I have just finished re-reading “Pink Boots and a Machete” and loving it just as much as I did the first time round. I have avidly read National Geographic every month since I was a child and love to read stories of its explorers, particularly those studying wildlife and exotic places and peoples. I devoured books with tales of women like Jane Goodall and Joy Adamson.
It was an absolute delight to discover this book which tells the story of Mireya Mayor who started life as the child of Cuban immigrants, a girly girl who was a professional NFL cheerleader and had never been camping, and goes on to become a renowned explorer (a female Indiana Jones), primatologist and conservationist, a Fullbright Scholar, National Geographic Explorer, PhD and mother.
She has a wonderful sense of humour and her stories are easy to read and full of adventure and scientific interest. She gives a really good feel for the struggles she has faced as a female scientist and explorer without over-playing them. Her approach is very practical and down to earth, not glamorising the adventure and being frank about the discomforts and dangers that they face, but providing a sense of excitement that will hopefully inspire a new generation of girls (and boys) to the importance of preserving our environment and wildlife.
There are stories of a plane crash, being charged by a silverback gorilla, diving with great white sharks, being chased by elephants, discovering a new species of mammal and more, as well as a charming chapter listing out how items that might be considered part of a city girl’s handbag have essential survival roles in the wild.
Many of her adventures have been televised in the US and some videos can be viewed at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/explorers/bios/mireya-mayor/
She has a personal website http://mireyamayor.com with a teaser that suggests a new book may be coming soon and much more information on her work.
Intrepid Travel (a range of different travel styles – see my post on travel styles)
Peregrine Adventures (Comfort tours)
Geckos Adventures (for 18 to 30s)
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