December 2013

December 06, 2013

The Cuban Parrot: Guest Poetry

Travel to Cuba impacts everyone differently, and many IE guests have found themselves moved to poetry! A guest on our people-to-people Cuba travel program wrote a dozen poems about his experience—all are accounts of Cuba seen through the eyes of birds. James Blackburn's poetry includes stars of Cuba's endemic bird species: the Cuban trogon, the limkin, the Cuban tody and the smooth-billed ani.

Having traveled on multiple IE adventures, I know that our guests are a truly savvy group with a wealth of advice on everything from navigating security to finding the perfect luggage. On the IE Facebook page we asked our travelers this question: 

What is your best tip for first-time adventure/expedition travelers?

As the sun sets over the Western skies of the Upper Amazonian rainforest, something quite magical occurs. The sky may be a glorious riot of colors which gradually give way to darkness. Darkness, like many people have never seen as there are no city lights to obscure the sky and very soon after dark it is obvious there are a trillion stars in the sky. Amazingly, constellations that may be most familiar to us are not apparent.

If you missed last week's webinar featuring an in-depth look at IE's new Bali tour and Indonesia cruise, here is your chance to get the scoop directly from Director of Program Development Bill Robison. Few places evoke the same lush, exotic imagery as the islands of Nussa Tenggara from Bali to Komodo.

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Guests on IE's people-to-people Cuba tour may be suprised to learn that although Cuba has many endemic bird species, there aren't many mammal species endemic to the island nation. One little mammalian creature who does call Cuba home is the Cuban solenodon, a curious looking rodent with a powerful bite and an interesting history.

The Nile crocodile is Africa’s largest reptile and it is certainly up near the top in being one of the most dangerous animals on the continent. A large Nile crocodile may reach close 20’ in length and as they grow beyond 12 feet in length, their girth and massive body proportions greatly increase with the additional growth. Truly magnificent creatures, Nile crocodiles will prey on virtually any animal that ventures near the water.

Our friends at Medjet Assist keep you updated on the latest in safe travel, including the STEP Program which is great for all international travelers!

A new program in Peru called The National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program has installed more than 1600 solar panels in the impoverished Contumaza province, with plans to install about 12,500 solar (photovoltaic) systems which would serve approximately 500,000 households. The solar panels are free to the communities.