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    [post_date] => 2013-06-27 21:58:41
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-06-28 03:58:41
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Throughout the trip people have been throwing around some cliché’s like: no pain, no gain and sometimes taking the harder route is better than the easy one. I tend to have a slight disbelief in cliché’s because I don't see how such overused and broad phrases can encompass the emotions of so many people. However, throughout this trip I have learned about both the positives and the negatives of experiencing some pain along the way and taking the harder route. Paru Paru is basically the hardest route and the most pain I have experienced the whole trip. Personally I am not used to lugging potatoes up a huge rocky mountain in high altitude or corral intimidating and very large animals. But that is their daily life. My struggles of not being able to politely finish all their (potato filled) meals or not having the stamina to climb a huge mountain every day is simple to them. So after going through all of that personal pain have I gained something? My global perspective has changed. I have never left the country before so my eyes have not just been opened but permanently stretched. The smallest things start to seem luxury, and the things that I have all my life now seem like things I am gaining from my pain. I have taken the harder route so that I can learn a new sense of appreciation for the things in my life more. Now I start to ask questions like, if they were in my home would they not like my mom’s homemade chicken cutlet? Would they be more involved in education if their schools were stricter and closer in distance? These sorts of involved questions are my new response to difficulties and can ultimately create positive attention and solutions. Perhaps the only way to help people in Paru Paru and yet your own self-awareness is to actually go through some pain and take the harder route.

 

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Peru Riverdale 2-week

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No Pain no Gain

Blake,Peru Riverdale 2-week

Description

Throughout the trip people have been throwing around some cliché’s like: no pain, no gain and sometimes taking the harder route is better than the easy one. I tend to have a slight disbelief in cliché’s because I don’t see how such overused and broad phrases can encompass the emotions of so many people. However, […]

Posted On

06/27/13

Author

Blake

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    [post_date] => 2013-06-27 21:58:41
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    [post_content] => After our two week journey, we are filled with excitement for home, exhaustion from travels, and many new perspectives. Your daughters and sons will surely arrive tired, wanting some comfort food, and full of stories. We encourage you to continue in their journey as they head home and try to make sense of this impactful experience. It’s often tricky to explain everything that happened in an afternoon, a day or even weeks. Keep this dialogue alive and open for them to continue processing this experience and the lessons that come with it.

 

We are heading off – literally in 10 minutes – to the Cusco airport, and we fly to Lima. The group will leave for New York City around midnight arriving at 9:10 in the morning. They are anxious to see you and share with you. We will miss them and hope that this is just the first leg of many future travels, cultural exchanges and Spanish immersion opportunities.

 

Our wish is that this experience will lead them to dig deeper into who they are, broaden their perspective of the world we live in, and engage more actively as global citizens. We are confident that upon returning to their Riverdale community they will be able to share and reflect on these experiences and figure out where this will lead them.

 

 

 

With care,

 

Liz and Francisco
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Peru Riverdale 2-week

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Última Estación

Francisco and Liz,Peru Riverdale 2-week

Description

After our two week journey, we are filled with excitement for home, exhaustion from travels, and many new perspectives. Your daughters and sons will surely arrive tired, wanting some comfort food, and full of stories. We encourage you to continue in their journey as they head home and try to make sense of this impactful […]

Posted On

06/27/13

Author

Francisco and Liz

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Our stay in Potato Park was one of the most difficult, but unforgettable experiences that I have encountered thus far in my life. Upon arriving to Potato Park, we were greeted by several of the families who live in the area called Paru Paru. We were welcomed into some of the homes of this unique set of Peruvians and we got the chance to explore the area while assisting with the daily errands and tasks. One thing that surprised me the most during our visit to Paru Paru was the variety of different foods that could be made with their seemingly only food source, the potato. We have had some form of potatoes in every meal, and at times, it became slightly tedious having to eat these potatoes all the time. However, it blew my mind when I realized that they have over 1,500 different types of potatoes that they consume year round. Their lifestyle is significantly different from the average American’s and even though I don't believe that I could survive two weeks with my main food source solely being the potato, it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

 

 

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Peru Riverdale 2-week

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Our Stay In Potato Park

Akeem,Peru Riverdale 2-week

Description

Our stay in Potato Park was one of the most difficult, but unforgettable experiences that I have encountered thus far in my life. Upon arriving to Potato Park, we were greeted by several of the families who live in the area called Paru Paru. We were welcomed into some of the homes of this unique […]

Posted On

06/27/13

Author

Akeem

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I enjoyed my stay at Potato Park. My homestay father was a man named Mario, who despite having no spouse or children had many caring family members. While at the homestay, Mario told me that he had six brothers and one sister, and I got the chance to meet two of his younger brothers. Many of Mario’s family members live close to his house. When Mario had to run errands, he put his brothers in charge of us. They cooked for us and we had great conversations. When Mario’s brother left his wife and child at home to go to work at Machu Pichu, Mario took care of his brother’s family. Generally speaking, the people at Potato Park were poorer than us economically. Many of them lack indoor plumbing and electricity. However, I would argue that the people of Potato Park are morally richer than many of us. Seeing Mario interact with his family made me realize that although times might be hard, you can always count on your family to lend a helping hand. Mario and his siblings have persuaded me to work harder to establish my familial bonds.

