Contact Barbara Weibel at Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel

Please feel free to contact me. I will read everything you send but I cannot promise to respond to everything, as I will be traveling a good deal of the time and will be limited by access to Internet connections. Email me by clicking HERE or use the address barbara (at) holeinthedonut (dot) com.

If you would like to receive an email once a week alerting you to new photos and stories that I have published, please sign up using the form below (this will also provide you with a free copy of the eBook “Around the World with 40 Lonely Planet Bloggers.”)

Thank you,

Barbara Weibel
Publisher, Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel

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239 thoughts on “Contact Barbara Weibel at Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel”

  1. Dear https://holeinthedonut.com
    ,

    We have highlighted your site as a great resource and we have a client
    in a related industry to you that is looking to spend money on linking
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    We have budget immediately available to sponsor & advertise on the
    most relevant sites in their industry and I would appreciate you
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    Do you have text link advertising available? If so what are the costs?

    I look forward to your response and working with you in the future as a partner.

    Kind Regards
    Edwrd Smith

  2. Hello Barbara

    Just came across your site tonight and am enjoying it a lot. I have to admire someone who just picks up and starts living their life as a permanent traveler. Don’t know if I would ever do it that way, but I do get “out there” as often as time, money and schedule allows. Hoping to do a lot more in the next few years if/when I finally retire!

    I’m interested in linking in my travel website on your links page but uncertain how this is done. Can you help with this?

    I plan to check back in with your stories and stay up to date with your adventures. Happy trails!

    Greg

  3. Well hello Barbara Weibel, how interesting for me to read your blog today.
    I’m here in the arctic zone of North Dakota working the oil boom the only place in the US where there is employment, but wishing I was someplace warm. It is 14 degress and snowing with an expected low tomorrow of around 3. Not sure how I stumbold on to your blog, but like many of your writers I find it not only interesting but inspiriing.

    Over the years I have traveled a bit when the circumstances have allowed. A few years back a friend and I rode our KTM motorcycles to Deadhorse, Alaska, then down to Fairbanks and over to Dawson City, and up north to a indian village of Inuvik, NW Territories.

    When we got back to Portland, Or. our home base we had the pleasure of meeting two people who had been traveling at that time for four years (that was 2007) they are still traveling on their BMW motorcycles. Their names are Lisa and Simon, both very interesting people from the UK. I remember talking to Lisa and saying how great I thought it was that they were able to take this time out of their lives to travel the world. I will never forget her comment, “This is our lives”.

    There website is (www.2ridetheworld.com). I check in with them from time to time to see where they are and where they are headed next. Maybe you wil run into them some day – I know you will enjoy meeting them.

    So far in your travels, what is your favorite country / city?
    Do you generaly get an appartement when you land in a location you plan to spend some time in or stay in hotels?
    How many languages do you speak, other than english?

    Maybe some day our paths will cross.
    Good luck to you on your travels and your adventures.

    I have friends that landed in Panama and have made their home there for the past 7 years and can think of now where else they would like to live. I’m thinking serioursl of taking a look at it.

    Whitecloud.

    • Hello Whitecloud: Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a detailed comment. I must say I am glad it is you and not me in that frigid cold place. And I got a laugh out of the comment your friends made about it being their life.” People think this is a long vacation for me – it is anything but. It’s hard work staying on the road full time. Just getting your laundry done sometimes can be a real chore. And finding reliable wifi to be able to write and upload photos? Well, that’s just frustrating sometimes. But on the other side, I love what I do and it allows me to travel. So no complaints.

      My favorite country to date is Nepal, though I’m also particularly fond of Thailand, Mexico, and Spain. I spend 2-3 months each year in Pokhara, Nepal, which is my favorite city there. I usually stay in hostels or budget guest houses, though in Nepal I live with a local family that has adopted me. I’m also starting to stay occasionally in vacation rental apartments, which I like a lot. Whenever possible, I try to stay with locals so I can really immerse in the culture.

      I speak fluent Spanish, can read Portuguese and enough French to get by. I’m learning Nepali and have a smattering of Thai. I try to learn the basics in each country – hello, goodbye, thank you, please, I need water, where is the toilet – with those and what I learn along the way I usually have no trouble. The one exception as China, which I found exceedingly difficult to navigate without knowing any Mandarin.

      Hope you get to do the travels you dream of.

