Photo of the Week
Photo Title

« Back to Yak Board Archive Site

Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013


WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 16711
    [post_author] => 30
    [post_date] => 2013-02-27 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-02-27 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

I´ve found that there is a significant difference between Bolivian social norms and those of America. For example:

-Beating as a form of punishment is common in Bolivia and generally accepted. Public schools are allowed to spank children for arriving late, failing to complete homework assignments, or for other violations. 

-Dogs are also frequently beaten as well. In my host family, I noticed their seven-year old daughter slap their dog in the face and punch and kick it in the stomach for setting a single foot inside of the doorway. This treatment of animals I find quite perturbing. Resulting from this conditioning, many dogs I encounter will approach me, but if I take a single step in their direction many will jump away quickly. This behavior is not typical of domestic pets in America.  

 

-Women are far less pressured to work. Instead, women are expected to take care of the house, cook, clean, and raise children. My host mother does work, but not for long hours. My host father, on the other hand, works long hours. I never see him in the morning when I wake up at seven o'clock, yet he usually doesn´t return from work until around seven or eight at night.

 

-In the absence of large commercial businesses and stores, many small, homogenous, family run shops can be found within a very small area. Unlike in America, these shops are not accessible to customers. Instead, customers must stand by an opening and look inside of the shop, and then ask whoever is attending to collect the items they intend to purchase. As a foreigner, I wish I could go inside and view the items for myself, because the food products they stock I rarely find in stores in the United States.

 

-One is not expected to tip taxi drivers. It is also important to settle the price of a taxi ride prior to departing for your intended destination, because taxi drivers are especially prone to extorting unreasonable amounts of money from wealthy foreigners who still think thirty Bolivianos for a seven-minute ride is incredibly cheap; relative to Western taxi services it certainly is.

 

Although many other social functions differ between the United States and Bolivia, the afformentioned incongruities I noticed are foremost on my mind.

[post_title] => Some Cultural Differences I've Observed [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => some-cultural-differences-iave-observed [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-11-23 22:52:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-11-23 22:52:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://my.wheretherebedragons.com/wp/?p=16711 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 267 [name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [slug] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 267 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 241 [count] => 95 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13.1 [cat_ID] => 267 [category_count] => 95 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [category_nicename] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [category_parent] => 241 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2013/andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 )

Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

View post

Some Cultural Differences I’ve Observed

Laszlo von Rago,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

I´ve found that there is a significant difference between Bolivian social norms and those of America. For example: -Beating as a form of punishment is common in Bolivia and generally accepted. Public schools are allowed to spank children for arriving late, failing to complete homework assignments, or for other violations.  -Dogs are also frequently beaten […]

Posted On

02/27/13

Author

Laszlo von Rago

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 16712
    [post_author] => 30
    [post_date] => 2013-02-27 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-02-27 07:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Something that I was very quick to realize whilst here in Bolivia is that a smile and nod can only get you so far as a tourist. Communication is not easy, but in the end, is it supposed to be? These past three weeks have been like none other in my life. A lot of time has been spent communicating as best I can with my Bolivian homestay family. I noticed that there really is a big difference between experiencing a place as a tourist, and experiencing a place as a local. When people travel to new, foreign places, they always have an image built up in their minds as to what this culture is going to be like. Needless to say the same occured for me. Living in a local family helped me realize how far from reality my preconceived notion as to what the Bolivian culture would be like really was. Although the families here in Bolivia may not have all the material luxuries that we dragons students have back at home, what they do have, is a simple life, full of happiness- everybody always has a huge smile on their face! Every day, when I come home to my Bolivian family, I open the gate, tell my dog "BETO NO!!!!!" to keep him inside, and am shortly after greeted by my parents, Virginia and David and their daughter Janet. I feel like a huge effort is put in on their behalf to make me feel at home, and it works. Bolivian hospitality is amazing. I love this country. Three weeks in and I feel like I know and understand Bolivia as a country. Surely enough, my rational side tells me that this is false, and that I am going to learn a lot more in the coming two and a half months.  

