It was awe-inspiring for me to have been present at the re-dedication of Victoria Falls as a peace park in 2011, and this stunning park is scheduled to be dedicated once again.

IIPT (The International Institute of Peace through Tourism) is honored to announce the re-naming of the IIPT International Peace Park at Victoria Falls as the IIPT Maya Angelou International Peace Park in recognition of the inspiration and positive influence that the award winning Poet and Author; Television, Film and Stage Director; Teacher, Civil Rights Activist; and Actress has had on persons throughout the world. Dr. Angelou passed quietly in her home on May 28, 2014.

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Dr. Angelou’s poems and books have inspired millions of persons throughout the world, in particular her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” about her early life overcoming racism and trauma by turning to the written word. She has been quoted as saying: “My mission in life is not merely to survive – but to thrive – and to do so with some passion – some compassion – some humor – and some style.”

THE VIDEO SHOWING HIGHLIGHTS OF 2011 DEDICATION

She will long be remembered at the United Nations and by people throughout the world for her insightful poem, “A Brave and Startling Truth” narrated at the United Nations on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary. And her tribute to Nelson Mandela – “His Day is Done” – on his passing stirred the hearts of millions in all of Africa and throughout the world.

Please click here for Dr. Maya Angelou’s video recorded tribute to Nelson Mandela, “His Day is Done.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqQzjit7b1w

IIPT Board Chairman, Mr. Timothy Marshall noted, “Dr. Maya Angelou was a resident, lover and supporter of the African continent; having lived and worked in Ghana and Egypt during her early career. She was lovingly welcomed into a leading Ghanaian family, who are still family today. Now as a Global and National Treasure, Humanitarian, and Freedom Fighter for all of Humanity, it is fitting that one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Victoria Falls, should carry her revered and respected name. We are honored and humbled to carry on her Legacy of World Peace with this Tribute. ”

The IIPT International Peace Park was first dedicated as a legacy of the IIPT Third African Conference held in Lusaka, Zambia 2005.

It was re-dedicated in 2011 on the occasion of IIPT’s Fifth African Conference in Zambia and re-dedicated again last August on the Opening Day of the Twentieth General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Taking part in the Re-dedication were Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, first President of Zambia; Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO; and King Mukuni of the Leya people on whose land Victoria Falls is located. Six Olive trees from Bethany Beyond the Jordan, baptismal site of Christ and also a UNESCO World Heritage site, were brought to Victoria Falls by H.E. Akel Biltaji, Mayor of Amman, representing His Majesty, King Abdullah II, and planted during the Re-dedication ceremony.

www.iipt.org

 

 

There is nothing quite like experiencing the beauty of spring weeks before nature intended it to arrive! Each year we provide that opportunity for visitors as Butchart brings spring indoors in their signature Spring Prelude indoor garden. Staff spend months planning, growing and forcing plants into bloom to form an incredible indoor garden experience.

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They like to challenge themselves to try to improve what they present in the garden and the same holds true for the Spring Prelude display. This year you will notice a striking change to the display as soon as you walk through the front door as there is a new water feature to greet. Another highlight is many more orchids from theircollection as their exotic presence seems to delight people. We’ll leave the rest of the changes as a surprise for you to discover as it would be a shame to give too much away.

HERE IS A VIDEO I MADE ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE AT BUTCHART GARDENS

If you’ve never had the opportunity to see this incredible display, I know you will be impressed. What you will may find impossible to believe is this complete garden display is put together in one week in what is normally our largest restaurant facility. The transformation from restaurant to garden is truly an incredible achievement and must be seen to be appreciated.

Moving outside …

The garden is truly a delight at this time of year. There is a sense of peace and tranquility. In this climate they are fortunate that they have flowers blooming outdoors throughout the winter months – although in moderation and directly in relation to the prevailing weather. As special as these flowers are, you do have to change your mind-set when visiting at this time of year, as the abundance of colour and flowers the gardens are famous for simply aren’t present until spring.

Having said that, any garden claiming to be world class has to be beautiful in every season and this one is no exception – I would go so far to say it’s exceptional even without the flowers! This is great time to appreciate the garden in its purest form as the genius of Jennie Butchart is revealed in the unique layout and design – the Japanese Garden is especially satisfying as the structure of the plant material and the cascading waterways are fully exposed to reveal their true beauty.

Another creative endeavor at this time of year is the pruning on many of the trees and shrubs. Pruning is done, the main reason being to rid the plants of dead, dying or diseased growth. The more artistic side kicks in with the removal of unsightly growth, managing (controlling) the size of the plant to prevent overcrowding and shaping to make it more attractive. For flowering and fruit bearing trees – pruning improves the size and quantity. The time of the year for pruning is an important consideration and is different with each plant.

As they move through our winter season and head into February and March you will see dramatic changes in the garden on an almost daily basis. When March arrives the outdoor garden begins looking more and more like the Spring Prelude display that has been created indoors!

http://www.butchartgardens.com/blog/garden-notebook-spring-prelude-2015?fullsite=true&utm_source=Media&utm_campaign=a17fbce522-Spring_Prelude_2015_Media_Final_01_09_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bd624a8f4f-a17fbce522-124376245

by Bea Broda

Lusaka is certainly a city on the rise. A number of African countries, such as Uganda, Zimbabwe and others, have been putting themselves on the tourism map, which is a direct result of successful development from within and peaceful strategies. The reason I was in Lusaka was a conference, but I’m pleased that there was so much time to tour the city as well as its outskirts. It certainly helps to have a guided tour as it’s a huge city with increasing traffic congestion.

