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Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons' Peru Sacred Mountains 4-week Summer Program. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, future itineraries are subject to change. Please keep an eye on the course's Yak board for additional itinerary-related postings and updates.


Week One:
Orientation in Miami; Fly to Lima: museums, markets, NGOs. Bus to Huaraz for course orientation in the majestic Cordillera Blanca; celebratory feast, traditional music and dress. Bus to Chiquian: extended mountain home-stay; sports with locals; wheat and quinoa harvest; traditional cooking; Collaborative community service project. Study Spanish. 4-day trek in the Peruvian Andes

Weeks Two - Three:
Bus and boat into Amazon basin: indigenous village visit, cultural preservation, traditional medicine and crafts, environmental conservation, diverse flora and fauna, inquiry into sustainable eco-tourism

Weeks Three - Four:
Fly from Lima to Juliaca. Stay in village the on banks of Lake Titicaca. Boat to islands to camp and fish. Orphanage service project in remote village of Nunoa. Explore Inca history in Cuzco, The Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Plane from Cuzco to Lima and then back to Miami

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

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Sample Itinerary for Peru Sacred Mountains 4-week

Dragons Administration,Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

Description

Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons’ Peru Sacred Mountains 4-week Summer Program. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, future itineraries are subject to change. Please keep an eye on the course’s Yak board for […]

Posted On

10/23/08

Author

Dragons Administration

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I have wanted to post a yak since the day I flew home, but each day, I tell myself that tomorrow my head will clear and I will be able to write. This hasn't yet occured, but I have to just sit down and write now or never. I was listening to Paul Simon the other day and one lyric in specific caught my attention: "Nothing is different but everything is changed."

This trip was so different, so extraordinary that everything is changing because of it. There were all the physical aspects of society that struck me first, such as the width of the streets and of the sidewalks, and yet, hardly anyone walks around. Everyone sits in their spacious cars with all the windows shut and drives in seclusion for twenty minutes in air conditioning to buy a specific piece of bread. This society doesn't seem to value even basic interaction. After being a part of a 13 person group, I have not yet stopped being struck by the emptiness of everything.

Of course, there are the wonderful things about home, as always. Seeing and talking with family and friends is always refreshing. I have a new appreciation for everything in my house, my own room, which in Peru could probably have been enough room for all 6 of us girls once again. I am currently loving hot showers (obviously), amazing food, the BEACH, hot weather, being able to run up the 16 stairs in my house without panting, sleeping in until 10, playing foosball, walking on carpet, changing clothes about five times a day instead of once every five days, listening to music on speakers and infinite more. But then there are also all those things I miss. All of you guys first of all, Peru, tiny markets, fruit stands rattling down the street at six in the morning blaring "Platanos, mandarinos, platanos, platanos, mandarinos, mandarinos", Pervians in bright and happy colors, always having stunning views of jagged mountain peaks surrounding me, sleeping in my 0 degree sleeping bag, numb hands, and even those freezing showers. Lights seem to bother me, I prefer forgetting to turn on my lamp and writing by headlamp or in my courtyard under a starless sky. I realize that there is just so much of the world for people to see to understand, but they must go through it all for themselves. I'm also introduced to the phenomenon of conflicts and problems into which I am woven. We never fought in Peru, we were in complete peace. I find it hard to clear my mind here because immediate issues are everywhere - what it seems I should be doing the main one. And even if I haven't learned to block these out, I have learned to listen to my heart too and choose which one I want to follow.

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

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Being back in reality

Cristina,Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

Description

I have wanted to post a yak since the day I flew home, but each day, I tell myself that tomorrow my head will clear and I will be able to write. This hasn’t yet occured, but I have to just sit down and write now or never. I was listening to Paul Simon the […]

Posted On

08/7/07

Author

Cristina

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Wow..... I've been home a little over 48 hours, and it has been unreal and strange. I've felt besieged, at times, because London in the summer is a crazy place to be. But it is beautiful here, and clean, and as Reilly says there is toilet paper AND soap AND running water in the bathrooms. There are a million things, a million times a day, that I stop and look at and think about differently. This is the first time I've been able to bring myself to turn on my computer since I've been at home; this is one of the first technological experiences I've exposed myself to. I can't really handle screen time after so much time living and moving and exploring and always looking at the real thing. Peru was so magnificent, and so ever-present, that it was impossible to get away from or withdraw fully from the experience. But here, back home, it is so easy to withdraw, from oneself, from the world, and so I've resisted the urge.

