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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009


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Hi all,

Great to see some movement here on the yak board and that we are starting to get to know each other and share some interests, inspirations and questions.

I wanted to respond briefly to the question about clothing colors. And really, I think two things. First, it is important to have something that you want to wear, so if you really like a blue puffy, that's fine. You can always wash it and also puffy layers are not worn in situations that would get you really dirty. You wear them at camp, up high in the mountains, so they don't get too dirty. That said, my second thought is that in general, for most other clothing, it is a good idea to have neutral and earth tones, as they stay cleaner and are less conspicuous in any setting (urban or wilderness).

I hope this helps,

Tim

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

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Regarding colors

Tim,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

Description

Hi all, Great to see some movement here on the yak board and that we are starting to get to know each other and share some interests, inspirations and questions. I wanted to respond briefly to the question about clothing colors. And really, I think two things. First, it is important to have something that […]

Posted On

07/16/09

Author

Tim

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Hello!

My name is Clara Maeder. I live in Washington DC... so actually really close to Annie. I am 18 and just graduated from high school. I am participating in the Andes and Amazon Semester as part of my gap year before I go to Bates College in the fall of 2010.

I am spending my summeras a nanny for two families andlooking forward to this fall.

I can't wait to meet you all!

- Clara

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

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Hello!

Clara Maeder,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

Description

Hello! My name is Clara Maeder. I live in Washington DC… so actually really close to Annie. I am 18 and just graduated from high school. I am participating in the Andes and Amazon Semester as part of my gap year before I go to Bates College in the fall of 2010. I am spending […]

Posted On

07/16/09

Author

Clara Maeder

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i was wondering if getting gear, like the puffy jacket, the backback, sleeping bag etc in lighter colors is a bad idea because it will get really dirty. i was considering getting a light blue puffy but wasn't sure if that was a bad idea and should just stick with black.

thanks

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

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question on colors of gear

Annie Denenberg,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

Description

i was wondering if getting gear, like the puffy jacket, the backback, sleeping bag etc in lighter colors is a bad idea because it will get really dirty. i was considering getting a light blue puffy but wasn’t sure if that was a bad idea and should just stick with black. thanks

Posted On

07/15/09

Author

Annie Denenberg

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Hi!

Following Annie's lead... My name is Mackenzie and I'm a 21-year-old student at Northeastern University in Boston, though I'm originally from Pennsylvania. Having just finished a six-month internship with Youth For Understanding, a nonprofit international exchange organization, I'm doing my best to readjust to being a student again. I'm taking classes right now - only two - but I must admit that I miss coming home and knowing the evening is mine to do with as I please.

Anyway, I truly look forward to meeting you all and I can't really begin to imagine what the next few months have in store.

That's all for now,

Mackenzie

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

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Hello

Mackenzie Miller,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

Description

Hi! Following Annie’s lead… My name is Mackenzie and I’m a 21-year-old student at Northeastern University in Boston, though I’m originally from Pennsylvania. Having just finished a six-month internship with Youth For Understanding, a nonprofit international exchange organization, I’m doing my best to readjust to being a student again. I’m taking classes right now – […]

Posted On

07/14/09

Author

Mackenzie Miller

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Hi all,

Well, it's good to know that folks are focusing on staying warm in their packing. I am quite confident that we will all be happy with our puffys this fall. To answer the question about whether to bring a fleece with the puffy, I would say that is up to you. The packing list suggests that you can leave a heavy or "expedition-weight" fleece behind if you bring a warm puffy and that is what I do personally. Expedition-weight is the thickness of the fleece and is typically the heaviest and thickest available, as thick as sweatshirt, for example. So, yes, if you bring a big puffy then you can leave this layer at home and bring a mid-weight fleece instead. Does this make sense? I hope this help!

Good luck with all your planning and prep,

Tim

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

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More on puffys

Tim,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

Description

Hi all, Well, it’s good to know that folks are focusing on staying warm in their packing. I am quite confident that we will all be happy with our puffys this fall. To answer the question about whether to bring a fleece with the puffy, I would say that is up to you. The packing […]

Posted On

07/14/09

Author

Tim

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

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Another question about puffys

Molly Rose-Williams,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

Description

It says on the packing list that if we get a puffy we can "leave the expedition-weight fleece at home." Does that mean we don’t need a fleece if we have a puffy? Also, what qualifies a fleece as expedition-weight?

Posted On

07/14/09

Author

Molly Rose-Williams

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Hi Sam,

Thanks for making the inaugaral student post on the yak board and good question about puffy jackets.

Some of our camps on hikes in the Andes will be incredibly cold, and we will be at altitudes that most folks have probably never been, with our highest camps up to 15,500 feet and occassionally hiking as high as 17,000 feet. Early mornings and evenings will be in the teens, Farenheit, at these camps. So we should really be planning for coldest-case scenarios when looking at layers.

With puffy jackets there are sort of 4 ranges of warmth that they fall in to:

1) Light-weight and active (like the Nitrous model you mentioned)

2) Mid-weight, active and cold weather (like the Phantom you mentioned)

3) Heavy-weight and cold weather (with Mtn Hardwear this would be the Sub-zero)

4) Expedition-weight, coldest weather, high altitude, winter (with Mtn Hardwear this would be the Absolute Zero)

For the Andes and Amazon trip we will be best served (and most comfortable, thus happy) with jackets at least in the #2 range and even #3.