 

 

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Peru Riverdale 2-week

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Homestay in the Potato Park

Khalif,Peru Riverdale 2-week

Description

I enjoyed my stay at Potato Park. My homestay father was a man named Mario, who despite having no spouse or children had many caring family members. While at the homestay, Mario told me that he had six brothers and one sister, and I got the chance to meet two of his younger brothers. Many […]

Posted On

06/27/13

Author

Khalif

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    [post_date] => 2013-06-25 21:11:55
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-06-26 03:11:55
    [post_content] => Jose Lorenzo! Its raining so hard here. Im imagining the downpours you've experienced. The vegetation is so lush -- we're at Diana's -- and I'm wondering what youve seen. Hiking in Par Paru sounds exhausting and invigorating all at once. Perhaps you'll want to go back, perhaps youve strengthened your interest in ecological matters, global education, etc.; indeed, mi amor, quizas....

 

Love mom & Mio
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Peru Riverdale 2-week

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Jose’s mom

Jackie Modeste,Peru Riverdale 2-week

Description

Jose Lorenzo! Its raining so hard here. Im imagining the downpours you’ve experienced. The vegetation is so lush — we’re at Diana’s — and I’m wondering what youve seen. Hiking in Par Paru sounds exhausting and invigorating all at once. Perhaps you’ll want to go back, perhaps youve strengthened your interest in ecological matters, global […]

Posted On

06/25/13

Author

Jackie Modeste

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    [post_date] => 2013-06-24 15:52:36
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-06-24 21:52:36
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Yesterday's sat phone check in was positive and short, highlighting that students spent the day hiking through the gorgeous mountains that circle the highland Qechua community of Paru Paru. Today marks our group's final day in this warm community before heading down the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes and onward to Machu Picchu. Students are in good health, and beginning to turn their sites back to NYC.

Warm Regards!

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Peru Riverdale 2-week

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Caminando por las montañas de Paru Paru

Simon Hart,Peru Riverdale 2-week

Description

Yesterday’s sat phone check in was positive and short, highlighting that students spent the day hiking through the gorgeous mountains that circle the highland Qechua community of Paru Paru. Today marks our group’s final day in this warm community before heading down the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes and onward to Machu Picchu. Students are […]

Posted On

06/24/13

Author

Simon Hart

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    [post_date] => 2013-06-22 23:06:01
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-06-23 05:06:01
    [post_content] => We received an update via sat phone today from Paru Paru, the small Qechua community hosting our student group in the Potato Park. The approach to Paru Paru was beautifully foreshadowed with a series of student presentations on the impacts of global warming. Upon arrival, members of the community spoke to ways in which they are actively working to remediate the adverse impacts and conserve agricultural and biological diversity. Today students learned the traditional way to prepare baked potatoes in make-shift clay ovens and spent time with local weavers learning about the dazzling traditions of textiles and natural dyes. Everyone is in good health and enjoying their powerful home-stay experiences in this traditional and remote community in the highlands. We look forward to hearing more from the students themselves upon arrival in Aguas Calientes. Its amazing to think that only  a few days of the adventure remain. We wish them all a rich and smooth continuation of their journey.

 
    [post_title] => Un Dia en Parque de la Papa
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Peru Riverdale 2-week

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Un Dia en Parque de la Papa

Simon Hart,Peru Riverdale 2-week

Description

We received an update via sat phone today from Paru Paru, the small Qechua community hosting our student group in the Potato Park. The approach to Paru Paru was beautifully foreshadowed with a series of student presentations on the impacts of global warming. Upon arrival, members of the community spoke to ways in which they […]

Posted On

06/22/13

Author

Simon Hart

WP_Post Object
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    [post_author] => 19
    [post_date] => 2013-06-22 11:15:13
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-06-22 17:15:13
    [post_content] => Hi Everyone,

I had help translating your post from the cafe. Reid, Blake's brother, read it to me. The mini history lesson was extra cool because it was all in Spanish. I can only imagine the lasting impact this trip will have on all of you. You have traveled extensively to a remote jungle, seen animals in their habitat, talked with scientists, eaten new foods, helped others, taught students who live without electricity (like the stories that Blake's Great-Grandma told us) and without shoes. You've all had to push yourselves and have done so well. You should all be proud (I am!) of what you're doing and accomplishing.

Back here in the States the news seems ordinary by comparison. Kim and Kanye named their daughter "North" (yes, North West!), Danielle Bradbery (the 16 year old country girl) won The Voice, Monster's University opened in theaters (can't wait to go), the Miami Heat won yesterday in game 7 to beat the Spurs in an amazing game, the Yankees won at home tonight over the Rays 6-2, today is the first day of summer (not real warm yet) and it's Mrs. Shultz's bday (ask Blake).

