Photo of the Week
Photo Title


WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 159718
    [post_author] => 16
    [post_date] => 2017-07-28 06:03:04
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-28 12:03:04
    [post_content] => The Peru groups have landed in Miami, and are currently going through migration and customs.

It has been a magical adventure, and students are excited to be heading home to share their stories!

Here is one last photo from Peru (missing Jack because he was in the bathroom), and a photo from the Miami airport.


    [post_title] => The Peru groups have arrived in Miami!
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => the-peru-groups-have-arrived-in-miami
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2017-07-28 07:40:45
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-28 13:40:45
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 642
                    [name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [slug] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 642
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 621
                    [count] => 102
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 642
                    [category_count] => 102
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [category_parent] => 621
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2017/summer-2017-peru-4-week-a/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
)
View post

The Peru groups have arrived in Miami!

Julianne Chandler,SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

Description

The Peru groups have landed in Miami, and are currently going through migration and customs. It has been a magical adventure, and students are excited to be heading home to share their stories! Here is one last photo from Peru (missing Jack because he was in the bathroom), and a photo from the Miami airport.

Posted On

07/28/17

Author

Julianne Chandler

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 159685
    [post_author] => 16
    [post_date] => 2017-07-27 19:41:48
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-28 01:41:48
    [post_content] => Dear Dragons friends and family,

The four week Peru groups have boarded their flight in Cusco, and are en route to Lima.  Both groups have enjoyed a powerful course-end and transference these past few days, and are ready for the bittersweet journey home.  They will have a 3-hour layover in Lima before continuing on to Miami after midnight.  They are scheduled to land in Miami at 7:20 am local time.

We will post an update when the group has arrived in Miami tomorrow morning.  We send gratitude to families who made this experience possible and wish you all a very happy reunion!

 
    [post_title] => Peru 4 week groups are in the air!
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => peru-4-week-groups-are-in-the-air
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2017-07-27 19:41:48
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-28 01:41:48
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 642
                    [name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [slug] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 642
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 621
                    [count] => 102
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 642
                    [category_count] => 102
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [category_parent] => 621
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2017/summer-2017-peru-4-week-a/
                )

            [1] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 643
                    [name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group B
                    [slug] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-b
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 643
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 621
                    [count] => 79
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 643
                    [category_count] => 79
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group B
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-b
                    [category_parent] => 621
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2017/summer-2017-peru-4-week-b/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A, SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group B
)

SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A, SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group B

View post

Peru 4 week groups are in the air!

Julianne Chandler,SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A, SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group B

Description

Dear Dragons friends and family, The four week Peru groups have boarded their flight in Cusco, and are en route to Lima.  Both groups have enjoyed a powerful course-end and transference these past few days, and are ready for the bittersweet journey home.  They will have a 3-hour layover in Lima before continuing on to […]

Posted On

07/27/17

Author

Julianne Chandler

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 159485
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2017-07-26 08:13:12
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-26 14:13:12
    [post_content] => The past 28 days have taught me a lot. Finishing two treks, living with my homestay family, hiking up to Macchu Picchu at 4:3o in the morning... I have accomplished so many things that I wouldn't have imagined a month ago.

Over the course, I have met and made new friends from different parts of the world and learned about different lifestyles. Through interactions with everyone in the group, I learned to better cooperate and communicate with everyone around me. Fitting in a new group is not a easy thing, luckily, my groupmates are very welcoming, and it makes my experience so much more enjoyable.

Besides, I also realized how small I am in this world through this trip. The more I see, the more I feel like I need to learn. By traveling for a month, I got to see so many fascinating things and learn about many interesting cultures. These little scattered memories expand my vision and help me to draw a bigger picture of the world.

Overall, this trip is definitely an unforgettable experience in my life and I can't wait to share more stories with my friends and family in less than a week!
    [post_title] => Post Course Reflection
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => post-course-reflection
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2017-07-26 08:13:12
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-26 14:13:12
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 642
                    [name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [slug] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 642
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 621
                    [count] => 102
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 642
                    [category_count] => 102
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [category_parent] => 621
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2017/summer-2017-peru-4-week-a/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
)

SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

View post

Post Course Reflection

June Liu,SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

Description

The past 28 days have taught me a lot. Finishing two treks, living with my homestay family, hiking up to Macchu Picchu at 4:3o in the morning… I have accomplished so many things that I wouldn’t have imagined a month ago. Over the course, I have met and made new friends from different parts of […]

Posted On

07/26/17

Author

June Liu

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 159484
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2017-07-26 08:12:07
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-26 14:12:07
    [post_content] => 

Hello All,

Yesterday, we witnessed the amazing Inca citadel of Machu Picchu first-hand, and we also began the transference phase of our trip. We learned a considerable amount about the Incas and also about the ruins yesterday through our exploration of the peruvian sanctuary Machu Picchu.

