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FALL: Andes & Amazon B
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Dear Friends and Family,

The Andes and Amazon B group has arrived in Miami on schedule. Thank you for an amazing semester and enjoy the homecoming!

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FALL: Andes & Amazon B

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Andes and Amazon B Has Arrived in Miami!

Eva Vanek,FALL: Andes & Amazon B

Description

Dear Friends and Family, The Andes and Amazon B group has arrived in Miami on schedule. Thank you for an amazing semester and enjoy the homecoming!

Posted On

12/6/16

Author

Eva Vanek

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    [post_content] => After a farewell ceremony last night and an early morning, the A&A B group flight to Miami has just departed.

 

We wish everyone a beautiful journey.

 

Much love,

Jhasmany, Leah, and Caitlin

 

 
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They’re off!

Instructor Team,FALL: Andes & Amazon B

Description

After a farewell ceremony last night and an early morning, the A&A B group flight to Miami has just departed.   We wish everyone a beautiful journey.   Much love, Jhasmany, Leah, and Caitlin    

Posted On

12/6/16

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_content] => Dear seewar kenti (Fabian),

Thank you. Thank you for guiding us through the unfathomable beauty of Nacion Q'eros, thank you for teaching us, for playing the flute for us, and for welcoming us with open arms. But also thank you for being a true inspiration. Thank you for telling us the in-depth, harrowing accounts of your turmultuous childhood, and for telling us and demonstrating to us that with enough faith, human beings can survive and even thrive in the darkest of times.

I will never forget you and your story.

Love,
Gabriel Feldman-Schwartz
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FALL: Andes & Amazon B

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Dear seewar kenti

Gabriel Feldman-Schwartz,FALL: Andes & Amazon B

Description

Dear seewar kenti (Fabian), Thank you. Thank you for guiding us through the unfathomable beauty of Nacion Q’eros, thank you for teaching us, for playing the flute for us, and for welcoming us with open arms. But also thank you for being a true inspiration. Thank you for telling us the in-depth, harrowing accounts of […]

Posted On

12/5/16

Author

Gabriel Feldman-Schwartz

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    [post_content] => Give yourself time to grieve
Be solitary if you need to
Listen to your body
Be honest with yourself about your emotions
Call your friends if you need to
Remember how good adventuring felt
Use social media sparingly, but make it a tool
Read everything you can
Look up Bolivian recipes
Listen to the strange flute music you found so weird
Reply however you need to to questions about your trip
Make space to have good conversations
Make space to speak Spanish
Find your El Alto
Question authority
Remember that Bolivia is a country built on resistance
Resist
Own your country, then change it
Climb more mountains, write more poems
Keep traveling
Keep searching for questions
Know that the questions themselves can matter more than their answers
Ask things of others
Ask a lot of the world
Make decisions, make art
Come from a place of gratitude
Confront your privilege
Find ways to get out of your comfort zone
Know what's worth the learning
Appreciate good plumbing
Remind yourself how lucky you are
Tell stories
Listen
Remember
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Best Notes From The Field, FALL: Andes & Amazon B

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Reminders

Casey Greenleaf,Best Notes From The Field, FALL: Andes & Amazon B

Description

Give yourself time to grieve Be solitary if you need to Listen to your body Be honest with yourself about your emotions Call your friends if you need to Remember how good adventuring felt Use social media sparingly, but make it a tool Read everything you can Look up Bolivian recipes Listen to the strange […]

Posted On

12/5/16

Author

Casey Greenleaf

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    [post_content] => Dear parents,
I can't believe that I see you in mere days. I have so much to tell you, but above all, I have to tell you thank you. I have a thousand thank yous, and here are a few.

Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to go on this trip and for supporting my gap semester. Thank you for calming my anxiety and providing me with endless encouragement, on the days leading up to this trip as well as during. Thank you for sending me pictures of of our photogenic cat and dog over email. Thank you for updating me on our precious Cubbies (although I'm still pissed I missed our first World Series win in 108 years). Thank you for gradually building the confidence in me to go on this trip. Thank you for reminding me that my comfort zone is something to leave often. Thank you for enjoying the little things, and teaching me to do the same. Thank you for making me feel special when I feel absolutely ordinary. Thank you for making room for me to learn independence. Thank you for making room for me to mess up.

