TOM BENNIGSON: Tom has been excited about wild animals all his life. As a child he was known to all the zookeepers at the Central Park Zoo for his unceasing questions about the animals, while he dreamed of some day traveling to Africa to see them wild in their natural habitat. Although his childhood dreams of becoming a zookeeper have not yet materialized (nor have his later dreams of becoming the male Jane Goodall), Tom has spent time as a volunteer researching chimpanzees in Uganda and elephants and monkeys in Kenya. He currently works with a foundation making grants to African grassroots community groups, as well as working as a public interest attorney. Tom has also worked as a philosophy professor, specializing in the epistemology of cross-cultural differences. He took most of the photos on this site.
LAURA PARADISE: Laura is a life coach and nonprofit development consultant (specializing in environmental issues). She has a degree in international development, and has worked extensively in rural development. Her skills as a certified life coach and certified yoga teacher, along with her training in expressive arts and movement therapy, as well as her creativity, authenticity and capacity to acknowledge and encourage will help make the trip truly a heart-opening experience for all participants. Laura’s other experience includes many years of environmental advocacy, as well as work for youth development and literacy organizations. Throughout her life, she has pursued dance, movement, writing and art.