Photo of the Week
Photo Title


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    [post_date] => 2013-07-27 19:21:26
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-28 01:21:26
    [post_content] => Dear Parents,

If you are like us, you´ve spent the past four weeks pouring over the yak yak boards, devouring every post and forwarding the fabulous videos along to friends and family. We´ve so enjoyed the writing, and the amazing accomplishments of the group. My husband and I even played a game where we tried to name each student in the fuzzy departure photo taken in the Miami Airport (turns out, we were pretty good at it)!

Because we are in Peru, we had the rare opportunity to meet the students and the leaders as they were packing to leave for the Cusco airport. We felt as if we knew them all, and they were so welcoming to us. We found them happy, healthy, scurrying about for last minute gifts, and anxious to see you all.

Your children have become so important to our daughter in such a short period of time, and we are grateful and thankful that she had such an impactful trip with these amazing students. I just wanted to thank you, and warn you that there is talk of reunion. If it happens, I say we get our own table and have our own dinner!

Enjoy the homecoming, and get ready to see some amazing pictures, and hear some funny stories! You already know this, but those are some special, special people you have there.
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Peru Summer 4-week

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For parents, by a parent

Meta Carson,Peru Summer 4-week

Description

Dear Parents, If you are like us, you´ve spent the past four weeks pouring over the yak yak boards, devouring every post and forwarding the fabulous videos along to friends and family. We´ve so enjoyed the writing, and the amazing accomplishments of the group. My husband and I even played a game where we tried […]

Posted On

07/27/13

Author

Meta Carson

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    [post_date] => 2013-07-27 14:59:05
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-27 20:59:05
    [post_content] => 
P1030599-001 P1000817-001 P1000818-001 P1000822-001 P1000828-001 P1000866-001 P1030451-001 P1030536-001Dear Family and Friends,
Today after an early morning departure from Pisac in return to Cusco, we had our final few hours together exploring the magical city one last time. After a couple of days of transference, in which students were mentally preparing for their return home, the day finally came to say "adios" to Peru. Currently all students are boarding their first of many flights from Cusco to Lima, there they will spend some last quality hours with each other (and two of the instructors) before embarking on their journey back to the United States. Already there were tears and hugs in the airport as the reality of re-entry really settled in. We know that all of you parents and friends are excited and anxious to see your loved ones. They will have lots to share and we know that your support will take them through the re-entry process. We thank you again for the trust you put in us; we will miss them all dearly and are so grateful for the opportunity to spend this last months with each of them.
Here is one final video of the last phase of the trip together, the 7 day trek around Mount Ausangate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNE1RnlUPSo&feature=youtu.be
With Gratitude,
Nate, Michaela and Regina
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Peru Summer 4-week

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Everyone safely on their way home (Final Photos and Video!)

Tim Hare,Peru Summer 4-week

Description

Dear Family and Friends, Today after an early morning departure from Pisac in return to Cusco, we had our final few hours together exploring the magical city one last time. After a couple of days of transference, in which students were mentally preparing for their return home, the day finally came to say “adios” to […]

Posted On

07/27/13

Author

Tim Hare

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    [post_date] => 2013-07-27 00:23:13
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-27 06:23:13
    [post_content] => Queridos amigos, padres, madres, tíos, tías, hermanos y hermanas,

Dear friends, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters,

We find ourselves out of time – where did it go? – and preparing to go home. Trekking has ended, expedition phase has ended, and now transference has ended. Students are arranging transportation from Pisac to Cusco to gather our gear and then to head homeward.

Up to the last moment on course we have pushed students to think about their world, themselves, their ideas and their values, their appearance, the food they eat, the service they aspire to do, their goals, their ideas of development, their waste, their patterns of consumption, the way they vote with their dollars, the way they want to travel, and the people they want to be. We are even planning on doing two more lessons during our stop-over in Lima!

This has been possible because we have had incredibly curious, engaged, charismatic, pensive, conscientious, gung-ho, budding global citizens for students. All 11 of them have humbled us in unique ways.

As parents, you may be wondering, who is it that is coming home. How have students been impacted by the discussions, our itinerary, and their experiences?

My mind is more open, and I withhold judgment. I have become more globally aware. I understand struggles and the paths of development from the ground level of an emerging country. 