I feel like all I've done is eat and sleep and hang out with my family. We had delicious chinese food that my parents were disappointed in but it tasted incredible to me. All of these surreal experiences that other people take for granted- tap water, refrigerators, waking up in the same bed every morning, showering with hot water, turning on a light- astound me. I have been so irrationally lucky all my life and rarely seen it. Now I do- intimately and intensely. The guilt hasn't set in yet but the awe is always there.

Going home has been full of these wonderous experiences as well as some amusing ones. I have been yelled at for taking roses out of garbage cans (my solution to feeling odd at home has been to spend a lot of time in nature, so the gardener in Regent's Park rebuked me for taking one of his clippings out of a bin), I have to take the British citizenship test (yes, folks, this has been the year of obsessive testing), and I burst into tears when some of my classmates names came up. I have been so happy this past month that all the unhappiness and competition and superficiality of life in high school came flooding back to me in a moment. I have to stay sane and not go there, but there is a little bitterness in coming back. My fellow dragons are so extraordinary, so willing to trust and be and feel, that the average teenager is going to feel weak and hollow by comparison. And our leaders- what role models. I am aware of how lucky I have been in my companions, because we had a solid month of love and good humor. I will miss that most of all.

It has been strange to see fat people walking down the street eating ice cream. It has been strange to go to doctor's offices, to eat food that comes wrapped in plastic, to be ignored on the streets. In Peru people are basically two colors; here, all of us , though different colors and sizes and shapes, look and act the same. No one talks on the streets; people are unfriendly and cold; no one wants to interact or SMILE for crying out loud. I don't feel like a gringa- I just feel like a nasty smell under the nose.

And clean clothes! I lived in the same pair of underwear for more than a day because I forgot that I could take them off and wash them. I watched as the layers of debris came out of my bag- it was scary. I had picked up more of Peru than I thought.

So I am home, home to stay, ten pounds lighter physically and in terms of mentality. I can laugh at this freakish western world we have, full of convenient inconveniences and unspoken conventions. I miss you all more than I can say, and miss Peru more than I care to think about. It feels like the end to authentic, close to life living back here. I must remind myself that this transition, though slow, will also be good for me, that it will be a growing experience too. And I will be re-creating all of the meaning, all of the spirituality and magical mystery, and all of the love, respect and compassion we had in Peru for the whole rest of my life.

Off to my clean, clean bed now. Everybody else better reflect- and let's still create that group on facebook.

LOVE ALWAYS! VIVA PERU!

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

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Life at home (the semi-unreal world)

Zoe Mercer-Golden,Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

Description

Wow….. I’ve been home a little over 48 hours, and it has been unreal and strange. I’ve felt besieged, at times, because London in the summer is a crazy place to be. But it is beautiful here, and clean, and as Reilly says there is toilet paper AND soap AND running water in the bathrooms. […]

Posted On

07/30/07

Author

Zoe Mercer-Golden

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I almost cried when I saw how big my house was.

My car is the shiniest thing ever.

I miss the mountains.

The Berkeley Hills are dwarfed by the Andes.

Supermarkets are too big.

Peoples hearts are too small .

There is a whole store the size of Chiquian that sells pet food.

Dogs in Peru eat garbage.

There is a building the size of the Plaza De Armas of Cuzco that sells only linens.

How many linens do we need?

There are trees in my city.

People throw away their trash.

Pedestrians have the right of way.

No one is honking.

There is a whole aisle for cheese.

I am used to choosing between "Queso Industrial" and "Queso Fresco"

They have neither here.

