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    [post_date] => 2009-07-01 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Hola a todos!

We arrived early in the morning to a very dark El Alto and spent our first day in La Paz. It´s hard for all of us to believe however that we have only been together for about 2 days! We spent the day in La Paz getting used to the altitude and resting and also made our way to the Valle de la Luna, a breathtaking landscape of beautiful rocks rising from the ground. There we discussed our hopes, concerns, and desires for the trip and together came up with the following mission statement for the next 6 weeks in BOLIVIA:

Upon stepping off the long flight in the darkness of El Alto, the brisk air shocked our senses. We shared desire to live fully in the moment, without regrets, with all our hearts, and with purpose and drive to open ourselves to the beautiful country and people around us.

Tolu also wrote the following haiku.

By letting go and

diving into new cultures,

we find out true selves.

Our hopes are high but ourdrive isstrong.We agreed to¨find dragons, become dragons¨.

Hasta luego.

Liza

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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our mission statement

Liza Johnson,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

Hola a todos! We arrived early in the morning to a very dark El Alto and spent our first day in La Paz. It´s hard for all of us to believe however that we have only been together for about 2 days! We spent the day in La Paz getting used to the altitude and […]

Posted On

07/1/09

Author

Liza Johnson

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HELLOOOOOO

Estamos en Coroico, un ciudad dos horas de La Paz.

We arrived in el alto and sleepily got off the plane at 5:30 in the morning. We met Maro, our third leader and native Paceña, outside of the airport, and took a bus down to our hotel in La Paz. We spent the day exploring the city: we had an early morning picnic, visited el Valle de la Luna, and ate some amazing(and very interesting) food. COCA!!

Day 2, we took a two-and-a-half hour bus ride to Coroico on one of the most beautiful and scenic (and dangerous) roads. WE WERE IN THE CLOUDS, MANNNN!!

We arrived in Coroico, picked up some lunch intown, and then headed to our Hostal (Sol y Luna) and spent the rest of the day bonding, falling (into each others arms), and debriefing for the following six weeks.

This morning, Maro showed us the lay of the land and oriented us for what is to come. After a hearty Bolivian breakfast, we headed off for our first trip into town. There, we broke up into groups of two and explored the town. We found out the bus schedule to la Paz, where el mercado del almuerzo was, and met a really nice vendedora (WHO GAVE US FREE FOOD), and then shopped/got ripped off. But it´s all good. We´re about to regroup for lunch en la plaza central. Adios, Peace out homeskillet biscuits with yacua.

Real talk.

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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Coroico!

Adam (shaqtus) and Tolu,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

HELLOOOOOO Estamos en Coroico, un ciudad dos horas de La Paz. We arrived in el alto and sleepily got off the plane at 5:30 in the morning. We met Maro, our third leader and native Paceña, outside of the airport, and took a bus down to our hotel in La Paz. We spent the day […]

Posted On

07/1/09

Author

Adam (shaqtus) and Tolu

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    [post_date] => 2009-07-01 00:00:00
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Hey Everybody!

Today we are in Coroico, a small town about 3 hours east of La Paz. It sits uponthe side of one of the many beautiful Andes montañas.We took an exhileratingbus ridealong the World´s Most Dangerous Road to get to Coroico,a narrow road that cuts along the side of themountains.Although it was pretty scary (to jennie),wewere distracted by thebreathtaking views oneither side of the valley.

In Coroico, today, the instructors had us practice our spanish by splitting us into groups and having us complete 4 tasks. The first was to get the schedule from the bus station. Then we had to make a phone call from a public phone to our instructor, then we went to the market to find out the prices and what a traditional Yugenda breakfast is.We also had to find any Bolivian in the town and have a conversation with him or her. We had two in a half hours and they gave us no directions. We successfully completed all of the tasks and then had time to explore Coroico. And ate babies (at least nick did)

We (who is this we-nick) are looking forward to our trip back through La Paz and to Soroto tomorrow!

