Photo of the Week
Photo Title

« Back to Yak Board Archive Site

Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008


WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 55188
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-04-14 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Well, I made it.

After a rather haggering plane flight my early (temporary?) departure has been completed and now I can begin my recovery. Ive been home 2 days and already had 8 blood vials extracted, some of which are being sent out to distant labratories (evidently Q fever is a real disease, who knew?) to see what exactly it is that I picked up. I got hooked up to an IV too but that wasnt fun.

For people not in the loop: there are now 9 people left as I had to return home after a Bolivian doctor told me I had hepatitis A, which is silly because I have the vaccine for hep A and its 99.8% effective; he might as well have diagnosed me with polio or feline lukemia.

To ease the worry of thoes who are hyperventilating right now (they should stop) there is yet to be a disease whos symptoms I have that is communicable by anything other than poop or blood. Since I shared little of either with people on the trip, they probobly havent picked up whatever liver-eating virus I did.

On the bright side this is making for an incredibly cool story.

Anyway my CBC (blood chemistry) profile shows that (in comparison to the $30 one i got in Bolivia anyway) I am getting better. I am also eating lots of steak, proving I sill have something to learn from a dragons trip.

I hope everyone remaining on the trip is doing well and hope to be able to get back on the trip (health permitting).

A quick note to parents: it is possible that the liver trouble I got came from taking malrone. If your kids want to stop taking malrone, let them. its a lot easier to diagnose malaria then it is to figure out "hes turned yellow, yes he was in the rainforest, what could be wrong with him doc?".

[post_title] => Home [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => home-15 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-04-14 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=55188 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 440 [name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [slug] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 440 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 259 [count] => 93 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 30.1 [cat_ID] => 440 [category_count] => 93 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [category_nicename] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [category_parent] => 259 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2008/andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 )

Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

View post

Home

JB Friedlander,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

Description

Well, I made it. After a rather haggering plane flight my early (temporary?) departure has been completed and now I can begin my recovery. Ive been home 2 days and already had 8 blood vials extracted, some of which are being sent out to distant labratories (evidently Q fever is a real disease, who knew?) […]

Posted On

04/14/08

Author

JB Friedlander

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 55185
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-04-14 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

In the high Andes, when the kenua forests ease into shrubs and grass, and rock begins to give way to snow, one solitary creature - the condor - makes its home. There´s no mistaking it either. If you´re unsure at all, its a vulture or an eagle. When its a condor, you know. The distinctive white collar or the slight upward tilt of its wings may give you a clue, but what really gives it away is its aura of raw, unchanneled grandeur. When it´s shadow covers you (and perhaps the five people next to you), you can sense you´re in the presence of a primal power.

I was lucky enough to encounter this bird several times on our trek through the rugged slate mountains of the Cordillera Apolobamba, and each time I saw one, I felt that I was that much closer to understanding why this animal is a sacred animal to the people who live here.

On our first day on the trek, the mist was spilling through the mountain valleys, obscuring the snow capped peaks that reared up from the glacial river far below. The clouds were shifting fast, so every now and then a window in the fog would open up, revealing the trail beyond, before closing just as rapidly. One time when I looked up, a gap opened before me, showing the sheer mountainside, when suddenly a huge black form swooped across the rocks, dwarfing the terraces it passed by without a single flap of its wings. Before I could shout to my friends, it had disappeared into the mist, like a wraith. A welcome, perhaps?

That thought was on my mind as I slogged up a snowy ridge two days later, on my way towards the ice covered rock fin that was the summit. The sky was blue, and in the glacial cirque below me, I could pick out individual llamas. How could a bird resist being out on a day like this? But a condor answers to no one, so I saw not a one until I finally crested the final slope. As I stood there panting, two condors appeared out of the thin air above us, wheeling majestically in increasingly larger circles just so they could check us out. It was almost as if they were deciding whether or not we had the right to make the climb to their level, the level of the clouds. Then just like that, they disappeared in the vastness of the cirque.

