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 WinWin Vacations

Summer Newsletter

WinWin Vacations

Kristina Trowbridge CTC, MCC, DS 

Africa Safari Specialist, Fiji Matai,

Exotic Adventures, Small & Tall ships 

PO BOX 30903

Seattle WA 98113-0903


call 206-297-7179 ot toll free 877-297-7179                


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Dear Safari Enthusiast,


The light at the end of the tunnel is bright indeed! 

I see travel picking up soon. I especially foresee family travel and family reunions being important events. 

Go now, while you still can! And take the kids and the grandkids with you! I believe that travelling fosters peace and understanding in this world. Knowing other cultures builds tolerance and respect: This equals PEACE!  


From July 12-August 5th I will be in Tanzania and Kenya escorting a family group on safari. Can anyone imagine a nicer family reunion than taking your grandkids on Safari! What a fantastic learning experience this will be for those lucky kids!!


Our itinerary is posted on my blog.



Kristina Trowbridge

Here's an article I wrote for my Travel Writing Class.  

Philanthropy and Responsible Tourism

"Give me sweets", "Give me pens", "Sweets, please", "Give me, Give me, Give me"!!
 Kids in Rwanda 

African kids are lining the roads with their arms outstretched and hands wide open begging from tourists, who are throwing Tootsie Rolls and ballpoint pens out of the safari vehicle windows as they drive by on their way to the National Parks that the local people cannot afford to visit. What's wrong with this picture? "Shouldn't these kids be in school?" you may ask. Indeed, they should ...... Tourism rears its ugly head!! Many well-meaning people don't know how to give or how to help and they're "messing" things up for the local people in third world countries. We want to give and help; we want to make a difference. Is there a correct way to help? you ask. Yes ..... a new era has arrived: Philanthropy along with Responsible Tourism is taking root. Responsible Tourism is a confusing issue and an important one. It is tightly knit into philanthropy and needs to be discussed together. I believe there are two primary conditions that impel philanthropy: a moral concern to help, to feel good about giving and the opportunity to make a difference. The first of these has always been present in Africa.
Many people are concerned and feeling "guilty" about taking a vacation in these challenging times when many of their friends and family have lost their retirement funds or employment in the 2008/09 worldwide recession. Will a volunteer type vacation help them enjoy travelling again? How can we make a difference in the world where we travel? Just "throwing money" at the poor local people isn't enough; is it even responsible? What about the dignity of the person treated this way? I don't think that we want to teach anyone to beg and to be dependent on hand-outs. It's demeaning and it's not sustainable. Therefore, it's very important to take time to carefully choose how you contribute and help.

Consider a "guilt-free" vacation!!!


Travel companies are scrambling to offer vacations that emphasize philanthropic travel, good values and creative service options. They are racing to provide unique "giving-back" opportunities that make the tourist feel good while providing them with personal fulfillment. For example: Tourists are beginning to explore the most outlying villages in the mountains of Ethiopia, where nobody has seen a foreigner before. These are desperately poor people and the tourists become their entertainment. Appreciative and responsible tourists bring these marginalized communities a sustainable income without exploiting them. Therefore, those communities are changing. Charities that are supported by generous philanthropists, initially help the local people to set up camps, where the tourists can sleep while hiking between the villages. The local population is encouraged to set up businesses providing donkeys to carry the gear and becoming guides. This is a way for the locals to earn money from the visitors by providing needed services. It is an open-ended opportunity: Responsible, Sustainable Tourism at it's Best!!!!  


What is Philanthropy?


The word derives from Ancient Greek, meaning "to love people". Philanthropy is the act of donating money, goods, services, time and/or effort to support a socially beneficial cause, with a defined objective and with no financial or material reward to the donor. (Wikipedia)


Me with kids in Selenkay

Kids love to see their own pictures!


Most travel philanthropy programs have a focus on educating travelers about local, environmental, socio-cultural and economic issues. They also encourage a constructive interaction between the traveler and the local people who are being visited. Every responsible tour operator supports a school, a village, a hospital or all three. Part of what you pay for your safari, goes to their cause. Sometime during your safari, you are invited to spend a few hours visiting a school, a church, a marketplace or a local village.  

