written by Jazmin Kay: I am an 8-year-old
girl in the third grade at my school. Every
two years, the third and fourth grade classes
have to do reports on explorers. This year,
we had to choose from a list of various
explorers. We noticed that there were very
few women on the list. Some of the girls
in my class looked through the books Women
Explorers in Africa, Women
Explorers in Asia and Women
Explorers in Polar Regions. We found
many interesting women explorers that people
may not have heard of, who should have
gotten more credit since they have had
many fantastic journeys and taken many
dangerous risks on their travels. So some
of the girls in my class decided to do
their reports on a few of the women in
the books, and others did their reports
on the women on the original list. The
women explorers the girls in my class did
reports on were Christina Dodwell, Amelia
Earhart, Louise Arner Boyd, Mae C. Jeminson,
Mary Kingsley, Ynes Mexia, Sally Ride,
Sacajawea, Helen Thayer and Guoriour Porbjarnadottir.
realized that no boys in the class did
their reports on women, but some of the
girls did reports on men. I thought that
some boys should have gotten women because
it would be a good experience for them
to see that women explored and had many
amazing travels. Some girls e-mailed
their explorers (if they were still alive).
I e-mailed Christina Dodwell with a few
of my questions and was excited when
she answered. Her e-mails to me are posted
below. I was originally going to do my
report on several women explorers, but
when I read more about Christina, I decided
to do my report on her and her interesting
life. I think there is a lot we can learn
from her travels and experience. I am
also inviting my classmates to post their
reports on their explorers on this web
site (and any other girls out there who
may have written something on a women
explorer), so you can see how many amazing
women explorers there have been in the
world. I think there are many lessons
that you can learn from these explorers
and their stories. I hope you feel the
same way and enjoy them! Update from
Jazmin - September 2006: I'm in fourth
grade now. I wanted to share a story
of something that happened as a result
of posting the report here on my mom's
site, Feminist.com. A couple months after
posting this, my mom got a call from
a woman who wanted to list her company
in the women owned business section at
Feminist.com. The woman told her that
she had found out about Feminist.com
from her daughter - that her teenage
daughter had found a report on a woman
explorer at Feminist.com written by a
young girl (me!) She told her that her
daughter had printed out this page from
the website and brought it into her school,
and as a result, her school decided to
do a unit on women's history month! I
thought that was great! Please feel free
to share your stories or reports with
me - we would love to hear about
what is going on in your school or anything
else you would like to share - let me
know! - Jazmin
Dodwell was born on February 1st, 1951
in Nigeria, Africa. Then when she was
six, her family moved to London, England.
She first worked as an Interior Designer.
1975, at the age of 24, Christina went
on vacation to Africa with her friend
Lesley Jamieson and two men. Then the
two men stole the jeep, leaving them
stranded in the wild. They had to walk
until they found two wild horses to use
to get around.
a week, they found a village and the
villagers gave them food. Lesley decided
to go back home, but Christina stayed
for three years because she found out
she loved exploring and she loved the
people there. She travelled by horse,
camel, elephant and zebra. She spent
seven weeks paddling down the Congo River
in a dug-out canoe.
completing a 20,000 mile journey in Africa,
Christina went back to England. She got
bored of normal life and went to explore
many other places such as Turkey, Papua
New Guinea, China, Greece and others.
She had many exciting adventures such
as being arrested as a spy, learning
African skills, being thrown off a horse,
sunk into a swamp and much more. She
wrote many books about her travels.
now lives on a farm in Monmouthshire,
England but still travels and much of
her time is spent in Africa. In 1995,
she founded a charity called The
Dodwell Trust to help the people
I first started my report, it was on
several women, then after I read more
about Christina's interesting life, I
decided to focus on her. She has inspired
people with her books, films and her
documentaries for T.V. and radio, as
well as her charity work in Madagascar.
other lesson we can learn from her is
that something good can come from something
bad - if those two men hadn't stolen
her jeep, she wouldn't have done all
the wonderful things she did in her life.
FROM CHRISTINA DODWELL
#1 from Christina:
Dear Jazmin, Great to hear that you are interested
in my explorations.
give you an idea about my various journeys
I attach my book list. One of my favourite
journeys was doing the book A Traveller
on Horseback - Eastern Turkey, and
another was Travels in Papua New Guinea.
If you'd like to get a copy of the first,
it is quickly available through www.horsetravelbooks.com.
The second can be quickly found via www.classictravelbooks.com.
info about what I've been doing recently,
please see the attached interview written
by a magazine-journalist recently.
the clothes, I usually wore my hair in
a bun to look like a school-teacher,
with long skirt and short-sleeve shirt,
and felt hat. Though in the Turkey ride
I dressed as a local man, with cord cap
to hide my hair.
my suggestion to girls thinking of travel,
I'd say 'Nothing ventured nothing gained!'
luck with the project - and do come and
volunteer with Dodwell
Trust in Madagascar one day.
#2 from Christina:
Jazmin, Sorry my slow reply, it's hard
to select a scariest moment, each journey
has it's times of fear. Slow fear is worse
than something which happens fast. In Turkey/Iran,
perhaps the arrest in Gonbad, or the one
in Kurdistan, was the worst moment. Greatest
thing - that is being Head of Project to
Madagascar's first radio soap opera which
reached ten million listeners and taught
them the first-stage steps to reduce poverty.
Trouble is, the work is never finished!
#3 FROM CHRISTINA
luck with the project. For the spoken
presentation, just take a deep breath
and talk slowly.I've attached a book
cover photo in case it's useful.