Photo of the Week
Andes and Amazon B
Photo Title


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    [post_title] => A Video From Our Experiences
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Andes and Amazon B

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A Video From Our Experiences

Lillian Saul,Andes and Amazon B

Description

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GnWYpABeh8

Posted On

12/12/14

Author

Lillian Saul

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    [post_content] => And just like that, they're gone. Our students, our travel companions, our friends. It's hard to believe that we won't all wake up in tents tomorrow, peering at one another from our sleeping bags with tired but inspired eyes. For all is us this has been an incredible experience, changing us in ways we might not even realize yet. As instructors, we are so proud of what your sons, daughters, and friends have accomplished over the last 3 months. When they get home give them love and support because they deserve the recognition. Everyone has boarded the plane and you can expect to see them soon.

From the airport in La Paz, with pride and affection,

The I-team
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Up, up, and away

I-team,Andes and Amazon B

Description

And just like that, they’re gone. Our students, our travel companions, our friends. It’s hard to believe that we won’t all wake up in tents tomorrow, peering at one another from our sleeping bags with tired but inspired eyes. For all is us this has been an incredible experience, changing us in ways we might […]

Posted On

12/6/14

Author

I-team

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    [post_date] => 2014-12-05 20:20:42
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    [post_content] => It is pouring rain. Beautiful full drops falling pregnant from the sky. We hear sounds of the sky falling, the curtains quivering with thunder.

I look in the mirror. The growing up... the not everything is pretty. My dining room table, my bedside dresser, my backyard--no not everything is as pretty as my backyard.

We have been on a journey, but most of all we have realized that the journey is always carrying on as long as we engage; the journey is always carrying us as long as we let it touch an outstretched hand, and seep into the white space around our eyes.
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Andes and Amazon B

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Growing up in a Falling Sky

Lillian Saul,Andes and Amazon B

Description

It is pouring rain. Beautiful full drops falling pregnant from the sky. We hear sounds of the sky falling, the curtains quivering with thunder. I look in the mirror. The growing up… the not everything is pretty. My dining room table, my bedside dresser, my backyard–no not everything is as pretty as my backyard. We […]

Posted On

12/5/14

Author

Lillian Saul

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    [post_date] => 2014-12-05 14:50:31
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    [post_content] => Dear friends and family,

Under a full moon and gathered around a crackling bonfire in the forest, we celebrated last night our semester in Bolivia and Peru. This has been a personal and developmental journey. An exploration into group dynamics and leadership, into physical challenges and personal boundaries, into conceptions of travel and lifestyle. Yet the trip has also afforded us insights into the diversity and complexity of this region of the world.

As the instructor team, we were delighted to see the questioning and probing nature of the students’ responses. Several students pointed to new understandings of the limits of their knowledge. These discoveries thrill us because they present open doors for further exploration and inquiry. They reflect a perhaps newfound depth of observation that shows an embrace of the challenges and frustration of trying to comprehend and grasp a new culture, society, and changes.

Throughout the course of our transference (Dragons vernacular for our “wrap up” process at the end of the course) in the evergreen forest of Coroico, we engaged in conversations about our discoveries and challenges throughout the duration of the course. We considered how our adventure in this last three months has laid a groundwork for future journeys, paths we will embark on individually and with the continued support of the strong community we have formed. We’d like to share some of our retrospective observations with all of you as an invitation to join us on this continued endeavor of exploration of the world and ourselves. Here below are snippets of each student’s thoughts.

Yours,

The I-Team

From the Andes and Amazon, I've learned…

To value love and to appreciate families that open up their love for you. - John

I think that in the end I don’t really know anything. Things just happen, like suddenly I’ve graduated high school. Or I see this giant Ceibo tree and for some reason start to cry. Or I come home to my host family and realize I’ve been waiting for this all day and somehow have found home where I least expected. Or I remember this one woman’s smile for the rest of my life when I forget so much else. Things just happen and I don’t know why and I don’t know anything and I’m sorry if I ever acted like I did. - Rose

Pancakes and poop > pollution and politics - Courtney

How to go outside my comfort zone and speak Spanish in situations that are unfamiliar, not be afraid to try new things and meet new people. - Maddi

About the importance of feet, that happiness comes early in the morning. That carbs taste better with more carbs.  - Tanya

How to sit and reflect, to find happiness in simplicity, and the importance of human relationships. - Kaitlin

I’ve learned how to feel comfortable in places and situations that are extremely different from what I’m used to at home. - Hazel

That if there’s something you want in life; just put in that little bit of effort, it’s just a half-step away. - Rob

I’ve learned that you don’t need to have a lot to be happy. - Gejo

I have learned many things, many I have yet to discover; if anything simply I have a little more living under my belt and in my heart, and let the world touch me as I reach out my hand. – Lil

Staying in the moment saves time. - Max

That it is all mental. Depending on how hard you decide to mentally push yourself will result in how great your overall outcome will be. - Claudia

Never be too quick to close your eyes, you might miss something new and worth seeing. - Greg

What should friends and family know about me when I return home?

