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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013


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Watching tv isn't supposed to be a bonding activity, at least according to all the experts. But at my homestay in tiquipaya, watching tv was how me and my little sister bonded. Home alone on a Sunday morning, while the rest of the family was off at meetings and Sunday school, Nadid would take my ham and pull me into the bedroom with the tv, and haphazardly choose a disc from the mountain of nameless DVDs. We would put it in, then pray for the next 5 minutes while we tried to make it work. But once it actually began playing, as every one out of five would, we would sit back on the bed, occasionally her in my lap, and watch. But watching movies with Nadid (and my brother Alfredo), doesn't work the way people from the states expect. For a while we would all sit there silently, entranced by the plot of Shrek, but inevitably, the movie would no longer be entertaining enough, and the real fun would start. I mediated countless wrestling matches, just like the MMA ones my brothers watched consistently, counting down as the loser was pinned to the bed. Just like my constant fights with my brother at home, my siblings in Tiquipaya seemed to have the most fun when beating each other up. The TV was just an excuse for them to rough house on the bed for extended periods of time. But as soon as my parents came home, the TV turned off and we were back to preparing lunch, getting the cows from their pasture, or doing laundry in the faucet and buckets in the front yard.

Tiquipaya was always like that for me: taking something I was accustomed to, something I was comfortable with, and (putting it next to) something completely foreign. The radio that played from the moment my family awoke until the last person went to sleep would alternate between the latest American top 40 (so thankfully I never missed out on the newest Pitbull song) and the traditional Bolivian music. My family, while making me feel welcome from the day  they showed me my little blue room full of windows, constantly challenged me and my ideas of a "normal" lifestyle. Lingering around the dinner table with my parents after my siblings had said "provecho" to everyone at the table, I would talk to my dad about his ideas for his house, how to find happiness, his recent and major fall at work and the injuries he's still left with two months later, and more, giving me another, non United States perspective on life and how to live well. Leaving for expedition was bittersweet for me, because as excited as I am to begin the final chapter of our trip, I can't forget all the fun I had and all the lessons I learned at my homestay. But I will forever be grateful for my family in Tiquipaya, and hopefully use everything they taught me as we start expedition.

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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Family Bonding in Tiquipaya

Kaly Moot,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Watching tv isn’t supposed to be a bonding activity, at least according to all the experts. But at my homestay in tiquipaya, watching tv was how me and my little sister bonded. Home alone on a Sunday morning, while the rest of the family was off at meetings and Sunday school, Nadid would take my […]

Posted On

05/1/13

Author

Kaly Moot

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     After the first walk home with my brother and sister I remember feeling so ready to be suprised by how vastly different they are and how it would take a significant amout of time for me to fully acclamate. I was wrong. That same day within the first hour or two my brother and I were cracking fart jokes and talking about sports in a way I thought was exclusive to American boy-man culture. I felt like a part of the family from that very first day, albeit the slightly incomprehensible, awkwardly tall brother with the vocabulary far under his age but I felt not only accepted but loved.      Before I started this trip I often wondered to myself if I did the things I did because I wanted to or was supposed to, I had an image of what Zane should act like/talk like so I fufilled whatever my image wanted. Now after being around my host brothers and sister I realized how to just see things how they are, my host family didn´t care how weird I was and what I felt I expressed. My host family changed my life.

     Tiquipaya still has its own unique culture from the intense colors of the sacks they carry everything around in to the velvet skirts the women wear, but underneath it all there remains a universality to it all; young boys like telling jokes to gross out their sisters and sisters like to talk about their crush of the month and in order to ensure the best for their children parents do all they can to send their kids to college, all things highly relatable to the typical teenager from my home. Our commonalities created hours of conversation and jokes and eventually a stong love  I´ll miss my family.

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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So Long Tiquipaya

Zane Thompson,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

     After the first walk home with my brother and sister I remember feeling so ready to be suprised by how vastly different they are and how it would take a significant amout of time for me to fully acclamate. I was wrong. That same day within the first hour or two my brother […]

Posted On

04/28/13

Author

Zane Thompson

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I will miss the cool nights and mornings and the hot days, the four-daily walks from my house to the program house with Anne and Sarah and Scott, the fields of corn, the incredibly-lit mountains, and the cobblestone road. My nine-year-old sister (nearly) always excited and playful, greeting me like she hasn´t seen me in a year every time I walk through a room, spending lazy sunday afternoons taking peas out of their pods with her, her eating at least 2 out of every 3 peas, weaving after dinner with my mom and sisters, awkwardly trying to say something that is so simple in english in spanish, my dad and mom making so many jokes and laughing so much. And while its hard to say I´ll miss the food (starch on starch on starch), I will definitely miss the routine of eating that I fell into with my Bolivian family: an enormous lunch followed by a nap stuffed with food and then a cool, small dinner with mate.

