Photo of the Week
Bolivia 4-week
Photo Title


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    [post_content] => From La Paz, the Bolivia 4-week group ascended and awaited about seven hours to reach the US..

Once in Miami and having realized that 3 hours of intermission before our connecting flight (for most of us) was nothing really and one could easily miss their next flight considering all the extra security checks ahead, the sad farewells began, the final embracements started and the sad sights of seeing the other group members walk so far way to their designated gates went under way.

One flight later, with time nearing midnight, I was back in New York and witnessed the faces of those I loved so much and hadn't been with in a month.  Comically enough, I had to actually approach my parents for them to notice me because apparently, according to my dad, my Bolivian sweater, crazy hair and light tan made me unrecognizable. And to those in my group whom I told that my dad had promised to bring me a Chipotle bowl at the airport, he did so yay!!

Then, I was immersed head-on to the norms I had abandoned 4 weeks ago: the overly priced yellow taxis, the train, and of course the cacophony and racing people involved with mass transit.

In speaking to my dad, I constantly referenced Bolivia, as I subconsciously noted disparities between New York and Bolivia..saying things like, "Wow, in Bolivia it's...".

I was in a bit of shock, things seemed the way they were when I left, but somehow I felt like a kid in New York for the first time.  The wave of people using smartphones, the yelling, the fast pace, the traffic congestion - it all seemed so new to me and I felt a bit bombarded by all this happening at once.

Of course the taxi ride felt like the countless trufi travels I took with my group, but everything else left me in utter awe.  Arriving home, I looked at my room - the room that, to my surprise, my dad had so industriously renovated (thanks dad!).  I felt grateful, of course, but I honestly felt so much newness, which was strange, because I had expected to feel relief at the sight of what I have deemed as comfort for 16 years.  Even using my laptop right now has this sort of strangeness attached to it.

It was strange waking up this morning alone, in my own bed, without the 3 insightful instructors or the 11 other amazing friends I made on the trip. Felt like I had to alert someone of my "poop scale", "water intake" and "emotional grade" (from our daily check-ins).

However, I'm excited to be home.  I've set up a few coffee dates with friends to share my experience, have spoken with relatives and attempted to offer a response to the "How was it?" question, and have had a great few hours in New York thus far.

But all in all, I'm looking forward to integrating the lessons and virtues I learned throughout these past 4 weeks in Bolivia into my daily life and enjoying life with this new perspective.
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Best Notes From The Field, Bolivia 4-week

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From Bolivia to New York

Jorge Mejia,Best Notes From The Field, Bolivia 4-week

Description

From La Paz, the Bolivia 4-week group ascended and awaited about seven hours to reach the US.. Once in Miami and having realized that 3 hours of intermission before our connecting flight (for most of us) was nothing really and one could easily miss their next flight considering all the extra security checks ahead, the sad farewells […]

Posted On

07/29/14

Author

Jorge Mejia

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    [post_content] => All students have landed safely in the US! Wishing everyone a happy reunion with family and friends. Best regards from the Dragons home office in Boulder.
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Bolivia 4-week

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Group has landed in the US

Jody Segar,Bolivia 4-week

Description

All students have landed safely in the US! Wishing everyone a happy reunion with family and friends. Best regards from the Dragons home office in Boulder.

Posted On

07/28/14

Author

Jody Segar

Category

Bolivia 4-week

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    [post_content] => We received word from the instructors that the group has safely boarded their flight from La Paz this morning and is currently in the air. They also sent along this final photo of the group together. Kindly,

Dragons' administration
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Bolivia 4 in the air

Dragons's Admin,Bolivia 4-week

Description

We received word from the instructors that the group has safely boarded their flight from La Paz this morning and is currently in the air. They also sent along this final photo of the group together. Kindly, Dragons’ administration

