Traveling and Giving on the Pan Am
The reason I amgoing once again on the RV trip of a lifetime, it may seem repetitive, but it is not, one lady traveled three times with the group, and then flew down again.
The RVexpedition groups have traveled the Pan American Highway for 14 years, and this next expedition is the 15th Anniversary. The trips focus on really seeing the countriesrealistically, as they truly are. The people, the communities, the cultures, the schools, and the natureare seen from the RV window in REAL LIFE! just as it is!, not a "show" put onfor cruise ship tourists!
We also saw everything the "fly-in" tourist would also.
Living the trip is everyday! One day we may start out and the destination might be the famous Machu Picchu the pre-Columbian 15th-century Inca site, and another day it may be Pozo Almonte, a little known town of 1500 persons! But, in those littleknown, off-the-beaten-path places and towns, you may find the most rewarding observations and experiences – by "living" the trip.
These are the times you must, take a breath, sometimes close your eyes, and maybe even pinch yourself, to realize where you actually are! You are living next to "new neighbors" who have accepted you, not as a "tourist", but as a person (with also your home with you) who has the interest to visit their small town, and interact with them.
They really want to "show" you everything, again not as atourist, but a friend from a far away place. We were often asked from other foreign tourist we met enroute – "have you had any problems?" The response usually was, the main problem we had encountered was:saying NO! No we can't stay any longer, NO, we can't eat anymore of the homemade bread, NO, we could not take that shirt off your back! And on and on. The people were so friendly, and most of all SINCERE!
THE GIVING BACK – We were advised to bring some children's clothes, some school supplies, and photographs from home, of our home, town,and family to show enroute. These items all "broke the ice" with our new neighbors. MANY TIMES WE ALSO HAD RETIRED TEACHERS WITH US.
Some of our people showed the children (and the adults also) what their areas have to offer, especially the birds and nature, they were so surprised to see we had the birds in our materials, and they appreciated this learning of birds and also flowers. They taught us about many plants used for medicines, and new fruits that we never knew existed!
Besides the tourist attractions, we visit small country schools, community halls, coffee plantations, sugar factories, handicraft areas, farms and grain elevators, and many other off beat places. At the schools, we visit with the permission of the staff, and see the everyday school life. Afterwards, we leave some school supplies, and share photos with the children and teachers. Also maybe send an old computer from home afterwards to them.
The trek staff has a emt or paramedic present, and many times there is an opportunity to do a community blood pressure check, and this is also done in the rural areas, while the groups sees the points ofinterest. The people are so grateful that we show an interest. Most of the time there are some retired nurses, who also participate in this. - This is part of the GIVING BACK! This is enjoying the tourism, the countries, and the people,and leaving with a great feeling of the experience! Nothing against the Cruise Ship Tourist, but only the RVtourist can do this!
THIS TRAVEL EXPERIENCE REALLY GIVES YOU A GOOD FEELING – NOT ALL TAKING, BUT ALSO GIVING!
We are so lucky to be able (still) to travel via RV! Only in this mode of travel could we see what we do, and be so close to the people. Also you can not compare this travel with the TOURGROUPS, because AT THE END OF THE DAY, you have your own gettaway!, if you feel like joining the others at the campfire, or happy hour YOU CAN! AND for some reason, YOU CAN CHOOSE NOT TO. I sure hope we can contine this life as is!!!