  4. Hi Barbara, any advice for someone that is 54, been laid off since 2008 for the 3rd time and needing a safe place to stay? I am willing to help in exchange for room and board. Thank you, Angela

  5. Hi Barbara,

    I admire you for being so brave and adventurous! Go, go and keep being awesome! I loved your travel tips. I never know how to backpack properly. I am heading to South America in September from the North to South for 4 months. I can’t wait and your photos inspired me a lot 🙂

    I am also conducting interviews on my website and I would like to ask you if you would like to answer my questions regarding your travels and adventures.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards,

    Agness

    • Hi Agness: Thanks so much for the nice compliment. It always makes me very happy when people say they like my writing and photos. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have. Email me directly at barbara (at) holeinthedonut (dot) com.

  6. I’m a retired, auto dealership, General Manager with 27 years experience. I’m ready to do something besides

    play golf. I’m looking for an auto delivery position from Orlando, Florida to anywhere North.

    Anthony P. Blackwell
    563 508-8680(Davenport, Iowa cell exchance, but I live in Orkando, Florida) I have a valid Florida lecense.

  7. Hi

    I am a webmaster of Travel Website site.I want to be Link Partner with your sites.If you are interested contact me or send me

    your webmaster Emailid.

    Thank You

  8. Hello!!!
    I really like your Blog . I’m interesting in any types of journeys like you did. I love to travel. I can see you are a expert to make it.
    I wanna do a research work in Central America and South America for what i need your advice….
    How can I travel with very low budget ?
    What is the most way to do it ?
    What do I need to know about different governments ?
    Thankss!!

    [email protected]

  9. looking for someone who needs their car driven to Chicago outside area from Los Angeles California…Crystal Lake Illinois to be exact…do you know where I would find a situation like that? can send me an email [email protected] or phone 1213-924-6046

  10. Namaste Barbara-
    As a founder along with my son of an NGO in Nepal (HANDS in Nepal) I found your recent post (“3 Sisters…”)of particular interest. My son and his girlfriend had actually met and interviewed Lucky last year in Kathmandu, as we seek to find ways to support children and women in Nepal. They were given her contact info. by another Nepali friend who is a good friend of hers, a man we’ve grown to know and trust over the years. They found Lucky to be an intelligent, progressive thinking young woman who has been educated in Monterey, California, among other things. When I looked at your photos of where the children lived, I thought-“wow-pretty nice!” That’s because I’m used to working in facilities , such as the orphanage we work in, and in the villages, that are much, much worse. There were a few other things in your piece that I found “normal Nepal culture” including the yelling at children, dahl baht, expectations of doing many chores, etc.
    That said, as I continue to make my way in the myriad maze of Nepal NGO work, I, too, have found the funneling of funds given to personal projects to be a frustrating and hard to control aspect of doing business in Nepal. Their house, in your photo, is certainly extravagant and the misuse of funds a big concern for us smaller NGOs who work hard to be ethical, honest, and build trust with our supporters.
    We have built two schools and a library in two separate villages and its been extremely hard in all sorts of ways, but also extremely gratifying. I am returning to Nepal in one week to deliver solar lamps to one of the villages. I will be building a chicken coop for the orphanage we work with. I’ll be visiting a school in Kathmandu for disabled children. I’ll be visiting a home for elder Tibetans to find out how we can help this often forgotten group. I’ll be buying sewing machines for impoverished women who need a helping hand to start a business. There is so much to do for Nepal women and children and so many ways to help! I am happy we’ve stuck to our NGO goals and I am happy some people have enough faith to donate to us so we can continue to carry out our work.
    I think I will also be asking to meet with Lucky and hear their side to the story. I am sure you are getting lots of feedback! I hope you do a follow-up piece, and maybe highlight this time the “good” NGOs who are sincerely working to better the life and conditions of impoverished children and women. Check out our web site: http://www.handsinnepal.org (started by my then 20 yr. old son) and Virtue’s Children.
    Stay safe-I’ll be in Nepal July 8 for four days and then to Thailand to work with refugee elephants!-wish we could meet mover a pot of milk tea!
    Namaste-Jan Sprague Chaffin
    HANDS in Nepal

    • Namaste Jan Sprague,

      It was a great pleasure
      to meet your son and his girlfriend in Kathmandu to share EWN/3 Sisters work in
      Nepal. It is very kind of them to think of me “intelligent, progressive
      thinking.” Likewise, I greatly enjoyed meeting them. Your son definitely is
      very intelligent, compassionate, and committed to work for the betterment of
      Nepalese children and woman.