This trip has impacted me in a variety of ways: global issues have been brought from periphery to present, laughter and kindness are low priorities, and learning is a gift and a pleasure. 

I am more curious about the world. I have many questions. 

I feel that I have a responsibility to the planet.

Before the trip I lived in a bubble of ignorance. My bubble has popped. I feel so much more aware of what is going on in the world and about key issues. I am more inquisitive and question things that used to seem commonplace. 

I feel more culturally aware, and ready to tackle more experiences like this one. 

The trip helped me with my group collaboration and leadership skills. I never expected the trip to have such a profound effect. 

Now I’m going to research companies before I buy their products. Ignorance is bliss, but I don’t want the bliss if it will harm someone or something. 

I learned my happiness is different from the happiness here. It’s not that my happiness is better or worse, but just different; I learned that there is far more than one meaning to that word.

This trip has made me much more appreciative of what I have and aware of the impact I have as an American on the rest of the world. 

I feel as if I have gained a lot of knowledge, and I feel grateful for the things I have.

Materialism and consumerism have always been a big part of my life. Keeping up with the Jones’ and having the latest technology has always been super important. This trip allowed me to realize how stupid materialistic ways are. 

This trip has given me an impression of developing countries. 

 

During transference we talked about re-entry and reverse culture shock. Many of you may assume the students are entering their comfort zones when they return home. In fact, our students will be entering a learning zone. Things will appear different because their perspectives will have changed. It will be hard for students to describe this at first, as it can be hard to sum into words. Our students will appreciate space to be a new person, in whatever way that organically happens.

What should friends and family know about our students when they return home?

I have become a more knowledgeable, mature person and I’d like my actions and bettered self to be supported by my friends and family. I want to be able to talk about global issues instead of gossip, go camping instead of shopping, and support local companies instead of big companies. 

Please know that when I return, I will begin to think about and question our lifestyle back home.

Expect me to not drink Coca Cola, or at least to try not to drink Coke anymore. 

I want you to know how confused I am. I want you to know that in my brain there are more thoughts than I have room for. I understand the world more and myself less, and I want you to know I’m alright with that. 

I’ll be sad to have left my Dragons family which I have been around for 30 days, it won’t be as easy as you think to make this transition. 

I am hopefully a different version of myself, ready to move forward with expanded ideals and knowledge to lead a life full of happiness and curiosity. 

I will be more conscious of the effects of my actions on the world and those around me.                                

I expect to be more involved in my community. I want to make a difference in the world. I expect to be more independent and responsible. 

I want friends and family to know that traveling is not limited to “nice” countries, you will be surprised when you travel to developing countries. 

I’m changing the way I’ll handle waste and the products we choose to support. 

When I come home I will definitely be more appreciative. 

You don’t have to treat me any different. Just please listen to what I have to say and understand where I’m coming from. I won’t be angry if you disagree, as long as you listen and have an open mind. 

I feel like it’s impossible to put it into words – I wish I could have shared the beauty with all of you, and I hope I can help you understand a little better how I have been affected by my experiences here in Peru.

 

Thank you to everyone at home for reading this and for your support. Mil gracias a todos,

Peru Summer 4-Week Instructors and Students

 
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Best Notes From The Field, Peru Summer 4-week

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Words of Wisdom

Instructor Team,Best Notes From The Field, Peru Summer 4-week

Description

Queridos amigos, padres, madres, tíos, tías, hermanos y hermanas, Dear friends, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters, We find ourselves out of time – where did it go? – and preparing to go home. Trekking has ended, expedition phase has ended, and now transference has ended. Students are arranging transportation from Pisac to Cusco […]

Posted On

07/27/13

Author

Instructor Team

WP_Post Object
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    [ID] => 89432
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    [post_date] => 2013-07-25 11:31:23
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-25 17:31:23
    [post_content] => Dear Peru Students & Families,
This weekend marks the end of our Peru summer program and students will soon return home to share tales with each of you.
We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day and we will be in contact if there are any suspected delays.
We wish all students a great trip home. Please leave us a voice message on extension 30 if you are not able to reach us during office hours. We will be checking our messages throughout the evening.
Sincerely,
BoulderAdmin
To check on the status of the Peru summer program group’s international flight, please refer to:
http://flightaware.com/live/fleet/LPE
The students are traveling home on the following LAN Flight:
Returning Flight:
July 27th, 2013
LAN Airlines #2034
Depart: Cuzco, Peru (CUZ) 2:30pm
Arrive: Lima (LIM) 3:55pm