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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coroico

Jennie Wigrizer and Nick,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

Hey Everybody! Today we are in Coroico, a small town about 3 hours east of La Paz. It sits uponthe side of one of the many beautiful Andes montañas.We took an exhileratingbus ridealong the World´s Most Dangerous Road to get to Coroico,a narrow road that cuts along the side of themountains.Although it was pretty scary […]

Posted On

07/1/09

Author

Jennie Wigrizer and Nick

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2009-07-01 00:00:00
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Hi everyone..

today we explored the small town of coroico. we chatted with the locals in spanish and changed money at the local bank, and explored the markets and restaurants.

we´ve been awed by the amazing scenery--the green mountains, valley, and streams.

we sat down in the main plaza and met Benita (sp?), a local lady, and learnedabout the town and her life. it was very cool and interesting. she told us about traditional bolivian food.

The architectureand location of the buildings isamazing, especially here in coroico.

In a short ride in a taxi to dinner, there was a small girl not more than 10 years old collecting fares from cab riders. we couldn´t imagine how such a young person could have so many expectations and responsibilities. Its a completely different way of life here.

we've had fun together as a group--hiking together, doing orientation activities, and playing cards in our hostel until late at night. its only been three days and we´ve already seen and done so much together. we´re all pretty excited for the homestays and trek. we've been planning and discussing our itinerary and we're very anxious to begin exploring and learning about each other and this amazing country.

tomorrow we have a long day of travelling to sorata where we'll be spending the next few days.

more later,

armaan and justin

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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news from coroico, bolivia !!!!!!

armaan and justin,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

Hi everyone.. today we explored the small town of coroico. we chatted with the locals in spanish and changed money at the local bank, and explored the markets and restaurants. we´ve been awed by the amazing scenery–the green mountains, valley, and streams. we sat down in the main plaza and met Benita (sp?), a local […]

Posted On

07/1/09

Author

armaan and justin

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Doing well.Today we exlpored the town of Coroico for a little bit andto behonest,I was a bit nervousto begin usingmy spanish. However, after a little bitI think I began to get into the flow of things. Cortorico´s views arebreathtaking and the people here arefriendly in a waythat is rare and almostnonexistentback in theStates (notthat I´m implying thatAmericans are unfriendly). The weather is lovely, however thebiting bugs are something thatareunfortunate resultsof the warmth.

Anyways, I bought some gifts for my host family...unfortunately I think I got ripped off in the process (very badly actually). A lesson learned.

I really don´t know how to end this so...

Until next time (there is an internent cafe)...

Lori

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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Day 2 in Bolivia

Lori Chang,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

Doing well.Today we exlpored the town of Coroico for a little bit andto behonest,I was a bit nervousto begin usingmy spanish. However, after a little bitI think I began to get into the flow of things. Cortorico´s views arebreathtaking and the people here arefriendly in a waythat is rare and almostnonexistentback in theStates (notthat I´m […]

Posted On

07/1/09

Author

Lori Chang

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2009-06-29 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Jallalla!

This morning we woke up before the sun. After an all night flight from Miami, we arrived in La Paz just before dawn. As we drove from the airport in El Alto, the sun was rising over the snowcapped peaks, Huayna Potosi and Illimani that preside over this incredible city.

Everyone is happy, healthy and curious. We are all a little sleepy from overnight travel, and we all had our breath taken away in the 3 block walk up the hill to our hotel! We are so excited for what is to come.

Bienvenidos a Bolivia!

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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Juntos en Bolivia!

Instructor Team,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

Jallalla! This morning we woke up before the sun. After an all night flight from Miami, we arrived in La Paz just before dawn. As we drove from the airport in El Alto, the sun was rising over the snowcapped peaks, Huayna Potosi and Illimani that preside over this incredible city. Everyone is happy, healthy […]

Posted On

06/29/09

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_date] => 2009-06-24 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Hi! I know this is kind of late, but my parents and I were a bit confused about the misquito netting. Is it to hang over the bed or something that kind of goes up like a tent over your sleeping bag? There were a lot of different types at R.E.I. and the prep book didn't really specify what exactly it was for...

Thank you!

-Lori

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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Mosquito netting?

Lori Chang,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

Hi! I know this is kind of late, but my parents and I were a bit confused about the misquito netting. Is it to hang over the bed or something that kind of goes up like a tent over your sleeping bag? There were a lot of different types at R.E.I. and the prep book […]

Posted On

06/24/09

Author

Lori Chang

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    [post_date] => 2009-06-23 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Hey Guys!

With only a few days until we all meet up in miami, I realize I'm a little late with the initial introductions -- but better late than never (or at least until Sunday...)

Anyways, I'm Maddy K from Oakland, CA (that's near San Francisco for you east coasters). I just graduated from Head Royce School and I'm off to Colgate University in the fall, which is in upstate NY.

