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Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009


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To Tes--

I was reading over the Yaks the other day for the first time since our trip ended, and realized that I never responded to your post. The constant change of place and inconsistent access to a computer made it difficult to keep in contact with anyone, so I apologize! But I wanted to answer your question...there were plenty of fat white chickens living at Adela's house, but I distinctly remember one being especially friendly, and after reading your note, I guessed that it was probably your Queli.

I wanted to be sure to tell you that. Again, I'm sorry for the lack of response!

Best,

Katie

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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Re: La Familia de Adela

Katie,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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To Tes– I was reading over the Yaks the other day for the first time since our trip ended, and realized that I never responded to your post. The constant change of place and inconsistent access to a computer made it difficult to keep in contact with anyone, so I apologize! But I wanted to […]

Posted On

01/10/10

Author

Katie

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Parents,

Below is the group's international return flight. It's hard to believe, but your kids will be home so soon. We hope you are excited for their arrival!

May 12th, 2009

South African Airways #SA 207

Dakar (DKR) - Washington DC (IAD)

1:05am - 6:00am

United Airlines #UA 7865

Washington DC (IAD) - New York (JFK)

8:25am - 9:45am

The participant can be picked up or should arrange a connecting flight after:

End time: May 12th, 2009 at 12:45pm

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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Return Flight Information

Dragons Admin,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

Description

Parents, Below is the group’s international return flight. It’s hard to believe, but your kids will be home so soon. We hope you are excited for their arrival! May 12th, 2009 South African Airways #SA 207 Dakar (DKR) – Washington DC (IAD) 1:05am – 6:00am United Airlines #UA 7865 Washington DC (IAD) – New York […]

Posted On

05/4/09

Author

Dragons Admin

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Our final day in La Paz before we head to Chapi Chapini for our solar oven project has allowed me a little free time. Thus, a yak seemed only appropriate. As we approach our final days in the country that has been our home for the past 80, I´m overcome by the strangest feelings as constant companions.

Throughout my life, especially in the most recent years, I´ve certainly found myself in situations where I couldn´t fully comprehend every detail of my surroundings that I wanted to, but it was probably in a classroom, in some trivial part of my daily life that didn´t matter two days later, or some other aspect of my life prior to 9 February. And it still left me wanting for more- for something that would confuse me to the very core, that would blow my mind, and that would leave me curiously satisfied. This exploration into Bolivia, an explosion of culture, clashes, beauty, hardship, and uncertainty that I didn´t know a thought of before, has done just that.

I remember first arriving in Sucre and driving to Yotala. I was seemingly permanently astounded by my lush green surroundings. The mountains were unreal to meand I stared at every building as if nothing were more foreign. So, too were the people that inhabited this beautiful paradise. The women carried their beautifully coloredawayos as a staple for nearly everything they needed and were more in touch with the pachamama than anything I was used to. As the trip has progressed, these initial perceptions have become permanent surroundings and while I´m not so astounded at what´s around meon a daily basis, I still wonder how I ended up in such an incredible place.

I look back at Laguna Glaciar and the accomplishment I felt at actually making it to the top, no matter if we could see the ¨laguna¨or not. I think about days in the Sorata program house, one in particular, where we had a great scrambled egg, bread, and tea breakfast and sat on the backporch to the beautiful morning. I remember staying in a hospital in the tiny town of a Morogwa the night we needed somewhere to stay, and the family that didn´t charge us and helped cook us dinner. I envision Kaata, avillage with no bathrooms, brand new electricity,a straw bed I shared with my 9-year old sister, and sacrifical ceremonies that had us all wondering, at times. I talk with people we´ve met along the way, and am ever-thankful by their presence and overall generosity. I imagine a village in the Amazon, where people pick lush grapefruit off of trees, harvest rice for their families, and give up their own water for over a day for a group of foreigners- then have toremember how real it is.

I´m not sure how my reentrance into the States will go. I don´t let it weigh on my mind too much, but I can´t help but wonder what kind of an effect this program, this country, and this past three months has truly had on me and don´t think I´ll really understanduntil I´m back in the comfort level I´m used to. Only time will tell and I´m eager for what´s to come. Hasta Sorata....

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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la vida nueva

Kate Tynan,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

Description

Our final day in La Paz before we head to Chapi Chapini for our solar oven project has allowed me a little free time. Thus, a yak seemed only appropriate. As we approach our final days in the country that has been our home for the past 80, I´m overcome by the strangest feelings as […]

Posted On

05/1/09

Author

Kate Tynan

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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Images from Treatro Trono and El Alto

Luispe, Jenn and Sarita,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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Posted On

04/30/09

Author

Luispe, Jenn and Sarita

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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We are in El Alto

Luispe, Jenn and Sarita,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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Posted On

04/30/09

Author

Luispe, Jenn and Sarita

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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Images from Machu Pichu

Luispe, Sarita y Jenn,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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Posted On

