Not every expedition is the same, but here are some general questions and answers that applies to most trips. For a more detailed description of what to expect on your intended voyage, see the info page for that expedition.
Who is on the expedition team?
- Teams are led by qualified scholars of folklore or related disciplines
- Teams generally include 4 to 8 members (volunteers plus staff)
- Volunteers come from many countries and all walks of life
What will we do on a typical day?
- Walk or drive to meet informants
Interview informants about local customs, beliefs, and traditions
- Be an appreciative audience for singers, musicians, and storytellers
- Make photo, audio and video records of interviews, performances, artifacts and buildings
- Select materials for the archive, add basic notes, and transfer the files to the provided medium
- Share in household chores such as meal preparation and cleanup
Where will we stay? What will it be like?
- Accommodations during the expedition are arranged by our staff and included in the expedition fee
- Most village lodgings are in a private home, a local guesthouse, or a cultural center converted into a temporary dormitory
- Privacy is often limited
- Lodgings have electricity (not always reliable)
- Wi-fi or other internet access may be limited
- Some locations require carrying in water from a well, or wood from a woodpile
- Locations with no showers have alternate arrangements, such as a banya (steam bath)
What about meals?
- Either a hostess will prepare meals, or team members will share food preparation and cleanup
- Village food relies heavily on what can be locally grown, gathered, or caught in season – garden vegetables, forest berries, fish from the river, milk and eggs produced next door
- Village stores typically carry bottled water, bread, sweets, meat and canned goods
- Dietary requirements can be accommodated, with prior arrangement
- Meals during the expedition are included in the expedition fee
What’s the language situation?
- Teams operate in two languages, English and the local language
- Every team includes an English-speaking interpreter
- Outside of the team, the local language prevails
What about travel arrangements?
- On the first day of the expedition, staff meet volunteers at the designated airport or railroad station and conduct them to their lodgings
- On the last day of the expedition, staff return volunteers to the designated airport or railroad station
- Travel during the expedition (bus, train, ferry, private car) is arranged by our staff and included in the expedition fee