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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010


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Hey everyone,

I'm leaving for Spain tomorrow at 2:30. I'll be there for five weeks.

I'm spending today packing. I'm packing everything into that same blue backpack I carried around for three months in South America. I'm bringing the same camera, the one that I cracked some time in Tocaña. I'm bringing the pillow that I accidentally stole from Shaz and forgot to bring to Lake George.

But this time, I'm going with people I've known for four years, some of whom I REALLY don't like, but most of whom are good friends. This time, we'll only spend three days in the mountains and we're not even sleeping outside. This time, things will be MORE expensive there. This time, there'll be an ATM around every corner. This time I will be the oldest and have the best Spanish and the most experience. And this time, we will be incredibly sheltered.

It's going to be hard to not compare my experience in Spain to that in Bolivia. Either way, I'll be thinking about the three months I spent with you all a lot while I'm there.

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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

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Bolivia -> Spain

Keenan Villani-Holland,Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

Description

Hey everyone, I’m leaving for Spain tomorrow at 2:30. I’ll be there for five weeks. I’m spending today packing. I’m packing everything into that same blue backpack I carried around for three months in South America. I’m bringing the same camera, the one that I cracked some time in Tocaña. I’m bringing the pillow that […]

Posted On

06/27/10

Author

Keenan Villani-Holland

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    [post_content] => Buen dia todos, amigos y amigas, señores y señoras, hijos, hijas, mamas y papas, abuelos y abuelas, hermanos y hermanas, muy buenos dias . . . 

Time moves at different rates during different days and as our days are made of different vistas, different activities, different emotions and totally different people, well our minds move differently then as well. Brett and I had a 40 hours in buses to get to Buenos Aires, and it felt like ages but that nothing had changed, except that we are still tired from that, three days later. Meanwhile, you all boarded a plane and in 12 hours were transported back to a different world where it must feel like everything has changed. Time is a weird one that I don’t think we are really designed as humans well enough to comprehend the workings of it. I head home now, with Brett, in three days and it is one of those times were time feels like a conveyor belt, where I am sitting on it, a complete passenger on its rhythmic movement forward, with these things out of my control.

Anyway, to change subjects, you’re home! How is home? For me it is often things like the flowing hot water from the sink or the feeling of sitting as a passenger in a car on a highway that is so smooth are some things that jolt me back to the US. Or, like some of us talked about, those routines such as walking into a store and greeting “Buenos dias” but needing to remind yourself to speak in English, and it feels awkward, you feel like you forgot how to speak. Have any of you yet greeted a stranger on the street with an “Hola, buenas tardes”? Or awoke in the morning to greet your mom with a “Como amaneciste”? We have all been gone for a long time and had the chance to move into deep places in our behavior, thought processes, emotions, points of connection and values. And subtle things have changed that come to the surface at these odd moments, moments we walk into a shop distracted, jump into the shower in the morning, etc. And they may shock us, for sure affecting each of you differently, and like we talked about, this is where your expedition truly begins.

And in whatever way home finds you – tired, comfortable, content, frustrated, jaded, cynical, blissful, overwhelmed, stoked – I hope that you are finding your feet below you, enjoying the company of dear friends and family that must be so eager to catch up with you, and finding ways to tell your story from the Andes and Amazon. We wish you all well on your journeys back home, miss your presence around these parts and look forward to opportunities where our paths may collide again in the future.

Gracias por todo amigos! Fuertes abrazos, y una vez mas, Jallalla!
T!
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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

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Time and movement

Tim,Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

Description

Buen dia todos, amigos y amigas, señores y señoras, hijos, hijas, mamas y papas, abuelos y abuelas, hermanos y hermanas, muy buenos dias . . . Time moves at different rates during different days and as our days are made of different vistas, different activities, different emotions and totally different people, well our minds move […]

Posted On

05/22/10

Author

Tim

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We find ourselves yet again in the early altiplano dawn at the El Alto airport, this time to begin an entirely different journey to the one we began three months ago. That of the journey home, to reconnect with things familiar yet oddly distant at this point. The journey home is often the most challenging, yet the most important, when insights, lessons and experiences gained while away have the chance to come full circle and truly create the change that we desire. So, our 9 weary travelers are safely on the flight home with the 9 from group B, safely and probably pretty dazed as they skim the shoulder of the majestic Illimani and cruise north over the vastness of the Amazon and out into the Caribbean and make their way back to the US, starting with Miami.