There is no Plaza De Armas.

There might be a parking Plaza but that is not the same thing.

I miss Peruvian hospitality.

What happened to being nice to strangers.

Buildings have airconditioning.

Bathroomas have toilet paper, towels, AND soap.

Vehicles are suprisingly spacious.

The roads are paved.

Talking about one's poop is now taboo.

I spent 3 days talking about only that on the trek.

I tried speaking spanish in a taqueria but the woman only spoke english.

No puedo pararme de pensar y hablar en espanol.

Lo siento Estados Unidos.

What happened to Pancitos for breakfast?

What happened to Mega Bars and Gloria drinkable yogurt?

What happened to Inca Kola, Pollo a la Brasa and Cuy?

Where is Zoes mound of white rice for me to finish?

Where is Christina and is she doing a headstand?

Where is Cati Rivera and is she still single?

What is an iPhone and how do iUse it?

What is Huami cooking in Chiquian and can I eat some?

What does Ev think of her new cat?

Why do good things have to end?

Why can't I accept that they do?

Why is saying goodbye so sad?

How can I replicate the dragons experience in the future?

How can I make sure to stay in touch with everyone?

How do I drive safely after a month of not driving and being in some unsafe vehicles?

Who let the dogs out?

Who is George Bush and how the hell did he get elected?

Who will listen to me talk about Peru untill I can't talk anymore ?

When will I go back to Peru?

When will I get to see our group again?

When will this discomfort go away?

I miss Moni, Yoder, Luz, Alejandro, Boris, Lucho, and Vilma who looked like a Peruvian Hobbit

I miss Lima, Huaraz, Chiquian, Puerto Maldonado, Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Machu and Wanya Pichu, and Pan Pan and its wealth of soda, but NOT Aguas Calientes because it was disgustingly touristy

I miss Quechua and Coca leaves

I miss living life by Peruvian time, even if it meant getting there late

I miss dashing somewhere and then resting.

I miss haggling.

I miss frisbee with Luke ontop of Machu Pichu, even if the guard tried to kick us out.

I miss campfire renditions of "girls just wanna have fun."

I miss ZoZo making fun of me about Bundt Cakes.

I miss Chemistry Jokes.

I miss reading the parent support kit which is ironic because I really could use it now.

I miss not having to change clothes all the time.

I miss writing in my journal in the perfect quiet spot.

I miss massive portions of bad pizza, not because of the pizza, but because of the people I ate it with.

I miss cramming into vehicles together.

I miss turning around to see Zach napping in another scenic spot.

I miss reading my writing aloud to the best audience ever.

I miss algae covered hot springs.

I miss falling asleep on Abby's shoulder and then waking up laughing to realize I've cut off her air supply

I miss summiting Wayna Pichu and feeling ontop of the world.

I miss swimming in freezing water for the hell of it.

I miss Peru

I miss our group

I miss Abries responsibility and laugh.

I miss Parke's smile and wacky moments

I miss ZoZo's sense of humor and guitar serenades

I miss Abby's constant cravings for Nik's Crispy Tacos and her ridiculous outfits

I miss Cate's unending positivity and compassion

I miss Zoe's wealth of knowledge and genuine interest in other peoples lives and wellbeing

I miss Ev's ability to laugh at herself and her giggle

I miss Luke's fake British hero names like "Dashington Strongshaft" or "Reginald Silliesworth Frothbottom Surecock"

I miss Zach's poems and ability to look at the bright side of everything

I miss Neilay's insightfull moments and him asking who I was and what I was doing every time I went to go pee in the night

To demonstrate how used to rugged travel I am I present to you the packing list for my senior retreat, which I literally broke into hysterics upon seeing. In parenthesis are my thoughts on each item.

"In our night at Walker Creek we will be staying in cabins, so there are a couple of things you need to bring. It will be pretty warm during the day but can cool off at night, so please keep that in mind. Here is a packing list.

1.Sleeping Bag (I have a Zero Degree Northface, take that mild California weather!)