I had one more experience on our last pass, when the old legs felt like giving out, and the heaving of my own lungs had become annoying. My eyes had been trained on the boots in front of me for the last hour, but a sick sense told me to look up. Just then, a condor soared over the short cliff to my right, flying directly over our heads. I was close enough to see it´s beady eyes, its shining silver back, and the individual pin feathers on its wings. That one bird continued to follow us until we crested the last pass, then again, it was gone. It had guided us as far as it could, all the way through its domain, without asking for anything in return.

I´m not a superstitious guy, and I come from a culture where an animal is meat, not spirit. But over those couple of days in the high Andes, I came to understand that any animal, even a big bird, can be more than it appears to be. If it was just a big vulture, how come I felt the way I did every time it soared by, without so much as a flap of its wings?

[post_title] => Mountains and Condors [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => mountains-and-condors [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-04-14 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=55185 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 440 [name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [slug] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 440 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 259 [count] => 93 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 30.1 [cat_ID] => 440 [category_count] => 93 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [category_nicename] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [category_parent] => 259 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2008/andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 )

Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

View post

Mountains and Condors

Spencer Scheidt,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

Description

In the high Andes, when the kenua forests ease into shrubs and grass, and rock begins to give way to snow, one solitary creature – the condor – makes its home. There´s no mistaking it either. If you´re unsure at all, its a vulture or an eagle. When its a condor, you know. The distinctive […]

Posted On

04/14/08

Author

Spencer Scheidt

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 55186
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-04-14 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 
"And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin

When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,

Then how should I begin

To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?"
-T.S. Eliot

[post_title] => On expression of self-analysis [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => on-expression-of-self-analysis [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-04-14 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=55186 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 440 [name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [slug] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 440 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 259 [count] => 93 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 30.1 [cat_ID] => 440 [category_count] => 93 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [category_nicename] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [category_parent] => 259 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2008/andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 )

Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

View post

On expression of self-analysis

Kate Stonehill,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

Description

"And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall, Then how should I begin To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?" -T.S. Eliot

Posted On

04/14/08

Author

Kate Stonehill

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 55187
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-04-14 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

I think I can aptly describe myself as spiritually confused. A baptized Catholic I have always had a great respect for faith but never felt a particular compassion or affinity to organized religion. Yet, in the past two months here I have witnessed and experienced spirituality in an incredibly pure form. In the short time we have been in Bolivia we have now been blessed by Shamans three times. The first ceremony took place overlooking the vast Lake Titicaca next to the ancient Incan ruins of Isla Del Sol. The second ceremony took place two weeks before we left Sorata. The last took place the night before we left Katta.

In the second ceremony Calixto, a burly man with a salt-and-pepper beard, wrinkles of wisdom, and kind eyes, was introduced to us in the program house. Uniquely, Calixto’s ceremony was full off annotations. He explained each part of the event. The intent of the Aymara Shaman ceremony is to become closer to the Pacha; which consists of humans, other beings, and the souls of other beings. He began by explaining that the Pacha has no limits but for our purpose we would learn it as a circle. Representing the Pacha in our ceremony was a circle of white llama wool. On top of the fur each person placed three sets of four leaves of cocoa, one for their name, the next for their family, and the last for their friends. The cocoa is a powerful plant that brings us closer to the earth. We continued to adorn the "Pacha" in the center of gender separated circle. Women are seated on the left, men on the right, we are separated not to discriminate or ostracize either gender but to complement each other. Andean Cosmology seems to focus inherently on balance. We then blessed our offering with our goals and our love. We wafted flowers to discard our negative energy, blessed sugar candies with our hopes and fears, prayed for our friends, and summoned loved ones we had lost. The final two pieces of our offering were rainbow colored wool, which represented the colors of the Wipala the indigenous flag of Bolivia, peace, and celebration and finally silver tinsel that symbolized happiness.

After we had prepared our offering Calixto asked us to "contemplate." He asked us to look at the colorfully adorned "Pacha" and ask ourselves if we could live with that much harmony, peace, and happiness. He reminded us that our world is full of hate, war, and violence and we were blessing the dream of a peaceful world.