Ol Tiyani village kids

By taking this approach, these programs help to inspire visitors to donate goods and financial resources and/or time -"voluntourism"- where it's most needed. Successful projects determine the needs of indigenous people and empower them to help manage the resources and funds for their own community development and conservation initiatives. Often, this means establishing partnerships between travelers and the tourism industry as well as local organizations. For example, you may "adopt" a child. No, the child doesn't go home with you to the US!! You agree to sponsor this child: to pay for his or her education and maybe other things like clothing and medical costs as these arise. You may open an account for this child at a local bank, overseen by a local organization or person. You will then communicate via email or letters with your child, maybe even return for a visit. If your child is bright, maybe you will consider bringing him or her to the US to study at your local high school or university, if you have the funds. 
Many philanthropists choose to join a "voluntourism" effort to benefit a good cause for a part of their vacation. "Voluntourism" brings awareness to what's needed as well as to provide an outlet to those visitors who want to help but don't know where to go. Responsible tour operators and travel agents can book a philanthropic vacation for you that will meet your own standards and budget. As a "voluntourists" you combine an African safari with a few days helping people who desperately need it. You get an incredible safari - yes ... but you also work with people who need help for a few hours, days or weeks, even months.


For example: Nairobi, the capitol of Kenya ... is a city of extremes, where the difference between the "haves" and "have-nots" is staggering. More than 70% of the people, who live in African cities like Nairobi, live in slums. People live in basically inhumane conditions without toilets, no running water, no drinking water, and some of the time, not even food. You can choose to teach in a school, paint classrooms and desks, build a school or build a rainwater harvesting system to provide fresh water for the pupils in the school. I usually donate school supplies that I bring in the second allowed checked bag on my flight. For a safari you need to travel light and bring only one bag for yourself or what you can carry-on the plane. The kids are happy just to have visitors read to them. That's why a "voluntourist" makes a difference here.

There are never enough helping hands, and where there's hungry children, your children can help too. They can sponsor a child as a class project with bake sales or a play or raise money for a school or an illness such as malaria. The possibilities are limited only by their own imaginations. 


Do Something Funny for Money!


What kind of responsible things can you do while on a philanthropic vacation? How about participating in wildlife conservation? Protecting the places we visit has always been a concern. Working within the African bush, small teams of paying volunteers assist research scientists with vital conservation projects while undertaking field guide training.


Organizations that offer these experiences are:

  • Lake Malawi Hippo Expedition
  • Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia
  • All Africa Volunteers
  • Earthwatch
  • Vulture Conservation Trust programs
  • With Abercrombie & Kent you can turn an already extraordinary vacation into the ultimate rewarding experience by participating in conservation efforts through an A&K Philanthropic Journey. On their program "Mt. Kilimanjaro: To the Summit on a Mission" this December, you join explorer and guide Richard Wiese in scaling Africa's highest mountain, where weather-monitoring equipment is installed on your behalf. On the "East Africa Conservation Safari" in January 2010, you spot rare wildlife and visit grassroots projects improved by your support.

How about participating in a fundraising adventure?

You can raise money for a good cause and have a great vacation doing something challenging that you always wanted to do. The possibilities for a "Charity Challenge" travel experience are endless. Examples of what you can do include:

  • Help eradicate invasive plants in the Channel Islands
  • Maintain trails in the Red River Gorge
  • Race across the ....-stan countries and Asia in a small car to fight cancer
  • Bike across the Mgadigadi Pans to raise awareness of eco-tourism
  • Cruise to Antarctica to help save the penguins and fight climate change
  • The ultimate challenge: climb Kilimanjaro raising money to fight malaria.
    Here's how one group did it: On Friday the 13th of March 2009, Kenya Airways flew 4 Comic Relief celebrities from London as they jetted out to Tanzania to embark on the first leg of the Red Nose Climb to reach the summit of Kili - Mount Kilimanjaro. The group was undertaking the climb of a lifetime to raise as much cash as possible for the Red Nose Day Campaign in the UK. RND gets celebrities involved in fun and fundraising. People donate money on their website and by going to concerts and entertainment venues. Kenya Airways in honor of their VIP passengers had a red nose painted on their aircraft.
    Tom and David Trowbridge made it!

