Bill Creasy, Chief Naturalist - Travel Coordinator / Cincinnati Nature Center
“Greetings dear friend, Luis! I am just now catching up on my “To Do” list and am going to take a few minutes to give you my impressions of the trip. I think you are already doing an amazing job with so there is little room for improvement — it’s close to perfect! Thank you again for a wonderful trip. When I see some of the travelers, they still comment about how great the trip was for them.
1.) Great drivers and vehicles! In spite of the twisty and turny roads found throughout Colombia we always felt we were in very safe hands with the drivers. They were also very attentive to the needs of each and every person in the group. Truly fine men!
2.) The dancers at the Orchid House were an extra special nice treat for the group. Wherever we travel it is always nice to see some of the traditional dances of the local people whether it is Massai tribal dance in Africa, Huli Wigmen dancers in Papua New Guinea, or folk dancers in the Andes of South America, all of our groups have enjoyed seeing such talented displays. Tray and make sure this happens for all of your groups.
3.) The food of Colombia is very tasty (except for the food court) and diverse. From the fresh fruit at breakfast to the final desert at night everything was safe to eat and enjoyed by all of the participants. Even the snacks and breakfast in the field with the vans offered a nice selection for the participants.
4.) The surprise Chiva ride up the mountain to look for yellow-eared parrots made the 3:30 wake- up not so bad. Everyone enjoyed the surprise, even if there was a landslide to keep us from reaching our final destination — we had fun! Make sure to keep this in your planning for all future groups!
5.) Everything came across as well-organized, probably due in large part to the efficiency and hard work of Andrea. It is terrible to travel to distant parts of the world and have to wait around because they are not organized at all. The only minor tweak might be to organize some of the dinners a bit more efficiently as I mentioned above. But overall, things were very well organized.
6.) Your knowledge of many of the flowering trees and other plants was appreciated by many in the group. Some bird guides know only birds, but your knowledge of other aspects of natural history was important to us.
7.) You were both willing to say “Let me check, I’m not sure.” I appreciate that honesty in leaders when they admit they don’t know everything, and they cannot identify every bird. We are all on a learning track our entire lives
8.) You both have great eye-contact with each and every person in the group. You are so very personable, attending to any need that a group member had during the entire time we were together. In 40 years of travel I have had a couple of leaders who were too tired to pay attention to the needs of the participants. Regardless of whether they had a rough night, or just finished a group the day before we arrived, I expect professional attentive guides who help everyone whether it is seeing a bird that they missed or having the menu translated into English for them, you guys were some of the best leaders I have ever come across. Thank you for doing such a great job!
9.) Last but not least: you two have some of the best ears and eyes for finding birds in the field that I have ever met. I can count on one hand the best bird field leaders and both of you are among those top five! Some of your hearing seemed super-human at times, because the rest of never even heard a sound but you did and there would be a bird there! The same is true of seeing the birds — a flash of a wing behind vegetation or the twitch of a tail and you knew what the bird was! You truly are amazing birders and I hope to one day bring another group to Colombia to be led by your professional team! Thank you again for a wonderful time in Colombia!”