About Dudley Parkinson, founder/owner of DreamWeaver Travel Company, guide, and adventure traveler

Dudley in Tenere Desert, Niger, 1999

Dudley in Tenere Desert, Niger, 1999

 I was born and raised on a small farm in west-central Illinois, but from a young age was drawn to wild and natural scenes and experiences, especially the mystique of the “North”, as in Jack London’s tales. An attraction to adventure and far-off places moved me to migrate north to Minnesota (where I knew a total of one person) for undergraduate study in Ecology. Toward the end of my studies I followed my “North Star” to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness in the Superior National Forest of northern Minnesota for an internship in timber wolf ecology with Dr. L. David Mech. This experience led to a deepening love of wild places and adventurous travel. Upon graduation, I began a short-lived career as a field biologist, but soon realized that I wasn’t designed for the workaday world, even if it was in my chosen field. In 1976 I joined the Peace Corps, another long-held dream, and was immediately posted to Cameroon in West Africa, about as far as you can get from the North woods…!

When I had completed my two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV), I went back to northern Minnesota to build a log cabin in the woods on eighty acres I had purchased with my best friend just before leaving for Africa. I continued to feed my travel/adventure craving with annual trips to West Africa to help train new groups of Peace Corps trainees while building my cabin and beginning a business of constructing hand-crafted log homes. For the next 15 years, I grew my construction/contracting business and did little in the way of adventurous travel, but never lost the desire to travel and explore new places. I received my Master’s degree in Supervision and Community Education in 1994 and soon got a job in Togo, West Africa – one of the countries where I’d served as trainer years before – as Associate Peace Corps Director (APCD) for Small Business Development, Agroforestry, and Environmental Education.

In 1999, upon completion of my contract as APCD in Togo, I decided to combine my love of travel, my commitment to sustainable development, and my attachment to West Africa with a desire to help educate fellow Americans and other Westerners about the real-life daily struggle and joy of people in West Africa. To this end, I founded DreamWeaver Travel Company and began organizing trips to Cameroon, Togo, Mali, and Niger. In the ensuing years, I have added Gabon, Ghana, Rwanda, and Uganda to my list of countries in West Africa, and Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela in South America. I accompany groups as often as I can and attempt to improve our access to truly unique and sustainable, cross-cultural travel experiences for our clients.

In this blog, I will not only keep readers up-to-date on what is happening with DreamWeaver and all of the amazing travel experiences we offer, but also provide links to other sites which I think will be of interest to other adventurous travelers (active or armchair…). Please feel very welcome to comment, suggest, inquire, or critique on any part of this blog or our website (www.dreamweavertravel.net ).

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Responses

  1. Bonjour/bonsoir Dudley,
    C’est un grand plaisir de lire de tes bonnes nouvelles. Je te souhaite toujours plus de succes dans ton entreprise et espere te revoir un jour ici au Togo ou, pourquoi pas, aux USA si j’ai l’occasion d’y aller encore un jour.
    Je continue toujours mon boulot au Peace Corps Togo avec actuellement 24 Volontaires dans mon programme CHAP.
    Meilleures salutations!

  2. Dudley

    It’s been a while. Could you contact me by phone (410-941-1453) or by email (dkaroff@gmail.com)?

    I hope that this finds you well.

    David Karoff


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