Posted On

07/28/14

Author

Dragons's Admin

Category

Bolivia 4-week

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-26 21:28:21
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    [post_content] => 
Queridos padres, madres, tíos y tías, primos y primas, vecinos y amigos, 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 is coming to a close. Students are readying to leave our transference site on the magical Lago Titicaca and to head back to La Paz, to gather our gear and then to head homeward. Here are pictures of the view of Lago Titicaca from our ecolodge, and of students who are theatrically portraying their shared experiences! 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. This has been possible because we have had incredibly curious, engaged, charismatic, pensive, conscientious, gung-ho, budding global citizens for students. All 12 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? What changes have occurred over the course of our time in Bolivia? I am not as interested in tangible materials or things, but instead I am interest in the meanings behind what is there and where or how those things came to be and came from. I get it now. 4 short weeks in Bolivia have somehow changed so much about me. I’ve learned the unimportance of time and the importance of relationships. I feel that my mind has opened up much more to how much I need to respect and appreciate all that is given to me at home. I feel as if I have only scratched the amount of knowledge that I can gain and going on this trip has helped me realize what I need is not always what I want. I no longer feel a “need” to be surrounded by people who I don’t genuinely like when I go back home. I am also leaving behind a dependency at being in constant communication with my friends. Bolivia (a country that at first seemed so different from me and so foreign compared to my home environment) has brought out the curious side of me. I no longer feel as though I need my hand to be held. I hope to share the responsibility that you guys (parents) have demonstrated to me. I appreciate it more now, more than ever before. I know I grew as a person. I’m not exactly sure how yet, but I know I’ll figure it out. My views about everyday life and the culture that I live in have changed. I want to start considering myself as a part of a global ecosystem of thoughts and ideas. I want to start realizing who I am as a global citizen. And to do that I feel as if I need to learn as much about everything as I possibly can. I feel as if I, as a human being, am required to be educated about the world around me. I am coming home having acquired virtue and stronger character. Things like humility, compassion, confidence, optimism, better social skills – all are things that are not necessarily different about me, just added on to me. I’m leaving a country I initially depicted as stagnant and “just there.” But later I learned that it was a country holding vast richness/depth. I can’t really explain what it is that is different about me… but… I know it is something big. It is something that is so big that this tiny piece of paper can’t fit it all, really.   Lastly, what should friends and family back at home expect when the reunite with these students back at home? Expect that my perspectives may have drastically changed. I hope that when I get back home, I won’t fall back into my old daily routine. I hope I become a traveler. I learned so much here and it made me reconsider a lot of stuff that I thought I was sure of. I have heard so many  new opinions, met people with different points of view. I may or may not like all the things I used to like and I may or may not dislike all the things I used to dislike. If you you’re curious about my experience, please don’t just ask “how was it,” but instead, come up with specific questions. Please support me on my new findings with love and laughter! I request that my friends/family don’t ask about details of my trip if they don’t genuinely want to hear about it! Also, I hope that they accept the new person that I have become. I am going to focus more on things that matter to me and put aside some of the petty high school things. Friends don’t need to treat me differently…. Just know that I think differently. When I get home I’d like to request hugs and stories of how you spent your time so I can be happy for you…. And be able to share mine. I’d like to share experiences I’ve had in Bolivia – like my homestay, the mining, and trekking. I hope you don’t expect me to perfectly articulate my learning and my experience. I just finished being immersed in a new world basically. I still have a lot of thinking to do to fully consider it. I may be concise some times, and others I may be jumbled. I’m still not a complete grownup. I will mess up.    Thank you to all friends and family back home for supporting us on this journey. 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Student Messages to Parents and Friends

Bolivia 4 Week Group,Bolivia 4-week

Description

Queridos padres, madres, tíos y tías, primos y primas, vecinos y amigos, 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 is coming to a close. Students are readying to leave our transference site on the magical Lago […]

Posted On

07/26/14

Author

Bolivia 4 Week Group

Category

Bolivia 4-week

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    [post_content] => Dear Bolivia Students & Families,

 

This weekend marks the end of our Bolivia summer program and students will soon be boarding their planes and return home to share their tales of adventure with each of you.  We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!

 

Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for your reference.  Starting on Saturday, 7/26, should you need any assistance during student travel days (outside of normal office hours), please call our Admin cell phone for assistance: 303-921-6078, or email: update@wheretherebedragons.com. During office hours (M-F, 9:00am-5:00pm M.S.T.) please continue to use our parent line at:800-982-9203 ext. 130.

 Returning Flight: 

July 28th, 2014 

American Airlines #922

Depart: La Paz (LPB) 6:50am

Arrive: Miami (MIA) 3:55pm

  We wish all students a great trip home!   Sincerely, Boulder Admin   [post_title] => Bolivia Return Flight Reminder [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bolivia-return-flight-reminder [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-07-25 14:50:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-07-25 20:50:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=106950 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 176 [name] => Bolivia 4-week [slug] => bolivia-4-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 176 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 72 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 176 [category_count] => 72 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Bolivia 4-week [category_nicename] => bolivia-4-week [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/bolivia-4-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Bolivia 4-week )

Bolivia 4-week

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Bolivia Return Flight Reminder

Eva Vanek,Bolivia 4-week

Description

Dear Bolivia Students & Families,   This weekend marks the end of our Bolivia summer program and students will soon be boarding their planes and return home to share their tales of adventure with each of you.  We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!   Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for your […]

Posted On

07/25/14

Author

Eva Vanek

Category

Bolivia 4-week

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[post_title] => Trekking through Cordillera de los Frailes - Part 2 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => trekking-cordillera-de-los-frailes-part-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-07-21 09:08:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-07-21 15:08:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=106392 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 176 [name] => Bolivia 4-week [slug] => bolivia-4-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 176 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 72 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 176 [category_count] => 72 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Bolivia 4-week [category_nicename] => bolivia-4-week [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/bolivia-4-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Bolivia 4-week )

Bolivia 4-week

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Trekking through Cordillera de los Frailes – Part 2

