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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Children Ages 9-14 Can Enter Contest To Visit Peru with National Geographic

It’s interesting how one is introduced to a country or a culture. For example, I am always surprised to learn that many people only associate Ethiopia with famine and hungry children. But for my family and me, who for years have eaten almost monthly in Ethiopian restaurants, Ethiopia is a country of incredible food and the most beautiful people. Just the act of experiencing the food of another culture can be a door that leads to a more complex understanding of that culture. Because of my love of Ethiopian food, I looked for books about Ethiopia. One of my favorites is Saba: Under the Hyena’s Foot, 1846. This book is part of a great series called Girls From Many Lands, published by American Girl. Though this particular book has a few really mean characters in it, the book shows its Ethiopian characters to be complex, intelligent and coming from a rich cultural heritage.

I say all of this to say this. My first introduction to Peru was by way of Susana Baca, an African singer from Peru. So, my first impression of Peru was of it being beautifully black and it being full of beautiful music. I have, of course, learned about Peru’s native people and its history with Spain, but it is my first impression that caused me to love Peru even though I have never been there.


National Geographic Kids is sponsoring its annual contest-Hands-On Explorer Challenge for kids ages 9-14. The first year, the young winners of this contest went to The Galapagos Islands. The following year, a new batch of winners went to South Africa on safari and this year’s winners went to Australia.

The winners for 2009 will go to Peru and visit Machu Picchu, the famous Inca Ruins. Ten to fifteen winners will be selected and one parent of each winner gets to go along on this trip of a lifetime, with all expenses paid. Winners will travel with a National Geographic Team of professional explorers for 12 days and learn about forest medicine, Inca rituals and develop exploratory skills as well as receive a digital camera and learn how to take great photographs.

The deadline is in February 5, 2009. Go now to the link below and get all the necessary details and apply. Maybe I’ll see you in Peru!