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  • backpod 5:48 am on August 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Ready For Take Off 

    August 24, 2008

    Today’s entry brought to you by…

    Eva

    ==========
    Our inaugural trip to Honduras is almost here. We hope our journey will be eventful and using our lenses and blog we can bring you along with us.

    Quick facts introducing Honduras:
    • Honduras is located in Central America, bordering Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua
    • Capital city: Tegucigalpa
    • Population: 7.5 million, 90% people of mixed European and indigenous ancestry, 7% indigenous population, 2 % people of African descent
    • Predominantly Catholic, with strong growth in Protestant faith experienced lately
    • Languages: Spanish, Amerindian dialects and English, especially at the Bay Islands
    • Currency: lempira; exchange rate: $1=18.89 lempira

    Economy:
    • Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the Central America
    • High unemployment rate close to 30%
    • 50% of population living below the national poverty level
    • Economy heavily relies on agricultural products, particularly coffee and bananas
    • In recent years, Honduras economy grew slightly, communication sector was open for private enterprises, however the gap between rich and poor continues to expand

    Politics:
    • Independent since 1821 from Spain and since 1838 from the United Provinces of Central America
    • Honduras is a constitutional republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial
    • Executive: Presidential elections are held every four years. Current president Manuel Zelaya was sworn in January 2006.
    • Legislative branch: unicameral Congress with 128 representatives elected to serve for four years.
    • Judicial branch: 15 Judges are elected for a term of 7 years by the National Congress
    • Main political parties: Christian Democratic Party (PDC), Democratic Unification Party (PDU), Liberal Party, (LP), National Innovation and Unity Party, and National Party of Honduras
    • President Manuel Zelaya was elected on the promises of improving the economy, and curbing the violence, in particular gang violence

    Environment:
    • Amazing flora and fauna, ranging from rain forests to savannahs and from parrots to whale sharks
    • Home to diversified wildlife: amphibians, mammals and reptiles
    • Serious environmental concerns: deforestation, global warming and overfishing
    • Many species put on endangered species list

    Sources:
    UNDP Human Development Report
    The Library of Congress
    US Department of State
    Lonely Planet: Honduras and the Bay Islands

     
    • Lewis 8:53 pm on August 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      You guys go for it. I spent 2 1/2 years working in Honduras. Wonderful country, a lot of groups helping there, and doing good things. Just always be aware of your surroundings.
      Lewis
      UT class of ’73 & ’76.

  • backpod 5:07 am on August 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Backpod and Granite Gear 

    August 18th, 2008

    Hooray! Team Backpod departs for their inaugural trip to Honduras to visit our non-profit partner Global Brigades on August 25, 2008!

    We have started packing up, and are so grateful for our sponsor GRANITE GEAR who donated backpacks.

     
  • backpod 4:58 am on August 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , mosquitoes, shots, typhoid   

    A Prick of Excitement 

    August 10th, 2008

    Once we decided to officially take the leap, we went to get our first round of shots and meds for the upcoming jaunt to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Hepatitis A, a disease transmitted by water, was the first prick. We also received meds for Malaria and Typhoid.

    Pricks

    During our visit, our nurse Betsy was very informative and was able to give us great information on how to stay disease free during our trip.

    Fun Facts about Disease!

    Fact: Mosquitoes transmit both Malaria and Typhoid.

    Second Fact: Only nighttime mosquitoes carry Malaria. Daytime insects present significant risk to Dengue Fever. Bottom-line, insects are a serious concern when traveling in Honduras.

    Third Fact: The majority of injuries that occur while traveling in under developed countries were not caused by diseases as most, including us, thought. In fact, physical injuries resulting from things like clumsiness were more common.

    american medical kits

    Thanks to our wonderful sponsors Adventure Medical Kits, we are fully armed for insect defense. They generously donated plenty of deet based repellent. Backpod is also privileged to test out certain backpacking medical products for travel specifically to developing countries for AMK.

     
  • backpod 4:55 am on August 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , balls to the walls, decision   

    Balls to the Walls (or so to speak) 

    August 5th, 2008

    We have found ourselves in a situation where we have definitely not raised enough money to finance our trip but a decision must be made so at 10:06 am on this Tuesday morning our tickets were purchased, an appointment to get vaccines was made, and the thin line between bravery and stupidity was crossed.  We are undecided which side of the line we are currently on, but nevertheless we have crossed it.

    In times like this we think only fitting to use the term used by pilots when accelerating quickly, the throttle is pushed all the way to the panel and the throttle lever (ball) actually touches the panel (wall).

    Backpod has gone Balls to the Walls!

     
  • backpod 4:51 am on August 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , July 10 issues, Knoxville, Knoxville Voice, Tennessee   

    Extra! Extra! Read All About It 

    July 11th, 2008

    Photo by Elizabeth Wright

    We are in the July 10 issue of Knoxville Voice!

    The Knoxville Voice, an alternative paper published every two weeks, is currently running an article about Backpod!

