Pachacamac: Animator of the World

September 16th, 2012

ColombiaPeruThey Said

Any itinerary of Peru worth the expense should include Pachacamac, one of the great cultural and religious sites of the Americas.  The name, which is of uncertain Quechua origin, translates loosely as “Animator of the World.” At this place the great civilizations of South America would pay their respects to the Earth Mother and her … Continued

It may seem like a scene from the Hollywood box office to most travelers- but to myself and a handful of other wildlife spokespeople it is strange NOT to travel with animals on the plane! Even the airline and TSA personal get excited and often star struck by our furry, feathery, and sometimes scaly passengers … Continued

“Watch out for wasps,” Ngaakitai Pureariki calls over his shoulder as we dive into the underbrush.  My friend and guide has convinced me to accompany him to Te Are Karioi on the island of Aitutaki.  The site, which translates into English as “House of Entertainment,” has never been seen by outsiders.  How could I refuse … Continued

Ekaterinburg – Irkutsk In Part 2 of my posts about the Trans-Siberian Express train, Kay and I crossed the Ural Mountains to Ekaterinburg, thereby entering Siberia, a huge region  of 5.1 million square miles or 13.1 million square kilometers that covers most of North Asia, as well as all of the central and eastern parts … Continued

I was fascinated to learn about the Cham, or Champa people of Vietnam.  Some theories state the ethnic group originally arose in Borneo and immigrated to Southeast Asia.  In the long run this may have not been such a wise move. They were victims of Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia and are ill-treated elsewhere in … Continued

(Names changed to protect the guilty) It all began with a heating bill. One Tuesday morning in April at the end of the school semester, while my roommate was preparing to move back to Amsterdam and I was preparing to spend the rest of the year in Florence, we heard our landlord traipsing up the … Continued

It was late in the evening when the plane touched down and the doors opened; that was it…………my first smell of Africa; a warm and comforting scent of spices and soil. In March 2011 I travelled to Sierra Leone with the maternal health charity ‘Life for African Mothers’. All I knew of Sierra Leone was … Continued

National Geographic Magazine once called Lima “a city on a binge.”  This was during the heady days of the 1970s and oddly prophetic of decades to come.  In the early days, the capital of Peru was still a run-down post-colonial town.  Street vendors choked the downtown old city, whose structures reeled from centuries of decay. … Continued

Author’s Note:  The events in this story took place during my first visit to Cambodia in 1993 when the country was under the control of UNTAC or the United Nations Transitional Authority In Cambodia.  At that time UNTAC was attempting to organize the country’s first democratic elections after the ravages of the Khmer Rouge which … Continued

In southern Colombia along the verdant hills overlooking the Magdalena River, the National Archeological Park at San Augustin was once a major draw for both domestic and foreign tourists before the simmering drug wars of the 1970s turned into full-scale military conflict.   1) San Augustin town The park boasts a unique feature; its main … Continued