We hope you all enjoy the moments of reconnection over the next few days and on from there. De La Paz,

G, B and T

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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

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Goin Home

Brett, Tim, and Gina,Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

Description

We find ourselves yet again in the early altiplano dawn at the El Alto airport, this time to begin an entirely different journey to the one we began three months ago. That of the journey home, to reconnect with things familiar yet oddly distant at this point. The journey home is often the most challenging, […]

Posted On

05/12/10

Author

Brett, Tim, and Gina

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As with so many things that I do this yak is very late. I was the last to sign up for the course and the last to write an intro on the yak board so why fix something if it isn’t broken?(does that logic work here?) Anyway I hope that this message finds you all well and safe in your homes and I hope the last three weeks of the course were awesome for all of you.

No doubt this won’t be read until you are all back in the United States which means you will already have experienced the flight over Miami (Oh my god look at the size of those houses!), the change in language (Hola... wait, I mean hello), and the plethora of awesome, but expensive (you expect me to pay 80 bolivianos for that sandwich?!?), food that there is to buy. All of these things along with hot showers any time of day, toilets that flush well, and a car to drive were a little hard for me to adjust to when I first came back. However it only took about a week for me to stop converting dollar prices into bolivianos and to, once again, accept the luxury of a hot shower as normal.

For me adapting to these changes has not been as hard as I expected, but therein lies the pitfall. I know that everyone’s individual experience of returning to the United States will be different. Some of you may not miss a beat while others of you may take a while to get back into the flow of things. No matter how long it takes for you to feel comfortable again I urge you all not to let that comfort allow you to forget the lessons that you learned in Bolivia and the changes that you vowed to make when you got back to the States. Again I’m sure that this will differ for all of you, but my experience has been that it is easy to forget them and allow the comforts and normalcy of home to seduce you away from your newfound convictions.

Well, that’s my two cents from already having been back for three weeks. Again I hope that this yak finds you all well and I hope that you guys have an awesome summer!

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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

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Home Again

Chandler Smith-Stetson,Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

Description

As with so many things that I do this yak is very late. I was the last to sign up for the course and the last to write an intro on the yak board so why fix something if it isn’t broken?(does that logic work here?) Anyway I hope that this message finds you all […]

Posted On

05/12/10

Author

Chandler Smith-Stetson

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David and Favian, our guides through the Vilcabamba mountains, live music. The rhythm of the Andean flutes and drums drifts out of them with an inexhaustible energy. That night, at the base of the Apu (Mountain Spirit) Salkantay, we had already set up our tents and were awaiting the student cooks to prepare our camp dinner when David and Favian began to play a soft but upbeat tune on David’s drum and Fabian’s flute. Maybe it was a natural instinct to stay warm or maybe the music had hypnotic powers but we began to dance. The musicians received our dancing vibrations and the soft music picked up into an irresistible cadence. We danced. We danced wild and uncalculated, tapping into some primordial pulse that shook our hips and sent our hands a’shakin. We had shed all socially sponsored dance moves and danced something more natural, something more forbidden. It wasn’t pretty but we danced unconsciously, we howled at the Apu, its sharp white face reflecting the moonlight. We learned about our natural biorhythms, and we danced something fierce. We were wild dragons under a starry ski and it felt just right. And then, in the middle of some spontaneous wiggles, the student cooks called a ready dinner.

