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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2013


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Hey Jack, 

 

That is wonderful that you are extending your trip. There is so much to see and explore in the region, and our 3 months together often flies by all too quickly!  

 

In terms of planning, there are a few things that I would consider first. What are your interests? Do you want to trek? Are you interested in visiting cities? Rural communities? National parks? Do you want to stay in Bolivia or explore some of the other neighboring countries? What is your family interested in? Do you have a budget? A timeframe? Preferred way of travel? 

 

After I studied abroad in Cochabamba, I continued on to Peru to explore Lima and then met my family in Ecuador. We had a great time, but it was a lot of travel. I would have loved to stay in Bolivia, there was so much I still wanted to get to know and share with my family. I would check out your guidebook and make some notes about places you're interested in. Once we post our itineraries, we can help you figure out a plan post trip - either returning to some of the places we visited together or helping you get to some new places! 

 

I hope this helps! I know the other instructors have tons of valuable advice and tips as well, so please, continue to use us as a resource!

 

Cheers,

 

Emy 

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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2013

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After Dragons Travel

Emy Gelb,Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2013

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Hey Jack,    That is wonderful that you are extending your trip. There is so much to see and explore in the region, and our 3 months together often flies by all too quickly!     In terms of planning, there are a few things that I would consider first. What are your interests? Do you […]

Posted On

01/15/13

Author

Emy Gelb

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Hi Lexi,

 

Thanks so much for your question!  Very soon we will be posting a Yak with some additional packing notes, which will include suggestions about gifts for families.  That being said, don't worry about getting anything nice or spending a lot of money on gifts.  You will do 2 -3 homestays during the semester (one if which will be a month long), and it's nice to leaves something small behind for the family to remember you by. Ideas are photos of you and your family, postcards from your hometown, t-shirts/hats from your university, or other small trinkets that say something about who you are or where you are from.  Another idea is to take a photo with your family while here, get it printed, and leave them a copy.

 

Please keep checking the yak board for more information about packing that we will be posting shortly.

 

Thanks, and feel free to ask more questions!

 

Best,

 

The instructors 

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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2013

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Answer to Lexi’s question about gifts

Julianne Chandler,Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Hi Lexi,   Thanks so much for your question!  Very soon we will be posting a Yak with some additional packing notes, which will include suggestions about gifts for families.  That being said, don’t worry about getting anything nice or spending a lot of money on gifts.  You will do 2 -3 homestays during the […]

Posted On

01/14/13

Author

Julianne Chandler

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    [post_date] => 2012-12-17 00:00:00
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Hola aventureros!

I hope this finds you well and with growing levels of excitement about our imminent adventures in the Andes and Amazon! By name is Ben Castle and I will be one of the instructors lucky enough to be joining you on the trip.  Here is a little information about me.

 

I grew up in a rural part of South Wales before moving to London to study environmental policy. I also have an MSc in Climate Change and Development.  I ended up staying in London for a few years working as a climate change policy advisor and researcher for a number of government agencies and think tanks. I have also worked in Washington DC for the Global Environment Fund. I have significant experience working with young people both as a school teacher and as an outdoor educator.

 

I have spent the last year working for an NGO called the Democracy Center here in Cochabamba, Bolivia. My work has involved visiting highland communities who are at risk from the impacts of glacial melt caused by global warming. Without doubt this year has been one of the most exciting, interesting and memorable years of my life. Bolivia just has so much to offer in terms of its incredible cultural richness and breathtaking scenery. The astonishing variety of costumes and dances which can be seen during carnival and at various other street parades has been a constant highlight for me and something which I am sure will also amaze you.       

 

When I was 19 I lived in Nepal for six months. It was the first time I had left home and travelled somewhere so new and different.  It was a profound experience which gave me an appreciation of how rewarding culturally-sensitive and in-depth travel can be.  It also gave me a taste for adventure, an awareness of the true richness that life has to offer and a life-long love of mountainous areas.  It was a challenging but incredible experience which left its mark and which in an indirect way probably explains why I now live in Bolivia. I suspect your time in Bolivia and Peru will have similar, though yet unknown, far-reaching implications and benefits.

 

Being British I expect you will not always understand my superior sense of humour, though I am confident you will learn to appreciate it as the course progresses. It will form part of the cultural immersion element of your experience!