Calixto introduced our ceremony by telling us that we were going to "find" our spirituality during the day’s event. You can imagine how that sounds to someone who is, at times, spiritually cynical. Needless to say I thought that that might have been too lofty an expectation. Although I have yet to find my "spirituality," since the ceremony I have begun to see ideals of Andean Cosmology inbedded in the ways in which people here live their lives. In conversations with Bolivians I have felt a unified goal to find a world that is balanced in harmony, peace, and happiness. I hope that from this experience our group can come closer to realizing this kind of a world. Maybe our spiritualities don’t always have to come from one specific experience or one particular religion. Maybe my spirituality will be a mixture of my exposures to different beliefs, different morals, and different experiences.

[post_title] => Shamanism and Spirituality [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => shamanism-and-spirituality [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-04-14 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=55187 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 440 [name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [slug] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 440 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 259 [count] => 93 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 30.1 [cat_ID] => 440 [category_count] => 93 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [category_nicename] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [category_parent] => 259 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2008/andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 )

Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

View post

Shamanism and Spirituality

Ryan Allman,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

Description

I think I can aptly describe myself as spiritually confused. A baptized Catholic I have always had a great respect for faith but never felt a particular compassion or affinity to organized religion. Yet, in the past two months here I have witnessed and experienced spirituality in an incredibly pure form. In the short time […]

Posted On

04/14/08

Author

Ryan Allman

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 55190
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-04-13 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

It’s been hard to decide where to start, where to paint the picture. It seems to have faded deep into a pile of memories. That time we spent tromping across the ancient trails of the high Andes so rich in tradition and silence. The winds were delivered from the mouths of a thousand flutes singing songs of mountain spirits.

And then the clouds danced around us in the small Quechua village, Kaata, where our futures were read from the intestines of Cue.

We were then swept down river on hand made floating platforms called Balsa rafts. We felt the freedom of river travel and our conversations babbled deeper.

We traveled to the heart of the middle of ‘no where’ in the dense Yungas where we discovered ‘service learning’ by working in controversial coca fields to understand the suffering of both the biodiversity of the rainforest and the economic struggles of the Cocalero.

And here we are back in the clamorous city, a vital contrast to the wiggling vegetation. The students have expressed a bit of shock to the acrid air, inexhaustible car horns, endless food options and yes… computers. We are back in the world’s highest city to revive, repack, reenergize, and redirect ourselves across the borders to Peru.

What I’d like to focus on in this Yak, the picture I’d like to post, is less scenic and tangible and more abstract, truth-seeking, and processing. For the most part these ten students have accepted the mystical experience. They have begun the higher educational method of unlearning (by that I mean the process of deconstructing stereotypes, preconceptions, and concrete perspectives). This is also known as opening your mind. They are in the process of inspecting the world directly and clearly.

The students take turns reading favorite passages out of inspiring books (Tom Robbins). Several students have found absolute magic in interviews with the strong women of the Andes and Amazon. They have spent time contemplating the problems of the world and their place in the solutions. I am extremely proud of the direction this journey has taken and that direction is down the road to the profound...

They may not be able to explain the transformation they have experienced but you will be able to see it in their eyes and hear it in their laughter. Ask them to teach you something of the world as their understanding has expanded.

One more month... let see how profound we can go.

[post_title] => The Profound [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-profound [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-04-13 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=55190 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 440 [name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [slug] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 440 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 259 [count] => 93 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 30.1 [cat_ID] => 440 [category_count] => 93 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [category_nicename] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [category_parent] => 259 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2008/andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 )

Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

View post

The Profound

Brett Fleishman,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

Description

It’s been hard to decide where to start, where to paint the picture. It seems to have faded deep into a pile of memories. That time we spent tromping across the ancient trails of the high Andes so rich in tradition and silence. The winds were delivered from the mouths of a thousand flutes singing […]

Posted On

04/13/08

Author

Brett Fleishman

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 55193
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-04-11 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Eating a banana without a sticker was something I´d never thought about before. It sounds foolish, but sitting in the coca field in Apana chowing down on what seemed like an endless supply of bananas, I realized how easily I had forgotten. Although I was in this beautiful place experiencing things I had never experienced before, I had forgotten that this banana I was eating didn´t come from a Whole Foods or a Star Market. In fact, it had come from the tree I could see right across the field. Sometimes it´s necessary to kick yourself and remember what seem like the simplest and smallest differences between home and Bolivia. Such as eating a perfectly ripe and incredibly delicious banana, without a sticker.

