The Nature’s Best Photography Ambassadors program was launched with the goal of featuring photographers of all ages who share our passion for nature, travel, and the stewardship of wildlife, landscapes, and humanity. As they travel the globe documenting nature, our growing team of Nature’s Best Ambassadors will keep us up-to-date on their projects through images, blog entries, publications, and more. In so doing, they offer insight into nature and humanity and why the camera has become such an important part of their personal missions. NBP Ambassadors who are making a difference includes Nature’s Best Photography Students Online editor Gabby Salazar, from Pleasant Garden, North Carolina, USA; Matthew and William Burrard-Lucas, photo team from Kent, England, UK; Rick Stanley, of Bethesda, Maryland, USA; Chase Pickering of Asheville, North Carolina, USA; and Dee Ann Peterson of Houston, Texas, USA. We will be showing samples their work on this blog so check back soon! Their world will become your world as they enlighten and inspire us.

Dee Ann Pederson recently wrote to us to let us know of her upcoming annual trip to Tanzania (see below). Featured in the 2010 Spring/Summer issue of Nature’s Best Photography, her “Gift of Light” project brings much-needed light to the Masai. Download the PDF

Dee Ann Pederson writes:

As you may know, I make an annual trip to Africa where I photograph, but equally meaningful to me is my time shared with the Maasai people and their children in a village that I have been going to for six years and will return to in a few weeks. If you have had the good fortune to visit villages in undeveloped countries and share time with the people of the land you already have an appreciation for the nature of their existence and hardships each day but also what a beautiful and peaceful people they are.

In 2008, I took the BOGO solar task light to all the adults of this village with the help of some wonderful friends and associates who jumped in and helped me fund this initiative.  It was an amazing experience to stand with the chief of the village and my guide who has been with me for 10 years and give the gift of light to this village.

However, under the severe conditions of living on the land material things take a beating and don’t last forever, even though many in the village still have their lights and last year I was able to take some replacement batteries.

I have been researching to find some type of useful light that would not require a battery and I came across this awesome head lamp that is powered by the new crank handle system.  For every minute you crank the handle you get 40 minutes of LED light….and the best part is both men and women can wear these on their head at night when they are traveling to port water to the village from the river, or when they are collecting fire wood in the late evening hours when the temperatures are cooler, when they are herding their cattle and goats and when women of cooking in the darkness of their mud huts.  And, as you can imagine, there is so much more light provides.

Here is the head lamp, click on this link to go the site for more information:

Since I am purchasing 70 of these headlamps to take to the Maasai they have agreed to sell them to me for $8 each. I will depart for Tanzania on May 28th and will return to visit this same village during my trip along with my 9 guest that will be traveling on this photo safari. I have already purchased two duffle bags of things for the children of the village as well as their teacher. One of the fun items we have purchased for the children is a small personal chalk board for each of them with an eraser for their class room and 300 pieces of chalk for the teacher to distribute. But we also have some fun things for the children such as balls and cricket bats, frisbees, and more. This is always my favorite day of the trip. It is so special to drive up to the village and see them all run out as we arrive and they recognize our vehicles. I will take photographs as we hand out the head lamps and will share the images with you upon my return.

If this is something you would like to share with me and purchase one or more of these Head Lamps it would be truly appreciated. Unfortunately, this is a labor of love and not something that is paid to a charitable organization so we will not be able to take a deduction for the purchase of the lights…simply a gift that will make a difference. (Each Head Lamp costs $8 and checks may be made payable to Dee Ann Pederson). Please contact: Dee Ann Pederson
P.O. Box 540983, Houston, Texas, 77524

Thank you so much for allowing me the time to share this with you.
Warmest regards, Dee Ann

Learn more about Dee Ann Pederson of Houston, Texas, USA, and her travel workshops on her website Windows of Nature by Dee Ann.

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