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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013


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“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world” –John Muir

 

Each morning began with an early rise and a delicious breakfast. We packed up camp and replaced all of our belongings onto our backs. Together we trudged on through the magnificent landscape. The jagged mountain peaks poked up all around us and there were waterfalls in nearly all directions.

 

A game of assassins kept the hiking interesting and suspicion levels high. At night we would come together to recount the events of the day and plan for tomorrow. Many laughs were shared, many mountain passes were summited, many lessons were learned about the life around us, and most importantly about ourselves.  

 

We are heading out on our next adventure tomorrow morning to the Apolobamba region. There we will be learning about agriculture, natural medicines with the kayawayas, local shamans, ecology and doing some of our most rugged homestays. We will be mostly out of contact for these days (until the 25th of March) but will be keeping the Boulder office updated via our satellite phone. 

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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Off to Apolobamba

los instructores,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world” –John Muir   Each morning began with an early rise and a delicious breakfast. We packed up camp and replaced all of our belongings onto our backs. Together we trudged on through the magnificent landscape. The […]

Posted On

03/15/13

Author

los instructores

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trek 2 of 3 is now finished, with amazing waterfalls and views. star gazing at night with shooting stars is so beautifully amzing such a great night time expierence. the beauty of it all is being able to look back days later and say wow I did that and it was so amazing, I wouldnt trade that for the world with what I´m doing now. the people of Sucre are so beautiful in many different ways, from their generosity to their beautiful weaving and art work. next stop on this journey for us is La Paz, a beautiful city in high Altitude regions, excited for all the new expeirences that lay ahead of us on our next part of this adventure.

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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trek 2 down

Charles Banks Duke,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

trek 2 of 3 is now finished, with amazing waterfalls and views. star gazing at night with shooting stars is so beautifully amzing such a great night time expierence. the beauty of it all is being able to look back days later and say wow I did that and it was so amazing, I wouldnt […]

Posted On

03/13/13

Author

Charles Banks Duke

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I came to Bolivia to answer many of the questions in my life and to learn/broaden my horizons.  I feel like some of these questions have been answered like "What do I want to do after school?  Should I follow my major or explore the forks in the road more?  What makes me happy?"  All these questions have been beating a tattoo in the back of my mind for awhile even if I didn´t realize it.  I know for sure now that I have more to learn in my travels than in school, which makes me thirst for more.  I have met 14 of the most awesome people in my travels and have been truly happy of the first time in many years.  I have been asking myself what am I missing for the longest time, when the question I should´ve been asking is; what am i missing out on and what do I need to do to reclaim this piece of me.  While I´ve been here I have found myself thinking about The Missing Piece.  How far do I need to roll to find my piece?  Will the piece fit well or will it be a band aid fix?  The answer to some questions raises more questions for me.  A few days ago I was lying out under the stars with a few friends and we were talking about everything from life among the stars to our highschool days.  I realized how different many cultures of the U.S are and that I thought many people lived similarly to the way I did in Chicago.  It´s sad the way some people are taken advantage of and the opportunity in the lap of luxury I have squandered on stupid shit.  The lottery of life gave me so much and I´ve blown so much of it which makes me incredulous that I am still able to have this opportunity.  This is the change in me after one month of experiencing different cultures colliding in Bolivia.  I have so much to learn and such short time to do it.  I have been watching the river of life flow right by me it´s time to build a raft and catch the current to the new scenery of the future.  Thank you to my group especially Regina for challenging my world view and sowing the seeds of knowledge and showing me the depths of my ignorance.  I look forward to the experience that Bolivia and Peru have to enlighten me with in the next few months.

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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The River and the Raft

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

Description

I came to Bolivia to answer many of the questions in my life and to learn/broaden my horizons.  I feel like some of these questions have been answered like "What do I want to do after school?  Should I follow my major or explore the forks in the road more?  What makes me happy?"  All […]

Posted On

03/13/13

Author

Will Phelan

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They say that there's only six degrees of separation between any two people in the world, yet I've always had trouble believing that. None of my family and friends have ever been to Bolivia, so who could I know in common with a family from the Bolivian countryside? The phrase seemed like nothing more than a gimmick, nothing more that a slogan used in ads for a nightclub I heard on the radio throughout middle school.

Yet once again, Dragons has changed my mind. My last night at my homestay, while discussing the weather in the United States versus that in Bolivia through broken Spanish, my dad mentioned that my little sister has a "padrino" (godfather) in the U.S.. "Do you want to see his letters?"

