Photo of the Week
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    [post_date] => 2016-07-28 16:35:11
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    [post_content] => The Bolivia 4 group has reached Miami safe and sound, complete with their goofiness and all of their luggage. Despite waking up at 3am, all of us are in high spirits, excited for our airport reunions with our families. We just got to see James and his mom reunite before heading off to Spain. The rest of us have checked our luggage through to our final destinations and are headed to our gates. The students are equipped with their connecting flight info and the office phone number in case of complications. Thanks for an incredible month and enjoy your welcome home hugs and reunions!!
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View post

Safe, sound, and super silly

Lindsay Buck,SUMMER: Bolivia

Description

The Bolivia 4 group has reached Miami safe and sound, complete with their goofiness and all of their luggage. Despite waking up at 3am, all of us are in high spirits, excited for our airport reunions with our families. We just got to see James and his mom reunite before heading off to Spain. The […]

Posted On

07/28/16

Author

Lindsay Buck

Category

SUMMER: Bolivia

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-28 14:47:21
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-28 20:47:21
    [post_content] => Dear friends and family,

The Bolivia 4 student group has arrived in Miami and gone through customs and migration.  They are currently sharing one last goodbye together at the airport, and then students will head to their connecting flights.  They are looking forward to sharing stories from their adventures with loved ones.

Thank you for all your support along the way!

Best wishes,

Julianne
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SUMMER: Bolivia

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The group has arrived in Miami!

Julianne Chandler,SUMMER: Bolivia

Description

Dear friends and family, The Bolivia 4 student group has arrived in Miami and gone through customs and migration.  They are currently sharing one last goodbye together at the airport, and then students will head to their connecting flights.  They are looking forward to sharing stories from their adventures with loved ones. Thank you for […]

Posted On

07/28/16

Author

Julianne Chandler

Category

SUMMER: Bolivia

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2016-07-28 04:22:53
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-28 10:22:53
    [post_content] => IMG_2567

Hi Everyone,
It feels like it was just yesterday that we all arrived to this same airport in El Alto above 13,000 feet.  It is clear that our students  have adapted to the altitude since then and everyone looks healthy and stronger than 1 month ago. However, we all feel that it was too early to finish our journey here in Bolivia and go back home. The whole experience has being very transformative for everybody in the group in so many ways, that only after a few days or even weeks of reflection and processing the experience will we be able to explain it.
Now, it is time to board the plane.
With laughter but at the same time tears, the group said goodbye to Simon, Jhasmany and Alan. Chau Keaton, Aliyah, James, Maya, Sarah, Ava, Emily, Mason and Lindsay.
Best wishes
The Bolivia 4 group y los instructores
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Group flight has departed from La Paz

The instructors,SUMMER: Bolivia

Description

Hi Everyone, It feels like it was just yesterday that we all arrived to this same airport in El Alto above 13,000 feet.  It is clear that our students  have adapted to the altitude since then and everyone looks healthy and stronger than 1 month ago. However, we all feel that it was too early to finish […]

Posted On

07/28/16

Author

The instructors

Category

SUMMER: Bolivia

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-27 23:51:27
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-28 05:51:27
    [post_content] => Hi families and friends of our Bolivian dragons,

I have the unique pleasure of being the one instructor accompanying your loved ones to Miami bright and early tomorrow! As I type this, the students are behind me at our La Paz home of Hostal Austria, giggling, exchanging small parting gifts, and packing their bags for our 3:30am departure from our hotel. Once they reach you, they might be a little drowsy, as it doesn´t appear that they care to get much sleep tonight against our better advice:). They miss you all very much, though, and it makes me happy to think of all of the sweet reunions that will take place tomorrow afternoon.

By this time you´ve probably seen the field notes they´ve posted in the last two days about our closing days. What talented writers we have in this group! We spent today doing last minute souvenir shopping (you all are in for some treats!!) and having a closing dinner where laughter was shared and bittersweet tears were shed. I speak for all three instructors when I say that we feel absolutely privileged to have spent a month exploring Bolivia with your extraordinary kids! Thank you so much for choosing Dragons and for supporting your kids in every way possible as they navigated this personal journey. We just completed a few days of transference activities on the picturesque Lake Titicaca, and we think the students are as prepared as they can be for the myriad emotions that coming home will inevitably bring up for them. We´ve heard wonderful stories about all of you, and know that you are likely eager to support them as best as you can during their transition home. Know that we are here too if you need us!