Hope this helps!

Tim

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

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Regarding Puffy Jackets

Tim,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

Description

Hi Sam, Thanks for making the inaugaral student post on the yak board and good question about puffy jackets. Some of our camps on hikes in the Andes will be incredibly cold, and we will be at altitudes that most folks have probably never been, with our highest camps up to 15,500 feet and occassionally […]

Posted On

07/13/09

Author

Tim

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Jallalla! Participantes del Semestere en los Andes y la Amazonia,

Welcome to this fall’s adventure and we here at Dragons are getting so excited to dive into another round of semester programs. In the Bolivian Andes the word “Jallalla!” is a term of celebration and greeting – both in one word. The exclamation is to point out that, when spoken, a ring of celebration is required.

So let’s try it again, all together, “JALLALLA!” In that we are celebrating and greeting each other, our upcoming experience together and the immense courage that we have all shown in joining this course. Bienvenidos.

I wanted to take the chance to share a few things about this course and about myself while inviting you all to begin using the yak board to answer questions and begin building excitement for this semester.

The place – our summer group just arrived to Bolivia a week ago and is currently settled into our program house in the mountain town of Sorata. You can read all about this place in their current yak postings as well as a past post at the link at the bottom of this page. You all will also have the chance to get to know this place so well, with as many as 5 weeks spent tromping through the steep mountain slopes.

One important beauty of this spot is its geographic placement, perfectly at the transition between the high Andes and the low Amazon, at a temperate 8,500 feet (that means perpetual spring in the tropics). So we have certain plants and animals that are more a part of the Amazon and others that are part of the Andes, which both meet at this altitude. And we can listen to the chorus of parrots in the morning while sitting underneath two dramatic 21,000-foot sacred mountains. Sounds idyllic, right? Well, it is also a largely Aymara farming community and no easy place to maintain a subsistence lifestyle on these steep slopes with inclement weather. It is only 3.5 hours from La Paz and the entire swath between La Paz and Sorata has been at the center of many modern and historic political and social movements. It is just the right spot to find the heart of the Andes and Amazon.

The Central Andes and Upper Amazon of Bolivia and Peru is in the middle of its dry season right now, with farmers gathering and preparing potato, maize and quinoa crops and continuing to prepare their fields for the upcoming planting season beginning in October. They are working in an ancient type of reciprocal work-trade known as Ayni, with entire communities rotating from one field to the next, finding strength in numbers. When we arrive in September a few rains will have begun to fall but we will still enjoy the blue skies and crisp temperatures of the dry season up in the mountains and the less frequent rains in the Amazon. And an important presidential election is pending for December as well, with the popular and controversial incumbent president Evo Morales running for another 5 years. The fall semester is a beautiful and important time to be there.

The peoplewe are so excited about the interest in the Andes and Amazon Semester this fall and are pleased to be able to run this course for two separate groups each with 10 to 12 participants. Dragons’ courses always have the unique characteristic of being able to change and cater to the interests of the group and the individual assets of the instructors and this fall we will be able to do this even better. We plan to have two distinct programs that both keep the heart of our Andes and Amazon Semester but can have slightly different foci to be able to meet the students’ interests even better.

This also means we will have two separate instructor teams (myself included in one of the teams). We know that you all will be eager to know which experience you will be a part of and who your instructors will be, but we need to ask for a bit of patience as we continue to gather information that will allow us to better delineate these groups – for example we will not have an idea of registration for our accredited courses until August 1st. So, for this reason we will not be introducing instructor teams or student groups until that time. But we do encourage you to begin introducing yourselves on the yak board and using this to post any questions you may have for this course. And at this point I will be the one responding to these questions.

My work with Dragons is as Andes and Amazon Semester Director and I have been working in this role since this programs’ inception three years ago. I have been a Course Director for each semester and have additionally instructed two. With Dragons I have also instructed a Guatemala Semester, our Bolivia summer course and worked as Latin America Program Director at our office in Boulder for a spell. And I am so eager to work with yet another group of semester folks in the Andes and Amazon beginning this September. My role as Course Director this fall is in many ways an administrative and logistical one. I will be helping in pre-course planning and prep with each of the instructors and also be 100% available to help all participants and families in their planning for the course. I will also make sure that you each get a copy of our Dragons' Andes and Amazon Reader, which we are currently revising and will be out by the beginning of August. Things like that.

Once we begin to move into specific planning for each of the courses I will shift to a Co-Instructor role and be working specifically with one of the instructor teams, eager to work with and learn from their unique experience and insights. I will also post a more formal personal introduction at that time. During our time in the field we will also have the fortune of Simon Hart’s wisdom, guidance and support from Boulder, Dragons’ Latin America Program Director.


So, with this I’ll leave you for now with excitement for watching our yak board build and grow along with us over the next 5 months. We hope this finds you well and look forward to being in touch soon.

One last time, JALLALLA!

Tim Hare
Andes and Amazon Semester Director
taohare@yahoo.com

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

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Jallalla! Course Director/Instructor Introduction

Tim Hare,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Fall 2009

Description

Jallalla! Participantes del Semestere en los Andes y la Amazonia, Welcome to this fall’s adventure and we here at Dragons are getting so excited to dive into another round of semester programs. In the Bolivian Andes the word “Jallalla!” is a term of celebration and greeting – both in one word. The exclamation is to […]

Posted On

07/8/09

Author

Tim Hare