I think I’ve caught the travel bug. - John

I wish you could know this place that I love so much- I hope someday you will. - Rose

You all have made a significant impact on my life and in some way or another are the reason I’m here; thank you all. - Courtney

That I’m grateful for all of your support and kindness carrying me through life and getting me through good times and bad and for loving me no matter what. - Maddi

How much I care. I wake up most mornings dreaming about you. - Tanya

I am excited to see you all and I have learned so much on this trip. - Kaitlin

That I am so thankful for and appreciative of all of the people in my life who have helped enable me to spend this incredible year of my life adventuring. - Hazel

That I’ve started on a long journey; I don’t know where it’ll end, but I do know it won’t be where I began. - Rob

My eyes are way more open now because of all the thing we have seen and on how other people live. - Gejo

Sometimes there is not all that much to say when the understanding is already there. And after all, we have our whole lives to do the saying. Now can just be now, though I never truly knew how much the now can be when you’re with the ones you love. To my family and friends, thank you for making every moment full of wonder and love. - Lil

My eyes have been opened to a part of the world I really knew nothing about. - Max

That I have redefined the meaning of luxury. - Claudia

It is never too late to try new things, start new adventures, or accomplish your dreams. Sometimes it just takes a little push or maybe a huge one, but even if it seems dangerous, you can at least know that you will eventually die with a full and happy heart and a legacy full of wisdom and experience. - Greg
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Course End?

Los Instructores,Andes and Amazon B

Description

Dear friends and family, Under a full moon and gathered around a crackling bonfire in the forest, we celebrated last night our semester in Bolivia and Peru. This has been a personal and developmental journey. An exploration into group dynamics and leadership, into physical challenges and personal boundaries, into conceptions of travel and lifestyle. Yet […]

Posted On

12/5/14

Author

Los Instructores

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    [post_content] => 1. When we found the amazing waterfall that we could slid off in Toro Toro

2. When we climbed Laguna Glacial at 16,529ft

3. Had to cross a river with huge current all linking arms in the pouring rain and greg saved monica!

4. 20 hour 14 wheeler car ride stopped at a waterfall to get refreshed, man with smelly arm pitts

5. Courtney fell off a waterfall

6. Boat got stuck in the mud in the amazon and we had to push it out

7. When the boats from the amazon village Asuncion didnt pick us up so we pushed the boat through the shallow waters splashing away paranas and sting reys

8. Mud baths in the muddy river in the Amazon

9. Soccer games against the villagers then running and swimming in the river after watching the sunset

10. How incredibly dirty we were in the amazon

11. Learned how to shoot a bow and arrow

12. Night hike in the amazon I was looking for jaguars

13. Our pick up truck got stuck in a ditch all trying to push it out in a thunderstorm

14. Sacrificed a sheep

15. Me and lil ate sheep intestine soup and potatoes mixed with the sheep blood

15. SO MANY POTATOES

16. Washed my hair after 2 months

17. Spent 30 hours consecuativly on a bus

18. Running with Maddi with sticks in our hands yelling ¨Wawita!¨ to fend of vicious dogs

19. ¨dancing¨with the Afro Bolivian community

20. Spending such amazing time all together as a group!
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Andes and Amazon B

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Just 20 Memories

Kaitlin Ball,Andes and Amazon B

Description

1. When we found the amazing waterfall that we could slid off in Toro Toro 2. When we climbed Laguna Glacial at 16,529ft 3. Had to cross a river with huge current all linking arms in the pouring rain and greg saved monica! 4. 20 hour 14 wheeler car ride stopped at a waterfall to […]

Posted On

12/3/14

Author

Kaitlin Ball

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    [post_date] => 2014-12-03 11:15:50
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    [post_content] => 
I remember our first self supported trek in Torro Torro, it took me two days to pack! i didnt realize how much i had learned until recently on our expedition self supported trek when i packed in under 20 minuets. 
I remember at Las Lilas orientation being fairly awkward, going to bed on my top bunk reading every night by headlamp. Now, at Sol y Luna i jump into my double bed cuddeling with my two other roomates (even though we have another bed in the room) laughing and singing everynight and waking like that in the morning.
Our first homestay, i remember meeting my family and not being able to understand what they said we were going to do the next day. Now our last homestay, in Tocana, i got to have a full conversation with my host brother about the community, his futbol team, and university here and in the states.

