Earn discounts with donations to READ Global Travel philanthropy is a concept embraced and supportedby so many of our clients, and many of you have helped us raise many thousands ofdollars to support READ Global over the years. You have trekked over theHimalayas to help lay cornerstones in the foundations of libraries, you havebrought family and friends to see it in action in Nepal and Bhutan, you've evenasked your wedding guests to donate to READ!
Now, in celebration of READ's 20th Anniversary, whenyou book a new Myths and Mountains trip and donate a minimum of$250 to READ, we will match your donation witha $250 discount on the total land costs of your trip. Joinus in empowering rural villagers in Nepal, India, and Bhutan, andwe'll thank you from the bottom of our hearts (and with our bottomline).
For new trips booked during Oct 15, 2011 - Jan 15, 2012.
You must mention the promo code of READ250 when planning your itinerary with one of our travel specialists.
A booking is defined as one or more travelers booking the same itinerary (i.e. The Smith family travels together to Peru; donate a minimum of $250 to READ Global and we'll deduct $250 from your total land costs for the entire family).
*Applicable only to trips with a minimum land cost of $2000 pp or more for the booking (excludes air).
Your trip payment must include a separate non-refundable check made payable to READ Global for
Travelers to the Andean countries are often surprised to learn that in many areas, the most commonly spoken language is not Spanish, but Quechua. Once the official language of the Inca Empire, Quechua remains the dominant language in much of Peru, including the Sacred Valley. It is is also spoken in parts of Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina, although there are significant differences between dialects. All told, about 10 million people still speak Quechua as their primary language, although about 75 percent of these also speak Spanish. Because Quechua was not historically a written language, the spelling of Quechua words varies.
Quechua is related to Aymará, another important indigenous language in the region around Lake Titicaca. Some vocabulary words are shared between the two languages. Quite a few Quechua words have even entered the English language through Spanish, including coca, condor, gaucho, guano, jerky, llama, potato, puma, and quinoa.
Here are some useful phrases to practice if you are heading to Peru or other areas in which Quechua is spoken:
How are you? - Allillanchu? (also used as a way of saying hello) I am fine. - Allillanmi. Goodbye (until we meet again) -Tupananchiskama Excuse me - Dispinsayuway Please - Allichu Thank you - Sulpayki (or Yusulpayki) You're welcome - Imamanta Yes - Arí No - Mana What is your name? - Iman sutiyki? My name is _____ - Sutiymi _______.
Founded by Myths and Mountains' president, Dr. Antonia Neubauer, READ Global (www.READGlobal.org) isa non-profit organization committed to providing individuals in rural areas with access to knowledge, resources, and opportunities to create better futures for themselves and their families. To date, READ Global has established 57 Community Library and Resource Centers in Nepal, India, and Bhutan, reaching more than 1.8 million rural villagers.
The idea for the organization was born when Toni asked her guide on a trek in Nepal what he most desired for his village. His answer? A library. This year marks the 20th anniversary of READ Global's first library. Here, Toni talks about the success of READ and how travel philanthropy can make a difference.
What does giving back mean to you? I'm really an iconoclast when it comes to voluntourism. There's a difference between pity and compassion. There are certain types of voluntourism that I really value, such as Doctors without Borders. I really do not like the kind of voluntourism where people are going in and deciding what's needed. A great many of the projects that people from the West do are liabilities ultimately for the people for whom we've done them. They're the ones who have to pay teachers or doctors, buy medications, and so on.
This summer is the 60th anniversary of the Tibetan "Liberation" and the 3rd anniversary of the 2008 uprisings in Tibet. To forestall more unrest, the Chinese have closed Tibet to tourists from June 25 until at least the beginning of August, perhaps later.
Fortunately, a wonderful alternative exists for travelers. High in the snowcapped Indian Himalayas lies Ladakh, often called "Little Tibet." Ladakh boasts a culture and ecosystems similar to those of the neighboring Tibetan Autonomous Republic, as well as thriving Buddhist traditions and intact monasteries.
Summer is a time of festivals in Ladakh, including the Hemis and Dak Thok festivals celebrating the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche). To experience these colorful celebrations, join us on our 'Festivals, Monasteries, People, and Waters' or 'Taste of Ladakh' trips. Spend time talking with the Ladakhis, get a sense of the vibrancy and exuberance of their monastic life, as well as their flourishing arts and culture, and gain an appreciation for the harsh life on the "top of the world" across the Himalayas.
Ladakh also played a pivotal role in preserving Tibetan Buddhism. When the 9th-century king Langdarma tried to wipe out Buddhism in Tibet, the religion survived in the west in what is now Ladakh. From there it later spread back into Tibet.
Visiting Ladakh now and Tibet after it reopens is a wonderful way to understand the similarities and contrasts of life in these two worlds.
Traveling with a family or multigenerational group involves a lot of coordination. Here are some tips for making the experience as smooth and easy as possible.
1. Lock in rates by booking a year in advance. Prices for hotel rooms and other services frequently rise from year to year, but by reserving early you can avoid many of the rate increases - sometimes we'll be able to negotiate lower 2011 rates even if you're not traveling until 2012.
2. Remember that larger groups need more rooms, meals, airline seats, and other spaces. The further in advance you can book, the more likely it is you'll get what you want.
3. To keep hotel costs down for your group, consider booking triple and quad hotel rooms instead of singles and doubles.
4. Be flexible with your travel plans. Often shifting your arrival and departure dates by as little as a few days can get you significant discounts.
5. Remember that not everyone will want to do the same thing at all times, so choose itineraries that offer flexibility for different interests, such as lodge stays, adventure cruises, and other programs that include a wide range of activities.
Beth and Stu Finklestein took advantage of a school break to bring their daughter Julia and son Sam on a culture-filled Southeast Asia exploration.