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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Reflections on Tiquipaya

Lydia Lichtiger,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

I will miss the cool nights and mornings and the hot days, the four-daily walks from my house to the program house with Anne and Sarah and Scott, the fields of corn, the incredibly-lit mountains, and the cobblestone road. My nine-year-old sister (nearly) always excited and playful, greeting me like she hasn´t seen me in […]

Posted On

04/28/13

Author

Lydia Lichtiger

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We transition now from the comfort of our homestay families in the Cochabamba area to the high altitude region of Cordillera Real and Lake Titicaca. This past week we were greeted daily with warm hearts and Bolivian hospitality and this week we will battle the elements as we trek through mountain passes. This may be the final chapter of our venture as Dragons, but this marks the beginning of a new story as we are forever changed by our experience. The lessons we learn here will play a monumental role in our future lives. Now I ponder what I have learned through this experience in order to prepare myself for tomorrow. 

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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This is not the end. This is the beginning.

Scott Bobbs,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

We transition now from the comfort of our homestay families in the Cochabamba area to the high altitude region of Cordillera Real and Lake Titicaca. This past week we were greeted daily with warm hearts and Bolivian hospitality and this week we will battle the elements as we trek through mountain passes. This may be […]

Posted On

04/28/13

Author

Scott Bobbs

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I don't even know where to begin with my home stay. If its killing chickens or playing soccer with host families, it's a hard thing to put into words and to express if you have never expierenced something quite like this. It's the way of expression to understand they way of being apart of a family that has taken you in as a weary traveller. It's the fact they treat as one of their own children that makes it an amazing expierence. It's truly a once in a lifetime opportunity that not everyone gets to expierence a homestay and I'm very glad I got this opportunity to. 

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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Chicken house of Cochabamba

Charlie banks duke ,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

I don’t even know where to begin with my home stay. If its killing chickens or playing soccer with host families, it’s a hard thing to put into words and to express if you have never expierenced something quite like this. It’s the way of expression to understand they way of being apart of a […]

Posted On

04/28/13

Author

Charlie banks duke

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Sustaiability is an interesting conept. Sustainability is defined as the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed. To me sustainability means that a technique can be used over and over again without the need to quickly deplete its source. It maintains a resprocity with the Earth, giving back what it takes out. This also includes many factors like pollution, recovery time, and resources used. I have learned so much about sustainability over the past year and found that man has known these facts all along but in our recent history we have chosen to ignore them. So sustainability has one more factor, possibly one of the most important skills in life… common sense. In my mind sustainability is all of these factors rolled into one. In other words sustainability is just being smart and thinking about what were doing before we do it. This is the most sustainable way to live. Ancient man knew that the Earth is a sacred place and that we are privaledged to live here, and in recent years we have taken her for granted. Andean cosmology preaches this way of life and I thought to myself the first time I saw their farming techniques, ¨wow why don´t we do this in the U.S? We wouldn´t be running out of farmable land, we´d conserve more wáter, and be able to feed a good portion of the world. Then, theres all the wasted food, if we produced less we would waste less because there is less food. This concept of sustainability isn´t new its just been ignored and we´re just rediscovering what our ancestors knew all along.
Being in Bolivia and Peru, I have noticed some differences between my homes. In the U.S I waste a lot of food, energy and time. Here in Bolivia I have more appreciation for these things. My family here grows and raises most of their own food and uses very minimal water. I feel that my home in Chicago is not sustainable because all we do is take from the Earth and return nothing. I used to be so nieve that I thought that carbon credits were a good way to offset our carbon footprint but i now realize that they are not a very sustainable solution to the green house gas problem. I feel that most of the battle for sustainability is educating yourself on good practices because we are exposed to so much crappy information.  While here in Tiquipaya I have noticed that my family is very good at not wasting anything and using what they have to their fullest ability. I noticed that many of the chickens dissappeared by the end of my stay here and I thought they were delicious; the meat was consumed by everyone, the scraps and bones were given to the 7 dogs, and nobody went hungry even though the chickens were not given growth enhancementers. In conclusion, sustainability is just about using your resources wisely and treating the Pachamama with respect.

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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Smarts and Sustainability

Will Phelan,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Sustaiability is an interesting conept. Sustainability is defined as the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed. To me sustainability means that a technique can be used over and over again without the need to quickly deplete its source. It maintains a resprocity with the Earth, giving back what it takes out. This also […]

Posted On

04/28/13

Author

Will Phelan

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After a month working on their independant study project Amanda and Meg put together a short video of their work:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcCc8zKGjqM 

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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A Graffiti Independent study project

Amanda Harley and Margaret Chandler,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

After a month working on their independant study project Amanda and Meg put together a short video of their work:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcCc8zKGjqM 

Posted On

04/27/13

Author

Amanda Harley and Margaret Chandler

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Lately I’ve been slowly (very slowly) making my way through some Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Pablo Neruda. It’s so slow because I have to stop at every third word to search through my Spanish-English dictionary to translate the vocabulary. It’s so hard not to feel inspired when reading two such talented men, true writers each with an unique ability to candidly express human emotions. This is a poem I wrote, first in Spanish and then translated into English, after an afternoon of reading them on the lawn of the program house.