      I just want to comment
      that it was not Lucky that went to the Monterey Institute, but rather me
      (Archana). I studied in Monterey, California from 2003 to 2009, among other
      things with the help of my generous American sponsors, merit scholarship, and pure
      hard work.

      As
      for Barbara’s article I think it is very unfair and reflects us in a unjust
      manner. We also regard ourselves as a ‘good NGO’, one that is committed to our
      mission and we plan to continue to work hard to improve the lives of others.

      Since you will be in Nepal in July,
      we invite you to visit us, speak with our staff, children, and beneficiaries.
      We are confident in our work and will let it speak for itself.

      Please say hello to
      your son and girlfriend.

      Kind regards,

      Archana

  11. Dear Barabara!
    Thankyou for your beautiful story about ewn. Obviously I am suffering from complete blindness and I seem to be deaf as well. Having worked as a fulltime volunteer here in the office for almost 10 months now, meeting the girls every day, I have now learnt from you that all I have seen and experienced during this time must be wrong… …or are there maybe a few mistakes in your article?
    As I have already asked in my e-mail to you: Would you please come here to the office or call me so we can meet? Having had the guts to write such a harsh story about very dedicated people you should at least have the courage to confront these people. Maybe you can also help me with my eye and ear problem.
    Thankyou for that
    Laura Ortlieb

  12. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?? Such LIES?? OMG get your concepts clear. I myself have had meals with the children and I feel sad to see your mentality. Instead of travelling I personally feel that you need to visit a mental asylum! If a dog bites us, we don’t go behind the dog and bite it because if we did so, there would be no difference between the dog and us! I think you are jealous and just so you know, jealousy is a sickness. Please get well soon!

    “Our pain may be the reason for someone’s smile but our smile should never be the reason for someone’s pain” God has given us a precious life..we should make good use of it!

    Have a great life ahead!!

  13. Hello Barbara,
    I work with the 3 Sisters and EWN already since 2006 and know all in and outs of this organization and family. You have a lot of guts to write so negative about a hard working team of people. For me no doubts at all about the way they work and deal with money and donations. It’s cristal clear! I think you should visit them, bring a full truck with excuses and get the hell out of Nepal!
    Harry Brands (rock climbing coordinator for EWN)

  14. Dear Barbara,

    Namaste. Thank you so much for
    your wonderful story about our organizations, “3 Sisters Adventure Trekking and
    Empowering Women of Nepal (EWN).”

    Wow, where to start…you are an
    amazing writer. I highly respect and salute you for your interest in exploring
    world cultures and becoming an informed world citizen. However, we are appalled
    by the false allegations you have made about our organizations. We request you
    to kindly visit us and speak with us, our staff, children, and all the
    community members in Pokhara before you write such painful words about us.

    As a professional writer, it’s
    very simple, you talk, listen and perform extensive research, as well as gather
    facts and materials from as many people as possible. Do you think, conducting
    interviews with 5 people is enough? Did you speak with the host mother of the
    children? Did you speak with our current children? Did you speak with me (I am
    fully responsible for these girls)? Did you speak with our staff at EWN all of
    whom are equally taking care of our children? Did you speak with our neighbors
    who have seen our girls since the inception of our home?

    Being a non-native speaker of
    English, I would like to give you some tips to conduct research…you speak for
    the motion and against the motion and then give your conclusion based on your
    findings interviewing 5 people and only hearing their side of the story, in my
    opinion is poor research…we have hundreds of people who will be willing to
    speak with you in person on behalf of our children and our organisation.
    Barbara it would have been fair if you came and spoke to us before you wrote
    this biased and very damaging article.

    From your website, we understand
    that you often visit Nepal, do you know that our national food is “Dal Bhat?”
    Yes, we eat this every day, morning and night. This is one of the most
    nutritious foods in the world with carbohydrates (rice), protein (dal),
    vegetables (minerals and vitamins). And this you did not experience with your
    host family in Nepal? Did the family eat museli for breakfast, dal bhat for
    lunch and pizza for dinner every day?

    We are neither Americans nor
    Europeans or any other nationality, so please do not put us or even try to
    compare us with your cultures. We cannot come to American and tell people not
    to eat pizza, ham burgers, and sandwiches every day.

    Yes, our children eat dal baht
    (white rice because this is the only rice we get locally) with vegetables once
    a day and in the evening eat other nutritious meals (such as home made noodles,
    t-momos, khichari, etc) with snacks in between. Meat and eggs are provided once
    a week. Milk is given every night before going to bed. Please come and speak
    with their home mother who has been with the girls since the early days of the
    Children’s Home.