Dos and Don'ts of Travel Giving
A Traveler's Philanthropy

"To give away money is an easy matter and in any man's power. But to decide to whom to give it, and how large, and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man's power nor an easy matter." Aristotle

 Voluntourism safaris are growing. Travelers want deeper and more meaningful interactions with the local people in the areas where they visit. Tourists are natural givers when they see poverty. They want to help. This makes the giver feel good too. However, a lot of misguided giving has caused dependency and corruption in local communities. They have been burdened with inappropriate donations that cannot be used or are expensive to handle. For example paying import duties and taxes on a load of equipment that is not really needed or a shipment of used books in a foreign language that they cannot read. If it is your goal to help fund worthy projects during your travel, you may want to do some research and find an organization that matches your philosophy and your style of giving.
Ask yourself these questions before you decide:

Is the project something that will benefit the local community? Make sure that your efforts are welcome and can be sustained after you leave. What's the use in setting up a computer lab in a school if there's no electricity in the village?

How can you know what your contribution is worth? Find out if what you're volunteering to offer is actually needed. If you're building a larger school, are there children to fill the desks?

Is there a way to measure how we extend our hands and open our hearts? How do you measure happiness? Does it feel good to give? Is the big smile you receive in return enough? You must decide for yourself.

Do you want to gift money to support a community project or an individual? Either or both is OK. Sponsor a child, a family or an entire village project.

Are you contributing to the lives of the people you are visiting?

What are some of the appropriate ways to harness the generosity of travelers that will meet the genuine needs of the beneficiaries? There are many, here are a few examples:
1.     Volunteer at an orphanage, school or health clinic
2.     Bring a doctor and medicines
3.     Volunteer for a week or a month or a year
4.     Build a school, hospital or water well
5.     Bring school supplies and books in the appropriate language
6.     Start a pen-pal program with a local school
7.     Bring shoes and clothing to suit the local climate
8.     Visit a village and someone's home
9.     Buy from the local artists and craft persons
10.   Join a philanthropy organization such as Habitat for Humanity, Oxfam International or African Women's Development Fund
Here are some worthy causes to support with a donation:  

  • David Sheldrick's Rescue Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi (adopt an orphan)
  • The Giraffe Center in Nairobi
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Children in the Wilderness, Botswana
  • South Luangwa Conservation Society, Zambia
  • Yosefe School, Mfuwe, Zambia
  • Enyawatta Women's Collaborative, Tanzania
  • St Lazarus school, Kibera slum, Nairobi
  • Campi Ya Kanzi's Simba Project to protect the lions on their conservancy(consider "adopting" a lion)
  • Campi Ya Kanzi's Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (also a center for research with volunteers from Yale University) What your money will do:

    Amount of Your donation will ..... 
    $50 Buy stationery for 10 kids at a primary school  for 1 year
    $60 Buy a new desk for two students                  for 5 years
    $100 Pay the salary of a kindergarten teacher       for 1 month
    $150 Pay the salary of a game scout                   for 1 month
    $250 Pay the salary of a teacher                        for 1 month
    $350 Buy one radio collar to help us track and protect lions for 2 year
    $500 Buy and install a new pit latrine for a school or a family for 10 years
    $500 Pay the salary of the coordinator of the Trust for 1 month
    $550 Buy medicine, needles, antibiotics                 for 3 months
    $600 Buy a hand held radio for the game scouts      for Ever
    $750 Pay for a pupil at secondary school                for 1 year
    $1,800 Pay a game scout for 1 year                       for 1 year
    $1,800 Buy all the books the school needs              for 1 year
    $2,500 Pay the salary of a doctor                          for 1 month
      MUCH more money can....
    $10,000 Build a waterhole to draw more wildlife and elephants into the reserve
    $25,000 Buy a second hand Land Rover to help the dispensary and the scouts
    $35,000 Yearly fee for the Maasai landlords for 5,000 acres Kanzi conservancy
    $40,000 Build a volunteer house, to help the school and dispensary
    $50,000 Buy a Land Rover ambulance, so the doctor can serve the entire community
    $95,000 Run Simba Project for a year  

Most importantly:
Carefully choose a travel agent who understands your philanthropic aspirations.
Go on safari and enjoy being a Volun-Tourist!
Have fun giving! 

 Samburu woman



I have joined the Leisure Travel Alliance consortia to better serve your interests. I think it will be a good fit for us. Pease let me know that you want to continue staying on my lists and receive occasional mail and email from me. Be sure to update me if you have moved. I like to know what your travel plans are for the future and what you are interested in knowing more about.


Help me turn your dreams into memories.


Please call 206-297-7179 or email me at



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phone (206) 297-7179,

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