Well we best get going to catch at least a few hours of sleep before our travels. Our flight is scheduled to arrive at 3:50pm to Miami. At that time, my U.S. cell will be active in case any of you need to reach me. Please don´t hesitate to call (215 867 9719). I will make sure that the students are where they need to be to catch their connecting flights home to you before heading home myself. I can´t wait to hear about the big hugs that take place all across the U.S. as you greet your kids for the first time in a month!

With gratitude,

Lindsay and the Bolivia instructor team
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SUMMER: Bolivia

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Coming home

Lindsay Buck,SUMMER: Bolivia

Description

Hi families and friends of our Bolivian dragons, I have the unique pleasure of being the one instructor accompanying your loved ones to Miami bright and early tomorrow! As I type this, the students are behind me at our La Paz home of Hostal Austria, giggling, exchanging small parting gifts, and packing their bags for […]

Posted On

07/27/16

Author

Lindsay Buck

Category

SUMMER: Bolivia

WP_Post Object
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    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2016-07-27 17:07:27
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-27 23:07:27
    [post_content] => I was pretty darn homesick for about half of the trip. Time passed reasonably slow toward the middle of the trip. But, as time progressed the days really did get shorter and shorter. Now I´m not ready to go. I´m not ready to leave without seeing the salt flats -- who knows when I´ll be back... I´m not ready to say goodbye, goodbye to my homestay family and I haven´t soaked up enough of the Andes´magic.

That being said, I´m very content with the experience I´ve had. It´s been so very different from what I expected. Different on many levels. The land. The food. The cities. These differences and the insuing suprise, was, of course, almost to be expected. The more suprising surprises involved the difficulties I had during the course. I was challenged in ways I did not expect to be challenged. At the same time, I was a lot more comfortable than I expected to be with some things.

Lastly, I´d like to share a haiku I crafted in reflection after our transference experience on the way back from Copacabana

Reflect, change and be

travel like a traveler

 To live and to learn

                        SBC July 2016

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SUMMER: Bolivia

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Fin

Simon Caplan,SUMMER: Bolivia

Description

I was pretty darn homesick for about half of the trip. Time passed reasonably slow toward the middle of the trip. But, as time progressed the days really did get shorter and shorter. Now I´m not ready to go. I´m not ready to leave without seeing the salt flats — who knows when I´ll be […]

Posted On

07/27/16

Author

Simon Caplan

Category

SUMMER: Bolivia

WP_Post Object
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    [ID] => 146555
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2016-07-27 17:05:52
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-27 23:05:52
    [post_content] => Hi all-

I signed up for this course looking for new friends, a new country, and an adventure. I didn´t realize until close to my departure how much the experience would have the ability to change me. When this hit me, I was ridiculously scared. A few nights before leaving to meet my group in Miami, I reached out to an old friend in panic. I felt weak, scared, and alone. I knew they trip would change me, and I wasn't sure if I was ready for that. But my friend reminded me that this change was an opportunity and a good thing for me, not something to be afraid of.

I knew that what my friend said was true within our first few days of Orientation in Candelaria, and my fears dissipated. I was ready to grow, and I became confident that that change could be healthy and good for me. Our group of twelve tied ourselves into a closely-knit web of support. With each interaction we had with each other, our web got tighter and stronger.  With each interaction we had with local Bolivians, my heart grew kinder and more open to love. With each interaction with the land (or the Pachamama, as they call it here), my soul found more peace. With every minute in this beautiful country, I grew and changed, and, contrary to my previous fears, I changed in the best kinds of ways.

I learned to appreciate my surroundings, to demonstrate love to the people around me, to hold myself with confidence, and to act with compassion towards the people I meet. I have grown more than I could have expected, and I´m so grateful to have had this opportunity.

Finally, I´d love to share a haiku I wrote on the bus to La Paz.

 

What describes our trip?

Our respelendent progression.

Also, potatoes.

(There are a lot of potatoes in Bolivia. It´s a staple food.)