    We have a very well functioning
    water facility at our children’s home. Never have our girls gone to the lake to
    take a shower. We even have a water facility outside our children’s home for
    our neighbors to use (when there is access water) so that they do not have to
    bring water from the lake. We invite you to come and ask our children
    personally if they have ever gone to the lake to clean themselves. In fact, we
    encourage them to take a shower everyday so that they are clean and healthy and
    to change their clothes after two/three days. We have solar panels all over the
    roof so we don’t understand your point regarding the cold water. What about
    cold food? We have a functioning gas and a refrigerator; both hot and cold food
    items are available. And where did you get this idea about one toilet??? Please
    look into these details before you write such comments as you can witness for
    yourself the number of toilets available.

    Our older girls attending Tal
    Barahi Higher Secondary and National Inventive Boarding school walk to school
    every day. It takes them 15-20 minutes (a short walk in comparison to most
    children in Nepal) and not 45 minutes, as you incorrectly stated. The younger
    ones going to Motherland Higher Secondary School and all take the school bus.

    A large proportion of our trainees
    are from lower castes. At the Children’s Home, we have children who are from
    the mountains, lowlands, high class, low class, no class…all living, eating,
    playing, singing, under one roof. In addition, during high trekking season, we
    allow our staff (who are single mothers) to keep their children at our home
    while the mother is trekking and making an income to support the family.

    Yes, there was an incident when
    one of the girls at the children’s home was eating a lot of paper (which is
    unhealthy…do you not agree?). All the other girls were complaining about this
    and some started imitating this habit. Thus, as a responsible person of the
    Home, Nicky had to talk to the girl and explain to her that eating paper was
    unhealthy and only animals and buffaloes around lakeside would choose to eat
    paper. There are two sides to every story and in this instance there was no
    harsh message behind this incident, such as the one you have portrayed in your
    article.

    Regarding financial details, we
    highly invite and encourage you to visit our office and see our budget for the
    Children’s Home or other activities. All financial paper work are transparent
    to the public, donors and whomever else might be interested, for viewing.
    Please note, these documents are audited by Government licensed auditors and if
    you are interested we can provide you with a hard copy of them.

    Please view our individual hiring
    cost for guides- US$25, assistant guides-US$20, and assistants-US$15. We do not
    charge clients US$ 50. For your kind information, cost covers staff food,
    accommodation, and insurance. We pay our staff 50-55% from what clients pay us,
    the rest goes for office staff salary/bonus, maintenance, tax, operation cost,
    and provident funds for our permanent staff (a savings program), donations to
    EWN and others in the community, besides the actual profit. Please note: our staff receive higher wages
    then the quoted government wage for guides, porters, and assistants. All
    training and equipment for new staff are provided free of cost for all women of
    various ethic groups. We have zero tolerance for ethnic discrimination; we
    believe in equality for all and as such all staff are paid the same amount and
    receive the same treatment.

    Our office and our children’s
    home that you think is dark, cold, and dirty is much better than some of the
    boarding school hostel accommodation where parents are paying the school to
    house their children. In fact, these cold, dark, unclean rooms used to be the
    home of the Chhetri family and I grew up sleeping on the floors of these rooms
    myself. The reality of life in Nepal is somewhat different than that of Western
    countries. Do you realize how many people live in the big house 12 to 15 when
    there are less people and 15 to 20 when the whole family is together.

    Regarding the comment about the
    washing machine…yes the machine was at the Old Children’s Home that was donated
    by the French couple. What you didn’t include in your article is the fact that
    the girls chose not to use it. After a few weeks the girls started washing
    their clothes by hand because they said that the machine did not clean their
    clothes properly. Thus, the family decided, it was better to use it rather than
    have it sitting, unused and therefore brought it into the house.

    I can go on and on…please realise
    Barbara our children and staff are well taken care of. Yes, we cannot provide
    them luxury as in your country, but we give them sufficient love and the things
    that they NEED. We do not visit them once a year and buy them new clothes and
    expensive things. We provide them sufficient materials to go to school and live
    in the home. We are with them throughout the year, during festivals, holidays,
    when they are sick, when they cry, when they have school programs as well as
    when they sing, and dance.

    As frustrated as we are with your
    inaccurate allegations, we nevertheless hope that you continue to write your
    stories but in a fair and true way.

    We admit that our organization is
    not perfect and honestly we are still learning as we continue to move forward
    and grow. Can you please name an organization that is in your opinion perfect?
    It is natural that we make mistakes, but we try to learn from these mistakes
    and continue to improve.