    We had a great time getting our photo taken – and yes we couldn’t resist bringing props. Those rad orange backpacks and the stellar explorer hat are brought to you for your viewing pleasure straight from the Foster garage – courtesy of Jan and Ted. Our car was full of imagineable objects, so we were excited to see which ones made the cut!

    To read the article visit: http://www.knoxvoice.com/news/articles/expanding-our-horizons/

    And if you are in Knoxville, pick up your copy today! To find a KV bin near you visit: http://www.knoxvoice.com/maps/findus/

    *Special thanks to Elizabeth Wright from the Knoxville Voice for doing such a great job on the article, and being a fantastic sport during the “photo shoot.” It was great fun!

     
  • backpod 4:49 am on August 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , fundraising, , , Honduras Helper,   

    Our eyes were bigger then our stomachs 

    July 9th, 2008

    After collecting, metaphorically chewing the data, then realistically budgeting out the cost of our trip we realized that our eyes were bigger then our Backpod bellies. So we have gone back to the drawing board to figure out how this trip can happen… and an idea was born!

    IDEA! –
    Why don’t we fundraise to make ONE location, ONE trip, ONE series of podcasts for ONE non-profit happen! We hope this may further generate interest for our cause and that of our non-profit in an effort to make the other locations happen at a later date.

    Honduras:
    Honduras is the second poorest country in Central America and one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
    Population: 7.4 million
    Population in poverty: 51%
    Unemployment: 27.8%
    Source: CIA The World Factbook

    Global Brigades logo

    Our non-profit partner will be GLOBAL BRIGADES, which is a secular international program whose mission is to empower students and professionals to provide communities in developing nations with sustainable solutions that improve quality of life while respecting local culture.

    Global Brigades has three programs that synergistically create a holistic approach to sustainable development. Currently, in the 45 communities in Central America in which they provide services, they offer micro-enterprise assistance, health care relief, and clean water initiatives.

    Photobucket

    Become a HONDURAS HELPER (Yes a little cheesy, but hey we like it!)

    Our fundraising goal for this trip is $5,000:

    • To become a Honduras Helper, we are asking that you donate $5 – $20.
    • The Honduras donors will be listed under our supporters section under Honduras Helper.
    • Then pass it all your family and friends so they will become a Honduras Helper!

    To become a Honduras Helper visit: http://www.backpod.org/Support/Honduras_Helper.html

    Check out our Honduras Helpers: http://www.backpod.org/HH%20Supporters.html

    *If we can generate enough donations, we will leave the last week of August 2008 and stay with GB for 15 to 20 days documenting the whole experience.

     
  • backpod 4:39 am on August 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: backpacking, , facebook, , inspiration, myspace, , quotes, Refuge International,   

    Give Inspiration to Find Inspiration 

    June 30th, 2008

    We are now in the midst of asking for funding and donations, and are finding that it’s hard to find a person who is willing to give to something that has not yet happened. Individuals may find it hard to support for any number of reasons, but we hope one thing is for certain; it is not for the lack of inspiration.

    Watching Backpod evolve into a complete idea has been so encouraging. Now that we have released it to the eyes of the public, we are finding – it’s not so bad. What was previously seen as fear of rejection and acceptance has now turned into a blossoming belief that the art of Backpod can promote change.

    Recently, various quotes from our supporters who see potential have inspired us. We want to share a couple now in hopes that this may too inspire you!

    “I read your blog on procrastination and everyone who aspires to greatness feels that way…every journey is one step at a time…I think your vision is really cool.” Dan Cruikshank, Founder, Granite Gear

    “keep moving forward…this is a wonderful work you are doing…have decided that those people who get things done are those that persevere….” Deborah Bell, Co-founder of Refuge International (Guatemala)

    “I wish I had the balls to do something like this. Right on! Kingsporters making a difference in the world! :-)” Sandra Hillhouse, Facebook Group

    “Right on, Hope you all get the funding you need” Daniel Gill Ghielmetti, Facebook Group

    “i LOVE it. great work you guys! i’m more than impressed.” Lisa Cyr, Myspace

     
  • backpod 4:35 am on August 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , foster, grassroots, kari, , , nudd, , , procrastination, ,   

    Procrastination 

    June 11th, 2008

    We realized that we have been pushing back deadlines, creating obstacles that didn’t exist, and if they did exist we were allowing them to distract us in an unnecessary way. When we sat down to confront those issues the truth came out – we are scared of failing. The fear is committing to the project because that exposes us to the chance of failure. It is hard to tell people, We need YOU. Asking individuals to invest in YOUR project as an audience, a donor, or support is SCARY.

    Now we suppose it is out of our hands. Can this project happen?

    After acknowledging our outlook, we collectively decided the idea behind Backpod is important and even though people’s acceptance is out of our hands we must try. Sometimes that is all you can do is try, and hope that people will find value in what you are trying to do.

    One person can better the world, but together many people can change it. Can we change the world?

    Here is our first video podcast – Backpod:The Idea

     
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