Thank you especially for letting me go, because although I had tear-stained cheeks and a fast-beating heart at the time, it was time. Although you might not like to think of your youngest child sleeping in the cold mountain air, going to a foreign clinic, or being homesick on a hard day, it's exactly what I needed to grow up a little, to get acquainted with discomfort in a way I couldn't at home. And though I missed you, I carried your wisdom and your  love in my heart each day. I carried it all the way from Chicago to La Paz, from the mountains to the Amazon, from Bolivia to Peru and back again.
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FALL: Andes & Amazon B

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Dear Parents

Elise Glaser,FALL: Andes & Amazon B

Description

Dear parents, I can’t believe that I see you in mere days. I have so much to tell you, but above all, I have to tell you thank you. I have a thousand thank yous, and here are a few. Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to go on this trip and for […]

Posted On

12/5/16

Author

Elise Glaser

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    [post_content] => Dear Fall 2016 Andes & Amazon Group B Students & Families,

It is hard to believe that 3 months have passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long and students will be boarding their planes back home. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!

Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for eagerly awaiting families (all times are in local time zones):

Tuesday, December 6th

American Airlines #922

Depart: La Paz (LPB) 7:00 AM

Arrive: Miami (MIA) 3:40 PM

We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day. Starting on Monday, December 5th, should you need any assistance after regular office hours, please call our “on-call” number at 303-921-6078.

We wish all students a great trip home!

Sincerely,

Boulder Admin
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FALL: Andes & Amazon B

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RETURN FLIGHT INFORMATION

Eva Vanek,FALL: Andes & Amazon B

Description

Dear Fall 2016 Andes & Amazon Group B Students & Families, It is hard to believe that 3 months have passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long and students will be boarding their planes back home. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival! Below is a reminder of the […]

Posted On

12/5/16

Author

Eva Vanek

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    [post_content] => Well that just happened. 3 months of backpacking, homestays, and a bunch of bus rides flew by. My time here is almost done and I've been spending the last few days reflecting. Here are my thoughts.

The question that first came to mind was, "what did I learn here?" I learnt a lot of Spanish, of course, but also learnt so much about development, conservation, natural history, the history of the Americas and Bolivia, and who I am as a person. Speaking about who I am, that was one thing that changed the most on this trip. Physically I changed (longer hair and a crazy beard) and mentally too. This trip gave me new ways to view the world, new ideas on how the world works and should work and the tools to creat meaningful change.

I was also pushed to my limits on this trip. Three months of continuous travel is hard enough by itself but then add 14 other people, most of them teenagers who have never done anything like this before, in a country they know almost nothing about and place them in some extreme environments. Super high treks in the frigid altiplano to the sweltering heat and near unbearable mosquitos of the Amazon to villages that almost only speak a language that sounds like nothing I've ever heard before. Take all that and add great talks, so many books and long discussions on important issues and you get the most memorable trip of my life.

Bolivia gave me salmonella, a horrible sunburn, a love of chicharron,  thousands of amazing photos, 11 new friends, a very colorful hat and a new perspective, just to name a very few. If I had to summarize everything in one sentence it would be this: Travel + interesting people + time to talk and think about the world = something that changed my life.
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FALL: Andes & Amazon B

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Transference

Ethan Putnam,FALL: Andes & Amazon B

Description

Well that just happened. 3 months of backpacking, homestays, and a bunch of bus rides flew by. My time here is almost done and I’ve been spending the last few days reflecting. Here are my thoughts. The question that first came to mind was, “what did I learn here?” I learnt a lot of Spanish, […]

Posted On

12/5/16

Author

Ethan Putnam

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    [post_content] => "How was your trip?"

What a daunting question for a Dragons student. How can language ever be sufficient to explain an experience so profoundly world altering?

I have never been more excited to return to old ways and comfort, yet I fear that with that comes a diminishing of everything that I have learned. I am unsure how to make clear that rather than a service trip where it isn't my place to help or a grand touristy trip, my semester was in fact a learning opportunity infinitely more involved than any college semester. I feel like I have a duty to spread the knowledge I have gained, but am unsure how to consolidate my thoughts and make others listen. We have been living in time as a spiral of fleeting, infinite moments. I fear returning to linear paths and expectations.