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The following is a video clip I produced from my last visit to Lusaka a few years ago. I will be returning in February 2015, and can’t wait to see how much the city has changed. Because of all the construction on the horizon, I expect things will look quite different. One thing I know will not change is the friendliness of the people there.

SEE THE VIDEO

Bea-SkiAs someone that isn’t an experienced skier, I can definitely recommend this list for beginners too! Have a look at this video clip that highlights my first-ever skiing experience which took place in Pontresina, Switzerland. It’s not on this list, but I think it should be, as the elevation and instruction were perfect for somebody learning how to ski.

Here’s the list:

From free lift pass to full-day child care service – the offers for families on a ski holiday are diverse. To get the little ones started on the snow and to enjoy a good holiday at the same time, it is important to provide ideal learning facilities, fun playgrounds in the snow, child-safe lifts, etc. SnowTrex has picked the top 10 family resorts under consideration of the before mentioned aspects.

1.Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis

Year for year, this Tyrolean ski region is on the top of nearly all lists when it comes to family-friendly ski resorts. The ski areas around Serfaus, Fiss and Ladis are some of the most child-friendly within the Austrian Alps. Attractions such as the kid’s snow alp, Berta’s kids land, the Murmlipark, an Indian land, a dinosaur forest on the piste, the Murmlitrail or the children’s skidoo track provide a large range of entertainment for the little ones.

2.Stubai Glacier

The family-friendly ski world BIG Family, located just above Neustift, provides a care-free package for families with children of all ages. Main attraction is the BIG Family Ski Camp on the Stubai Glacier with separate kid’s area, practise lifts, Miniland, a children’s restaurant and an indoor kindergarten in the mountain station Gamsgarten.

3.Meiringen-Hasliberg

This ski region in the Bernese Oberland to right bears the Swiss quality seal “Familien Willkommen” (families welcome). The Skihäsliland is one the most popular children’s practise areas in Switzerland with flat practise areas, magic carpets and an igloo villages. Further, there is a family restaurant and a junior fun park which belong to the popular ski area’s facilities.

4.Zillertal Arena

Ski mascot FUNty welcomes the little ones in Zillertal resorts Zell am Ziller, Gerlos, Krimml and Wald-Königsleiten. The huge, yellow elephant is the signature sign for these child-friendly ski areas in the valley, offering fantastic beginner and kid’s areas, as well as guest kindergarten. Action highlight here for the whole family, is the Alpen-Acterbahn Arena Coaster (rollercoaster) in Zell.

5.Schmittenhöhe Zell am See

Located in the Pinzgau, the Schmittenhöhe is the local family mountain. In the kid’s ski land the little ones can learn to ski with help of the dragon Schmindolin on a magic carpet and in the dragon tunnel. More practised children can test themselves on the wave track and through some ski gates. Secured chair lifts with children-proof security mechanisms are also available. The family highlight here is the XXL fun slope with fun area and a ski movie track. Further, there is a number of awarded, child-friendly hotels.

6.Hochoetz

The ski region Hochoetz in the Ötztal offer comparably cheap huts and a manageable ski area with 41 kilometers of piste. For the little ones there is a kid’s land, practice lifts, full-day child-care service, as well as an indoor relaxation and play area. Highlights on the piste are a special fun park for mini freestylers and a kid’s track for getting to know wild animals.

7.Almenwelt Lofer

The Skialm Lofer in the Salzburg Saalach valley has already been announced “most family-friendly ski area in Austria” on various occasions. The pistes sum up to 46 kilometers in total, they are extra wide and there are two children’s areas located directly at the Lofer Alm lift. Especially child safety is a major focus here, thanks to the special family chair lift Schwarzeck, with automatically closing kid’s bars, and a fully pedestrianized resort center. Further, there are special reduced family cards for various local activities.

8.Arber in the Bavarian Forest

The ski area at the Große Arber is an original family ski area: not to large, easily manageable practice slopes with four magic carpets and a great price-service ratio. In the ArBär kid’s land there is the bear mascot to help the kids to get started on the snow, and the family cross park is fun and diverse for both children and adults.

9.Alpe di Siusi

The Alpe di Siusi is known as the most family-friendly ski resort in Southern Tyrol. The lifts are child-safe and there are various large children areas which invite to learn skiing in a playful way. Further, there is the little witch Nix which is a great help for the children’s orientation and also provides useful security tips. Fun parks and a time-tracking slope specially designed for children add to the offer.

10.Valfréjus

Ideal for families are accommodations which are located directly on the pistes. Just to pop in for a bite of lunch, a nap or to warm fingers and toes. The French ski resort Valfréjus in the Maurienne Valley is the best place to go to do so. The resort lies directly on the slope and the ski area provides 65 kilometres of piste. In the Baby-Club the little ones aged 3 months to 3 years can attend child-care, and in the international ski school “Mäuse-Club” (mouse club) ski tuition even takes places in English. Away from the pistes there are many activities to try out, such as a go on the 450 m² large ice rink, or a run in the bob park on the 2 kilometer long bob-sleigh run, illuminated by flood lights in the evenings.