July 28th, 2013
LAN Airlines #2514
Depart: Lima (LIM) 12:35am
Arrive: Miami (MIA) 7:20am
    [post_title] => Return Flight Information — Peru Summer Program
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Peru Summer 4-week

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Return Flight Information — Peru Summer Program

Dragons Admin,Peru Summer 4-week

Description

Dear Peru Students & Families, This weekend marks the end of our Peru summer program and students will soon return home to share tales with each of you. We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day and we will be in contact if there are any suspected delays. […]

Posted On

07/25/13

Author

Dragons Admin

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    [post_date] => 2013-07-24 19:43:52
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-25 01:43:52
    [post_content] => Hola a todos!
We have returned safely from our 6-day trek around the awe-inspiring Mount Ausangate.
We are presently at the end of the fourth and final day of our expedition phase--the students have done an extraordinary job of collectively making decisions, and successfully executing those choices, over the past few days.  We instructors look forward to tonight's student-designed ceremony!
Everyone was  intrigued and floored by the beauty of the high-country landscape that we called our home for the past week.  We worked hard on the uphills, sang songs on the downhills, and excitedly cooked meals over a gas burning stove each morning and night.  I am certain that as we each sleep in a warm bed tonight, our dreams will be filled with images of surreal turquoise lakes, daunting snow-capped mountains, adorable alpaca, and alpine streams that whisper over well-worn stones.
Tomorrow, you will be sure to hear more from students as they will have the opportunity to write.
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Peru Summer 4-week

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Back from the Trek!

Los Instructores ,Peru Summer 4-week

Description

Hola a todos! We have returned safely from our 6-day trek around the awe-inspiring Mount Ausangate. We are presently at the end of the fourth and final day of our expedition phase–the students have done an extraordinary job of collectively making decisions, and successfully executing those choices, over the past few days.  We instructors look […]

Posted On

07/24/13

Author

Los Instructores

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    [post_date] => 2013-07-22 15:42:02
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-22 21:42:02
    [post_content] => Dear friends and family,

We just received an update from the Peru Team via satellite phone.  The group is doing great as they enter into their expedition phase.  They are on their trek, circumnavigating the sacred mountain, Ausangate, and are in good health and in great spirits.

As they acclimate to the high-elevations, which isn't easy, the group is walking slowly, crossing high passes (up to 15,000 feet!), and taking in the majestic views of glacial valleys and snow-capped mountains.

We hope to hear from them again in three days, when they return to internet range to post yak-yaks of their recent adventures!

Sincerely,

Boulder Admin
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Update from the Trek

Japhy Dhungana,Peru Summer 4-week

Description

Dear friends and family, We just received an update from the Peru Team via satellite phone.  The group is doing great as they enter into their expedition phase.  They are on their trek, circumnavigating the sacred mountain, Ausangate, and are in good health and in great spirits. As they acclimate to the high-elevations, which isn’t […]

Posted On

07/22/13

Author

Japhy Dhungana

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2013-07-18 17:02:01
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-18 23:02:01
    [post_content] => We just returned to Cuzco after an incredible four days with our homestay families in Parque de Las Papas. Despite the short time frame, we managed to do an amazing number of activities and learn a ton about Peruvian culture. We each had our own unique adventures with our families, from herding sheep to playing soccer with the locals, and we met great new people, like the venerable Juan de Dios and crazy baby Jonathan. My host mother, my brother Nandito, and my sister Jessica were extremely nice and welcoming, though possibly over-concerned (they asked if we wanted to rest about every five minutes. Bilal and I had so many great experiences that it would be impossible to describe them all. As a result, I will focus solely on one fairly average event, which in my opinion encompassed the spirit and feeling of Parque de Las Papas.

