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Wysokie Progi club occasionally invites people who have traveled to off the bitten path world destinations to share their adventures with club members and friends. Next best thing to being at these exotic destinations is listening to travelers' stories while watching the photos from their journeys.

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." –St. Augustine.
 
SOUTH & CENTRAL AMERICA: 2014-2017
Presentation date: Jun. 10, 2017
See Somos Dos blog

ETHIOPIA: 2016

Presentation date: March 12, 2016
See sample photos

AFGANISTAN AND CENTRAL ASIA BY MOTORCYCLE: 2013

Presentation date: Nov. 18, 2015
See photos

GEORGIA AND ARMENIA: 2014

Presentation date: Feb. 21, 2015
See photos

FROM BEIJING TO TIBET: 2011

Zofia moved to England and later to the United States after completing her medical education (MD/PhD) in Poland. She held various executive positions in clinical research departments in academia and biopharmaceutical industry treating patients and supervising clinical evaluation of new therapeutics, principally in the field of cancer and neuropsychiatry e.g. Alzheimer's.

Having practiced medicine in Poland, England and the US she became fascinated with then noticeable differences in diagnostic and therapeutic practices as well approaches to sickness and dying among various countries and cultures. Work allowed her to travel professionally to various places, usually with well developed health care systems (European, Japan, US, Canada, and selected countries in South America, etc.). During her vacation and especially since her recent retirement she started traveling, nowadays just for a shear pleasure, to the less developed parts of the world, such as China, Tibet, Nepal, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, and many others.

She continues to be fascinated with different cultures, spirituality, behaviors and traditions of people from various countries as well as with different sceneries, architecture, art, and climates.

In 2011 she spent over four weeks traveling, at first on the special fast train through Tibetan plateau from Beijing to Lhasa, a capital of Tibet, and then by car throughout Tibet to the base camp on Mount Everest.

Presentation date: Jun. 15, 2013

See photos

PACIFIC CREST TRAIL: 2007

During 2007 and 2011 Malgosia hiked the whole length of the Pacific Crest Trail (2,663 mi, 4,286 km). Her journey started at the US border with Mexico and ended at the Canadian border. Overall, it took her 4.5 months to travel the whole PCT.

Presentation date: Feb. 2, 2013
See photos

MOUNT KILIMANJARO, TANZANIA: JULY 2011

The Słupski family moved from Warsaw to California in 1994. Mountaineering, climbing and mountains in general were always important for the whole family. Tadek (currently in Poland) was one of the founders of UKA (University Alpine Club - Uniwersytecki Klub Alpinistyczny). He is known for many difficult winter climbs in Tatra Mountains, Alps and Himalaya including his solo travers of the Himalayan main ridge. Małgosia completed multiple climbs in Tatras, Alps (i.e. Brenva on Mont Blanc with a women’s team), Himalaya (Thorong Ra, 17,769 ft), Pamir, Andes and Sierra Nevada including nine California fourtheeners peaks. Julia and Jędrek (children) like mountains as well and spent many of their vacation hiking and climbing different peaks like Mt. Whitney (Julia at the age of 12), Rysy, Gerlach (almost), Mały Lodowy, El Trono Blanco in Baja, and Telescope Peak in the early age of three weeks (Jędrek).

In 2008 Julia choose to attend a boarding High School at the East Coast practically moving out of the house. During the summer of 2011, Małgosia and Julia decided to climb a mountain together as a “mother-daughter bonding experience” and they will show slides from the ascend of Mount Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft) at the next meeting of Wysokie Progi club.

Presentation date: Nov. 20, 2011
See photos

SOUTH AMERICA: CHILE, ARGENTINA, PERU: 2010-11

As a result of several months’ long and hard efforts, Joanna Frączek received a Fulbright Foundation scholarship to teach and perform research (50/50) at the University of Concepción in Chile. Few days later, on February 27th, 2010, an earthquake of an enormous magnitude of 8.8 hit the vicinity of Concepción. For the next three weeks, no communication of any sort could be established by Joanna with anybody in Concepción. Finally, a joyous message arrived by email – “We survived and we will recover”.  Few more weeks passed before another message from the university reached us saying – “You may arrive as originally scheduled, but the next semester may start with a delay”. The Fulbright headquarters in Washington D.C. sent Joanna a letter saying that they will understand if Joanna decided to withdraw from the agreement. It was nice on Fulbright’s side, but they decided to go anyway. The air-tickets to Santiago were purchased for the entire family for July 20. Few weeks before the departure, Witold’s employer surprisingly denied him the permission to work remotely from Chile. Would Joanna decide to take the entire burden onto her shoulders and travel with two kids, age 15 and 13, to a country of a different language and culture, where she knows nobody? After a short family discussion, a decision was made. Yes, the three would go on their own.