At 4:00 in the morning, we woke up to begin the treacherous ascent up the seemingly innumerable steps leading up the side of Machu Picchu. While we had to wait in line for a long time, and ascending the mountain took at least an hour and a half, the view of the sun just breaking over the ruins when we got to the top was priceless. It was a beautiful sight from above. Even though I had seen Machu Picchu tons of times in pictures, there is nothing like seeing the ruins in person as the sun rises in the morning, cresting the ruins. After observing and taking an insurmountable amount of photographs, we proceeded to climb Machu Picchu mountain. This climb took another one to two hours up steep steps. The climb was well worth it, and from the top of Machu Picchu mountain, one can see for many miles in every direction. I could see all the mountains and rivers near Machu Picchu. From this angle, it was much easier to discern the overall picture of the surrounding area and really take everything in. Cars and houses look smaller than ants from the fantastic view. After descending Machu Picchu mountain, we had some free time to walk around the ruins of Machu Picchu and learn about the complex history of it all. I really enjoyed this time because I was able to learn about what I was interested in and to explore things such as the temple of the condor. My experience at Machu Picchu was a particularly enriching one in which I learned a tremendous amount about the ancient Inca civilization and their customs.

Machu Picchu, however was such a small part of my journey that I have followed during my time on-course. I have been in the Amazon Rainforest, the Andes, Cuzco, and many other places that are very different places all with distinct cultures that they carry with them. Coming into this trip, I brought with me an open mind, open to learning new cultures and ideas. Now, in the transference phase of the trip, I have learned so much in such a small amount of time. My perspectives on the world have been shifted and changed so many times over and over again. Consistently, the methods which I used to perceive the world have been challenged and forced to change.

As a group, even though we have spent merely 28 days together, we have shared a lifetime of memories. While I am very excited to return home and see my family, I am also going to be crestfallen when I leave my group that I have gotten so close with. We have bonded so closely it will be very sad to leave everyone.

Although leaving everyone will be a sad experience, I have grown as a person so much over these past four weeks. In addition to growth on a purely intellectual scale, I have also grown in as many ways as are imaginable. I have learned so much in such a small period of time on this course yet I have only seen a glimpse of all there is to see. While I will return to the regular rhythm of life very soon, the information I have learned in Peru will reside with me for a lifetime and ultimately leave me with a fresh perspective, a fresh take on life.

 

Chilly night,

Bitter air,

Wind whipping through my hair.

 

Dark night,

Starry night,

Mountains, clifftops, everywhere.

 

Quiet night,

Lonely night,

Stars dancing in the sky.

 

Stars twinkling,

Stars shining,

One can only wonder why

 

Night

  [post_title] => One Final Take on Peru [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => one-final-take-on-peru [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-26 08:12:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-26 14:12:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 642 [name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A [slug] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 642 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 621 [count] => 102 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0.1 [cat_ID] => 642 [category_count] => 102 [category_description] => [cat_name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A [category_nicename] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a [category_parent] => 621 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2017/summer-2017-peru-4-week-a/ ) ) [category_links] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A )

SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

View post

One Final Take on Peru

John Marangola,SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

Description

Hello All, Yesterday, we witnessed the amazing Inca citadel of Machu Picchu first-hand, and we also began the transference phase of our trip. We learned a considerable amount about the Incas and also about the ruins yesterday through our exploration of the peruvian sanctuary Machu Picchu. At 4:00 in the morning, we woke up to […]

Posted On

07/26/17

Author

John Marangola

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 159483
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2017-07-26 08:08:45
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-26 14:08:45
    [post_content] => As this journey is coming to an end, it is time for me to say goodbye. These twenty-eight days have been a mixture of challenge, discovery, and joy. It feels like a dream, yet never have I never felt so alive. Before going on this trip, I didn't know what to expect. "I am going to see Machu Picchu" is all I could say. Now that I have been through the entire itinerary, I realise seeing Machu Picchu was only a minor part of our journey. I communicated with people through languages of music, smiles, and kindness. I have seen landscapes that were unbelievably beautiful and have discovered myself in ways I used to ignore.