[post_title] => eating a banana without a sticker [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => eating-a-banana-without-a-sticker [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-04-11 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=55193 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 440 [name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [slug] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 440 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 259 [count] => 93 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 30.1 [cat_ID] => 440 [category_count] => 93 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [category_nicename] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [category_parent] => 259 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2008/andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 )

Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

View post

eating a banana without a sticker

perry blank,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

Description

Eating a banana without a sticker was something I´d never thought about before. It sounds foolish, but sitting in the coca field in Apana chowing down on what seemed like an endless supply of bananas, I realized how easily I had forgotten. Although I was in this beautiful place experiencing things I had never experienced […]

Posted On

04/11/08

Author

perry blank

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 55196
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-04-10 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Hey All,

We arrive at an agricultural town in the high Andes. We look around, taking in the picturesque Adobe houses, the plots of land on the hillsides where potatos and vegetables are grown. We observe the herds of sheep and burros making their way along the curving dirt roads. When the fog comes in, the sky turns to gray in a matter of minuites casting a magical and mysterious feel to the town. The stars shine brightly and clearly through the night. We, being the half of the group from the Pacha treck, arrive a day before the rest. We wait for two hours in a central location for our host families to meet up with us. The town is not aware of our exact arrival date, and we soon figure out that there is a large spiritual ceremony going on that day. Finally, our host fathers came to us in full traditional garb-alpacha hats, pánchos and chuspas. Ben and I are led to our homestay and a unique and beautiful scene lay before us. The grandmother is sitting on the ground and spinning wool, an intricately embroidered head peace adornes her forehead. The mother and eighteen year old daughter sit in their adobe kitchen, with pots made of mud and a wood generated fire, frying pieces of bread for tea time. Every once in a while, when the fire is about to die down, the mother blows into a long black tube to restart it. The family sits on small wooden stools covered in alpaca fur or on the bed, which were all in the kitchen. The guinea pigs roam and sweek below the bed. Our days consist of helping the mothers pick potatos and oka in the fields, slaughtering two sheep for the aptapi or goodbye party and getting our futures told by elders in the villiage untill 1am. The first two hours of the religious ceremony consist of the two men chewing coca and smoking cigarettes while they place different objects in shells for each one of us. The ceremony is definitely more about the process than about the results we would here about our futures. Next, the elder puts a quinea pig up to each one of our necks and lets it wiver and tickle for a minute. Then, he kills it peacfully and uses the innards to read our future. I learned a lot in just a few short days in Caata through experiencing sustainibility, a close-knit community and humility look like first hand.

Untill next time,

Marisa

[post_title] => Caata a Town of Magic and Refelection [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => caata-a-town-of-magic-and-refelection [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-04-10 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=55196 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 440 [name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [slug] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 440 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 259 [count] => 93 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 30.1 [cat_ID] => 440 [category_count] => 93 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [category_nicename] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [category_parent] => 259 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2008/andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 )

Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

View post

Caata a Town of Magic and Refelection

Marisa La Piana,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

Description

Hey All, We arrive at an agricultural town in the high Andes. We look around, taking in the picturesque Adobe houses, the plots of land on the hillsides where potatos and vegetables are grown. We observe the herds of sheep and burros making their way along the curving dirt roads. When the fog comes in, […]

Posted On

04/10/08

Author

Marisa La Piana

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 55197
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-04-10 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

I just wanted you to know that Brett is having a great time, and he misses you very much. He told me you enjoyed reading my Yaks so I decided to give you a little holler. He´s a pretty good guy, and he´s being very safe and responsible. He has a lot to say, and it´s all pretty good stuff. I realize it may be a strange thing to be hearing from someone younger than him, but you should be very proud of him, as i´m sure you are. He has a great mind, an amazing soul, and a heart of gold. Nothing you didnt already know, im sure, but it never hurts to be reassured. Hopefully when you are in Santa Barbara for Jodi´s graduation, I can have a chance to meet you in person.