[post_title] => Different culture, different people [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => different-culture-different-people [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-02-27 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-02-27 07:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://my.wheretherebedragons.com/wp/?p=16712 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 267 [name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [slug] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 267 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 241 [count] => 95 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13.1 [cat_ID] => 267 [category_count] => 95 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [category_nicename] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [category_parent] => 241 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2013/andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 )

Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

View post

Different culture, different people

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

Description

Something that I was very quick to realize whilst here in Bolivia is that a smile and nod can only get you so far as a tourist. Communication is not easy, but in the end, is it supposed to be? These past three weeks have been like none other in my life. A lot of […]

Posted On

02/27/13

Author

Philip Beardsley

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 16713
    [post_author] => 30
    [post_date] => 2013-02-27 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-02-27 07:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Unconventional families are nothing new to me. In my four years of boarding school, I spent more time with my adopted family in my dorm than my "real family" (sorry mom). Living with my friends, my surrogate sisters, I quickly learned not to overlook unconventional families. After all, what is it that makes a family a family? For me, it´s always been the people whom I can be completely myself around, who´ve known me at my worst and love me anyways, whether it be my friends or my parents. I was lucky enough to be born into one amazing familiy, and even luckier to find another in my dorm. 

 

So one would think that I would be completely ready to find another family, but in reality it was the last thing on my mind. In all my stressing about preparing, about packing the right pair or rainpants or shampoo, my homestay family barely crossed my mind beyond the pair of jeans I got to bring for my time there. And when I met my Bolivian homestay family 4 days ago, I didn´t know what to feel, only my intial apprehension at living with strangers. 

 

But I should´ve trusted my experiences. In half a week, I already feel like an hija de Dona Pilar, my host mom. My 8 year old hermanita (little sister) gives me a running bear hug each time I come home, and has convinced me to dance, albeit terribly, with her for the past two nights, a serious feat. My Bolivian homestay has rapidly becaome my second surrogate family, and coming home for lunch or dinner feels natural. 

 

While I love spending time with the other Dragons, the authenticity of walking to the store to buy eggs and Chiztos (Bolivian Cheetos) with my little sister or trying a bite of the rabbit is irreplaceable. And the more time I spend with them, the more they begin to remind me of my family back home. My little brother and sister can´t be in the same room without beating each other up, just as my brother in the States and I have been rough-housing since pretty much the day he was born. My Bolivian parents were perhaps more worried about me the night I came home from the Program House half an hour too late than my parents in the States would have been. It still amazes me how easily some things can transcend language or culture or blood, like the laughter of a gringa and her Bolivian sister, or the feeling of being at home.

[post_title] => Families across the Globe [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => families-across-the-globe [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-02-27 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-02-27 07:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://my.wheretherebedragons.com/wp/?p=16713 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 267 [name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [slug] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 267 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 241 [count] => 95 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13.1 [cat_ID] => 267 [category_count] => 95 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [category_nicename] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [category_parent] => 241 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2013/andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 )

Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

View post

Families across the Globe

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

Description

Unconventional families are nothing new to me. In my four years of boarding school, I spent more time with my adopted family in my dorm than my "real family" (sorry mom). Living with my friends, my surrogate sisters, I quickly learned not to overlook unconventional families. After all, what is it that makes a family […]

Posted On

02/27/13

Author

Kaly Moot

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 16709
    [post_author] => 30
    [post_date] => 2013-02-27 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-02-27 07:00:00
    [post_content] => 

After spending three weeks in Bolivia, I can already say everything i once thought i knew about South America has completely changed. To milking a cow or feeding a llama, to playing actual fruit ninja at the program house with Will, to the late night soccer games, trekking through caves and having the guide be 4 times my age is just an amazing expierence.