Like the rest of you guys, I love the outdoors and exploring and immersing myself in new cultures. Let's see...I love photography, "roughing it", and meeting new people -- but these are just a few of my interests. I also love animals (I have over 66 pets!) and I am SO stoked that we will be in the company of alpacas!

Ultimately, I am beyond excited to meet you guys on Sunday and embark on what will undoubtedly be a remarkable experience.

See you all soon!

Maddy

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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Hey all!

Maddy Keenan,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

Hey Guys! With only a few days until we all meet up in miami, I realize I’m a little late with the initial introductions — but better late than never (or at least until Sunday…) Anyways, I’m Maddy K from Oakland, CA (that’s near San Francisco for you east coasters). I just graduated from Head […]

Posted On

06/23/09

Author

Maddy Keenan

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    [post_date] => 2009-06-19 00:00:00
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Just a clarification:

You can use ATM cards from any US Bank as long as it has the MasterCard or Visa emblem. You will likely be charged (by your bank) an international transaction fee, which tends to be anywhere from $2-5 per transaction. Check with your bank for specific rates.

Also, it's not a bad idea to mention to your bank that you will be traveling in Bolivia, so they do not flag any international transactions as "suspicious". Some banks will do this for your safety to prevent fraud, so if you warn them ahead of time that you will be making transactions from Bolivia, there shouldn't be any problems accessing your account.

Whew. I know this is a lot! Hope it helps.

Paz.

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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Clarification

Helen Rortvedt,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

Just a clarification: You can use ATM cards from any US Bank as long as it has the MasterCard or Visa emblem. You will likely be charged (by your bank) an international transaction fee, which tends to be anywhere from $2-5 per transaction. Check with your bank for specific rates. Also, it’s not a bad […]

Posted On

06/19/09

Author

Helen Rortvedt

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2009-06-19 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Greetings amigos!

Andy, Maro and I (Helen) have been enjoying reading your introductions!! We are so excited to meet you all in just over a week in Miami. Your enthusiasm for our experience together this summer is tangible.

We are currently camping on the beautiful eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California with the rest of the Dragons community. Recent rains have dropped the snow line to just a few thousand feet above us, and the White Mountains to our east have an inspiring snow cap--reminiscent of the Andes peaks we are about to be awed by.

Compliments of 21st century technology and Dragons' ingenuity, I am writing to you all from our campsite. Wireless internet in the wilderness. Wow. My mind is a little blown. But, we can't expect that in Bolivia, folks!!

Regarding Arjun's question: we recommend that you have an ATM card with access to US funds for our trip to Bolivia. MAKE SURE that it has either the MasterCard or Visa emblem on the card. There are many ATMs in Bolivia that will not accept anything else. American Express is nearly useless in Bolivia, so steer clear of that for this trip. ATMs are readily available in La Paz, but they do not exist in thesmaller towns and villages that we will be spending much of our time in.MAKE SURE that you know the PIN NUMBER for your ATM card. PLEASE, DO NOT write it down anywhere near yourATM card, for security reasons. You will need to keep your PIN secret. Try to choose a number that means something to you, so you can remember it. We recommend that you definitely bring some money in cash as well (US Dollars are fine, as we can easily exchange them for bolivianos once we get to Bolivia).You will be pretty hard pressed to find a place in the States that even exchanges Bolivian currency, but if you do,know that the rate will probably be better once we are in country.

Also on the topic of money, please make sure that you have a good system for disbursing your cash throughout your belongings. Nothing too chaotic, but a couple of different secure places that you willbe able to access easily. as

FYI: The boliviano is hovering right around 7 to the US Dollar, in case you were interested!

I hope this helps you all out as you make final preparations for your arrival in Miami!

We will be checking the yak board as regularly as possible over the coming days, so please feel free to continue posting questions!

Keep yaking! Happy packing!

Que les vaya muy bien!

Helen (and Maro and Andy)

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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Money advice & Greetings from the Sierra Nevadas!

instructor team,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

Greetings amigos! Andy, Maro and I (Helen) have been enjoying reading your introductions!! We are so excited to meet you all in just over a week in Miami. Your enthusiasm for our experience together this summer is tangible. We are currently camping on the beautiful eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California with […]

Posted On

06/19/09

Author

instructor team

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