He wouldn´t give me your email address, so i figured if you already read the yaks, what better way to get in touch.

Sincerely,

Ben

[post_title] => To Mrs. Fleishman (i hope i spelled that right) [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => to-mrs-fleishman-i-hope-i-spelled-that-right [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-04-10 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=55197 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 440 [name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [slug] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 440 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 259 [count] => 93 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 30.1 [cat_ID] => 440 [category_count] => 93 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 [category_nicename] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008 [category_parent] => 259 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2008/andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008 )

Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

View post

To Mrs. Fleishman (i hope i spelled that right)

Ben Himovitz,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

Description

I just wanted you to know that Brett is having a great time, and he misses you very much. He told me you enjoyed reading my Yaks so I decided to give you a little holler. He´s a pretty good guy, and he´s being very safe and responsible. He has a lot to say, and […]

Posted On

04/10/08

Author

Ben Himovitz

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 55198
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-04-10 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => In the days leading up to our eventual departure from our home away from wherever, the emotions were running high. Losing two group members, had seemed to take its toll, and the planning that was taking place on top of mid-course evaluations, had been exhausting. Regardless, we new we had tons of planning, packing, re-organizing, and for some, reflection to take care of before heading of for our respective treks, and the rest of our journey.             Leaving duffels full of things behind that we didn’t think we would need, we packed up our big packs and said goodbye to our host families. I think I speak for the whole group when I say that it was not easy to depart from a family who had become, for me at least, much like my own in so many ways: Four children, always friends over at the house, sometimes going through my things when I was out of the house, and especially, with the loving hospitality with which they welcomed me into their lives as I did them. I may also add, that my host father, who I was unaware existed, showed up at nine o´clock the night before we were to leave in minibus from the plaza at five in the morning. I sat and chatted with him for quite some time in my room about everything that had gone on in Sorata while he was gone, and about my family, and how I so appreciated his family. He asked when we were leaving and when I told him five in the morning, he seemed as bummed as I was not to be able to spend time with him. I told him we would be back at the end of the trip and that I would definitely stop by for tea time, and he smiled, gave me a hug, wished me luck and was off to bed. I went to sleep and dreamed about something I don´t remember, only to wake up the next morning to my host brother sitting outside my door at four-thirty waiting to see me off from the plaza. We rallied the group gear from the program house, piled into the minibus, and as we were about ready to go, the doors to the church swung open and out marched the Easter procession carrying a giant papier-mache Jesus parading through the town. We watched as the people walked into the town, and finally stumbled, somewhat groggily, into the van one more time. We drove by sunrise to Achacachi, where we met Tim and our giant “flota” that would take us to the beginning of our respective treks.             The bus ride was an experience in itself. After piling into the back section of the bus (with the exception of Ryan who ended up in the middle section with a Bolivian co-pilot) we ended up fighting for our seats until eventually, a Bolivian woman sat on Brett´s lap, in the aisle, while an entire family shared a space with Spencer and me. Three different people were listening to their personal radios, all turned to different stations, but somehow playing the exact same song, off by a half a measure on either end. (We have discovered that this “cumbia” music is all the same song.) We purchased a bag of bread out the window of the bus (still yet to leave the sidewalk) because attempting to exit would have been a suicide mission, not to mention we would never see our seats again. I took out my guitar for about a minute, and almost taking out a couple eyes in the cramped bus, tried to play a song, the bus immediately started its engine, so I relinquished the instrument to the overhead compartment from which it would later fall on me and wake me from half-sleep. After this point, we pretty much just hung out on the bus, chatting periodically with the family who was sharing my seat, and drifting in and out of sleep. We stopped once for a bathroom break, and those of us in the back of the bus who couldn´t hold it in, opened the window and dropped eight feet to the dirt where we ran for our respective spots. The driver, who apparently didn’t approve of our exit strategy, asked for us to enter, “like civilized human beings.” Ironically enough, the way we got to our seats seemed more to me like a primal scramble, almost like monkeys, over seats and sleeping babies, through crowds of people only to argue once more over a seat. We continued on our way, until stopping in a town called Qutapampa where I would begin my trek. (The other group continued on to have a bus ride totaling twelve hours.)            