I immediately thought back to Carla, the Bolivian pen pal I had when I was younger, and agreed wholeheartedly. One of the reasons I was so excited to come to Bolivia was because of Carla, the Bolivian girl my parents "sponsored" for my name, sending money every month. While I don't remember much, getting the letters and photos updating on my friend in Bolivia, this exotic country I had never heard of, was always the most exciting parts of my young life. Carla's letters, translation accompanying the handwritten note and photos, would come once every few months,  reminding my elementary school self of the entire world beyond the playground.

So hearing about Darius, my little sister's godfather, brought me back to Carla's letters, and I realized I was observing the other side of my letters. My little sister was someone else's Carla, and not just anyone but a man from a town half an hour away from my hometown who was studying in the same city I'll eventually go to school in.

But something's changed for me now. I can't look at the Christmas and Easter cards my family so proudly showed me without feeling a slight breeze of guilt, shame and sadness, all mingling together. How many other Americans, plagued by the guilt inherent to our citizenship, have tried to allieviate it by sending a card and some money to some "poor" child every once a month? Does Darius show my little sister's cards and pictures to every imporant person in his life, or is she merely another box checked on his bucket list? I write this myself guilty of everything I accuse Darius of, but determined to do more. Having seen, having lived the other end of those letters, I know that even though what Darius and my parents did is helpful, it isn't enough.

I don't know what the right answer is, but it has to be more than a child support check every month. We believe putting a bandaid of money on the wound of American influence abroad is enough, instead of examining it, as ugly and painful as it might be. The bandaid feels nice for now, but unless we remove all the dirt and grime, nothing will ever heal properly, and we'll be left with just another scar on our globe.

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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Six Degrees

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

Description

They say that there’s only six degrees of separation between any two people in the world, yet I’ve always had trouble believing that. None of my family and friends have ever been to Bolivia, so who could I know in common with a family from the Bolivian countryside? The phrase seemed like nothing more than […]

Posted On

03/8/13

Author

Kaly Moot

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Dear friends and Families,

 

We have just spent the last 5 days getting to know the town of Sucre. We plan on having some Yaks about that experience shortly but also wanted to let you know that we will be heading out on a 4 day trek starting tomorrow morning.

 

We will be heading into the Cordillera de Los Frailes, a rugged mountain range in the Bolivian Andes, it is home to the Jalq'a, a Quechua speaking indigenous tribe, as well as many other indigenous groups we plan on visiting. 

 

Many Photos and Yaks will be shared upon our return on the 12th....

 

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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On the road again

los instructores,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Dear friends and Families,   We have just spent the last 5 days getting to know the town of Sucre. We plan on having some Yaks about that experience shortly but also wanted to let you know that we will be heading out on a 4 day trek starting tomorrow morning.   We will be […]

Posted On

03/8/13

Author

los instructores

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Another quick yak: we need to win. The Dragon´s mission statement is based on global awareness, pushing comfort zones, and broad thinking, but I would like to add another pillar: scavenger hunts. We have been in Bolivia for 3 weeks and to my memory, we have participated in 3.75 hunts. I´ve only called home 2 times... It´s all good though; they are a good way to make a complete fool of yourself asking random locals strange questions (right now Charlie and Zane are searching out a child who shines shoes to engage him in a thought provoking conversation) and they typically involve ice cream. Also there are prizes. And we want to win. So yes, sorry for the lack of details but we value 15Bs. trinkets more than your affection. Joking. Mostly...

 

Con Cariño,

 

Your children 

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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Don’t expect anything from this Yak

anne, amanda, zane, and charlie,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Another quick yak: we need to win. The Dragon´s mission statement is based on global awareness, pushing comfort zones, and broad thinking, but I would like to add another pillar: scavenger hunts. We have been in Bolivia for 3 weeks and to my memory, we have participated in 3.75 hunts. I´ve only called home 2 […]

Posted On

03/4/13

Author

anne, amanda, zane, and charlie

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The morning of Saturday was a bittersweet moment for me because I was leaving my host family and beginning a month long adventure through Sucre, La Paz, Cusco and many more exciting new places.  I feel as if I´ve left my family because when we were saying goodbye I was super sick and just kinda out of it and didn´t make it out of the bathroom before they had to leave the Program House.  They had such a positive influence on me for the 12 days I was there.  I´m especially going to miss playing soccer with them and learning to speak spanish. 