2. Pillow (I have slept without one of these for a month)

3. One Change of clothing (Wow Marin Academy, you don't know what its like wearing the same dirty clothes for 4 days in a row in the Huaywash)

4. Sweatshirt/Fleece in case it cools off at night (Luke slept outside in below freezing weather, I've got enough warm clothing to drown an REI Salesman)

5. Toiletries (Thanks to Dragons I have a bag for this)

6. Sunscreen/Sunglasses/Hat (In peru they use tomatoes to treat sunburn/ I bough cheap sunglasses for 15 soles/ I have an Indiana Jones Hat)

7. Closed Toed Shoes, comfortable but sturdy for hiking/ropes course (WOW I have nice hiking boots but I would get laughed at for wearing them, half of the kids will probably show up in flip flops and complain about the 1/4 mile hike)

8. Water bottle (important as it will be warm (Oh calm down, you can drink the damn tap water in this country)

9. Flashlight (My headlamp is a go)

10. Pen/Pencil/Notebook (One of the few truly necessary items for any traveler I have learned)

11. Wristwatch (When traveling, time is unimportant, one must live in the moment, not in a mechanical device strapped to your arm)

12. Swimsuit/towel if interested in swimming (I am only interested in swimming in glacial lakes/ I have a disgusting smelling quik-dry towel)

I miss everyone terribly

Our goodbye ceremony was the most loved I have felt in a long time

Saying farewell to you guys at the airport was the hardest and most uncomfortable moment of trip for me

Love to everyone

Que Viva El Peru

Con Carino

-Reilly

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

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Wow the real world is different !!!

Reilly Brock,Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

Description

I almost cried when I saw how big my house was. My car is the shiniest thing ever. I miss the mountains. The Berkeley Hills are dwarfed by the Andes. Supermarkets are too big. Peoples hearts are too small . There is a whole store the size of Chiquian that sells pet food. Dogs in […]

Posted On

07/29/07

Author

Reilly Brock

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    [post_content] => after two nights at a small town in the sacred valley where we learned ancient pottery techniques and inca history we boarded a train for Aguas Caliente. Once again the scenery before us changed from dry snow capped mountains to a lush cloud forest. Our first day in Aguas Caliente we decieded to go on an intensive hike up a mountain to catch our first glimpse of the famed machupicchu. The trail started off normally however within a few minutes a arrived at our first of a series of ladders that were needed to climb the steep rocky sides of the mountain. I became slighly nervous as i stared up at the seemingly never ending ladder that snaked its way through the cloud forest. Knowing that people were waiting behind me, i jumped on the ladder and began my long journey up the mountain. After several more ladders we arrived at my favorite type of hiking...a seemingly endless amounts of switch backs and old stone stairs. Slowly but surely I crept up the steep mountain walls. Hikers walking back down reassured me that it was only a few more minutes, yet those minutes dragged on forever. I made sure to stop for a few seconds to look at the incredible scenery that lay before me. It looked as though the jagged snowcapped Andean mountains had mixed with the hot steamy jungle. Once I reached the top we were able to see machu   picchu perched on one mountain off in the distance. It was incredible to see the ruins from this perspective. It almost looked like a nest perched on a tree branch. The hike down was far easier and i think everyone was getting excited to actually go visit the ruins. 
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Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

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machu picchu!

Abby Woodward,Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

Description

after two nights at a small town in the sacred valley where we learned ancient pottery techniques and inca history we boarded a train for Aguas Caliente. Once again the scenery before us changed from dry snow capped mountains to a lush cloud forest. Our first day in Aguas Caliente we decieded to go on […]

Posted On

07/26/07

Author

Abby Woodward

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    [post_date] => 2007-07-19 00:00:00
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We arrived into Cusco yesterday, smelly and damp from our incredible time spent at the research station deep in the Amazon. We have entered our final phase of the trip, and it is going to be packed.