This trip has made me realise that I have still so much more to learn. While traveling throughout the Amazon forest I have learned more about the importance of medicinal plants and how tourism can affect an indigenous community. Trekking through the Andes has made me understand that as long as one perseveres, one can adapt to any situation. I got more confident in my abilities to achieve something great. This, thanks to the encouragement of my surroundings and again, willing to persevere.

Along with this, I underestimated the importance of people and nature. Sylvia Plath's precious words “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, 'This is what it is to be happy.’" describes exactly how I felt during our time spent together in the mountains. Our transition phases in cities such as Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Urubamba, ... have been very fun and yet still intriguing. Everything seems different. Motorcycles are driving everywhere. The sound of cars honking, street music playing, dogs barking and people merchandising smoothly blend together. I have gotten accustomed to the smoky odour of food and restaurants showing off their cheap sopa and secundo menu with, of course, the wonderful lomo saltado.

Sometimes, experiences can have the power to influence you for the rest of your life. Whether it be a conversation with a potato farmer or an opportunity to travel through a foreign country both experiences will shift your perspective on things. This opportunity I have been given to travel through Peru with such admirable people has taught me many life lessons. Friendship, respect, and compassion are all important values that I will hopefully bring back home with me.

As cliché as this may sound, I have had a truly magical time and have made incredible friends. There are only a few days left until I am flying back to Belgium and reunited with my parents, brother and sister. Nostalgia will most certainly hit me, as I am feeling it already. We are now enjoying our last few moments we will spend together, and we are learning how to transfer what we have been taught on this trip to our experiences back home.

Sending love from Peru,

Emma
    [post_title] => Reflection on our travel
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => reflection-on-our-travel
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2017-07-26 08:08:45
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-26 14:08:45
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 642
                    [name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [slug] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 642
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 621
                    [count] => 102
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 642
                    [category_count] => 102
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [category_parent] => 621
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2017/summer-2017-peru-4-week-a/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
)

SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

View post

Reflection on our travel

Emma Pauwels,SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

Description

As this journey is coming to an end, it is time for me to say goodbye. These twenty-eight days have been a mixture of challenge, discovery, and joy. It feels like a dream, yet never have I never felt so alive. Before going on this trip, I didn’t know what to expect. “I am going […]

Posted On

07/26/17

Author

Emma Pauwels

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 159482
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2017-07-26 08:06:48
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-26 14:06:48
    [post_content] => Yesterday, we woke up at 4:00am for our visit to Machu Picchu. During our visit, we climbed 22,000 steps, and witnessed the amazing sights of the magnificent ruins that one usually only sees in pictures. For me, it was a surreal experience, and I was so grateful for the opportunity to exercise and learn about one of the main sources of Peruvian pride.

My favorite part about seeing the ruins was the feeling of being in complete awe of the beauty that emanated from pure hard work and dedication that built Machu Picchu. I also really respected the extent that the tour guides and staff went to in order to preserve this monument, which was evident in the workers I saw that were preserving the walls. However, the reason I was able to enjoy climbing so many steps and waking up so early in the morning was because of the fact that I really do love my group and my instructor team. They are able to make every experience that much better.

Because of this, I am really sad about this course coming to an end. Although I miss my family, this course taught me so much about myself, other people, and other places in this world. This course has enabled me to be educated in a way that is different from the education that I receive at school. It has taught me a more diverse range of lessons, regarding respecting and learning about different cultures, how to maintain a healthy group dynamic, and about myself and my position in this world. In terms of learning about different cultures, one realization that was really important to me that I learned during my homestay in Paru Paru was that quality of life does not always have to be measured by possessions, wealth, or validated by the grades that I receive in school. You can find happiness in other ways, such as family, friends and your favorite pastimes, to learning how to face adversity while maintaining a positive group dynamic. As for the challenging task of maintaining good relationships with group measures while facing adversity in the forms such as harsh weather and being away from familiarity, I learned how to accept others and our differences, while cherishing the best parts of our personalities. As for myself, I was able to discover what I value most in my life, and that connecting with other people on a genuine level is extremely important for my happiness. Although it is hard to narrow down what I have learned during this course, I believe that the most important thing that this trip has showed me is that I have so much more to learn about the world and life in general, and that I am excited for further exploration and discovery.