 

I ‘suffer’ from hyperactivity and like to be outside as often as I can. So, when I’m not working I can often be found running, swimming or trekking. As much as possible I also love to go mountaineering, mountain biking and (when I’m in a country with a coastline!) surfing.

 

I am very excited to meet you all and to start the course. I hope you are also enthused and filled with anticipation without being unduly anxious as we are going to have a fantastic time together!  Just make sure your walking boots are broken-in before you get here!     

 

Hasta pronto!

 

Ben

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Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2013

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Instructor Welcome

Ben Castle ,Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Hola aventureros! I hope this finds you well and with growing levels of excitement about our imminent adventures in the Andes and Amazon! By name is Ben Castle and I will be one of the instructors lucky enough to be joining you on the trip.  Here is a little information about me.   I grew […]

Posted On

12/17/12

Author

Ben Castle

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Greetings Dragons!

 

Firstly, I would like to welcome students, parents, instructors, and friends to the 2013 Spring Semester Yak Yak board. This is a momentous time of year for us, charged with anticipation and preparation for another spring season. We hope that the Yak Yak forum encourages you to voice your excitement, anxieties, thoughts and questions. Additionally, it’s a great place to share a bit about yourself.  Shortly, instructors will post their own introductions and begin providing information about the journey ahead. From here, discussions will begin to build and your instructors will offer advice for course preparation regarding packing, recommended readings, the itinerary, and topics to consider for your Independent Study Projects (ISPs). As the Semester Director, I'll be your main point of contact in the Dragons office.  The yak board will serve as an excellent venue for pre-course questions as well.  As for "in-field," your families, your friends, and the Boulder office will live vicariously through your stories and reflections.


My own international journey began as a 6 yr-old when I lived abroad with my family in the Turks & Caicos Islands, and later Haiti. Since, I’ve been instilled with a sense of wanderlust that has yet to wane, whether it is a desire to travel to distant locales or simply seek adventures in my own backyard. I came to Dragons in 2009 as an instructor on the Cambodia course, having spent the previous four years in Japan and Southeast Asia. I later had the opportunity to instruct and help develop our Life Along the Mekong semester program and I now find myself happily ensconced in our home office in Boulder, supporting students, instructors, and courses as I can. I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of such a brilliant and inspiring group of seekers and I am happy to welcome all of you to the Dragons community.

 

So, as we begin to pack our bags for the upcoming adventure, keep in mind that you are now an intricate part of a much greater process; one that contains stories of past students and their feedback, of instructors who have brought their contacts, knowledge and passion, and the dedicated individuals working in country to facilitate a powerful cross-cultural experience. Lastly, but certainly not least, are your parents, who generously send you off in to the world to find your own path. 

The launching of the Yak Yak forum encourages YOU to become a participant in the process and the Dragons community. As you dig through your guidebooks and crack open a few of our suggested pre-course readings, we’d really like to hear what catches your attention. You are welcome to throw out contributions to the itinerary – whether there’s a particular monastery that piques your interest, a non-governmental organization that you would like to visit, or a trekking route that passes through beautiful terrain. Although our instructors have already defined most components of the course, we’d like to work to incorporate your ideas when and where possible. So join in, shout out, and partake in this forum!

The Yak board is the most appropriate place to address your pre-course questions and concerns. We hope that you will discover the magic of the Yak Yak forum, and learn to love it! It’s a powerful tool for communication and community building, and once you head into the field, it will undoubtedly become the default homepage of your parents and friends at home – all of those who WISH they could be out there with you!

Again, welcome to Dragons. I look forward to hearing from you all, and vicariously journeying alongside you this spring.

Warm Regards,

 

Michael Woodard

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Spring 2013, Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2013

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A Warm Welcome

Slade Cogswell,Spring 2013, Andes & Amazon "A" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Greetings Dragons!   Firstly, I would like to welcome students, parents, instructors, and friends to the 2013 Spring Semester Yak Yak board. This is a momentous time of year for us, charged with anticipation and preparation for another spring season. We hope that the Yak Yak forum encourages you to voice your excitement, anxieties, thoughts […]

Posted On

12/5/12

Author

Slade Cogswell

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