It was a Friday afternoon, right after lunch (a word that had become synonymous with potatoes), when our mom got us out of our room and told us that there was something we could help with. I tried to ask what, but due to my mom´s broken Spanish and my incomplete vocab I was unable to understand it. However, my confusion didn´t last for long: a moment later, Nandito and Jessica walked out of the house with two giant sacks of potatoes and handed them to us. After they had gotten their own bags, we carried them to the main road, where we found a wheelbarrow waiting for us. For the next 20 minutes, we pushed wheelbarrow full of sacks of potatoes up a mountain, only to finally reach a large field filled with (guess what?) potatoes. Bilal and I carried our sacks to our family´s section and immediately sat down, thinking the work was done. However, our work was nowhere near finished. Soon, we were on our knees picking cold, hard potatoes off the ground and into yet another sack. By talking to our sister, we learned that we were laying out potatoes to freeze dry at high altitude, and picking up the fully frozen potatoes. Once frozen, the potatoes can last over 10 years! By hand, we replaced the frozen potatoes with the new ones and put them into our sacks. Finally, after a wheelbarrow trip down a mountain, we arrived back at our house with four bags of fully frozen potatoes.

The experience seemed incredible to me, but it was only an average day for my homestay family, including my 10 year old brother. On Friday afternoons, I usually play video games or go out with friends. At Parque de Las Papas, my siblings were freeze drying potatoes on top of a mountain. The work ethic of the people there was astounding, and really made me think about the ´pain´ of going to school back home. My experience at Parque de Las Papas was extremely interesting, and has me even more excited for our upcoming trek.

- Luke
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Peru Summer 4-week

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Parque de Las Papas

Luke Melas'Kyriazi,Peru Summer 4-week

Description

We just returned to Cuzco after an incredible four days with our homestay families in Parque de Las Papas. Despite the short time frame, we managed to do an amazing number of activities and learn a ton about Peruvian culture. We each had our own unique adventures with our families, from herding sheep to playing […]

Posted On

07/18/13

Author

Luke Melas'Kyriazi

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Hola a todos! We are making our preparations today in Cusco to get ready for our 7-day trek around Ausangate. We've gone over our itinerary, group roles, expedition behavior, and altitude considerations with the group. Our students will be cooking each meal, and soon we will break off into groups to plan our menus and buy food in the local food market. We're looking forward to supporting each other, growing closer as a group on our last week together in Peru, learning and practicing expedition behavior, and taking in the majesty and lessons of the Apus, the mystical mountain gods. The fourth day of the trek will begin "student expedition phase." In the spirit of fostering independent travelers, leaders will lead from behind and hand the budget to the students. Dragons students will be in charge of all logistics on trek, which includes cooking, waking up, setting tents, taking breaks, and holding lessons and daily meetings. They are also in charge of the logistics involved in getting us to Pisac on the 24th, our last day of trek. The 25th and 26th of July will be "transference," the final phase of our Dragons trip. We will be looking at the changes that have occurred within ourselves and who we are coming back to our communities. It is a chance to let the inner journey catch up to the frantic pace of the outer journey so far. We're also looking forward to taking our own pictures (thanks to google images for these)! We'll check in on the 24th or 25th! Los instructores [post_title] => Out of contact until July 24th - Ausangate Trek [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => out-of-contact-until-july-24th-ausangate-trek [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-07-17 21:46:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-07-18 03:46:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=88819 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 227 [name] => Peru Summer 4-week [slug] => peru-summer-4-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 227 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 253 [count] => 61 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 12.1 [cat_ID] => 227 [category_count] => 61 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Peru Summer 4-week [category_nicename] => peru-summer-4-week [category_parent] => 253 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2013/peru-summer-4-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Peru Summer 4-week )
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Out of contact until July 24th – Ausangate Trek

Instructors,Peru Summer 4-week

Description

Hola a todos! We are making our preparations today in Cusco to get ready for our 7-day trek around Ausangate. We’ve gone over our itinerary, group roles, expedition behavior, and altitude considerations with the group. Our students will be cooking each meal, and soon we will break off into groups to plan our menus and […]