 
    [post_title] => Machu Picchu and Final Reflection
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => machu-picchu-and-final-reflection
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2017-07-26 08:06:48
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-26 14:06:48
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 642
                    [name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [slug] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 642
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 621
                    [count] => 102
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 642
                    [category_count] => 102
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [category_parent] => 621
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2017/summer-2017-peru-4-week-a/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
)

SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

View post

Machu Picchu and Final Reflection

Ana Cordes,SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

Description

Yesterday, we woke up at 4:00am for our visit to Machu Picchu. During our visit, we climbed 22,000 steps, and witnessed the amazing sights of the magnificent ruins that one usually only sees in pictures. For me, it was a surreal experience, and I was so grateful for the opportunity to exercise and learn about one […]

Posted On

07/26/17

Author

Ana Cordes

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 159502
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2017-07-26 08:02:52
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-26 14:02:52
    [post_content] => When I first came onto this trip, Avery, one of my instructors, told the group one of her favorite sayings: "This too will pass."

This catchphrase stuck with me throughout the trip. Trekking through Ausangate, legs shaking and back sore; coughing continually, seeing stars and fearing what was to come; lying awake in my sleeping bag, experiencing the definition of forever. Every time I was tired, physically uncomfortable, or afraid of something, I would repeat that motto, and as always, it would pass.

Only now, sitting in a Peruvian internet cafe that smells of harsh chemical cleaners, has the duality of this phrase struck me. This time, its unkind, fickle nature has become startlingly clear. This trip, with all its laughter, love, and comradery has also passed. These four weeks, while sparkled with occasional discomfort, have been some of the best weeks of my life.

While the complete, harsh nature of Averys saying only has only recently sunk in, I know that it's not true -- not completely.

While most things are temporary, there are a few things on this trip that will stick with me forever, that won't pass: Friendships, memories, and a new outlook on life. The people I have met on this trip were always there for me, regardless of how steep the slopes of Ausangate, how strong my coughing fits, or how little we slept. On this trip, I experienced incredibly vivid, startlingly beautiful moments on the daily basis, moments that I encounter only once a lifetime back in the small town of Belmont, Massachusettes. And sitting now, still inhaling the harsh fumes of my local internet cafe, I like to think I have a new sense of optimism, a new outlook on the world and myself.

So yeah, this trip has passed, just not completely.
    [post_title] => Not Completely
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => copy
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2017-07-26 08:03:13
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-26 14:03:13
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/copy
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 642
                    [name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [slug] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 642
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 621
                    [count] => 102
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 642
                    [category_count] => 102
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [category_parent] => 621
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2017/summer-2017-peru-4-week-a/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
)

SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

View post

Not Completely

Thor Elfarsson,SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

Description

When I first came onto this trip, Avery, one of my instructors, told the group one of her favorite sayings: “This too will pass.” This catchphrase stuck with me throughout the trip. Trekking through Ausangate, legs shaking and back sore; coughing continually, seeing stars and fearing what was to come; lying awake in my sleeping […]

Posted On

07/26/17

Author

Thor Elfarsson

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 159475
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2017-07-26 07:56:50
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-26 13:56:50
    [post_content] => As I walked up what seemed to be the never ending stairs to Machu Picchu, I couldn´t help but think of how many tourist feet have walked up them as well, drowning out the markings of the ancient Incans. I know that Dragons is more about being a traveler more than a typical tourist, and to be honest, I was afraid of feeling more touristy than anything, but in the end, I felt different from the others that I passed up that windy staircase. I felt stronger, more knowledgeable, and overall proud that I was at Machu Picchu, because when now looking back at this whole trip, Machu Picchu was far from being a challenge, and far from being a main highlight of my experience in Peru. I mean, going up there at 4:30 in the morning and seeing the sun rise over those beautiful ancient ruins was absolutely stunning, but having the capability and strength to go up there came from other breathtaking experiences, such as Lares and Ausangate, treks that very few tourists can attest to. Also seeing the history was beautiful as well, but I wouldn´t have fully appreciated a Peruvian history without witnessing Peru today, like my homestay experience in Paru Paru. I know that if you ask any Peruvian what they are proud of about their country, Machu Picchu is or close to number one, but if you also asked an American what they are proud of about the United States, they would also be proud of something everyone knows about, like New York City, or our California beaches. But being a "traveler" of Peru now, I look at Machu Picchu and not only see a landmark, but a mark of Peru´s wealth and livelihood. Sites as famous as Machu Picchu are amazing for its economy, but to me I do not see it as a true representation of Peru or my experience in Peru. For me the true valued landmarks lay in the beautiful desolate glaciers of the Andes, the traditional practices and praises of indigenous families that have been unmoved for generations, or the endless lomo saltado and sopa and segundo that are the staples of a Peruvians diet. Machu Picchu is a place that lays within every tourist booklet, but I believe that a genuine cultural experience all lay outside of ones automatic knowledge of a culture. To truly see the beauty of a place, you cannot only look at one little peice of it, but step back and see multiple sides and shades of its whole. When you step back and truly see this whole, that is when you can fully understand the value of something. Without seeing 30 other days worth of Peru´s beauty and uniqueness, it would be like looking at something, but only seeing it in a blink of an eye. So yes, Machu Picchu was truly exquisite, but not a site that impacted me or my experience like many of the interactions I've had or lessons I've learned while on this trip.

