Two best friends - one a marketing executive retiring from a 31-year career with an international airline, the other an arts executive who worked with organizations and artists across the globe - combined their passion for travel, culture and connecting with people in distant lands to create Grannies on Safari®, an Emmy® award winning TV series. The Grannies on Safari series became a reality when Regina and Pat funded the project to launch GOS' first six-part series in 2006 and the second seven- part series in 2008. Currently, GOS is shown on most public television stations throughout the United States and it is syndicated on UK Travel Channel airing in 117 countries. As the creators of GOS, Regina and Pat bring a global worldview developed from their youth and cultivated throughout their professional careers. From childhood, Regina has appreciated different cultures, an attitude encouraged by her musician father, who spoke about foreign lands he visited on tours around the world. Regina has traveled to 35 countries. Pat's life has been devoted to helping artists and arts organizations find their voices. She has led several arts organizations as well as the Chicago Artists International Program for 250 artists and arts administrators from 60 countries. Pat has had assignments and/or presented on arts issues in countries including India, Ghana, Senegal, China and Brazil. Though travel, art and culture have been GOS' inspirations, Regina and Pat's travels made it clear that GOS had another mission: to help struggling communities that economically depend on women's work. Their goal is to help women support their families and become economically independent.
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India – The Golden Triangle
LEARN MORE ABOUT INDIA'S HISTORIC PLACES
Fatehpur Sikri is a city that was once the proud capital of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century. It now stands deserted as a well preserved ghost town and tourist attraction. It was abandoned by its occupants after only 15 years due to insufficient water supply.
Fatehpur Sikri was established by Emperor Akbar from the twin villages of Fatehpur and Sikri as tribute to famous Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chishti. The saint accurately predicted the birth of Emperor Akbar's much longed for son.
Palace of Mysore is situated in the city of Mysore in southern India. It is the official residence of the Wodeyars - the erstwhile royal family of Mysore, and also houses two ceremonial meeting hall of the royal court.
Mysore is commonly described as the City of Palaces; however, the term "Mysore Palace" specifically refers to one within the old fort. The Wodeyar kings first built a palace in Mysore in the 14th century; it was demolished and constructed multiple times. The current palace construction was commissioned in 1897, and it was completed in 1912 and expanded later around 1940.
The palace is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in India after Taj Mahal with more than 2.7 million visitors. Although tourists are allowed to visit the palace, they are not allowed to take photographs inside the palace.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FOODS OF INDIA
Traditional Indian food can be a healthy choice with a balanced diet of starch (steamed rice, Roti), tons of vegetables, dal (lentils), yogurt, etc. and…. you will also find many fat-laden Indian dishes in restaurants. Those dishes are great for festivities or once in a while, occasions. However, for a regular healthy eating, here are suggestions for some lighter alternatives.
Peru - Its Coastal Cultural Heritage
LEARN MORE ABOUT PERUVIAN MUSICAL HERITAGE
We found this wonderful article about the history of Afro Peruvian music and want ot share it with you. Enjoy!
Black Rhythms of Peru: Reviving African Musical Heritage in the Black Pacific
By Heidi Feldnam
In the late 1950s to 1970s, an Afro-Peruvian revival brought the forgotten music and dances of Peru’s African musical heritage to Lima’s theatrical stages. The revival conjured newly imagined links to the past in order to celebrate—and to some extent recreate—Black culture in Peru. In this groundbreaking study of the Afro-Peruvian revival and its aftermath, the study reveals how Afro-Peruvian artists remapped blackness from the perspective of the "Black Pacific," a marginalized group of African diasporic communities along Latin America’s Pacific coast.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PERUVIAN FOOD
Peruvian cuisine is one of the best in South America and it's known not only for its exquisite taste, but also for its variety and ability to incorporate the influence from different times and cultures.
The Peruvian cuisine is an important expression of its own culture just as its ceramics, textiles, music and literature. Thanks to Peru's three regions and ocean there are an abundance of markets that can offer a variety of fresh ingredients that satisfy not only the housewife but also the most sophisticated chef.
The culinary history of the Peruvian food dates back to the Incas and pre-Incas with its maize, potatoes and spices that later was influenced by the arrival of the Spanish colonies, and throughout the years it incorporated the demands of the different migrations and "mestizajes". Such groups included Chinese, European, African and Japanese immigrants.