Thanks for reading,

MPO 07/27/2016

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Best Notes From The Field, SUMMER: Bolivia

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A Good Note to End On

Maya Olin,Best Notes From The Field, SUMMER: Bolivia

Description

Hi all- I signed up for this course looking for new friends, a new country, and an adventure. I didn´t realize until close to my departure how much the experience would have the ability to change me. When this hit me, I was ridiculously scared. A few nights before leaving to meet my group in […]

Posted On

07/27/16

Author

Maya Olin

WP_Post Object
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    [ID] => 146556
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    [post_date] => 2016-07-27 16:52:17
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-27 22:52:17
    [post_content] => Hi all,

As this month comes to an end, we are all spending lots of time reflecting on our experience in Bolivia. I´ve learned so much about Bolivia´s culture, landscape, and traditions. I´ve also learned more about myself. By disconnecting from my life back home, I´ve been able to understand and realize which parts of life really matter to me- strong relationships, forming true connections with individuals, and the beauty of nature and humanity. By meeting such interesting people throughout our travels, including a 100 year old woman healer named Augustina, a world famous weaver named Doña Jesusa, my host family, and of course, our beloved Doña Santusa who housed us for our first few nights in Bolivia, I´ve learned how to really connect with people on more than just a surface level. This is something that I believe is so important in order to experience life to the fullest.

I feel so lucky to have experienced everything that I have. This group of individuals is so unique and special and traveling with them has been such a highlight. Thank you to everyone who has made this experience possible for me and who has supported me along the way.

I´d like to share a haiku I wrote on the bus to La Paz

Guiding, providing

Pachamama sustains life

Unique together

KES July 2016

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View post

Disconnecting to Connect

Keaton Smith,SUMMER: Bolivia

Description

Hi all, As this month comes to an end, we are all spending lots of time reflecting on our experience in Bolivia. I´ve learned so much about Bolivia´s culture, landscape, and traditions. I´ve also learned more about myself. By disconnecting from my life back home, I´ve been able to understand and realize which parts of […]

Posted On

07/27/16

Author

Keaton Smith

Category

SUMMER: Bolivia

WP_Post Object
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    [ID] => 146558
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2016-07-27 16:50:26
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-27 22:50:26
    [post_content] => This past month has been one of the most life-changing and arduous experiences of my life. I had the priviledge to explore this beautiful country with my fellow Dragoners with whom I've been able to share moments filled with laughter, sadness, and happiness. It has been a pleasure to visit the many places of Bolivia, some of which were the important cities: Sucre, La Paz, Cochabamba, Potosi. Now, it is time to say goodbye and head back home.

What will I take home? Apart from the normal souvenir that you find in a gift shop in a foreign country, I will also take home memories that I will cherish: Jhasmany breaking Alan's headlamp, Mason telling his stories about the world's hairiest dog, Lindsey casually telling us of how she almost died eight times. I will also take home an improved version of myself, a more conscious and world-aware version, knowing how fortunate I am to be living in such a comfortable home in Spain, with only mere problems that most people would scoff at.  Finally, I will be taking home a new group of friends of whom I have shared both embarrasing and close moments with. My group of friends, whom have suffered the high altitude in Andes, rode long bus rides and shared their candy with me. I hope to stay in touch with them.

What am I looking forward to? For starter, I surely awaiting to seeing the smiles of my parents faces who welcome me home with a bear hug. I also looking forward to seeing my dog, who is patiently waiting by the kitchen door. Finally, I am looking forward to assimilating myself back into my normal Spanish self with my new experiences from this past month. I hope to see if I notice the world any different now that I have been exposed to such diverse parts of the Bolivia culture.

Overall, it has been a great month, making new friends, going on long treks and learning about the Bolivian culture. This once in a life choices in travelling to Bolivia was one of the better selections that I have made in my lifetime. I will be missing you Bolivia. Farewell.
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SUMMER: Bolivia

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Farewell Bolivia

James Tejera,SUMMER: Bolivia

Description

This past month has been one of the most life-changing and arduous experiences of my life. I had the priviledge to explore this beautiful country with my fellow Dragoners with whom I’ve been able to share moments filled with laughter, sadness, and happiness. It has been a pleasure to visit the many places of Bolivia, […]

Posted On

07/27/16

Author

James Tejera

Category

SUMMER: Bolivia

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2016-07-27 16:45:09
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-27 22:45:09
    [post_content] => 

Though some students weren't feeling well due to altitude, Expedition has been my favorite phase of the trip. We hiked -- rather rode in the bus -- in the area around Huayna Potosi. Huayna Potosi is one of the legendary peaks just outside of La Paz. It was gorgeous. The mountains we traveled through in this trek are the absolute most impressive bits of beauty we´ve seen in our time in Bolivia.