I would never suggest that anyone not go see Machu Picchu if they were to go to Peru, but only encourage someone to widen their horizons, because New York City and California is not the sole value or definition of beauty in the United States. So mark your mark on those windy neverending steps, but make your mark somewhere else too, one that creates your own unique experience of Peru. That to me is the true difference of being a traveler versus an observant tourist.
    [post_title] => The Significance of Machu Picchu
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => the-significance-of-machu-picchu
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2017-07-26 07:56:50
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-26 13:56:50
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 642
                    [name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [slug] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 642
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 621
                    [count] => 102
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 642
                    [category_count] => 102
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [category_parent] => 621
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2017/summer-2017-peru-4-week-a/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
)

SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

View post

The Significance of Machu Picchu

lspecter,SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

Description

As I walked up what seemed to be the never ending stairs to Machu Picchu, I couldn´t help but think of how many tourist feet have walked up them as well, drowning out the markings of the ancient Incans. I know that Dragons is more about being a traveler more than a typical tourist, and […]

Posted On

07/26/17

Author

lspecter

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 159473
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2017-07-26 07:48:42
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-26 13:48:42
    [post_content] => Hello from Urubamba!

This is my last Yak from Peru and I am back in Urubamba after going to Machu Picchu. I am pretty sad that I wont be in Peru in 4 days and that this is my last Yak. However, I had an amazing time and I am still reflecting on how beautiful Machu Picchu was yesterday. I have a lot to say and not that much time so here goes nothing.

I have seen tons of videos and pictures of Machu Picchu, but nothing really prepares you for what you see coming over that first hill and looking out over the ruins and Huayna Picchu... Especially, if you woke up at 4 in the morning and then climbed up 2 hours worth of steps to get there. Although the pain of the lactic acid fermentation in my calves is still haunting me, every single slippery stone step was worth it. But wait, there's more! Only when we hit the famous ruins of Machu Picchu did I learn that we had tickets to Machu Picchu Mountain... more stairs. But once again, I don't regret a single step. The mountains surrounding the ruins were giant mysterious silhouettes, guardians of one of the seven wonders of the world. Everything about our experience at Machu Picchu was amazing from the cool weather to the lack of chuspis (bugs), except for one thing. One thing felt wrong. I still can't put my finger on it, but even though seeing Machu Picchu was one of my favorite experiences, it felt like I shouldn't have been there. It felt like none of us should have been there. Of course it has been a tourist attraction for decades and it will continue to be one no matter what anyone says, but it still felt wrong. I write about New York City, where I live, in almost all of my Yaks, but here I feel it is especially relevant to reference it. Every year, the city I live in gets visited by more than 60 million tourists. They come to take pictures with and of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, and many more structures and areas in the City. I sometimes get mad at them for not understanding the traffic laws or for being nuisances, but I never feel like they don't have a right to be there. At Machu Picchu, a similarly popular tourist attraction, the feeling was different. It felt like myself and the other visitors were trespassing. To give a little background of the site: Machu Picchu was “discovered” in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, a Yale scholar. At the time, a family was living there and farming. Also, the site still had its original artifacts since its abandonment hundreds of years earlier. Bingham and his team from Yale removed a significant amount of artifacts with the intention of studying them in America for less than two years and then returning them. The artifacts were actually returned 100 years later. New York City's history and founding isn't the most peaceful of stories too, but something about Machu Picchu felt off. New York City is full to the brim with opportunities to learn about its history and many tourists take the time to learn about how it became one of the most popular cities in the world. At Machu Picchu, people seemed more concerned with taking selfies with the ruins and then leaving. It's not like that doesn't happen in New York City, but I have noticed that it is way less outsized. The town below the Brooklyn Bridge is not called “Brooklyn Bridge Town.” The town at the base of Machu Picchu used to be called “Aguas Calientes.” Now, it's called... you guessed it... “Machu Picchu Town.” I didn't think I would feel this strongly about it, but the moment that I stepped off the train into “Machu Picchu Town” and saw the signs with English in bigger font than Spanish, I knew. The plethora of restaurants serving hamburgers and pizza was just more salt in the wound. At what point do the negatives of tourism and the exploration of an ancient or historical site outweigh the benefits? Is there anyway that Machu Picchu could be enjoyed without completely disrespecting the culture and history of the area? I don't know the answers to these questions, but I will carry them with me wherever I travel. I am still glad that I got to see such a beautiful place, but my emotions about the whole experience are still mixed.

