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What’s New?

It has been a busy couple of months!

I’ve been working on my podcast website, How Do I Move To… which informs listeners on various aspects of moving to different countries. I’ve published eleven podcasts with over 500 downloads and covered countries in Europe and the Americas. The podcast is available on Apple, Spotify, Google – and many others. You can access all the published webcasts here.

In addition to the podcast, How Do I Move To… has a YouTube channel which is in the process of being updated. I have discontinued the written guides, though some are available still on Amazon and in the eBookstore.

I’ve recently launched an online writers’ workshop called Empower Writers. The workshop will be run over Facebook. It’s a private site where writers can submit their responses to weekly writing prompts, receive peer reviews, make friends and connections, and access a writers’ resource library. The best part is that the first 50 subscribers get a FREE lifetime membership – check it out and join today!

Finally, I’ve been hard at work on my fourth novel. It is titled The Berlin Device. The book is an action/adventure novel featuring Xander Berlin, a man desperately trying to step out from his father’s dark shadow. He embarks on a mission across three continents, dodging assassins and witnessing the effects of the device. It’s a non-stop adventure that I think you will really enjoy, especially if you enjoyed The Navarre Brotherhood. I expect to self-publish the novel in January so stay tuned for more details. I’m still finishing edits and working on the cover, but a draft of the edit follows:

If you’re feeling generous, please support some of my favorite animal rescue sanctuaries:

International Primate Protection League

The Wildcat Sanctuary

Thanks for following along in my adventures and enjoy the holidays!






We’re Moving…

Hello loyal readers,

I just wanted to let you know that I will be phasing out and migrating everything over to The content will not change – I will still be writing about travel, wine, and animal welfare – however, I am also an author so I am rebranding myself as Tammy Wunsch, Author and Content Writer (and still an intrepid explorer despite this damn pandemic!).

So, follow me to and stay tuned for my new book, Reunions Can Be Murder which will be published very soon.

Thank you for your support and I hope to see you at the other site!

Remembering Ham, the Astrochimp

On January 31, 1961, Ham became the first chimpanzee in space as part of the United States’ space program. Ham didn’t volunteer for the “honor”, nor do I believe did he feel any pride in his accomplishment.

Ham was kidnapped from Cameroon in 1957 and was held captive on a farm in Miami until the Air Force later purchased him. He was sent to Holloman Air Force Base where he and 40 other chimpanzees were forced to participate in grueling tests to determine which chimpanzee was best-suited for being launched into space. Ham became one of six chimpanzees to be considered for the launch. He scored well on his tests and his reaction times were faster than the other chimpanzees. Ham was a quick learner who knew that succeeding at a task would earn him a banana treat. The tests consisted of measuring the chimpanzees’ endurance to being confined for long periods in a chair and trained to operate levers in response to light cues.

Ham, though still only known as No. 65, was launched into sub-orbital space on this day in 1961. The flight experienced some issues, such as loss of pressure and a very rough splash-down. The capsule landed 130 miles from the target and began taking on water. It took the recovery ship several hours to reach No. 65. Amazingly, Ham survived with only a bruised nose. Photos of the recovery how No. 65 with an enormous grin which was interpreted as happiness. Chimps, however, only bare their teeth due to extreme fear and anxiety. When back on land, photographers asked for another photo of No. 65 in his “couch” – the seat he was strapped into in flight. Ham refused to sit in the couch, even when several men tried to force him.

Now that No. 65 had successfully completed the flight, NASA decided they that No. 65 could have a name. In an unsurprising lack of creativity, they named him an acronym for where he was imprisoned – Holloman Aerospace Medical Center.

He was then sent to be exploited at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. for 17 years where he lived alone before being transferred to the North Carolina Zoo. At least he was able to live with other chimpanzees at the North Carolina Zoo. Ham died on January 18, 1983, at the age of 26. Space programs had been sending animals into space throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Beginning in 1948, the U.S. military launched V-2 rockets with rhesus monkeys as test subjects. Over three test flights, all three monkeys died. The first monkey suffocated in space and two subsequent monkeys died on impact. For the next 40 years, the Air Force chimpanzees and their descendants were used as biomedical research test subjects, space-related experimentation, disease research, toxicology experiments, experimental surgeries, and breeding.

When the Air Force was done experimenting with chimpanzees, they planned to euthanize their test subjects. Dr. Carole Noon had a vision of creating a sanctuary for the chimps that had been subjugated by the Air Force. Initially, the Air Force refused Dr. Noon’s offer to provide a home for the Air Force chimps until a lawsuit awarded custody of the chimps to her. Jon Stryker of the Arcus Foundation shared Dr. Noon’s vision and purchased 150 acres in Florida for a chimpanzee sanctuary. The Air Force chimps arrived in 2001 and were able to live out the rest of their lives in peace and tranquility, without fear of being exploited or used as test subjects.

Save the Chimps was founded for the Air Force chimps, though quickly grew when, in 2002, Dr. Noon rescued 266 chimpanzees from the Coulston Foundation in Alamogordo, NM. The chimps had been used as biomedical research test subjects and most lived alone in concrete cells. The Coulston Foundation had the worst record of any lab in history since the inception of the Animal Welfare Act.

Save the Chimps has rescued chimpanzees from many dire circumstances. Their residents include chimpanzees rescued from research labs, the entertainment industry, zoos, and former pets. Today, over 250 chimpanzees live on 12 man-made islands in chimpanzee family groups. They receive three meals a day, enrichment, medical care, and celebrate every holiday with parties on their islands. The chimpanzees also enjoy the love and affection of a dedicated staff of caregivers and volunteers.

Save the Chimps is one of my favorite animal sanctuaries. I volunteer at the sanctuary when I am able to travel to Florida and represent them at animal-related events around New England. It continuously confounds me that anyone could look into the eyes of a chimpanzee and still view them as a subject for any type of testing or experimentation. It is inhumane and beyond cruel.

“They have bravely served their country. They are heroes and veterans.” – Dr. Carol Noon

There are many ways you can support Save the Chimps:

  • Donate
  • Volunteer
  • Sponsor a chimpanzee party
  • Register on Amazon Smile
  • Like and Follow on Facebook

Educate yourself and others about why you should never even consider a chimpanzee – or any wild animal – as a pet. It is our moral obligation to peak for those who have no voice.


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