This has been the most incredible experience full of discovery. I keep realizing how much ive learned and i know theres even more i havent realized. in a lot of ways this trip has come full circle. Unfortuanlty the circle wont be complete until being torn from this place and these people who ive been with for everyday these past 3 months. I cant say im ready to leave, its been an incredible experience and i know i will always carry it with me.

I used to be so lost about what i was going to do after this program, another program? a job? i wasnt sure. Now i feel as though the options are endless, through this program i have gained a strong sense of self empowerment and useful tools to get me anywhere in the world. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and scared i feel free and ready to explore for these next 8 months and the rest of my life.

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Andes and Amazon B

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Full Circle

Courtney Murtagh,Andes and Amazon B

Description

I remember our first self supported trek in Torro Torro, it took me two days to pack! i didnt realize how much i had learned until recently on our expedition self supported trek when i packed in under 20 minuets. I remember at Las Lilas orientation being fairly awkward, going to bed on my top […]

Posted On

12/3/14

Author

Courtney Murtagh

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    [post_date] => 2014-12-01 16:53:55
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    [post_content] => Dear Andes & Amazon semester families,

It is hard to believe that 3 months have passed since embarking on this incredible adventure in Bolivia and Peru! It won’t be long and students will be boarding their plane back home. Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for eagerly awaiting families:

Returning Flight:
December 6th, 2014
American Airlines AA 922
Depart: La Paz (LPB) 8:47am
Arrive: Miami (MIA) 5:25pm

If you have any questions or concerns about the return – and you’re calling outside of our normal office hours – please leave a message at 800-982-9203 x 130.  Should you need to reach our staff during students’ return travel days (outside of normal office hours), please call our Admin cell phone for assistance: 303-921-6078.

Many thanks,

Dragons Administration
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Andes and Amazon B

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Return Group Flight Reminder

Dragons Administration,Andes and Amazon B

Description

Dear Andes & Amazon semester families, It is hard to believe that 3 months have passed since embarking on this incredible adventure in Bolivia and Peru! It won’t be long and students will be boarding their plane back home. Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for eagerly awaiting families: Returning Flight: […]

Posted On

12/1/14

Author

Dragons Administration

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    [post_date] => 2014-11-30 08:57:57
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    [post_content] => We have arrived safetly in Coroico after a grueling trek! On to the afro-bolivian community.

love to all the friends and family!
    [post_title] => Update
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Andes and Amazon B

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Update

Escritor,Andes and Amazon B

Description

We have arrived safetly in Coroico after a grueling trek! On to the afro-bolivian community. love to all the friends and family!

Posted On

11/30/14

Author

Escritor

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    [post_date] => 2014-11-26 10:44:15
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-11-26 17:44:15
    [post_content] => As we prepare to leave our homestays tonight, I think about all of the incredible things that I have learned and experienced with my family here. How close I have grown to each new member of my family. The other night, Rose and I said we were going to cook dinner for the family, so we made our favorite - spaghetti. This however, did not go over well. In fact, it ended in our 19 year old sister, Daisy, crying. We easily moved past it though and were soon laughing later that night.

Last night we were back in the kitchen again. This time it was to bake carrot cake for Daisy's birthday. Since we won't be here to see her turn 20 in just a few days, we decided to surprise her with an early celebration and her favorite desert. We somehow pulled together la torta de zanahorias and an icing/glaze to smother the top. When we got her from her room and sat her down at our little kitchen table, Rose and I brough out the cake, singing felíz cumpleaños loudly. This time Daisy was once again in tears - but now for a different reason. She was so overwhelmed by this act; she's never had sisters before, let alone ones who bake her favorite foods. None of us knew what to say, so as our song ended and faded away, we hugged.