And the brave three not only survived, but thrived. Joanna was very successful in her teaching and research efforts. Tomasz and Zosia attended a school taught all in Spanish, where practically none of their peers could communicate in English. Consequently, they had to learn Spanish ASAP. In several months, they both became fluent in the language of Cervantes. And that was the fulfillment of one of the primary, yet secret goals. Importantly, all three made numerous friends!

Witold managed to get a permission to leave his company for 2.5 months.  Several days after his arrival to Concepción for Thanksgiving, the Frączek family mega-vacation began.  It started with the exploration of several exciting places in their temporary residence country of Chile. They returned for few days back to Concepción to say farewell to their friends; participate in the kids’ end of the school year celebrations, and move out of Concepción and relocate to Santiago their largely grown luggage. They were about ready to start the long dreamed of voyage to Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru, when Witold broke his leg.  So, now what? Of course, they were still going!  The fascinating trip would be simply a bit more challenging…

During the next seven weeks, Frączek family was travelling by bus, boat, bike, buggy, train, taxi, airplane, and first of all on foot. Among other activities, they visited remote places in the Amazon jungle; suffered from a altitude sickness at 4500 m (14763 ft), descended to the deepest canyon of the Western Hemisphere, biked 62 km (38 mi) along the Death Road, and observed remote galaxies at a scientific observatory on a high mountain top.

Presentation date: Jun. 4, 2011
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ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA: 06.17.10 - 10.19.10
During the Summer of 2010, Kasia Zaba, a recent Applied Mathematics and Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences UCLA graduate, was enlisted by the Theiss Research organization, along with three other students and two professors, to participate in the NSF-funded oceanographic research “Zanzibar Project” in Tanzania, Africa.

Team’s scientific objectives included: resolving the annual oceanic cycle of the Zanzibar Channel and validating the previously developed coastal model with acquired observational data. Kasia’s specific task was to analyze the currents around the island and to create a regional tidal model. Group stationed on the Zanzibar island but used the facilities of the University of Dar es Salaam’s Institute of Marine Sciences in Stone Town and carried out several research cruises across the Zanzibar Channel. Their “research vessel” was a wooden boat locally owned by a tour operator.

When the project came to an end in mid-August, Kasia and Travis Schramek (one of the other students)  returned to the African mainland and embarked on a two month backpacking adventure through five countries: Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa. They began the trip in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and ended in Cape Town, South Africa. Highlights of the trip included: volunteering with an orphanage in Moshi, Tanzania, swimming in Devil’s Pool above Victoria Falls, a three day safari in Chobe National Park, white water rafting on the Zambezi River, and exploring the coast of South Africa. They have travelled only by land, using buses, trains and local dala dala transport to get around.   

Presentation date: Jan. 29, 2011.
See photos

CHUKCHI SEA, ARCTIC: 06.14.10 - 07.21.10
Dariusz Stramski and Kuba Tatarkiewicz from Scripps Institution of Oceanography participated in a five-week ICESCAPE mission onboard the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy – NASA's first oceanographic research expedition. A multi-disciplinary team of nearly 50 scientists participated in this cruise, which took place in June–July 2010 with the bulk of the research performed in the Chukchi Sea.

The NASA's Earth Science Division's Cryospheric Sciences and Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry programs have sponsored the ICESCAPE expedition to explore how changes in the Arctic sea ice cover are altering the ocean ecology in the region. The scientists onboard took a detailed look at how changing conditions in the Arctic are affecting the ocean's chemistry and biology that play a critical role in global climate change.

According to project scientists, the Arctic region has undergone rapid change due to climate instability. The sea ice is retreating about 28 days earlier and advancing 17 days later than it was in the 1990s. Therefore, there is ice cover for about 45 fewer days than there was a mere 20 years ago. The Arctic ice is also a reflector of sunlight. As a result, the loss of ice cover in the summer will accelerate the warming of the earth, thereby accelerating the melting of the ice. ICESCAPE scientists will determine carbon cycle and ecosystem baselines in the region of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, which will prove invaluable as comparisons for research in the years to come. Second ICESCAPE voyage is planned for 2011.

Presentation date: Oct. 2, 2010.
See expedition's photographs, movie clips.

       
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