04/28/09

Author

Luispe, Sarita y Jenn

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It´s been quite a while since my last yak post and so much has happened it´s hard for me to really grasp it all. Our time in the Amazon was stunning, pictures can only capture a fraction of the overall experience and none of the emotion. Time flew by and looking back on it now things seem like a blur. What i like best about pictures is how they can act as a point of reference. Looking through pictures stored on my camera stirs up memories and feelings that i let slip out of my mind due to our frantic pace. Highlights include rafting down the Beni river in little boats so low to the water you could dunk your head in (as Collin and I did). The cool breeze blows away the heat and stress of the day and on the boat there are no flies or mosquitos, an otherwise constant nag. The generosity of the local people was something i learned much from. Whenever i asked if i could have some fruit from a nearby tree the response was always "of course take as much as you´d like". it was just what they said but how they said it, almost like they were surprised that i would even think to ask. In the Amazon their is an idea that everything in the community is shared by everyone - even foreign visitors. Of course I could share fruit from their trees.
Leaving the Amazon was a turning point not only in terms of climate and elevation, but also a turning point in the trip. Our group had spent a solid month together and I felt as though we were hitting our stride. I looked forward to a week of rest and a slower pase once we arrived in Sorata. Sadly our time in Sorata was cut short when the group decided to leave early in the wake of a proposed blockade. We were off again - this time to Peru. Time in Peru was frantic yet exiting. I´ll let other yaks go into more detail. All i can say is that i´m glad to be back in Bolivia and in a wonderful homestay where i feel like i can settle down for the first time in a while. although we´re in a major city being in a homestay has a calming effect. conversation with my family, home cooked meals, and a constant bed seen to have that effect on me. Although we only have a few weeks left i´m not looking a head too soon. For now i´ll just enjoy the time i have and try to enjoy every moment.

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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yak yak

giancarlo cucurullo,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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It´s been quite a while since my last yak post and so much has happened it´s hard for me to really grasp it all. Our time in the Amazon was stunning, pictures can only capture a fraction of the overall experience and none of the emotion. Time flew by and looking back on it now […]

Posted On

04/27/09

Author

giancarlo cucurullo

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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Salkantay Trek pics

Luispe, Jenn and Sarita,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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Posted On

04/27/09

Author

Luispe, Jenn and Sarita

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Buenos Dias de El Alto! Yesterday afternoon,the 15 of usarrived in La Paz off our 12 hournight busfrom Cusco,eager to return to Bolivia, the country that has easily becomesome form of home to all of us. Though our student-led travel time has proven harder than expected with a little miscommunication here, a little no-communication-at-all there, I think that we were psyched to move from our trekking phase into our homestay phase of this portion of travel (even if we weren´t exactly sure where everyone was staying)! We made our way up to El Alto and met with Carla in Teatro Trono, an awesome building of talented artists and performers who welcomed us warmly with 6 families that would be homestays to two persons each. Gracie and I were paired and walked about two minutes to our lovely family´s home with our older sister Jacquelyn. Everyone waswarm and hospitable, and even let us sleep for far too long. (We woke up from our "nap" at 7:30 at night- whoops!) Once I get into the groove of homestays, I´m inevitably and perpetuallycontent. I feel so blessed with almost every homestay here and am so glad it´s remained an important aspect of this trip. It creates an atmosphere to learn spanish, to connect with the culture and people here, and to share your own ideas, happiness, and thoughts with them. We´re still pretty fresh off our our most recent trek to Salkantay and Macchu Pichu and I´m sure there will be some yaks posted about that. David and Santiago, our guides, though not quite always what we expected, were pretty awesome. I learned a lot from each of them and was able to hold good conversations with them, in English and Spanish. On the first day, David and I ended up talking about evolution in Spanish- somehow I think I wasn´t quite getting EVERY bit of what he said, but I tried my very hardest.

Otherwise, all´s well and we´re in El Alto until Sabado (there´s my spanglish kicking in), when we head to Chapi Chapini for our final service project right before disorientation. Personally, it´s a little disorienting that we have less than three weeks left. I´m not sure how I´m going to handle the segue into real life- it´ll be an adventure in itself. Love to everyone de dragones!

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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a new pace

Kate Tynan,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

Description

Buenos Dias de El Alto! Yesterday afternoon,the 15 of usarrived in La Paz off our 12 hournight busfrom Cusco,eager to return to Bolivia, the country that has easily becomesome form of home to all of us. Though our student-led travel time has proven harder than expected with a little miscommunication here, a little no-communication-at-all there, […]

Posted On

04/27/09

Author

Kate Tynan

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We arrived back to Bolivia yesterday. Although we were only gone for one week it was good to get back; Bolivia has begun to feel like home over the past 2 and 1/2 months and all of us felt more relaxed and comfortable upon our arrival. We met our El Alto homestay families last night, and although things did not work out exactly as planned, we all seem to really love our new families. We´re working through the Theatro Trono, which is a really cool, bohemian theatre up in El Alto that has a strong focus on cultural exchange. Although our families are much different than previous homestays, I think it will be a really great experience and will form strong bonds with them.

Last week we went to Machu Picchu which was amazing! We hiked up from camp at 4:45 am and arrived at Machu Picchu at 6:00. Most of us also decided to hike up Winu Picchu ( which is the mountain behind the ruins in all the pictures). We had a really amazing view from the top but the actual hike there was pretty intense..it felt like we were hiking up a vertical cliff at times! from there we went down to some caves that had only been discovered in the past 12 years! That was really amazing as well! In total, we spent about 10 hours exploring Machu Picchu and taking in the beautiful surrounding scenery. It was a really great way to end our 6 day hike through Salkantay!

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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I Don’t Know

Gracie Lamming,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2009

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We arrived back to Bolivia yesterday. Although we were only gone for one week it was good to get back; Bolivia has begun to feel like home over the past 2 and 1/2 months and all of us felt more relaxed and comfortable upon our arrival. We met our El Alto homestay families last night, […]

Posted On

04/27/09

Author

Gracie Lamming

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