[post_title] => 3 weeks in [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 3-weeks-in [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-02-27 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-02-27 07:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://my.wheretherebedragons.com/wp/?p=16709 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 267 [name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [slug] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 267 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 241 [count] => 95 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13.1 [cat_ID] => 267 [category_count] => 95 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [category_nicename] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [category_parent] => 241 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2013/andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 )

Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

View post

3 weeks in

Charlie DUke,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

After spending three weeks in Bolivia, I can already say everything i once thought i knew about South America has completely changed. To milking a cow or feeding a llama, to playing actual fruit ninja at the program house with Will, to the late night soccer games, trekking through caves and having the guide be […]

Posted On

02/27/13

Author

Charlie DUke

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 16701
    [post_author] => 30
    [post_date] => 2013-02-26 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-02-26 07:00:00
    [post_content] => 

This is just a demo of a video. Unfortunately the internet wont allow for a higher quality video, but hopefully this can allow everyone a quick peek at our trip thus far...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEv0NGuIVrE&feature=youtu.be 

[post_title] => A video link and a few independent study project (ISP) pics [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => a-video-link-and-a-few-independent-study-project-isp-pics [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-02-26 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-02-26 07:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://my.wheretherebedragons.com/wp/?p=16701 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 267 [name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [slug] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 267 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 241 [count] => 95 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13.1 [cat_ID] => 267 [category_count] => 95 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [category_nicename] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [category_parent] => 241 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2013/andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 )

Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

View post

A video link and a few independent study project (ISP) pics

Regina Kruglyak,Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

This is just a demo of a video. Unfortunately the internet wont allow for a higher quality video, but hopefully this can allow everyone a quick peek at our trip thus far…  

Posted On

02/26/13

Author

Regina Kruglyak

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 16696
    [post_author] => 30
    [post_date] => 2013-02-25 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-02-25 07:00:00
    [post_content] => 

                It’s funny how some things lead to another. In 6th Grade, my Spanish teacher broke the class into pairs and assigned us a month long project on a Southern/Central American country. After much deliberation, which is the polite way of saying we were last to chose, my partner Maddie and I settled on Peru. Being a model student, I went to the school library and checked out all 3 books they had on Peru and then promptly spent the next month looking at photos of llamas on the internet. Maddie and I then prepared a 15-slide PowerPoint which we titled “Peru” but was really an ode to the llamas of the world. To beef it out, we improvised a “culturally appropriate” “Peruvian Hat Dance” around a Chevy’s Sombrero. What can I say? I was in 6th grade and had the cultural awareness of a turnip. Because my teacher probably knew even less about Peru than we did, we received A+’s and thus I allowed myself to think of Peru of “Land of the Llamas” until I discovered the World Section of the New York Times a few years later. I’d like to think I’ve matured since 6th grade; if assigned the same project now, I would probably only spend half of my time looking at photos of llamas and would definitely make sure it was a real culture ritual that I was dancing horrendously for my class.

 

                Though the project was most likely intended to ignite curiosity in newly awakened world citizens, it left me with one question; can I have a pet llama? To me, it made total sense; llamas are great. To my parents, not so much; llamas spit, they eat everything, and there was a 0% chance that this would fly with our golden retriever, Tassie.

 

                Now I know what you are thinking, “who is this crazy girl who flew all the way to Bolivia and Peru just to see some llamas. I am calling the Boulder Office right away to see if she can be transferred to the other section and thus away from my child. She is obviously not well.” Not so, worried parents. I am here for many of  the same reasons that your children are; I want to experience a new way of life, broaden my thoughts on my own, grow as a person, have an incredible time. Because I applied so last minute to the program, it didn’t even hit me that I would be occupying such a heavily populated llama area until I was shopping for wool hats in REI.

 

                If any of you are like my mom and have our schedule pinned to your bulletin board (love you mom,) then you know that we have been in our homestays outside of Cochabamba for about a week now. Last week, on our bumpy ride to Toro Toro, we all asked the instructors questions about our homestays: “Is my house near the program house?” “Do I have siblings?” “Is my mom a good cook?”

 

                “What’s mine like?” I asked.

 

                “They have a pet llama.”

 

                 Let me clarify: I had not mentioned to the instructors that I had always wanted a pet llama for the sake of fooling everyone into thinking of me as normal (I failed in case you are wondering.) I gave off a strong enough “llama enthusiast” vibe that not only did the instructors put me in the only home with a pet llama, it was the first thing they told me about my house. Excellent. Also, Cochabamba is in the Valle, it is not a place where llamas live naturally. My family brought the llama down from the highlands specifically because they really wanted a llama. These are my kind of people.