 

“Zumbido Sonrosado”

Era su voz que me arrulló, su

Zumbido sonrosado que casi-oí en la penumbra.

 

Estoy tanteando por entendimientos, signos

Que estoy tropezando hacía una cosa

Verdadera que me va a rodear; una embarcación

Moviendo a ciegas a un bosque quieto.

 

Musgosa es mi miente ahora y he

Olvidado quien eres, pero eres nadie,

Un sistema circulatorio de arboles

Susurrados. Me estás desgañitando, pero

Solo oigo el veinte.

 

Estoy extendiendo mis brazos sola entre los rincones,

Alcanzando por ideas vacilantes, el

Resto del mar.

 

 

“Rosy-Pink Buzzing”

It was your voice that lulled me to sleep, your

Rosy-pink buzzing I half-heard in the dark.

 

I am probing for understandings, signs

That I am stumbling towards something

True that I can surround myself with, a ship

Moving blindly towards a quiet forest.

 

Mossy is my mind now, and I have

Forgotten who you are, but you are nobody,

A circulatory system of soft-breathing

Trees. You are screaming at me but

All I hear is the wind.

 

I alone am extending my arms into the corners,

Reaching for hesitant ideas, the

Remnants of the sea.

 

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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A spanish poem

Anne Vetter,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Lately I’ve been slowly (very slowly) making my way through some Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Pablo Neruda. It’s so slow because I have to stop at every third word to search through my Spanish-English dictionary to translate the vocabulary. It’s so hard not to feel inspired when reading two such talented men, true writers each […]

Posted On

04/24/13

Author

Anne Vetter

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    [post_date] => 2013-04-21 00:00:00
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So we're back in Tiquipaya to our homestays after a month of intense travelling. It is awesome to get time with my thoughts. Being in a big group all the time and seeing new things is a lot of fun but is very overwhelming at the same time. "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all exploring will be to arrive where we started and know a place for the first time." - T.S Elliot.

 

For the first time in about a month, I realized how much I loved weekends again. Sitting in town anticipating all the work I have to do, then realizing, I can do it tomorrow, was nothing short of amazing. The last month travelling was very cultural and very eye opening, these two weeks are going to be very beneficial for the language aspect of the trip. The first day back in classes, it was as if I had never been in a class at all, then it all slowly started to come back to me. Now there is three more weeks where we are all aiming to have at least one meal per day where we speak only Spanish. Forcing yourself to spend time with your homestay family isn't always the easiest thing, for it's a lot easier to meet up with a friend. This has been a challenge for every student, but has also been a huge accomplishment.  Spanish levels are rising very quickly.

 

One more week of spanish classes, then off on our expedition. The trip is slowly coming to a close, but the friendships are not. 

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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Back in the swing of things

Philip Beardsley,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

So we’re back in Tiquipaya to our homestays after a month of intense travelling. It is awesome to get time with my thoughts. Being in a big group all the time and seeing new things is a lot of fun but is very overwhelming at the same time. "We shall not cease from exploration, and […]

Posted On

04/21/13

Author

Philip Beardsley

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In terms of agriculture at least, Tiquipaya is far more sustainable than my town, Hastings, in the states. Both Tiquipaya and Hastings lie in the suburbs of a big city (Cochabamba and New York City), yet the connection to food here is much closer than it is at home. Green space in my town is made up of small, disturbed forested areas as well as fields, whereas much of the greenspace here in Tiquipaya is used for agriculture: gardens or grazing cows, which makes for grass-fed and extremely local carne and leche. Also, as far as I can tell, cow manure is the only thing fertilizing the grass and corn does not need to be grown elsewhere (using an enormous amount of pesticides and fertilizers and thus oil) and then shipped to Tiquipaya to feed the cows- its a totally close-looped system. This would make sense since South America´s food system is largely unindustrialized. The US, on the other hand, has an almost entirely industrialized food system- though there is a large movement to unindustrialize it. This process of increasing the price of food to include the whole cost and making the production of food more like what would actually occur in nature, and thus more environmentally friendly is certainly good, but its not as good as simply never having industrialized, because that way people don´t have to adjust to being connected with food.
What we as Americans see as a pro-active choice and environmentally-concious, Tiquipayans see as the obvious, of-course way to do things: of course you buy produce at the local, inexpensive market (unlike in the US where we subsidize monocultures of things like corn and soybeans that go into our processed foods and feed our factory farmed animals so that these foods become misleadingly cheap, in Bolivia, healthy, density rich foods are less expensive than meat and processed foods). Of course you grow a small garden. Of course you have a compost pile and feed your animals your food scraps rather than throwing away your food scraps and buying seperate food for your animals.

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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Sustainability

Lydia Lichtiger,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

In terms of agriculture at least, Tiquipaya is far more sustainable than my town, Hastings, in the states. Both Tiquipaya and Hastings lie in the suburbs of a big city (Cochabamba and New York City), yet the connection to food here is much closer than it is at home. Green space in my town is […]

Posted On

04/21/13

Author

Lydia Lichtiger

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