We spent the night in an “albergue,” after a short walk through the town that in size, was reminiscent of Crowheart, Wyoming. For those of you who have never been, (and believe me, you´re not missing anything) it´s about one mile squared. We left the next morning after shearing an alpaca, for a leisurely stroll through a vast green valley, until arriving in a town called Kaluyo, where we learned about local traditions and music. After hearing some history about the area from a man named Ricardo (who we would be surprised to see later on) we walked outside to find six men in the traditional Ponchos Rojos, with flutes and drums. They started playing, and as we stood there tapping our feet, Ricardo proclaimed, “¡hay que bailar!” He grabbed two girls and began spinning them around as we danced circles around the musicians. Just as it seemed that things were getting a little weird, a mystical fog cloaked the entire valley. We were suddenly in another world. The flutes piping, the drum beating like the heart of the cumulus dragon that was slithering through the town, it all seemed so surreal. Suddenly, the song came to an end, and the musicians stood around munching coca, and saying something in Quechua that none of us understood. As if commanded by the dragon, they started up again, this time more powerfully than before, and without warning, Ricardo grabbed our hands and dragged us into the Bolivian-pseudo-hora, and the dragon commenced to dace with us until we couldn’t breathe. We dined by candlelight (as we did every night on the trek) and talked about life, love, and everything in between. The next days would be filled with countless other culturally enriching experiences, leading up to the eventual meeting up with the rest of the group in Caata.             I almost don´t want to describe Caata for fear of belittling the experiences, but Ill just say that it was one of those things that it took a couple of days after to fully appreciate it. To all my friends and family, i´ll tell you about it wheni get home. For everyone else, ask your friends, sons daughters,  boyfriends, girlfriends…etc.            The River trip was quite an experience. I don´t really want to describe this either, but this time not for memory´s sake, but for the sake of my budget. The internet is cheaper here in La Paz, but regardless, it adds up.             I´m basically fading here, so anything after the dancing on the trek will have to be recapped at a later date.  Until I am at another computer or I get home,  Ben
    [post_title] => Desde Sorata Hasta La Paz
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => desde-sorata-hasta-la-paz
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2008-04-10 00:00:00
    [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=55198
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 440
                    [name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008
                    [slug] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 440
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 259
                    [count] => 93
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 30.1
                    [cat_ID] => 440
                    [category_count] => 93
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008
                    [category_nicename] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008
                    [category_parent] => 259
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2008/andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008
)

Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

View post

Desde Sorata Hasta La Paz

Ben Himovitz,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

Description

In the days leading up to our eventual departure from our home away from wherever, the emotions were running high. Losing two group members, had seemed to take its toll, and the planning that was taking place on top of mid-course evaluations, had been exhausting. Regardless, we new we had tons of planning, packing, re-organizing, […]

Posted On

04/10/08

Author

Ben Himovitz

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 55199
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-04-10 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => Images from the Apolobamba in it's post rainy-season snowy splendor . . .
    [post_title] => Apolobamba photos
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => apolobamba-photos
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2008-04-10 00:00:00
    [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=55199
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 440
                    [name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008
                    [slug] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 440
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 259
                    [count] => 93
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 30.1
                    [cat_ID] => 440
                    [category_count] => 93
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008
                    [category_nicename] => andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008
                    [category_parent] => 259
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2008/andes-amazon-semester-spring-2008/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008
)

Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

View post

Apolobamba photos

Tim Hare,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2008

Description

Images from the Apolobamba in it’s post rainy-season snowy splendor . . .

Posted On

04/10/08

Author

Tim Hare

1 2 3 4 5 10