 

                The llama is pretty great. Her name is Luscero and she is a month old. She has this huge eyes and likes to stick her head through the kitchen window and watch us when we east. 3 times a day, my host mom feeds her from a bottle. It is pretty darn endearing. Yesterday, my mom told me that she wants to dress Luscero up in traditional llama clothing (so excited to see what this is) and I can bring her to school on a leash. I am pretty sure I have fulfilled the dreams of my 6th grade self.

 

                While I am on the subject of my homestay, I would like to take the chance to thank my U.S. parents for never letting me have rodent pets. I used to think it was because my parents wanted to ruin my life (so angsty; all of the cool kids had hamsters and the like) and because they were blind to the charms of the guinea pigs, but now I understand that they were preparing me for travelling to South America.

 

                My family here has a big pen of guinea pigs in their garden and though I haven’t asked, based on what I’ve read and the way they run squeaking anytime I bring them food, I am pretty certain guinea pig is on the menu soon. I am so grateful that I will never have to explain to my home mother why I am weeping and repeating the name “Fluffy” in broken Spanish over dinner one night. I have to say, my mom here is a darn good cook and unless it’s the llama that she’s serving up, I am ready to take it all on.

[post_title] => Some Thoughts on the Pets I've Never Had [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => some-thoughts-on-the-pets-ive-never-had [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-02-25 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-02-25 07:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://my.wheretherebedragons.com/wp/?p=16696 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 267 [name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [slug] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 267 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 241 [count] => 95 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13.1 [cat_ID] => 267 [category_count] => 95 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [category_nicename] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [category_parent] => 241 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2013/andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 )

Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

View post

Some Thoughts on the Pets I’ve Never Had

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

Description

                It’s funny how some things lead to another. In 6th Grade, my Spanish teacher broke the class into pairs and assigned us a month long project on a Southern/Central American country. After much deliberation, which is the polite way of saying we were last to chose, my partner Maddie and I settled on Peru. […]

Posted On

02/25/13

Author

Anne Vetter

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 16685
    [post_author] => 30
    [post_date] => 2013-02-23 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-02-23 07:00:00
    [post_content] => 

¨Medio! Medio!¨ I shout, Manuel, my host brother, centers the ball and I bury it into the chainlink net.  I have only played soccer one day and already I feel like part of the family.  It´s amazing how well I fit into the Ramirez family even though I barely speak spanish.  They have made me feel so welcome immeadiately.  I feel as if I´ve know them my whole life.  We use an intersting combination of broken spanish, english, and hand gestures.  It feels good to fit in so easily and see their eyes light up in wonderment as I give them simple gifts from back home.  We read an aritcle this week called ¨To Hell with Good Intentions¨ by some guy from Mexico.  He digs into the peace corp for coming to villages and ¨helping¨ which made me wonder if the same concept applies to Dragons?  The road to hell is paved with good intentions but that doesn´t make it any colder.  Do these people really want our help? Or do I do this to feel better about myself?  I guess only time will tell...

[post_title] => GGGGGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => gggggggggggggooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllll [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-02-23 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-02-23 07:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://my.wheretherebedragons.com/wp/?p=16685 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 267 [name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [slug] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 267 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 241 [count] => 95 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13.1 [cat_ID] => 267 [category_count] => 95 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [category_nicename] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [category_parent] => 241 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2013/andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 )

Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

View post

GGGGGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Description

¨Medio! Medio!¨ I shout, Manuel, my host brother, centers the ball and I bury it into the chainlink net.  I have only played soccer one day and already I feel like part of the family.  It´s amazing how well I fit into the Ramirez family even though I barely speak spanish.  They have made me […]

Posted On

02/23/13

Author

Will Phelan

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 16671
    [post_author] => 30
    [post_date] => 2013-02-21 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-02-21 07:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Long walks occupy that strange in-between space in the mind; you can think in a way that is not thinking or dreaming or analyzing. It is just another part of the slow pattern of walking. You step forward, your mind moves somewhere soft, you step forward, and your mind moves too. Not forward, not back, but it moves without trying, circling the world around you and moving in and out of the unknown corners and universes that are the territory inside your mind.