Tomorrow we head out to the mountains again, this time near the base of the revered Apu Ausungate, the highest mountain in this region and the highest of the ¨Apu´s¨, what indigenous people believe to be gods overlooking the land. We will be working with a local project to lay the first adobe for one of four new centers for indigenous artisans, sleeping under the beautiful Peruvian stars, cooking on open fire, and participating in ceremonies dedicating this project to Pacha Mama, or Mother Earth. Our guide and my friend Alejandro, who is responsible for starting this amazing project, will be joining the group, sharing his knowledge of indigenous arts, medicine, music, and sustainable agriculture. We are all so excited!

From there we will be headed up to Ollantaytambo, a small village in the Sacred Valley, to participate in a ceramic workshop with Lucho Soler, a widely known and respected artist (and my uncle who I have not seen for 18 years!).

The group couldn´t be better- students and intstuctors alike share a powerful sense of love and respect for each other, and I can truly say that we all value what each and every member contributes to the whole. We send you much love from this beautiful country.

Abrazos,

Abrie

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

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Cusco and the Sacred Valley

Abrie,Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

Description

We arrived into Cusco yesterday, smelly and damp from our incredible time spent at the research station deep in the Amazon. We have entered our final phase of the trip, and it is going to be packed. Tomorrow we head out to the mountains again, this time near the base of the revered Apu Ausungate, […]

Posted On

07/19/07

Author

Abrie

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Ten days untill my birthday! Sadly my stomach is in no mood for celebrating. My bowels seem to be like the Rolling Stones, determined to keep acting out and making noise long after people think they should have retired long ago. Sadly the gurgles and squelches of my large intestines have been far less pleasing than "start me up" or "paint it black." Today has been a day of extremes. I awoke to find a beautiful peruvian morning coming to our valley nestled in the Andes. We had some amazing pancakes for breakfast which passed through me like speedy gonzales and were soon deposited behind a stone wall far from camp. Everyone has been so kind listening to me rant about my constant shitting. The leaders, the students, and the burro herders. I swear even Cati, the woman who cooks our meals whispered to me in spanish "don´t worry, you can´t smell it from here."

After breakfast some of us jumped in the local swimmng hole, a comfy 33 degrees farenheight, fresh from the local glacier. It was beautifully clear adn took your breath away both with its beauty and temperature. After the second exhilirating jup into the ex-glacier I sprinted a victory lap with elation. The Peruvians probably think I am nuts, the blonde kid in hula girl boxers dripping wet and sprinting around, yelling unintelligibly.

After the icy swim we rounded up a lamb for the days lunch. I watched with a mixture of facination and horror as Daniel, Luke, Yoder, and Favio took a knife to its throat and cut open its jugular and windpipe. Anyone who eats meat has to see this at some point in their life. For me it shattered the pleasant separation between the jolly cow in the pasture and the carne asada in my fajitas.

At the first cut the lamb jerked violently, spraying blood from its neck and gasping frantically for breath. With each sawing cut it writhed about more and I saw the nearby stream turn ruby red with its blood. This somber sight lacked all of the glory and drama of a hollywood movie. Instead it was unpolished realism shocking the senses like frigid glacial water. Even after its throat was slit, the lamb thrashed about and opened its mouth to draw breath, unwilling to give up its firm grip on life. When we thought it wsa long dead it would suprise us with another determnined kick. WHen it had finally stopped struggling, the sheep was skinned, gutted, and cut up, and began to resemble something one might find at a butcher shop. This proved a suprising lesson in sheep anatomy and somewhere along the way we learned that the sheep was pregnant. This was especially hard to deal with.

We chilled for a while after the slaughter, those of us who had witnessed it pondered its implications on our lives. Danny taught Neilay guitar, Parke and Abbry led a yoga lesson, and I fought off hypothermia, still chilled to the core from my swim and victory lap. For lunch we ate aforementioned lamb. I have to say it tasted great. I´m sorry dad but I was not shocked enough to give up meat. Blame it on sugary cereal and video games, but I am staying a carnivore. I had some Tobasco sauce with my lamb and damn did it taste good!. It made my food as picante as a Shakira music video. God how I miss spicy food. Peruvian food is good and hearty but it lacks the kick of Mexican and Indian, both of which I am eating when I get home.

