Serendipity does sometimes smile upon me, and it did a few months ago when I was on a tossing, rolling tin motorboat on the roiling South Pacific off the Austral island of Rurutu in French Polynesia, looking for whales.
Malaria is the modern traveler's bogeyman, the creature lurking outside your room, waiting for you to fall asleep, intent on "getting you!" There are very few fears I hear more from tentative travelers than: "but what about malaria?"
Imagine living with a condition which forced you to change your wet, soiled clothes every few hours or which led to your family abandoning you or being shunned by your community. This is the reality of life for over two million women and girls suffering from obstetric fistula.
Sadly, 35 of 200+ sites designated as natural World Heritage properties are considered in danger and face threats such as pollution, human armed conflict, poaching, uncontrolled urbanization, and unchecked tourism and development.
I get frustrated watching nature shows or reading about fascinating habitats that I know are becoming increasingly threatened, with no mention about how threatened they are, and much less (and more importantly) how we can help personally.