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Transitions Abroad Magazine November/December 2005 Vol. XXIX, NO.3

Issue Focus: Responsible Travel. Ecotourism. Volunteer Work Abroad. Jobs Abroad. Solo Woman, Family and Cultural Travel.

In Every issue

Information Exchange
Traveler’s Almanac
Book Reviews
Program News & Notes

Abroad at Home
Capoeira in New York Emma Holmgren

Interview
Bill Tuffin: Ecotourism in Laos ECOCLUB.com

Features
Help Needed in South Sudan Laura DeLuca
Mali Time Anne Diallo

Immersion Travel
A Roman Town in Morocco Carolyn Theriault
Relax in Muscat Liisa Ecola
Favorite Alumni Travel Programs Jessica P. Hayden
Namibian Rock Art Yvonne Pearson
Safety Tips for Female Travelers Terrie Chilvers
Desert Escape Nicole Feliciano
Family Sabbatical 101 John Ciullo
Budget African Safaris David A. Smith
Scotland on Foot Jessamine Price
Fido Hits the Road Sharon Goldstein
Prepare to be Robbed Jennifer M. Eisenlau

Local Encounters
Pilgrim Luxury Michele Peterson

Independent Traveler Tips
Read Locally Relevant Books Jeff Goldman

The Senior Traveler
Slovenia and Croatia Alison Gardner

Community-Based Travel
Preserving Peru’s Textile Tradition Jim Kane

Back Door Travel
Going it Solo in Europe Rick Steves

Responsible Travel
The Best Resources Deborah McLaren

Ecotourism
The Best Resources Ron Mader

Responsible Traveler
Saving Machu Picchu Tim Leffel
Rural Tourism Ron Mader
Explore Indigenous Traditions Christopher J. Moore
Rainforest Volunteering: Australia Anselm Bradford
See the Textiles of India Janice Owen
Community Ecotourism Gerhard Buttner
Seeing Siem Reap Sara Schonhardt
After the Tour Barbara Werner
Volunteering with Amizade Sandra Noll

Living Abroad
Bienvenu en France Amber Foster

Working Traveler
Jobs in West Africa Daniel Morris
Jobs in American Ecolodges Nicholas Wilkinson
Freelancing in Germany Stephanie Barton
Working in Bangladesh Lela Lantz
Volunteer in Thailand Chris Mitchell

Education Abroad
Host Family Stays Gloria J. Bennett
The EIL Experience Leah M. Cano
Graduate Study in Israel Danielle Max

Transitions Abroad
Synthetic Travel Rob Sangster

 

From The Editor

Photographer Alissa Everett was traveling in Syria when she met the Sudanese woman whose face graces this issue’s cover. The portrait strikes us not only for its beauty, but also because it serves as a reminder that though Sudan is much out of our view these days, it is still in desperate need of attention. The Darfur conflict, since its eruption in 2003, has been described widely as ethnic cleansing, and more recently as genocide. If making Darfur a priority simply because it is the right thing to do is not enough, the U.S. for one would do well to remember its concern that terror groups may operate there— Afghanistan is a lesson that poverty and abandonment help foster hatred.

This has been called a “make-or-break” year for Sudan, with the January 2005 historic peace agreement between the government and rebels from southern Sudan, which is why Dr. DeLuca’s article on how to volunteer there is so compelling. Peace in southern Sudan is not only important for its own end; it is also seen as a potential step toward ending the Darfur conflict.

Many countries including the U.S. pledged to make donations to Sudan, and it is critical that they follow through. In places like Cambodia, for example, where pledged donations for war rehabilitation have been abandoned, we see the tragic results of inadequate education, healthcare, and other social programs, as well as government corruption. In her article, “Seeing Siem Reap," Sara Schonhardt talks about ways to help Cambodia’s street children and young victims of land mines.

As so often is the case, it is up to us individuals to make the difference our governments do not. Many Transitions Abroad readers viewed themselves as “ambassadors of goodwill” following the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Now niches within the travel industry are springing up to bolster socially responsible and sustainable travel in order to help fight poverty and preserve the Earth’s cultures and environments.

“Tourism needs greater recognition by governments and development institutions for its capacity to generate economic, environmental, and social benefits,” said WTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli in September. “It is also a sector that promotes inter-cultural understanding and peace among nations.”

Those spearheading this positive change are setting guidelines and principles to ensure high standards and to more rapidly compensate for the damage done in the many years of uncontrolled mass tourism. As we read the articles in this issue’s Responsible Traveler section, a pattern becomes clear: where communities are healthy and cultures intact, the environment is better protected. So that travelers have the information they need to make a positive contribution, Deborah McLaren provides the Best Responsible Travel Resources, which include such categories as pro-poor tourism and fair trade. Ron Mader more specifically focuses on the environment, with the Best Ecotourism Resources.

New organizations to facilitate responsible travel are emerging worldwide. From local operators to global companies, the options for how you travel are many, and your choices do make a difference. You can visit U.K.-based ResponsibleTravel.com to see its annual selection of travel industry providers that are making a significant commitment to responsible tourism.

We also ask you to consider how you can make a difference for some of those most severely impacted by the world’s recent natural disasters: victims of Hurricane Katrina and South Asia’s devastating earthquake; Guatemala’s Maya Indians whose villages were buried by mudslides; and south and west Africans experiencing severe crop failure, especially in Malawi and Niger.

Reuters Foundation AlertNet, www.alertnet.org, is a useful site for keeping abreast of the world’s emergencies and for learning more about how you can help reputable aid organizations.

Sherry Schwarz

Transitions Abroad

Publisher and Editor
Sherry Schwarz
Founding Editor and Publisher
Dr. Clay A. Hubbs
Web Content Editor
Gregory Hubbs
Design
Nashima Gokani
Advertising Manager
Kate McGrail
Office Manager
Patricia Bolognani
Intern
Julia Rosen
Intern
Victoria Churchill

Contributing Editors

Alison Gardner (Senior Travel)
Bill Mohan (Teen Travel)
Cynthia Harriman (Family Travel)
Deborah McLaren (Responsible Travel )
Edward Trimnell (Language Immersion)
Kathy Widing (Travel Books)
Michele Scheib (Disability Travel)
Rick Steves (Budget Travel)
Rob Sangster (Independent Travel)
Ron Mader (Ecotourism and Latin America)
Susan Griffith (Work)
Volker Poelzl (Living)
William Nolting (International Education and Work)
Zahara Heckscher (Volunteering)

On The Cover
Sudanese woman on initial visit to Syria as a United Nations delegate, Krak de Chevaliers, Syria. Photo by Alissa Everett.

Alissa Everett is a freelance photographer based in San Francisco. Her journeys have taken her throughout the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. She has been published in numerous national and international publications, including: The Sunday Times of London, BBC, CNN, NBC, Associated Press, and Sunset Magazine.

Mission Statement
Founded in 1977, Transitions Abroad is the only publication dedicated to work, study, living, and immersion travel abroad. Its purpose is the dissemination of practical information leading to a greater understanding of other cultures through direct participation in the daily life of the host community.