Gretchen Meyer,Bolivia 4-week

Description

Posted On

07/21/14

Author

Gretchen Meyer

Category

Bolivia 4-week

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Trekking through Cordillera de los Frailes – Part 1

Gretchen Meyer,Bolivia 4-week

Description

Posted On

07/21/14

Author

Gretchen Meyer

Category

Bolivia 4-week

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Pachamama midcourse ceremony and celebration. [post_title] => Pachamama Ceremony [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => pachamama-ceremony [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-02 13:10:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-02 20:10:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=106275 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Picture of the Week [slug] => picture-of-the-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 483 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 1 [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 483 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Picture of the Week [category_nicename] => picture-of-the-week [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/picture-of-the-week/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 176 [name] => Bolivia 4-week [slug] => bolivia-4-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 176 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 72 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 176 [category_count] => 72 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Bolivia 4-week [category_nicename] => bolivia-4-week [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/bolivia-4-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Picture of the Week, Bolivia 4-week )
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Pachamama Ceremony

Gretchen Meyer,Picture of the Week, Bolivia 4-week

Description

Pachamama midcourse ceremony and celebration.

Posted On

07/20/14

Author

Gretchen Meyer

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In Sucre, we enjoyed exploring and getting to know the city; and preparing for our four day trek! [post_title] => Adventures in Sucre [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => adventures-sucre [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-02 13:07:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-02 20:07:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=106282 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Picture of the Week [slug] => picture-of-the-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 483 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 1 [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 483 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Picture of the Week [category_nicename] => picture-of-the-week [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/picture-of-the-week/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 176 [name] => Bolivia 4-week [slug] => bolivia-4-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 176 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 72 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 176 [category_count] => 72 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Bolivia 4-week [category_nicename] => bolivia-4-week [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/bolivia-4-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Picture of the Week, Bolivia 4-week )
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Adventures in Sucre

Gretchen Meyer,Picture of the Week, Bolivia 4-week

Description

In Sucre, we enjoyed exploring and getting to know the city; and preparing for our four day trek!

Posted On

07/20/14

Author

Gretchen Meyer

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    [post_content] => Bolivia is unarguably a country that holds bountiful wonder - but as is the common case with most things in life where one's initial idea of an experience is shown to be far from correct after having finally been exposed to the experience – Bolivia didn't always seem so wonderful, to me. That is the intriguing notion I aim to discuss: the overall transformation of my thoughts on Bolivia from when I only depicted it as a position on a map to now having embarked in-country for two weeks.

Back in the US, my perception of Bolivia short-shortsightedly stemmed only from a collection of Google images, short descriptions attached to those pictures and some hearsay. However, two weeks into my South American excursion, I found that those preliminary beliefs were only hollow statements, lacking depth of any kind. Fourteen days into my Bolivian immersion aggregated background, reason and justification to the somewhat unfair terms I assigned to Bolivia – words like “poor” and “developing”. This short time span also added richness, color and meaning to my overall conception of Bolivia.

For instance, before I could only say “Bolivia is poor”. Now, after a museum visit and talk with former Bolivian politician, Rafael Puentes, I'm able to say “Bolivia is poor because..” and explain that Spain entered the land, into mining areas like Potosi, colonized Bolivia and exploited costly minerals and exported a large part of the profit back to Europe, leaving Bolivia with only a drip of the wealth. I can also point out figures like Simon I. Patino, who through mistreating his fellow Bolivians became one of the richest men in the world.

Also, I thought Bolivia ate typical Hispanic dishes like rice and beans, etc.. However, after visits to the mercado (market) and a week of home-stays, I now know that Bolivia possesses a wide arsenal of culinary creations – things like sopa y segundo, saltenas, and humitas (one of my group's favorites). Beverages, too, like the crowd favorite, trimate.

Additionally, I thought Bolivia only spoke Spanish, like I do. However, I learned that Bolivians do speak Spanish but a lot of people also remain true to other several indigenous languages like Aymara and the one that I personally have learned to speak, Quechua.

Furthermore, I knew nothing about Bolivia cultural beliefs. But now, I'm aware that Bolivians, specifically miners, believe in the Tios, a god to whom they pray and request the availability of minerals in the mines from. I had the honor of having entered a mine in Llallagua and viewed first-hand the offerings made to the Tios, things like coca leaves and cigarettes all placed on an already heavily decorated shrine.

Now, the list proceeds indefinitely but undoubtedly, the transformation from my ideas of Bolivia before I entered the land to my conception of it half a month in-country speak to the indispensable enrichment incurred from experiential learning.
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Bolivia 4-week, Survey of Development Issues

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How I See Bolivia: Then Vs. Now

Jorge Mejia,Bolivia 4-week, Survey of Development Issues

Description

Bolivia is unarguably a country that holds bountiful wonder – but as is the common case with most things in life where one’s initial idea of an experience is shown to be far from correct after having finally been exposed to the experience – Bolivia didn’t always seem so wonderful, to me. That is the […]

Posted On

07/17/14

Author

Jorge Mejia

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