By Kay Yoder, Florida Regional Leader and Director of US Operations for Ripple Africa
A country not instantly recognizable by its name or geographical location, Malawi is one of Africa’s best kept secrets and a travel destination not to be missed! It is a beautiful, sub-tropical country with a majestic lake lining much of the country’s eastern border and a diverse terrain of mountains, hills, and plateaus from north to south. In spite of Malawi’s lovely landscape, this tiny sliver of a nation is ranked as one of the most impoverished and least developed countries in the world. Details
By Linda Levine, Dining for Women Traveler and Member of the CA, Saratoga-1 chapter
Greetings from Thimphu! I’m having an amazingly colorful time on my Dining for Women trip to Bhutan. When Sandy (Baily) and I arrived in Paro along with three other DFW travelers, we received white welcome silk scarves. One of our guides, Rabten, warmly placed them around our necks much like welcome leis in Hawaii. We then took a minivan through the lovely countryside to Thimphu, the capital. It was our first glimpse at the incredible architecture of Bhutan and the adults and children wearing the national clothing called Kira’s and ghos, for women and men respectively. Details
By Ellen Williams, DFW Traveler and Member of the WA, Spokane Valley-1 chapter
Guru Rinpoche, Precious Master, rode upon a flaming tigress to mediate for four months in a cave now located on the lower floor of the monastery. At this site, the iconic monastery is nicknamed Tiger’s Nest. Guru Rinpoche established Buddhism– the everyday fiber that holds Bhutanese national identity. He is said to have possessed supernatural powers to subdue demons and evil spirits. His birth was foretold by Sakyamuni, the historical Buddha. This legend has turned the man into a powerful Buddha who can take many forms and possess many powers. Details
50 million years ago the Indian plate collided with the Eurasian plate to give rise to the Himalayan mountain range. A mountain range that continues to grow 1 cm a year. What a vision of beauty with high peaks, and breathtaking glaciers and valleys. Nestled in this mountain range is the beautiful landlocked country of Bhutan. Flying into Paro, Bhutan from Kathmandu in Nepal brings this beauty to the fore. Looking out of the plane window, our pilot gently reminds us to look out at Mount Everest, majestically bursting through the clouds at 29,029 feet. As we approach Paro, our plane banks to the left and then to the right between high ridges for a thrilling picture-perfect landing in Paro. Details
It was fitting to start our first full day in Guatemala going back in time to the Iximche /ee-sheem-chay/ ruins between Antigua and Panajachel. Iximche was the capital of the Kaqkichel Mayan Kingdom from 1470-1524 prior to Spanish conquest. Over 100 structures have been found at Iximche which is composed of four large plazas strung out along a ridge and protected by a deep moat. Buildings include palaces, numerous pyramid temples and residences, and a couple of ball courts. Details
By Emmy Holt, Dining for Women member, SC, Greenville-7 chapter
After being served breakfast at the hotel, we walked down to the dock in Panajachel where we climbed into motor boats and crossed Lake Atlitlan (translation: “near the volcano”) to San Juan La Laguna. What a beautiful lake, formed from a crater after the 1853 volcanic eruption! The lake connects the villages, is 12 miles long, and over 1000 feet deep. From the lake we could see three cone-shaped volcanos- Atitlan, Toliman, and San Pedro. Details
By Suzanne Spitzer, Dining for Women member, SC, Greenville-7 chapter
Guatemala faces some of the highest levels of violence against women and girls in the world, has the third highest femicide rate globally, and ranks third lowest in the region on the Gender Inequality Index. Rural indigenous women and girls are disproportionately impacted due in part to their social isolation and limited access to resources. Details
In looking at what DFW has achieved towards our 2020 Vision, the pieces that stand out the most over this year are our partnership with the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Program, welcoming the voices of our members into more areas of decision making than ever before through committees and volunteering, and continuing to present life-changing and inspiring projects and issue education for our members. I’m excited to share a more in-depth look at our achievements. Details
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