                In Toro Toro, the colors seemed particularly conducive to this slow not-thinking type of thinking. The sky was navy in a daytime way because it was always about to rain and the rocks were dripping red and the grass was that kind of green that is muted and too vibrant all at once. It didn’t feel real and so you can let your mind slip past sensible habits as you walk, step forward, step forward, again and again for long hours.

                In Andean Cosmology, there is this idea of kawsay pacha, a living web of energy that connects everything in the natural world. All things animate or inanimate are buzzing with living energy, this same, all reaching energy. Up in the small mountain towns of Toro Toro, it wasn’t so hard to understand. Because I was and am separated from everything I know, sometimes it’s hard in this new place to tell where things end and begin. The almost inevitable lightening, corn fields, the moving river of brown and grey goats that ran past us when we were cooking dinner, even the red rocks and my own body; it all felt, if not connected, than part of some universal push and shove where everything acted off everything else.

                These are the soft thoughts that I occupied as I moved; If everything is connected, nothing is insignificant. What would it feel like to always live in a world so liquid, with energy pumping like blood between my ears and the pine trees and my dog and the clouds? What would it feel like if everyone could feel this?

                Sometimes it feels as though that the ideologies of the cultures that reach way back into the past are archaic. It’s right there in the title we give them: ancient cultures . But, over the past 2 weeks, we have talked at length about environmental issues, about global citizenship, about relationships. These are not issues contained in our group of fifteen; they are there in the mouths in the class rooms, in the government houses, in the dinner tables of the world. This concept of kawsay pacha informs them all; if everything is connected, nothing is insignificant. If everything is connected, then over fishing isn’t just chipping away at biodiversity, it is chipping away at bits of ourselves. If everything is connected, then learning about other cultures not only expands world view, it is a way to learn more about ourselves. If everything is connected, then everyone is important, an equal, breathing piece of the living puzzle.

 Maybe this, my narrow view of this sacred idea, is selfish. Maybe I am twisting what I have read into the solution to what I see as the world problems, but walking high up in the curved red mountains of Toro Toro, letting my mind go to the strange places in my mind where unanswerable questions have answers, it felt alright. In the “Andean Kodex,” it says that “the purpose of human life is to achieve and maintain balance between the human sphere and nature.” I know that my mind will continue to circle around this in the soft moments, before I fall asleep and on the walk to class in the morning, even after I have left Toro Toro and Cochabamba and all of this world behind. 

[post_title] => kawsay pacha [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => kawsay-pacha [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-08 16:17:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-08 23:17:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://my.wheretherebedragons.com/wp/?p=16671 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 36 [name] => Best Notes From The Field [slug] => best-notes-from-the-field [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 36 [taxonomy] => category [description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course. [parent] => 0 [count] => 503 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0 [cat_ID] => 36 [category_count] => 503 [category_description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course. [cat_name] => Best Notes From The Field [category_nicename] => best-notes-from-the-field [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/best-notes-from-the-field/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 267 [name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [slug] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 267 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 241 [count] => 95 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13.1 [cat_ID] => 267 [category_count] => 95 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [category_nicename] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [category_parent] => 241 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2013/andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013/ ) ) [category_links] => Best Notes From The Field, Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 )

Best Notes From The Field, Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

View post

kawsay pacha

Anne Vetter,Best Notes From The Field, Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Long walks occupy that strange in-between space in the mind; you can think in a way that is not thinking or dreaming or analyzing. It is just another part of the slow pattern of walking. You step forward, your mind moves somewhere soft, you step forward, and your mind moves too. Not forward, not back, […]

Posted On

02/21/13

Author

Anne Vetter

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 16660
    [post_author] => 30
    [post_date] => 2013-02-19 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-02-19 07:00:00
    [post_content] => 