Posted On

07/17/13

Author

Instructors

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    [post_content] => For those of you who don't know spanish...parque de la papa means park of the potato. For those of you who can´t pick up on hints...when a place is named after a potato, there are a damn lot of potatos. By a lot I mean 1400 different kinds of potatos, potatos prepared every single possible way you could fathom, and acres and acres of land filled with potato fields. My homestay family (the ascunscions) loved their potatos. We had potatos with every single meal prepared so many different ways. The big difference between parque de la papa and america though, is that in parque de la papa when it comes to food ¨no more I am full¨ is a phrase they just do not understand. I have never been given so much food in my life. Even when I was stick to my stomach and still eating I will admit that the food was phenomenal. My homestay mother was quite the chef and my father was quite the host. While all of this eating was wonderful, I got a lot more out of parque de la papa then the food. Iy helped me learn a lot about myself. I have never appreciated my thermostat, my shower, my ability of choice of food, or even for that matter my opportunity  to go to school and not have to come home and do hard labor afterwards. From such a young age, the kids in parque de la papa are put to work. They never complain about it and they always listen to their parents when they are told what to do. The parents work hard too. They are sometimes peeling potatos, while treating their crying babies and attempting to weave at the same time. I have never seen such an amazing work ethic. Along with being hardworking, the people there are extremely nice. Whenever my homestay partner Ricardo or I asked to help out they would simply say descansar and give us tea. Ricardo and I did a lot of descansaring especially during the blizzard that we saw yesterday. Yes there was a blizzard in Peru, it was nuts. After the blizzard though we were treated to what was arguably the most fun part of parque de la papa visit. Members of our group took on both a team of british kids who were doing service work in parque de la papa and a team of local peruvian men. While we lost to our friends from across the pond (these kids were enormous) we somehow managed to score a win against the Peruvians. The game was all in good fun and our guide Juan de Dios had a great time with us. Overall, even with the frigid temperatures and the constant potatos at meals, parque de la papa was an amazing expereince. It was a great way to see another culture from the first peson. We got to see a culture that was so different than american culture but had just as many pros to it. Its amazing to see how different places in the world are from america and even though we think that our lifestyle is the best, these people who don´t have materially nearly as much are just as happy. I don´t know if I will ever return to parque de la papa, but it was definitely an expereicne in which i met many amazing people and had such an amazing time. However, if there is one negative effect it has had on me, I am not going to be eating potatos for at least another month.
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Peru Summer 4-week

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No mas por favor

Eva Vanek,Peru Summer 4-week

Description

For those of you who don’t know spanish…parque de la papa means park of the potato. For those of you who can´t pick up on hints…when a place is named after a potato, there are a damn lot of potatos. By a lot I mean 1400 different kinds of potatos, potatos prepared every single possible […]

Posted On

07/16/13

Author

Eva Vanek

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    [post_date] => 2013-07-16 15:56:19
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    [post_content] => Hello,

Today we just ended our four days stay with our stay home family in parque de la papa. The place was beautiful and cold as hell. We began with meeting our to be family for the next four days. I loved my family from day one, she took care of us ( me and Luke) as our own mothers would. She cooked and cleaned for us with a smile at all times. The food was phenomenal and it consisted papa (potato) in each meal. Our family took no time off and got us to work in the first hour of meeting them. We carried potato up the mountain to be laid out and frozen for 15 days and picked up the ones that had been there for 15 days which would be our meal for the 4 days. we also went to the farm the next day to pick seeds with our family. that was how they spent their time as a family, and i felt like being one of them, which was great times. We also played soccer with the Peruvians and an English group that were at parque de la papa for service. It was great chatting with them as well. Over all the experience was unforgettable. I've learned a lot about myself from the parque de la papa community. They had soo little and were happier then an average family in America whom have everything they could possibly want. I am more appreciative for the things i have and hope the experience lasts as lesson for the rest of my life. I left the place on the D train and am still ridding it, its not a great experience. A new jouney begins the day after tomorrow so stay tuned for more.

Peace and love

 

P.S Love you Abdul Nabi family and friends
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Peru Summer 4-week

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Bye Bye Parque de la papa, hello Cusco

Eva Vanek,Peru Summer 4-week

Description

Hello, Today we just ended our four days stay with our stay home family in parque de la papa. The place was beautiful and cold as hell. We began with meeting our to be family for the next four days. I loved my family from day one, she took care of us ( me and […]

Posted On

07/16/13

Author

Eva Vanek

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