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Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008


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hey guys --

i'm up here in vermont finishing my first semester at middlebury, and the strangest thing happened the other day. i was talking to some kids i had never met before and somehow started talking to this one guy about bolivia. long story short -- he did our semester exactly a year before us and lived with my family in tutuacaja. it was sooo wild to hear someone else that wasn't on our remembering such intimate things about our neighborhood. definitely one of the coolest conversations i've had on this campus so far.

i get home in a few weeks then it's back to new york and probably cape cod for july and august.

hope everyone's well. happy almost birthday, ab.

love

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

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it’s a small world

Tess Sherman,Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

Description

hey guys — i’m up here in vermont finishing my first semester at middlebury, and the strangest thing happened the other day. i was talking to some kids i had never met before and somehow started talking to this one guy about bolivia. long story short — he did our semester exactly a year before […]

Posted On

05/6/09

Author

Tess Sherman

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

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Photo Sharing

Richard Winer,Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

Description

Thank you to all for sharing your photos of your travels. From the looks of things, it was an extraordinary adventure. Best wishes to all and many thanks.

Posted On

01/29/09

Author

Richard Winer

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ye ye!

how is everyone doing?

Just wanted to write and first say hello to everyone, then let you all know that i have been thinking alot and have decided to go to Barcelona actually. So i will not be returning to Bolivia this spring... but certainly will be soon. When i first came to Bolivia i told myself to stay open to anything that came my way and embrace every oppurtunity and option i have. So i am going to embrace this option i have and run with it, and see a new place and learn something new. I am writing to you from Chicago... out here with Danny and a few of our friends going to some concerts.

Paz

Samuel

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

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Espana

Samuel Shouvlin,Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

Description

ye ye! how is everyone doing? Just wanted to write and first say hello to everyone, then let you all know that i have been thinking alot and have decided to go to Barcelona actually. So i will not be returning to Bolivia this spring… but certainly will be soon. When i first came to […]

Posted On

12/29/08

Author

Samuel Shouvlin

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

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Are you missing a turquoise sock????

Emma L. McAleavy,Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

Description

Because I have somebodies turqoise sock. If you want it back e-mail me at emma.mcaleavy@hotmail.com and I can mail it or something.

Posted On

12/22/08

Author

Emma L. McAleavy

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Told you guys I'd post a yak right when I got my letter, unfortunately I was on the road to Florida when my mom called me telling me the results.

I got in to Colorado College so Sally and I are going to school next year.

Thanks Tim for the recommendation and everyone for helping me with essays and good vibes and all that fun stuff.

Hope everyone else is doing all good

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

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Accepted

Danny Rosseau,Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

Description

Told you guys I’d post a yak right when I got my letter, unfortunately I was on the road to Florida when my mom called me telling me the results. I got in to Colorado College so Sally and I are going to school next year. Thanks Tim for the recommendation and everyone for helping […]

Posted On

12/17/08

Author

Danny Rosseau

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

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Goodbye Beard

John Harwood,Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

Description

Posted On

12/13/08

Author

John Harwood

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Hola mis amigos!

By now, we all alike are returning from this journey, shifting to the next step and the next phase, arriving deepened, impressioned and expanded from these last few months. May it feel complete with time reconvened in Sorata, a home base that has held such a breadth of our experiences and formed a place for which to return – albeit, sounds like on your last arrival, it was much greener and lusher than before we left for Peru.

Perhaps the land, as a mirror for this journey, lay ready at the beginning for seeds to be planted; and the nourishment of experiences, community, explorations and lessons enriching those seeds through the semester to bear delicious fruits at the end. May those fruits be carried well so they can allow nourishment upon arrival or when ripened during the return.

Such a gift to have been able to spend the time with you all – savoring our experience on the land in Sorata and, for the group I was able to join, venturing into Nacion Q’eros. Because I was not able to join you for the last bit of time in Sorata and see you off on the way home, I wanted to write a closing thanks and let all of you know how thankful I am for the time I did get to spend with you all. I send memories and great appreciation to each of you...

