate that events such as Pamplona’s famous bull run are steeped in tradition, it doesn’t detract from the fact that bulls are forced to run en masse down cobbled streets, which causes significant stress and risks serious injury to both the bulls and the people attending. Many of WSPA’s member societies in Spain, France and Portugal are working hard to get this cruel practice banned.
Travel tips aren’t only about where to go and what to buy – sometimes the best advice is how to behave. You can check Intrepid’s tips on how to be be a responsible traveller and here are ways to help you enjoy harmonious wildlife viewing in Africa…
Respect the ‘personal space’ of the wildlife, this is their habitat. If a visitor/vehicle causes an animal to alter its behaviour, then the visitor has invaded its space and influenced its normal behaviour. Observe nature as it occurs naturally and not as to how it responds to your presence there.
Speak quietly – do not call out, whistle or in other ways try and attract the attention of animals. Noise disturbs them and may antagonise fellow visitors.
A massive human rights violation is going largely unnoticed around the world right now; the illegal trade in children and young people for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC).
Human trafficking is the second largest crime (Belser, 2005) and the fastest growing criminal industry in the world (UNGIFT, 2008). With an estimated 1.8 million children entering the global sex trade each year, many of these children and young people are believed to be victims of trafficking. Human trafficking exists in every region and country the world over; from the poorest to the richest (UNICEF UK, 2003). Due to the underground dealings of the human trafficking network, the real total is expected to far exceed the 1.8 million figure.
Babushka Tonya Makarova, former scientific researcher, goes out onto the street which leads to the Kremlin every Saturday and Sunday in order to earn some money. Next to her small, bright camping tent are framed photos of herself surrounded by children and clippings from newspaper articles.
All week Babushka Tonya is busy making small souvenir felt boots, then an artist decorates them and the result is no ordinary Russian memento. With the money she earns, Baba Tonya buys things that children from a nearby orphanage really need: books, fur boots, clothes and more. A pair of her felt boots cost 300 rubbles, but as Tonya says, “your money will be in the children’s hands.”
We asked Intrepid travellers to join in our anniversary celebrations and re-live their favourite trip moments. Tom Gettings won’t forget his India adventure, that was tops for real life experiences…
“Congratulations on 20 years. I wish I had discovered Intrepid earlier. It’s odd looking back on it that I have not taken that many Intrepid trips, but they provided the most memories and best travel stories. Your organisation also has a great sense of responsibility. Some of the most memorable stories came from my 2002 Unforgettable India trip.
The Intrepid Foundation has long supported the Animal Care in Egypt hospital on the outskirts of Luxor. Here they work hard to improve the lives of the working animals in Egypt and as Sue from ACE reports, recently spirits were high with the happy tale of Harry…
“Harry Habibi was left outside the ACE hospital, whilst two separate owners argued about who this baby donkey belonged to! With an uncertain future ahead for this little fellow, we admitted him to the hospital until the dispute was resolved. Neither party returned to collect Harry.
We managed to get Harry drinking milk from a bowl and he soon became quite a mischievous character – he would follow everyone around and generally had his nose in everywhere! It didn’t take long for ‘Harry-mania’ to begin and people were closely watching our blog and also emailing for updates on the infamous Harry Habibi!
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.