I got to experience every type of weather today from sun, to wind, to rain, to a freak hailstorm. All of which were experienced while I was pooping. And I thought it was the dry season. The Peruvian is as unpredictable as Jack Bauer. One minute it is sunny, and the next it clouds over, becomes windy, and begins to pour rain. I wouldn´t be suprised if it started rainng Guinea Pigs, seriously.

On our scenic hike we got to see an avalanche falling from the snowcapped mountain at the end of the valley. The waterfall of snow and ice cascaded over the rocky cliff and roared like an angry ocean. It was loud from miles away, I can´t only imagine with trepidation how loud it must have been at the source.

I sit now isolated from the group, perched atop a massive boulder overlooking the lake, all in the shadow of the mountain dominating the valley. I chose this spot partly because of it´s scenic beauty and partly because of the practical reason that there are is a multitude of shitting spots nearby. I think I start antibiotics tonight which I hope will have the effect of sending Rambo on a mission in my stomach. See you in hell bacteria, you stuck up Amoebas. My intestines aren´t a godamn youth hostel! If they were, the food couldn´t be that bad, why do you keep sending it back?

Upset stomach aside I am having a great time on this trip. I have stopped being burdened by clocks and mirrors and now dress like my history teacher, wearing the same clothing from REI, Northface, and Mountain Hardwear day after day after day. I no longer need to check weather.com partly because I am prepared for everything (much to the ridicule of Parke,) partly because I am protected by magical weather dragons, and partly becasue I can see the weather rolling in from he other end of the valley.

Peru really is amazing. As cold as it is now, it must be 100 times colder at the top of that mountain. The peak guarding our valley looks so unforgiving. I am not suprised gringos die every year trying to summit and it baffles me why they keep trying. Nature that fierce is meant to be admired from a distance, not tamed or godforbid actually experienced. Let´s just say that this mountain is so steep it could send Bodie Miller runnng home crying. I have little idea what tomorrow holds, only that we will hike more, but that is part of the fun. This trip really encourages you to live in the moment. Que Viva Peru!

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

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July 8th was a day of extremes

Reilly Brock,Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

Description

Ten days untill my birthday! Sadly my stomach is in no mood for celebrating. My bowels seem to be like the Rolling Stones, determined to keep acting out and making noise long after people think they should have retired long ago. Sadly the gurgles and squelches of my large intestines have been far less pleasing […]

Posted On

07/11/07

Author

Reilly Brock

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    [post_date] => 2007-07-11 00:00:00
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Wow!

We just spent a few amazing days in the Cordillera Huayhuash! Up passes, down valleys, through rivers and streams, we all enjoyed our days in the mountains. We started off with a rock avalanche blocking the road, so from the start, we definitely had a unique adventure! I would like to say that although our trek was studded with struggle, and each in a different way, we all learned something from the mountains. The extreme peace and solitude of pure nature sunk in to clear my mind of the past fifteen years and replace all the confusion with solid edges. It is amazing what the pure nothingness of nature is able to do! We are currently in the city of Huaras, and we bused in last night just in time before a two day strike set in in which all the roads between Chiquian and here are blockaded. I would like to share one highlight of the trek, and that is our quick jumps in the ex-glacial river. We had one day of rest in the middle of our trek, in which we were situated in the midst of two lagoons and Andean peaks so close that we could hear the avalanches. There were many rivers flowing through our cute valley towards the lagoons, and we were camped near one of these. Many of us braved the beyond frigid conditions to clean ourselves. And let me say that it was definitely worth it! As i jumped in, I seemed to be in slow motion: my legs were quite chilly, stomach even colder but my head seemed to reverberate in its attempt to shiver. Each of us encountered this, and it was definitely reflected in the expressions on our faces as we arose from the water. All of us found the jump energizing, but i doubt any did more than Reiley. He came up from the water, yelling crazily and decided to run halfway around the valley, running into a few cows and a bog, while shouting a warcry. It was that amazing!