  • Joaquin in his army jumpsuit bursting out of the bushes in pursuit of the best camouflage, and working in awe on that beautiful alpaca’s hide. I thank for your rawness and realness, for the connection you build with others and the gift you have in opening hearts.
  • Tess exclaiming bluntly her state of mind and looking around startled as we chuckled at her brashness—and then ever so sweetly holding that newborn baby, embracing the honor of giving its name and blessing it’s birth. Thank you for your candidness, the simple confidence and clarity you approach each moment and experience.
  • Mateo chatting a mixture of physics and politics, snowboarding and survival, showing clearly that this experience has reached his core and molded his vision, the lens for his experience of that around him. Matt, thank you for your curiosity and compassion, and the dedication for life this incites.
  • Kate, relishing the immense amount before her to learn and understand, despite conditions resisting defiantly her health—one trial after the other…and her remarkable ability to keep smiling and laughing – whether about to throw up in a skit or swinging and dancing with the Q’eros girls. Thank you for your deep quest for understanding and passion to discover and relate.
  • Danny strumming solemnly, bright smile emerging from deeply pensive thoughts, and a laid back enjoyment of the experience at hand, a fluidity in the moment. Thank you for your calm and centered ease with the flow of life.
  • Anna laughing fully at the silliness of the moment whether sketching doodles in her Spanish notebook or dipping her rainpants down to allow for a cooling breeze in her fleece underpants – backwoods rapsta’ sista’ style! All with great fashion,white sunglasses and a glistening cheer, thoughtfulness and spirit. Thank you for your smiles and laughter, sassiness and fun.
  • Abby laughing riotously, her hair a bit in disarray and thus, in full enjoyment of the moment. And a remarkable beauty that emerges – stunning gems that she only allows out now and then.—I remember the ragged white plaster hut hosting stunning faces and expressions of the kids she had photographed, encountering them along her journey.
  • Sam’s raw love for manifesting projects on the land and deep contemplation. His eyes lit up in the beauty of the projects he initiated, the potent connections he made, and the force of spirit in experience channeled through a beautiful ceremony he performed before our time in Peru. Thank you for your honest heart, compassion, awareness, and interest to know, explore and appreciate.
  • John’s eruptive laughter and whole-hearted enjoyment of his time and all around him – a true disfruta de la vida and joy. Thank you for your humor, your sincere interest in learning the survival skills, and the fun and music you bring to life.
  • Sally’s sweet smiles, fierce dedication and clear internal fortitude with a deep sensitivity to others. Her brilliant drawings and maps of the land with a sincere desire to learn. Thank you for your sincerity, open heart and mind, strength and dedication to learn.
  • Jess’s confident assurance in her interests and the brilliant creations she makes from them. Such a gift in culinary cuisine and a love to share. Thank you for playing rowdy soccer with the boys and beaming that beautiful smile throughout!
  • Zoe’s immersion in the enticings of her curiosity and the rigor of her determination. The breadth of her visions shared and paths to be explored formed a kaleidoscope of understanding, forging together culture, theory, land, people. Thank you for your passion to learn and dedication to experience.
  • Emma nourishing the soul with quiet retreat, explorations and paintings; a pensive passion for the moment, delight in tranquility. Thank you for your care, solitude and rootedness.
  • Maro’s outbreaks of wide-smiled laughter, sweet reflections and shared dreams. Her ability to raise the spirits of others, set a new friend at ease and open her heart immensely. Thank you for your love, care of others, support and immense joy.
  • Abrie’s calm poise allowing the group to enjoy nourishing morning sessions of yoga opened to awe-striking mountains outside, serene music and a healing breath to stay clear and focused. This same strength moving throughout the day, holding a place for the group to feel at ease with themselves and held by support and love. Thank you for your strength, clarity, sassiness and love!
  • Timo’s visions and creations on the land and within the course, a passion for manifesting inspiration and the ability to do so. A constant care in the experience of each student and the group as a whole, and the potential to which they can reach. Thank you for your hard work, patience, belief in the greatest possibilities for everyone and continual support.