We all awoke to the sound of pouring rain on the rooftops. Not exactly what we were hoping for when on our way out of our little sanctuary of Sammay Wasi and onto our what was supposed to be 6 hour drive to Toro Toro national park. The “said” 6 hours quickly turned into 12 with many interesting stops from random parts of the bus malfunctioning (completely routine in Bolivia with very quick solutions) to entire rivers going over our cobblestone road. Most of the rivers we were able to cross on foot while the bus trudged alongside us. We got to one that was far too massive for even that technique though and so decided to make the best of the time and cooked our first of many delicious camp meals together. The river went down after a few hours and we eventually crossed that one on foot as well (with our new river crossing techniques in mind). It was all a fairly beautiful first adventure entering a prehistoric landscape that almost perfectly looked like a scene straight out of Jurassic park, rather appropriate since this area is known for its well preserved dinosaur footprints.

 

We set up camp and awoke to the magical sights of Toro Toro. The mountains in this area have all undergone serious metamorphic activity so while we were inside a valley; all around us were these perfect S shaped wavy mountains. You can see jagged strips of sedimentary layers popping out in all directions. And since the area is almost entirely soft mud, there are the most amazingly well preserved, massive dinosaur footprints. After many hours of hiking through the surreal landscape we dropped down into the Virgil canyon and appeared at our campsite, a massive rock structure called the Cathedral, it is a mix between a cave and a rock tunnel. While we set up our tents and kitchen area under the protection of the Cathedral, we were still able to see lightening through the gaps in the rock.

 

We woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the canyon and spent the day hiking deeper into it. We spent the night at a tiny village school and awoke to the morning bells signaling the start of class. A few kids walked by our tents gawking and confused at the site of all of us, and all of our stuff. We finished off our hike with several more river crossings on the bus journey back and came just in time to clean ourselves up before meeting the homestay families.

 

Everyone is now officially spending there first dinner and night with their prospective families. There will certainly be plenty of awkward moments, but hopefully filled with laughter and shared memories. 

[post_title] => The never ending adventures of Bolivia [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-never-ending-adventures-of-bolivia [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-02-19 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-02-19 07:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://my.wheretherebedragons.com/wp/?p=16660 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 267 [name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [slug] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 267 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 241 [count] => 95 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13.1 [cat_ID] => 267 [category_count] => 95 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [category_nicename] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [category_parent] => 241 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2013/andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 )

Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

View post

The never ending adventures of Bolivia

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

Description

We all awoke to the sound of pouring rain on the rooftops. Not exactly what we were hoping for when on our way out of our little sanctuary of Sammay Wasi and onto our what was supposed to be 6 hour drive to Toro Toro national park. The “said” 6 hours quickly turned into 12 […]

Posted On

02/19/13

Author

los Instructores

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 16630
    [post_author] => 30
    [post_date] => 2013-02-15 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-02-15 07:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Dear Friends and Family,

 

We are wrapping up orientation in Cochabamba and planning our trek in Toro Toro National Park. Everyone is in good spirits and we are excited to get out to see the natural wonders of this park. We will be returning to Cochabamba on the 19th of Febuary to begin homestays. Until that time we will for the most part be out of contact and on the trail.

 

Buen viaje! 

[post_title] => Off to Toro Toro [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => off-to-toro-toro-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-02-15 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-02-15 07:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://my.wheretherebedragons.com/wp/?p=16630 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 267 [name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [slug] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 267 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 241 [count] => 95 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13.1 [cat_ID] => 267 [category_count] => 95 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 [category_nicename] => andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013 [category_parent] => 241 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2013/andes-and-amazon-b-semester-spring-2013/ ) ) [category_links] => Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013 )

Andes & Amazon "B" Semester, Spring 2013

View post

Off to Toro Toro

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

Description

Dear Friends and Family,   We are wrapping up orientation in Cochabamba and planning our trek in Toro Toro National Park. Everyone is in good spirits and we are excited to get out to see the natural wonders of this park. We will be returning to Cochabamba on the 19th of Febuary to begin homestays. […]

Posted On

02/15/13

Author

Los Instructores

1 5 6 7 8 9 10