We left La Paz Friday morning after a lazy breakfeast at Bolivia´s very own Starbucks-like establishment called Alexander Cafe. We drove to the trailhead by way of El Alto, the sprawling upper part of La Paz. It took us about an hour and half to navigate El Alto´s back streets. In El Alto we saw the words ladrones seran quemados vivos again and again. Ladrones seran quemados vivos means robbers will be burned alive. As we learned, the Policia Boliviana doesn´t frequent the El Alto area and vigalante, neighborhood-watch-like organizations administer law.

I was struck by this factoid and decided to make a concrete poem...

Please enjoy

                                                                                   El Alto

                                                          Ladrones Quemados Law and Life

                                    Diligent diligence, Vigilent vigilence. A community of citizens

                                                         politics Yes, politics No. si Evo, no Evo

                                                                                   El Alto

                                                                                                        SBC July 2016

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SUMMER: Bolivia

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Expeditioooon

Simon Caplan,SUMMER: Bolivia

Description

Though some students weren’t feeling well due to altitude, Expedition has been my favorite phase of the trip. We hiked — rather rode in the bus — in the area around Huayna Potosi. Huayna Potosi is one of the legendary peaks just outside of La Paz. It was gorgeous. The mountains we traveled through in […]

Posted On

07/27/16

Author

Simon Caplan

Category

SUMMER: Bolivia

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    [post_content] => Buenos días

My instructors asked me the other day to post a field note about the experience that I had in bolivia and that made me feel the intensity of how much this trip has come to an end. This experience has been the most life changing experience in my life. I have grown so much and done so many thing that I know for sure that am going to take these things that I have learned through out my entire life. The people I have met and the things that I have seen will always be a part of me, and also  the group that I have been  so much time with I will always cherish and will always have a special place in my heart.

The first week in Bolivia seemed like it was going by so slow, having been in orientation most of the time. We were learning about the safety procedures and the do´s and dont´s of this country and in my head i was like can we get to the good part already and now i understand that every part of this trip is the good part. We stayed in different cities and in different hotels which was super crazy cause it was so vibrant and amazing. We did trecking i like that part because it brought me and my group closer together in a tent. From sharing the same sleeping bag to cooking each other food we grew closer. although these things are amazing one of the best part of my trip was hands down the home stay because i got to find a home away from home in Bolivia. I got to meet dona maxima who is my home stay mom and i got to meet my home stay sister who was pretty chill. Home stay part was hard at the beginning meeting unfamiliar people who i had to live with for six days but i grew to really love them as my own family and it was really hard to say goodbye.

I learn many things on this trip that i really truly wish to keep with me. I mostly came on this trip for community service which i was looking forward to a lot, although we didn't do much of that i learned something really important about it. I learned that you can´t do community service without knowing the full impact of it in the long and also knowing how much time you´re willing to invest in it. That´s something i want to keep on with me throughout my whole life so in the future when am thinking about doing community service i can know how to do it the right way. Another thing that i learned on this trip is that the thing i do affect everyone in the world and it can have a positive or negative affect. for example taking a one hour shower while some parts of the world are in a drought is badly effecting the world. So from now one i hope to pay attention to the things i do and how it not only affects me but how it affects the world. Of course that´s not all i learned from this trip but these things that i have learned on this trip i hope to keep with me for the rest of my life.

This month that i have spent here in Bolivia will always be part of my story, and it´s a story that i can´t wait to share with loved ones and anyone who´s interested really. It might just be something i did for a month to other people or just another trip that anyone can take, but to me this  will aways be treasured and stay with me for the rest of my life. I wan´t to say Thank You to everyone who made this possible from bolder to family i am truly grateful and full of graditude. Thank You

Sincerely,

Eternally grateful Sarah

 
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SUMMER: Bolivia

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The Last Day

Sarah Joseph,SUMMER: Bolivia

Description

Buenos días My instructors asked me the other day to post a field note about the experience that I had in bolivia and that made me feel the intensity of how much this trip has come to an end. This experience has been the most life changing experience in my life. I have grown so […]

Posted On

07/27/16

Author

Sarah Joseph

Category

SUMMER: Bolivia

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