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Let’s Go! Why travel to Africa with Mom now …

Let's Go, Mom!The first time I traveled with my Mom was in the late 90s. We joined a research project in Ecuador and Peru with Earthwatch where we lived in jungle research camp with no running water or electricity.  We spent our days tromping around the rainforest catching butterflies and tagging them for a study. It was a life-changing trip that opened my eyes to real travel - with all the great stories that continue to thrive years after in the retelling without any need for embellishment.   But mostly that trip opened my eyes to the fact that my mother was not just the mother seen through the eyes of a child.  I realized that my Mom had some gumption.In Ecuador we climbed on the roof of the chicken bus when there was no room and it was too hot inside, heeding yells from the front to duck when the power lines or tree branches hung too low.  We waded through mud up to our knees in search of elusive plants that fed our butterflies by day, and stood the same pants in the corner after the mud dried overnight.  We joined the rest of our Earthwatch group hungrily eyeing the skinny live rooster tied up by the leg in front of the cookhouse - ready for a change from the rice and beans and wondering how much chicken we were going to get from that skinny bird.Before the first Mom trip, I had just ended one phase of my life and was finding my way into the next.  After years of work-a-holic tendencies successfully navigating the high-stress yet so self-important political world in Washington, DC, I had fled to the West Coast and different life.  And I was diligently perfecting the art of working intensely for a few months