The Incas... In the Incas Chronicles, Garcilazo Inca de la Vega narrates the foods of the ancient Peruvians and their rituals. Garcilazo describes the Incas meals as being in abundance because it was served not only to the Inca but also to his extended families, guests and large number of servants. The most important meal of the day, not only for the Incas but also for all the ordinary people, was served in the morning between 8 and 9 and the only other meal was served at dusk.
It's known that the Inca had a group of chefs assigned to him but the concubines where the ones that cooked for him. It is also known that drinks where never mixed during the meals they where normally taken afterwards. One of the most important ingredients during Pre-Hispanic times was maize and it was prepared toasted or simply boiled in water and on special occasions it was prepared into bread and "humitas" (tamales).
Another basic ingredient of these cultures was the potato and it was cooked or roasted and used in stews. Also used were squash, a variety of beans, "oca" and yams. The meats that these ancient Peruvians ate were "huanaco", "pacollama", deer, roe deer and male fallow deer, also a variety of birds called "nunuma" that were very similar to the Spanish goose. Among the most known fruits the Incas grew were bananas, avocados, papayas, plums and giant pineapple (twice the size of the ones known by the Spaniards).
The most important seasoning used to prepare the meals was what today is known as "aji" and it used to be called "uchu" by the Incas or "pepper from the Indies" by the Spaniards. Aji even today is one of the most important ingredients used in the Peruvian kitchen. Another important component to pre-Hispanic Peruvian cuisine is the seafood and the foods from the coastal region. Fishing was an important source of food before the conquest. Around a third of the coastal population was dedicated to fishing and this was all possible thanks to the variety of fish characteristic of the Peruvian ocean.
Also important sources of food in the coastal region were the llama, Alpaca, guanaco, duck and in certain areas dog (even though the Incas would never eat dogs). The guinea pig was mainly consumed by the ordinary people and its skin was set to dry and later chopped and called then "charqui". This "charqui" was used to prepare soups and stews.
The food after the Conquest... After the arrival of the conquerors in 1533 a number of ingredients and culinary styles where brought from Europe and the rest of world that started the process of "mestizaje". Among these new ingredients which became part of the native recipes were cows, hens and rabbits. Wheat was also brought and it took three years of conservation before it was actually used to make bread.
Garcilazo Inca de la Vega narrates in his chronicles that later on the vine grapes and olives where also brought by Noble Spaniards. As far as fruits and vegetables, lettuce, eggplants, onions, spinach, asparagus, cilantro, parsley and figs, oranges, limes, peaches, apples and cherries were also brought from Europe.
And last but not least, sugar cane which made possible the vast variety of desserts later developed in the colony made mainly by the nuns at the convents and these convents would specialize and become famous on a particular dessert. During this period, many Spanish recipes incorporated native ingredients such as maize, yams, potatoes, yucca and bananas. But among the most important ones is "aji" that became the most characteristic ingredient in this new "Peruvian" cuisine.
The Peruvian food in the latest years...oriental influence One thing that surprises the tourist that visits Peru is the large amount of oriental restaurants. There are over 2000 Chinese restaurants called "chifas". Peru is by far the country with the most Chinese restaurants in Latin America. Between 1849 and 1874, 100,000 Chinese immigrants arrived in Peru. Right after this migration, the "fondas" or places where the Chinese used to eat were the first ones to appear around the Chinese neighborhoods. Later some restaurants started to open up but it was only 40 years ago that Chinese restaurants where opened in the residential areas and through out Peru. The food served in most of these restaurants is from the region of Canton, but in the latest years there are also foods from Beijing, Shanghai and Szechwan. Now days, every grocery market carries a section of Chinese ingredients that is mixed with the local ingredients and seafood from the Peruvian ocean, which creates the most exquisite plates.
There are several things to do when you travel to Peru—visit the archaeological sites, historical monuments, and travel through the different regions, but something special that Peru has to offer is its magnificent food.
Thank you for this article goes to Cultural Expeditions!