A four-day trek to the back door of Machupicchu, full of giant glacial ogre mountains, soft jungle showers and ancient Andean wind instruments, was done our style, singing all the way. Infused with Inca passion and inspiration we have traveled down from Machupicchu, the ineffable city, and will cross the boarder to the birthplace of the Inca, an island in lake Titicaca called Isla del Sol. We are making the transition from jungle ruins to island ruins, from Peru back to Bolivia, from bus travel to boat travel and the transition from expedition to course end. The group is doing really well as we approach our last week on course. The next few days are full of final presentations from student independent studies and final projects from course classes. We’ll be hearing presentations on Andean weaving techniques, Incan symbolisms, hospital births vs at home births, natural medicines, Andean breads, Neo liberalism, and agricultural resilience. We will get all this done on the island and then work our way back to the program house for some course end workshops. The students will look back at the course and all the growth and laughter we have experienced. And then we will look forward into transference and homecoming.

Stay tuned to the yak board for some final thoughts and pics from the students. We love you all and will be thinking about you during our last few days.

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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

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Course End

Brett, Tim, and Gina,Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

Description

David and Favian, our guides through the Vilcabamba mountains, live music. The rhythm of the Andean flutes and drums drifts out of them with an inexhaustible energy. That night, at the base of the Apu (Mountain Spirit) Salkantay, we had already set up our tents and were awaiting the student cooks to prepare our camp […]

Posted On

05/4/10

Author

Brett, Tim, and Gina

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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

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Machu Picchu photos

Instructor Team,Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

Description

And our final installment from our day at the Incan city of Machu Picchu.

Posted On

05/4/10

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_content] => Well, one entry wasn't enough for all the magic on this hike, so here's another round. Enjoy!
    [post_title] => Salkantay trek, take II
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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

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Salkantay trek, take II

Instructor Team,Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

Description

Well, one entry wasn’t enough for all the magic on this hike, so here’s another round. Enjoy!

Posted On

05/4/10

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_content] => Here's some photos from our pilgrimage through the Vilcabamba mountains, past the sacred apu of Salkantay and across to Machu Picchu. Some of the most stunning settings we've found ourselves in. Enjoy!
    [post_title] => Salkantay trek photos
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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

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Salkantay trek photos

Instructor Team,Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

Description

Here’s some photos from our pilgrimage through the Vilcabamba mountains, past the sacred apu of Salkantay and across to Machu Picchu. Some of the most stunning settings we’ve found ourselves in. Enjoy!

Posted On

05/4/10

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_content] => Hi all, here's a few photos from our time in Cocha, with the closeups of Evo and Hugo courtesy of Mia's covert foray into the journalist section of the crowd at Cochabamba's central stadium. Enjoy!
    [post_title] => Photos from Cocha
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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

View post

Photos from Cocha

Instructor Team,Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

Description

Hi all, here’s a few photos from our time in Cocha, with the closeups of Evo and Hugo courtesy of Mia’s covert foray into the journalist section of the crowd at Cochabamba’s central stadium. Enjoy!

Posted On

05/4/10

Author

Instructor Team

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Dear Parents,

Your students are almost on their way home! Hard to believe.Below is the return flight information for their group.

Returning Flight:
May 12th, 2010
Dragon Air #KA 761
Depart: Kunming (KMG) 3:20pm
Arrive: Hong Kong (HKG) 5:45pm

May 12th, 2010
Cathay Pacific #CX 880
Depart: Hong Kong (HKG) 11:40pm
Arrive: Los Angeles (LAX) 10:05pm

Students can be picked up or should arrange for a connecting flight (if they have not already done so) after:

May 13th, 2010 at 1:05am

*Students need about 3 hours to gather baggage and clear customs.

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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

View post

Return Flight Information

Boudler Admin,Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2010, Spring 2010 2

Description

Dear Parents, Your students are almost on their way home! Hard to believe.Below is the return flight information for their group. Returning Flight: May 12th, 2010 Dragon Air #KA 761 Depart: Kunming (KMG) 3:20pm Arrive: Hong Kong (HKG) 5:45pm May 12th, 2010 Cathay Pacific #CX 880 Depart: Hong Kong (HKG) 11:40pm Arrive: Los Angeles (LAX) […]

Posted On

05/4/10

Author

Boudler Admin

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