I take back with me excitement in the journeys ahead, a commonly held tremendous love for this region and these people, and a new found home. Its worldviews, sorrows, joys, music and rich abundance in community, culture and land. Thank you for sharing such a magnificent journey. I look forward to hearing how these next stages go for you all and hope for one day the crossing of all our paths once again.

All my love and Jallalla!

Tawni

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

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Gracias a todos!

Tawnita,Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

Description

Hola mis amigos! By now, we all alike are returning from this journey, shifting to the next step and the next phase, arriving deepened, impressioned and expanded from these last few months. May it feel complete with time reconvened in Sorata, a home base that has held such a breadth of our experiences and formed […]

Posted On

12/11/08

Author

Tawnita

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    [post_content] => Maro and I woke up this morning and had breakfast, drinking a cup of coffee, smiling, enjoying each-other’s company and feeling that there was something HUGE missing! We find ourselves in La Paz, with the excellent company of Simon Hart, Dragon’s Latin America Program Director with a large space in our nest, perhaps the closest we can possibly come to empathizing with all the parents and siblings that said “bye” to the 13 participants of this fall’s course three months ago. And I miss you all dearly and wanted to say thank you for your friendship, your companionship, the lessons you taught me and the amazing inspiration we shared. I said this before, and I truly mean it, that I feel more energized and refreshed in life than I did three months ago, with is a pretty incredible feat, not often the case with semester courses that often leave us as instructors quite tired. And you all are responsible for this rejuvenation. 

I hope you all take time to rest and reflect as you settle in to home or look to future adventures. And carry the same compassion for yourselves and the new world you are going back to that you carried in your time here. Try to let those that are interested “how it was, man?” And I would love to hear how your coming adventures are, whether they are onward with your intrepid travels or into the intimidating journey into college, or work. And first, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, it is such a perfect time to be back home and with friends and family. I am looking forward to being home soon as well, my first time in three years that I’ll be with my family for Christmas.

Jess, Tess and Abby have a wonderful time in school and I wish you all the best with your first semester, and with hopefully some good time to relax and enjoy yourselves before plunging in!
Danny, have a wild and spectacular journey in Patagonia.
Sally, I hope you learn from the land and your solo travels, I have faith it will all work out and you know you are so welcome back in Bolivia if your trip takes you here.
Matt, follow your heart and passion and I know life will unfold beautifully in front of you.
John and Sam, I look forward to seeing you back in La Paz and sharing some adventures in the mountains.
Emma, Europe I’m sure will be an insightful contrast to Bolivia and hopefully spur creativity in art, music and writing.
Joaquin, good luck heading back to Costa Rica, with love and AFS and med school there.
Anna, enjoy you trip to Mexico and finishing up school in the coming year.
Zoe, good luck with work and the cooperative and any travels you may find yourself with this spring.
Kate, I hope you do take that road trip and it would be great to see you through Colorado sometime later this spring.

Buen viaje todos, it has been such an honor to pass the past thirteen weeks with you and may our paths collide at some point in the future,
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Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

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Buen Viaje

Timmay!,Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

Description

Maro and I woke up this morning and had breakfast, drinking a cup of coffee, smiling, enjoying each-other’s company and feeling that there was something HUGE missing! We find ourselves in La Paz, with the excellent company of Simon Hart, Dragon’s Latin America Program Director with a large space in our nest, perhaps the closest […]

Posted On

12/9/08

Author

Timmay!

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    [post_content] => As we arrive back to La Paz and are now back together as a group I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the hike that I was privileged to be a part of with half of our group. And I think I can speak for all when I say that we had a wonderful time in our small groups and it was an important part of this experience; with moments to connect on a more intimate level, easier to coordinate cooking and hiking and such, less intrusive on each community we visited than a group of 16 and, well, just very peaceful to share time in the mountains with such small groups. 

And we also missed each other a lot and reuniting in Santa Teresa before heading to Machu Picchu was indeed a sweet moment.