Together, we have all felt a wide range of emotions, traded piensas y sueñas, spent long nights around the table feeling the warm air wrapping around us and drawing each of us in tighter and tighter. While I don't know when I may return, I know I will always have a seat at the table and a wonderful older sister, mother, aunt, and grandmother here in this little house with the big courtyard, aquí in Tiquipaya.
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Andes and Amazon B

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winding down

maddi conlin,Andes and Amazon B

Description

As we prepare to leave our homestays tonight, I think about all of the incredible things that I have learned and experienced with my family here. How close I have grown to each new member of my family. The other night, Rose and I said we were going to cook dinner for the family, so […]

Posted On

11/26/14

Author

maddi conlin

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    [post_author] => 26
    [post_date] => 2014-11-26 10:43:06
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-11-26 17:43:06
    [post_content] => Arriving in the Totorkawa zone of the Cochabamba department in Bolivia, one would be hard pressed to believe that a king lived in any of the houses there.  But, for a month, I´ve lived in one, and I´ve lived like a king.  The palace I´ve lived in has only one floor complete (a toilet with no running water is the only thing beyond bricks and concrete on the two upper floors).  The windows in the doors rattle because they´ve yet to be caulked.  I take bucket baths in what will some day be the living room, but is currently the room that has cases of soda, a fridge and a lone artificial Christmas tree.  If my palace is untraditional for a king, the people who live in it with me are even stranger.  Mari, my homestay mother, wears her traditional skirts and braids everyday.  She wakes up at 3 on Fridays to sell oranges that her father grows in the tropics.  Jhonny, my homestay father, is a gardener and pool tender and all around plant grower and groundsman at various large houses in the area.  Jhon, my relatively quite 15 year old homestay brother, hangs out most of the time with his cousin and watches WWE reruns (in Spanish) on TV.  (And don´t worry, I know I spelled it Jhon.  The Jhons told me, as I wrote out my name for future contacts, that I had been lying the whole time and my name was in fact Jahon.)

How then, without a palace and without lords, ladys, knights or servants can I live like a king?  Through a million small actions and moments.  When I first arrived here two and a half months ago, I had no idea what to expect.  I ate a small amount of food, sat quietly, replied questions as best I could.  When I arrived back here after 5 weeks of travel two weeks ago, I felt like I was coming home.  They told me they had worried the whole time I was gone and asked what I had eaten.  When I told them my story of the Nacion Qeros diet of chunyo and papa, they laughed and laughed and told me I wouldn´t have to eat like that again.  Every day when I go to the program house, my homestay mother watches me go and waves goodbye.  She waits outside for me at lunchtime and explains how worried she was if I am half an hour late.  My homestay father comes in and asks me about my day before any other thing.  My homestay brother now asks me various questions about what the weather is like in Chicago or what I like to watch on TV.  My homestay mother frets and frets if I mention in passing that my stomache hurts.  She, last night, much to my protests, helped me debone the fish we were eating.  She tells me socks aren´t clean enough after I hand wash them, and, with the experience of more than 30 years, whips them into a sparkling white I thought was impossible a minute ago.  My homestay father takes me down to the city on weekends to see the sights or to a pool that he works on where I swim with Jhon and his cousin.

The kingship I feel is not one of dominance over others.  I feel like a king because I am accepted into the family here, given more than I deserve in love, in time, in gifts, in friendship and communication - I have done little to earn any of it, I have been given it from pure generosity and from the depths of good, kind hearts.  I am a king deeply in debt to those who made me feel like a king.  I cannot repay it with the cake I plan to bring home tonight as thanks, nor any words, nor any actions that can be done tonight.  I am a king who is leaving tonight for La Paz, and in 11 more days for the United States.  This is not a debt I feel bad about being in.  In fact, I am thankful for this debt and for all the actions I have to repay someday.  I know I will enjoy repaying them as much as I have enjoyed being put into them.  I plan to return someday to Totorkawa and repay my debts.  Until then, I will write and call as often as I can.  I someday, when relationships between the governments of Bolivia and the United States are once again back on track, hope to return the favor of hosting at least Jhon.

What I have been given, though, more than anything else is a perspective that I lacked before.  I lacked the ability to see, because I grew up with it filling my life, the love I have always been surrounded by.  It wasn´t until a family I never knew and expected nothing from gave me a kingdom that I truly learned what the love of a family is.
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Andes and Amazon B

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Vivir como rey

John Brady,Andes and Amazon B

Description

Arriving in the Totorkawa zone of the Cochabamba department in Bolivia, one would be hard pressed to believe that a king lived in any of the houses there.  But, for a month, I´ve lived in one, and I´ve lived like a king.  The palace I´ve lived in has only one floor complete (a toilet with […]

Posted On

11/26/14

Author

John Brady

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