Hope everyone is feeling well and having fun. You will always be the Riverdale kids that went to Peru and together share a special experience.

Talk to you soon.

XX  Ilene (Blake's Mom)

 
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Very Impressed With Your Spanish!

Ilene Cohen,Peru Riverdale 2-week

Description

Hi Everyone, I had help translating your post from the cafe. Reid, Blake’s brother, read it to me. The mini history lesson was extra cool because it was all in Spanish. I can only imagine the lasting impact this trip will have on all of you. You have traveled extensively to a remote jungle, seen […]

Posted On

06/22/13

Author

Ilene Cohen

WP_Post Object
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    [ID] => 86622
    [post_author] => 23
    [post_date] => 2013-06-21 13:56:57
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-06-21 19:56:57
    [post_content] => This quechua phrase can be translated to “If you offend Mother Earth, you are nothing”.

 

Earlier this morning we were blessed to meet up with an old Dragon’s friend, Fabian, an Andian priest. He is from the isolated community of Nacion Q’eros, known to be one of the last communities with Incan lineage. After we made it to the top of the Temple of the Moon, a sacred astrological space for the Incas, Fabian shared a ritualistic song to give thanks to the Pacha Mama. He spoke to us about his community and how they are experiencing an ‘invasion of western culture’ which is threatening their Andean way of life. The younger generations are leaving their communities to find a more modern way of life that typically excludes Andean spirituality and traditions.

 

Although we’ve experienced the difference between the Amazonian and Andean cultures, we all were struck with the similarity of their stories. The elders in both shared their concern and frustrations in losing their traditional ways of life.

 

Tomorrow we are headed to the Potato Park, a network of six communities. We will be staying in homestays in the community of Paru Paru. There we will also learn stories from our host families about how global warming is affecting their agricultural systems. For generations they have known when to cultivate, when to seed, and when to harvest. Now they are experiencing rain and drought at unpredictable times. The temperatures are also rising.

 

As we continue to journey through Peru, learning from the communities we visit, we notice that the environment, Pacha Mama is at the center of their subsistence and traditional lifestyles. These traditions are being changed by modernity and western influences and threaten much of their existence. We are humbled by their hope and their continual gratitude to Pacha Mama in her generosity. We have witnessed this culture of generosity as they too have opened their homes to us, feeding us and comforting us, time after time.

 

We are learning, slowly perhaps, that we too are nothing without caring for Pacha Mama. We too are humbled.

 

After our time in Paru Paru (where we will not have access to internet), we will train to the town of Machu Picchu, on June 25th. We will end our trip by a visit to Machu Picchu. On the morning of June 26th we will wake early and hike the grandiose ruins of the Incan Empire. Although we will continue to be busy, we hope to be in touch via yak and email with our families either of those days.

 

We are grateful to all the support we’ve felt by family and friends. We also hold you in our thoughts as we journey. We often think of home and feel a deep appreciation for the lives we are blessed with and the communities that support us.

 

Thanks.

 

- The instructor team (Liz, Francisco, Susan and Sarah)
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Peru Riverdale 2-week

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Pacha Mama piña cumca checa manab ima pashcho canches…

Francisco and Liz,Peru Riverdale 2-week

Description

This quechua phrase can be translated to “If you offend Mother Earth, you are nothing”.   Earlier this morning we were blessed to meet up with an old Dragon’s friend, Fabian, an Andian priest. He is from the isolated community of Nacion Q’eros, known to be one of the last communities with Incan lineage. After […]

Posted On

06/21/13

Author

Francisco and Liz

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    [post_date] => 2013-06-21 12:56:39
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    [post_content] => Hello Riverdale friends and families!

 

We're very excited to see how active and lively the Riverdale Yak Board is. We're also thrilled at how profound and meaningful this experience has been for our group, and impressed at the diversity of experience they are able to engage in on relatively short program.

 

We request that while you continue to closely follow our students' travel on the Yak board, please relegate personal communication to email. If you would like to post a reflection on the group's journey, respond to a post or idea that has been communicated from the field, or share some insight, article, or link that is relavent to the entire group, please do so. If you have any questions about this policy, please email: simon@wheretherebedragons.com

 

From this point forward, personal communication will not be published to the yak board, but sent back to the author with a kind request to use email instead.

 

We're excited to hear more from the group and their upcoming home-stay experience in the small and traditional community of Paru Paru.

Hasta pronto,

Dragons Administration
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Peru Riverdale 2-week

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A Request on Personal Communication from Dragons Administration

Dragons Admin,Peru Riverdale 2-week

Description

Hello Riverdale friends and families!   We’re very excited to see how active and lively the Riverdale Yak Board is. We’re also thrilled at how profound and meaningful this experience has been for our group, and impressed at the diversity of experience they are able to engage in on relatively short program.   We request […]

Posted On

06/21/13

Author

Dragons Admin

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