 

I can also tell they are excited for me to return in April, I can´t wait either.  On the other hand I am off to explore some of the coolest, oldest, and badass cities Latin America has to offer.  We have been in Sucre for the past few days, which has been awesome!  I´ve been feeling better than when I left too. 

 

We visited a village, Tarabuco, there was the most awesome market that was going on city wide.  We had to do a scavenger hunt but it turned into a shopping spree.  We´re on a scavenger hunt in Sucre right now and I realize how awesome the architecture and culture of the country we´re residing in for the next week.  I feel super stoked to see what cities like La Paz and Cusco have to offer.  Then, there is the Amazon which has been on my bucket list to see since I was a wee 10 years old.  I feel so privleged to have this opportunity to visit a unique and wonderful part of South America with this awesome and unique group of people; also with the best instructors imaginable.

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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Bittersweet

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

Description

The morning of Saturday was a bittersweet moment for me because I was leaving my host family and beginning a month long adventure through Sucre, La Paz, Cusco and many more exciting new places.  I feel as if I´ve left my family because when we were saying goodbye I was super sick and just kinda […]

Posted On

03/4/13

Author

Will Phelan

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    [post_date] => 2013-03-01 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-03-01 07:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Dear friends and family,

 

We wanted to share with you all a few picture from our last days in Cochabamba before we head to Sucre tomorrow. 

 

Wishing you all the best,

Andes and Amazon B 

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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Capoeira and Service

Los Instuctores,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Dear friends and family,   We wanted to share with you all a few picture from our last days in Cochabamba before we head to Sucre tomorrow.    Wishing you all the best, Andes and Amazon B 

Posted On

03/1/13

Author

Los Instuctores

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    [post_date] => 2013-02-28 00:00:00
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Two weekends ago, we went trekking in Toro Toro. Just getting to where we were planning on begining the hike was literally a trek all on its own. Since American culture is especially up-tight about time, it was an awesome reminder to just relax and take the extra hours as a positive adventure.

Just on the first part of the drive, the bus got a flat tire and we had to wait several hours to start up again, after which we had to get out of the bus to cross several streams, and then needed to get out of the bus to let a pretty substantial river die down.

So we camped out that night in the town of Toro Toro and got back on the road again for what would have been about an hour drive. As is apparently the norm on these sorts of roads, though, the bus couldn´t make it up the ¨hill¨and we ended up walking ten miles to reach the bus. That night we camped out under the shelter of an enormous and beautiful rock cave and spent the next few days trekking in an incredibly beautiful backcountry.

If this sort of extended bus ride were to happen in the states, in our perhaps overly structured and time-sensitive lives, I would have been really upset and viewed the whole experience negatively. Instead, it taught me to just relax and enjoy the adventure. There´s really no point in getting upset over something that can´t be changed and it was so amazing to just be in such a beautiful landscape.

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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Toro Toro

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

Description

Two weekends ago, we went trekking in Toro Toro. Just getting to where we were planning on begining the hike was literally a trek all on its own. Since American culture is especially up-tight about time, it was an awesome reminder to just relax and take the extra hours as a positive adventure. Just on […]

Posted On

02/28/13

Author

Lydia Lichtiger

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Warm weather, beautiful mountain ranges, and hearty home-cooked meals are just a few of the treasures Bolivia has to offer. I struggle to find the means of expressing our journey so far, as simple words fail to deliver the experience shared in our group. Our first major experience was backpacking in Toro Toro National Park, a land covered in jagged mountains that expose a rich deposit of Earth´s natural history. Dinosaur tracks dating to the Cretaceous period scatter the landscape; we were walking in the footsteps of ancient dragons. After several days of battling the elements and chewing coca leaves, we returned to the Cochabamba area to meet with our homestay families. My Spanish is basic at best, but I can still communicate decently. Soon we will be leaving our homestays and begin another leg of our journey, starting in Sucre. I do not know what challenges we shall face, but I am optimistic in our ability to overcome obstacles. One thing I am certain of is that we will be changed for the better by the end of our journey. 

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Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

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The Journey So Far

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

Description

Warm weather, beautiful mountain ranges, and hearty home-cooked meals are just a few of the treasures Bolivia has to offer. I struggle to find the means of expressing our journey so far, as simple words fail to deliver the experience shared in our group. Our first major experience was backpacking in Toro Toro National Park, […]

Posted On

02/27/13

Author

Scott Bobbs

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