    We hope our paths may cross
    someday soon. You are always welcome to stop by and talk to us.

    Kind regards.

    Archana

  15. Hi I am Tara working at EWN/3 Sisters for the last 8 years. I have lived, worked and played with the children from the time the home started. What a big fat lie……It is very sad that you write such article to hurt our reputation. Kind regards.

  16. Namaste i am working at EWN/ 3 Sisters Adventure for the past 4 years. I have worked as a trekking guide and lived with children. You have written a very biased article and we are very disappointed by your lies. Be honest and have some shame.

  17. Some line out of the story from 3 Sisters…………………………. “.After the Perrotins departed, the children were told that their clothes were “too dirty” for the washing machine; the Perrotins later learned that it had been installed in the sister’s private home”.
    Barbara, I’ve seen with my own two eyes that the clothes of the children are washed in the machine…….
    What kind of lies are you believing in. You make yourself to a fool by publishing such bullshit of lies!

  18. “it must be noted that the going rate per day for a porter or trekking guide is $50 USD”
    one of the lines in the story of 3 sisters story………….Barbara do you use pot or so. What kind of nonsense are you writing about. A rate for a porter is around 15 dollar a day, you pay to every company all over Nepal.

  19. Barbara,
    I disagree with the story about 3 Sisters in Pokhara. I’ve lived in Pokhara for 6 years and know their work and seen girls of 3 sisters trekking for many years on the trail. And at their children’s home I only see well fed children, happy faces and no barely dressed kids. How can you write such things. Are you jealous or what. In many of your stories there is a negative underone!! Easy to write a story like and publishing pictures which you probably took sneaky without telling why you needed them. The sisters have a world famous reputation and nobody will believe your story. Happy that there are enough people who don’t believe your story. Can’t wait to read your rectification

  20. Hey Barbara,
    Before you start writing some reports it should be based on the truth and not only a story of 3 girls in Pokhara. You are totaly wrong about it! Believe me your story about EWN/3 Sisters is far from the truth. They are working their butts of for over 15 years and with a story like this you ruin not only the reputation of three hardworking ladies but also a good running hostel and childrenhome. Be ashamed of yourself Barbara. All a big lie!!!
    Hari bahadur Tamang

  21. hi,

    I’m Daniel Murillo and I have two blogs about trips and pictures http://bagpacktraveller.com/ & http://newsbagpacktraveller.com/. I was reading you blog and I really like it 🙂

    I want to suggest that we can exchange our links blog. I mean that if you want i will post the link of your blog in mine and you can do the same. Like this we can get more traffic and make known each other.

    What do you think? just take a look to my blog and then tell me what do you think, ok?

    Thanks for your time

    Greetings from Barcelona

  22. Who, How, Where in Canada arranges the car driving from one place to another?  Contact name or phone number please? 

  23. Hi we live in Ottawa Ontario Canada. My husband would like to drive across canada in someone else car that would like the car driven to British Columbia. And we would then fly home. Do you know of anyone that would like their vehicle driven out to British Columbia. We are a married 57 year young responsible couple
    thanks

  24. Let me try this one more time with my email address available to the public

    [email protected]

    Hi, I have a few items in storage in LA and hoping to avoid the expense of a car rental. If you can hook me up with someone looking to return a car or a minivan to Florida and allow me to haul my books, cd’s and some clothing in the truck (everything will fit in the trunk of an average automobile), I will cover my expenses while I would expect the owner to pay for the gas.
    If this is a possibility, you can contact me and we can discuss the details. Thanks

  25. Hi, I have a few items in storage in LA and hoping to avoid the expense of a car rental.  If you can hook me up with someone looking to return a car or a minivan to Florida and allow me to haul my books, cd’s and some clothing in the truck (everything will fit in the trunk of an average automobile), I will cover my expenses while I would expect the owner to pay for the gas.

    If this is a possibility, you can contact me and we can discuss the details.  Thanks

    • Dear koolhankl, or anyone else writing to me about driveaway services. Please understand that I do not have any part in arranging these services. I simply wrote an article some time ago about driveway companies and the services they offer. People have started using the article as a forum of sorts, leaving comments that they wish to drive or have a car driven somewhere. I have no idea if people have been successful in connecting for these services, however if you wish to try, please go to the original post ( https://holeinthedonut.com/2010/01/27/driveaway-cross-country-free-car-rental/) and leave a comment. I am not a middleman for this.

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