However, rather than fostering anxiety of small talk and wanting to spread knowledge, Maybe I should remember what this trip was for me more than anything else. I want to remember that every engagement, every conversation, every connection made in light of my semester will be entirely how I interpret it, and nothing more or less. Language will ultimately fail to explain my trip, but I can bear witness to my own thoughts without over interpreting my return home. I'd like to foster a non-attachment to constantly seeking finite answers to my roadblocks. Processing 3 months won't happen in a few days. I want to encourage ALL dragons students to keep questioning, keep reading, keep writing, keep learning, and keep listening. Human nature forbids us from ever fully understanding someone else. I can find comfort in that, and remembering that this was my trip. What matters most is my own response to these 3 months.

So how was my trip? It was.
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FALL: Andes & Amazon B

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“How was your trip?”

Abby Miranker,FALL: Andes & Amazon B

Description

“How was your trip?” What a daunting question for a Dragons student. How can language ever be sufficient to explain an experience so profoundly world altering? I have never been more excited to return to old ways and comfort, yet I fear that with that comes a diminishing of everything that I have learned. I […]

Posted On

12/5/16

Author

Abby Miranker

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    [post_content] => Here we are in bohemian Samaipata, Bolivia, exploring the little town, shopping for handmade jewelry and cool printed t shirts, eating at cute cafes, relaxing and reflecting on our trip, and preparing to part with the group.  After being a traveling unit for almost three months, we will return to different states and different countries.  Most of us are starting at new universities, either as freshman or sophomore transfers, right away or after more travels.  I'm the only one going back to the same university, which puts me in a different position than the rest of the group in some ways.  Where I'm going, I have some of my best friends, I know my way around campus, and I know where I'll be living. Because of this I'm not experiencing the homecoming anxiety that some others are.  I feel a groundedness and a connection with home strengthened by my time away.  My heart is in Seattle and I'm thrilled to be going back, but I'm also going to miss traveling. Being a traveler has taught me to embrace the unfamiliar, inhabit discomfort, and find beauty everywhere.
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FALL: Andes & Amazon B

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Movement, Home, Groundedness

Emma Fritzberg,FALL: Andes & Amazon B

Description

Here we are in bohemian Samaipata, Bolivia, exploring the little town, shopping for handmade jewelry and cool printed t shirts, eating at cute cafes, relaxing and reflecting on our trip, and preparing to part with the group.  After being a traveling unit for almost three months, we will return to different states and different countries. […]

Posted On

12/5/16

Author

Emma Fritzberg

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    [post_date] => 2016-12-05 07:34:16
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    [post_content] => My acquisition of knowledge through this trip was like the beautiful red flowers lining our 1,000 switchback journey in Apolobamba that would sting you if you touched them. Sometimes I find myself up at night, stuck in the complexity of a question. As I dive into the grey area of my privilege, my identity, my way of life, I get lost in so much unknown. As I challenge the power structure, the academic hierarchy, the educated white man, I see ideals I grew up learning falling and then I'm there struggling to rebuild the rubble in my mind. My thoughts have radically evolved throughout this trip. I now understand the bliss that comes with ignorance, the freedom in simplicity, the good nights of sleep, but that's not something I want in my life. Although I struggle with this mental restlessness, I feel newly awakened and excited with fresh eyes and more to see. I love the incredible feeling of complexity. These experiences, Q'eros, TIPNIS, Theatro Throno, and many more have left me with so many questions but also the power to see so much more. Seeing communities radically different from my own inspires how I will go on living my life and going forward I will question what I used to blindly believe. I have found solace in the unknown and as Rainer Maria Rilkes advises "be patient towards all that is unresolved in your heart." I'm now ready to dive back into my life at home with new eyes and continue my education as an international student.
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FALL: Andes & Amazon B

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Questioning More

Liz Narwold,FALL: Andes & Amazon B

Description

My acquisition of knowledge through this trip was like the beautiful red flowers lining our 1,000 switchback journey in Apolobamba that would sting you if you touched them. Sometimes I find myself up at night, stuck in the complexity of a question. As I dive into the grey area of my privilege, my identity, my […]

Posted On

12/5/16

Author

Liz Narwold

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