I have spent the greater part of the last 10 years in the mountains up and down the Americas, from Alaska to Patagonia, hiking, climbing, guiding and exploring. And the eight days of hiking through the Vilcabamba Mountains via Choquequirao and arriving via the backside to Machu Picchu were, without a doubt some of the most magical I have ever been blessed to experience. It could have been the dramatic geography, with our trail soaring and diving 7,000 feet at a time, yo-yoing our way from valley to ridge and back. It may have been the fog that blanketed us at times, or the sun that baked us at others. Or maybe it was the numerous villages we passed through, days walking from the nearest road, or the enormous glaciated peaks or the last couple days walking through jungle again. Or maybe, it was my companions on the journey, David, Soledad, Abrie, Sam, John, Abby, Sally, Emma, Jess and Zoe. Most likely it was the beautiful combination of each of these. And I can say that this was the only time I have ever been on such an exhausting and long and strenuous hike with a group where we were actually more energized in finishing the hike than when we began. The mountains charged us full of fresh ionized air and inspiration. The general consensus was that we should have turned right back around and kept hiking.

Choquequirao means “City of Gold” in Quechua and as we walked the stones full of muscovite and quartz shimmered many colors of light and gave support to the name. But there are various interpretations of “Gold” according to David, our guide on the trip. One likely significance is relating to the sun, from where the Incan rulers descended. Each Inca (the word for the ruler) was a direct descendent from Inti, the sun god. And one thought is that these ruins were used as a sort of school for future Incan rulers, where they learned the skills to lead the people. Some guides around us talked of virgin sacrifice, some talked of a military outpost, some think that the Incans never actually even lived there. Stories are myriad and hilariously contradictory – with one report claiming a spiritual refuge and the next claiming a strategic military base. And David encouraged us to not take the books and the studies at face value but to open our senses and learn what we could from the rocks and the place itself. These things are mysteries, and, fortunately always will be; what is important is what we observe and what we feel and what this part of our world history means for each of us now.

It always gives me a smile to know that there are things in the world, such as the meaning of Choquequirao, or the carving and moving of Incan stones, or the construction of other great historical wonders, or even the intricacies of rainforest ecology, or the life at the bottom of the ocean that will never be explained or understood. And, as we further learned at Machu Picchu just a few days ago, we really have no idea what the Incans were up to or how they built these mountain citadels. And that mystery gives richness and depth to this life, in my view. It made us curious at least, and I think it was this type of curiosity that allowed us to end the hike with more energy than when we began and to wake up each day so eager to share it together.

We now move into our final days of the course; these last couple of weeks have done an amazing job of closing much of this semester for the group and we are eager to spend the next days celebrating and putting intentions out for our return home.

De La Paz ,
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Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

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City of Gold and Mountain Bliss

Tim,Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

Description

As we arrive back to La Paz and are now back together as a group I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the hike that I was privileged to be a part of with half of our group. And I think I can speak for all when I say that we had a […]

Posted On

12/1/08

Author

Tim

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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-11-30 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Pachamama´s bones lay a´bleaching in the sun all along the spine of the Cordillera

And its strange to think, last month, that I didn´t know the taste

Of gossamer Peruvian mountain air.

Sometime, standing tall

I think that I can feel

The very valley moving underneath my feet - arroyos,peaks, and streamsflow

mirrored in the clouds

the same way blood flows, throbbing, through my arteries

And as much as I may change

Or should I remain the same

Ithink I´llfeel a pulse beneath the concrete streets.

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

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Queros

Kate Cobbett,Andes & Amazon Semester, Fall 2008

Description

Pachamama´s bones lay a´bleaching in the sun all along the spine of the Cordillera And its strange to think, last month, that I didn´t know the taste Of gossamer Peruvian mountain air. Sometime, standing tall I think that I can feel The very valley moving underneath my feet – arroyos,peaks, and streamsflow mirrored in the […]

Posted On

11/30/08

Author

Kate Cobbett

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