Although there are many other memories, I cannot list them all here, as it is lunchtime and my stomach is calling me to the food of an Italian restaurant here in Huaras...

Ciao y Hasta Luego,

Cristina

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

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Back from the montañas

Cristina,Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

Description

Wow! We just spent a few amazing days in the Cordillera Huayhuash! Up passes, down valleys, through rivers and streams, we all enjoyed our days in the mountains. We started off with a rock avalanche blocking the road, so from the start, we definitely had a unique adventure! I would like to say that although […]

Posted On

07/11/07

Author

Cristina

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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2007-07-06 00:00:00
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Chiqiuan, the small pueblo we have come to call home the past five days, sits at 11,000 feet and is known as the Espejito del Cielo which means the mirror to the sky. This is where we have done our home stays and I can truly say that many students are sad to say goodbye to their Peruvian families. Members of this group have woken up at 6am to check on the family cow or play a quick game of basketball, they have eaten guinea pig, they have taken bucket showers and they have negotiated for food in the markets. As a group we have worked in the preschool teaching games and painting a mural and worked in a community named Pampam helping move dirt to make adobe. Every morning the sun rises over the mountains here and warms up this cozy village in an incredibly vivid way, everything comes to life. Soccer games start up in the streets, push bicycle taxis bring the fresh breads to the panaderias, children run to buy fresh oranges for fresh juice. In the garden of the hostel we have held classes and participated in student run discussions. Last night we had a despedida (a goodbye party) with all the families, each student spoke about what they had learned. Daniel played music on his guitar and many laughs ensued. The families of Chiquian have become a home away from home.

This morning Los Dragones will leave to go trekking for six days in the Cordierra Huayhuash, one of the most scenic and powerful places I know. Accompanying us will be our guides that grew up in these mountains, Yoder, Mony and Luz, burros, emergency horses, and live chickens to eat along the way. We will be camping alongside glacial lakes and under peaks that rise to 6,000 meters. We will prepare meals of recently caught trucha and learn about Andean cosmology. We will pass chacras (small farms) along the way and continue getting know this place called Peru. We will be in contact upon our return the 12th of July --

Thinking of you all as we move. Unos abrazos to those we love.

Parke

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

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Vamos a las montañas

Parke Cogswell on 7/6/2007,Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

Description

Chiqiuan, the small pueblo we have come to call home the past five days, sits at 11,000 feet and is known as the Espejito del Cielo which means the mirror to the sky. This is where we have done our home stays and I can truly say that many students are sad to say goodbye […]

Posted On

07/6/07

Author

Parke Cogswell on 7/6/2007

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    [post_date] => 2007-07-04 00:00:00
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I just navigated the streets of a small village in the Andes I have come to know over the past three years. I passed familiar tiendas and shops to buy fresh bread, I passed through the plaza in front of the small church made of adobe. I curved down the dirt street with small doors painted teal and purple, doors I have to duck under and am always amazed to learn of the world inside. I waved at the daughter of one of the homestay families and said buenas noches to at least twenty children. I passed seven cows on their way to the chakra and burros tied outside people´s homes. I could smell spices from humble kitchens and clean mountain air. Two men in ponchos stand at the doorway of this run down internet place and I listen to Péruvain music blasting in the background.

When we descended the steep road into Chiquian four days ago, the families waited to welcome us with homemade corn rellenos and manjar blanco. I can´t believe how much I learn from the people in the Andes each year, I had no idea as we traversed the steep terraced hills that this group would be so welcomed and so open to the experience.

I feel very blessed to be here again,

Thinking of you all,

Parke

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

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feeling blessed

Parke Cogswell,Peru 4-week, Summer 2007

Description

I just navigated the streets of a small village in the Andes I have come to know over the past three years. I passed familiar tiendas and shops to buy fresh bread, I passed through the plaza in front of the small church made of adobe. I curved down the dirt street with small doors […]

Posted On

07/4/07

Author

Parke Cogswell

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