Western Cape, South Africa and Botswana
LEARN MORE ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA'S WESTERN CAPE
Affixed to the tip of Africa as is the Western Cape and it lies bordered by two oceans - the Indian Ocean to the south and the Atlantic to the west - which goes a long way to clarify its allure. The wild Cape Agulhas coast, the extraordinary magnificence of the Garden Route, the sparse, sweeping stretches of sand, punctuated only by rocky outcrops and fishing villages, of the West Coast notwithstanding, it is not the coastline alone that draws the crowds. The constant reassuring presence of immense peaks form the backdrop to a land so lovely in parts that the emerald lakes and indigenous forests of the Wilderness, the sun-drenched vineyards of the Cape Winelands, the magnificent passes to reach the interior and the wide, windswept arid spaces of the Klein Karoo seem part of a fantasy landscape that often defies description.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE OODI WEAVERS OF BOTSWANA
The small village of Oodi is the first village along the Francistown road on the right, some 20km from Gaborone. It is best known for the internationally acclaimed Lentswe-la-Odi (Rocky Hills of Oodi) weavers. The cooperative was established in 1973 by Swedes Ulla and Peder Gowenius, who trained local residents to spin, dye and weave. Today the entire enterprise is owned by local members of the cooperative.
Varanasi - India's Spiritual Capital and Bangalore- A Commercial Star
LEARN MORE ABOUT INDIA'S SPIRITUAL HISTORY
India is not a piece of land or some political entity or a part of some historical facts. It is not a mad race for money, power, position and prestige. India is a longing, a thirst to attain truth - the truth that resides in every heartbeat of ours, the truth that is lying asleep under the layer of our consciousness, the truth that is ours but yet forgotten. Its remembrance, its reclamation, is India.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SHOPPING IN INDIA
This huge Delhi market has been deliberately made to feel like a traditional weekly village market, called a haat. Small thatched roof cottages with a village atmosphere give it great ambiance. The market offers an exciting blend of handicrafts from all over India, food, and cultural and music performances. Don't miss it!
Peru - Cusco and Machu Picchu
LEARN MORE ABOUT ANCIENT PERUVIAN HISTORY
Conquering South America's western edge, the Incas ruled three distinct geographic regions that Spanish soldier-chronicler Pedro Cieza de León termed uninhabitable: rainless coastal deserts, mountain ranges towering more than 22,000 feet, and steamy rain forests. On slopes rising four vertical miles, climates in the empires varied from tropical to polar. In scattered areas on these slopes, at both high and low elevation, the Incas terraced and irrigated the land and produced abundant food for the twelve million or more subjects. A 10,000-mile network of roads, some as wide as 24 feet, knitted together the Incas' domain. Parallel trunk lines-connected by lateral roads tracing river valleys-followed coast and highlands. Four main highways entered Cuzco, the heart of the empire.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MARI SOLARI AND HER COLLECTIONS
Amongst the many hidden gems that Aracari can show you in Lima, Las Pallas is a stunning arts and crafts shop in the heart of Barranco, the city’s art-drenched, bohemian district. The owner Mari Solari is a close friend of Aracari; she is originally from the UK but is a long time resident in Peru, during which time she has compiled her own personal collection of textiles and artifacts’ along with an in-depth knowledge of Andean culture. She is always most eager to host our guests and give them an exclusive look around her private collection, and she is happy to shed light over any aspects of Andean history and culture that our guests might be interested in.
Exotic - Zanzibar, Tanzania
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HISTORICAL SPICE TRADE IN ZANZIBAR
The presence of microlithic tools attests to at least 50,000 years of human occupation of Zanzibar. The islands became part of the historical record of the wider world when Persian traders discovered them and used them as a base for voyages between the Middle East, India, and Africa. Unguja, the larger island, offered a protected and defensible harbor, so although the archipelago offered few products of value, the Persians settled at what became Zanzibar City ("Stone Town") as a convenient point from which to trade with East African coastal towns.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MARILYN MIGLIN'S SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT FRAGRANCE
World-renowned beauty authority, author and speaker, Marilyn Miglin is among the nation’s top-500 women business owners. Her signature fragrance, Pheromone, is one of the top-10 fragrances sold in luxury department stores nationwide and each month, more than 65-million television viewers invite her into their homes to purchase her products.
When we traveled to Zanzibar and South Africa, Marilyn took us with her as she searched spice plantations and botanical gardens for the perfect ingredients to make a unique perfume. We learned a lot with this icon of fashion and cosmetics. And being a Grandmother herself, we gladly had her join our “Grannies on Safari” club.
Read more about Marilyn and the wonderful things she has done in addition to creating world class scents. And for taking her on another adventure with us –she is the first person we would ask!
Yet creating unparalleled products that afford their wearers unsurpassed personal expression has not been Ms. Miglin’s only passion. She has also maintained a spirit of altruism and community.