3) Family photos and postcards from home can be appropriate gifts if you develop a special bond with an individual or family. People will love seeing your family, or where you are from. Leaving behind a photo is a nice, appropriate token of friendship. Please do not pass out such photos in public so that jealousy develops. Please be thoughtful as you select the photos. Focus on the people (friends or family) or landscape rather on your home or automobile. Photos showing your material possessions are inappropriate. Socially mandated systems of reciprocity are the foundation of many cultures. Commodities and services are exchanged, not given, even if the return will not occur for some time. Not expecting something for nothing and yet being generous with time and goods is a tradition of many cultures. Unfortunately, the practice is being eroded as more and more things are given away indiscriminately. This erosion will be noticeable in high-density tourist areas where you will likely be deluged with children demanding candy or tips. Handle this with moderation and wisdom, interacting with the children, drawing pictures, or letting them touch your foreign looking skin, rather than letting them beg successfully. You do not help the underlying poverty by encouraging begging. THEFT AND SECURITY Theft is common in many cities, whether in the U.S. or overseas. This is particularly true in crowded areas like airports, bus stations or market areas, so please keep very close tabs on all of your belongings during this expedition. Never leave belongings unattended. Do not pack or wear your gold chains, nice jewelry, or expensive looking watches. Secure your camera with a strap and don't carry your money or passport in an outside pocket that can be slit or picked. A money belt or waist pouch secured by a strong belt is ideal to hold your passport/ID and money. A neck pouch with a reinforced cord can also be used if it hangs unobtrusively and unnoticed under loose clothing. Thieves play several kinds of games, which you can avoid if you are aware: 1) You or your bag may be squirted with mustard, shampoo or the like. A friendly person may offer assistance. In the meantime you are separated from your bag. 2) An attractive young person may distract you--and pick your pocket at the same time. 3) Fights and other spectacles may be staged for the sole purpose of distracting you from watching your belongings. For personal safety, avoid walking, traveling, or being out after dark in urban or rural areas. If travel is necessary, do not go alone. Please do not leave valuables in your hotel room, unless you room has a safe and you put your valuables in that safe. This includes cash, credit cards and airline tickets. Even electronics should be kept with you or zipped in a locked bag out of site. Please note on the “Packing List” and in the “Money Matters” that we strongly recommend you put valuables in a money pouch which is out of site and stays with you, on your person. We also strongly recommend locking your luggage. Purchase a TSA approved luggage lock, which the airlines won’t cut off. It is well worth the $9 per bag (for the cost of a TSA lock) to make sure your gear stays undisturbed and your favorite pair of shoes, headlamp, or other items are not stolen. Since some of our participants tend to let their guard down, we want to reinforce that we have had unfortunate and unnecessary problems result from people leaving valuables in their hotel rooms or 38
Published on Mar 27, 2012
Ascend Travel's Service Expedition Leadership Manual to Cusco, Peru. All the tools you need to organize a Humanitarian Service Expedition wi...