Other than doing some closing lessons and then going to Cuzco to catch our flight home, we have no other activities left in the course. I have developed strong relationships with everyone on this trip and I know I will miss them deeply. We all left our comfort zones, pushed ourselves physically, and ate weird things... sometimes. I was so worried that I wouldn't be able to have fun with complete strangers, but I was wrong. I had the time of my life with people that I can all call my friends. Until next time, Peru! See you all very very soon!

Best,

Ned
    [post_title] => Machu Piccu Reflection
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => machu-piccu-reflection
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2017-07-26 07:48:42
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-26 13:48:42
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 642
                    [name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [slug] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 642
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 621
                    [count] => 102
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 642
                    [category_count] => 102
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [category_parent] => 621
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2017/summer-2017-peru-4-week-a/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
)
View post

Machu Piccu Reflection

Ned Rossman,SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

Description

Hello from Urubamba! This is my last Yak from Peru and I am back in Urubamba after going to Machu Picchu. I am pretty sad that I wont be in Peru in 4 days and that this is my last Yak. However, I had an amazing time and I am still reflecting on how beautiful […]

Posted On

07/26/17

Author

Ned Rossman

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 159472
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2017-07-26 07:44:36
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-26 13:44:36
    [post_content] => 

Experiencing Machu Picchu in the flesh was greater than I ever could have dreamed. The view and place themselves were incredible. The mountains are so steep and green it almost does not seem real, and the ruins are unbelievable. It’s hard to imagine that the Incas built that huge place using mostly manpower and without modern technology or even wheels.

Given that Machu Picchu is a factor that often has students choosing the Peru trip over the Bolivia trip, I found myself contemplating the value of visiting this place during our trip. Ultimately, I think it was very important for me to see the contrast between traditional Tourism and the type of travelling that one experiences on a Dragon’s course. It was amazing to see Machu Picchu, but there are so many beauties in Peru to behold and explore, and limiting a trip to Peru to just Machu Picchu because of its renown reputation would be a huge loss. A country or place has so much more to offer than just its most famous attraction. There is so much to explore and connect with when you expose yourself in the way that one does on this type of trip. Not to say that one should not go to famous monuments and attractions, but it is equally as important to make an effort to connect on a deeper level with the people, culture, and environment of the place where you are travelling. Just remaining within the confines of busy Tourist filled cities does not allow you to truly see the realities of the culture you are visiting.

Machu Picchu was fantastic and I do not regret walking up those thousands of stair to see it, but my main take away from seeing the ruins was that there is so much more to a country than just its most famous attraction, and the culture and people of the country are so much more beautiful and significant than just a single place filled with tourists and overridden with cheesy souvenirs and overly expensive food.

[post_title] => Machu Picchu [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => machu-picchu-26 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-26 07:44:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-26 13:44:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 642 [name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A [slug] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 642 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 621 [count] => 102 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0.1 [cat_ID] => 642 [category_count] => 102 [category_description] => [cat_name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A [category_nicename] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a [category_parent] => 621 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2017/summer-2017-peru-4-week-a/ ) ) [category_links] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A )

SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

View post

Machu Picchu

Ginsy Barnes,SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A

Description

Experiencing Machu Picchu in the flesh was greater than I ever could have dreamed. The view and place themselves were incredible. The mountains are so steep and green it almost does not seem real, and the ruins are unbelievable. It’s hard to imagine that the Incas built that huge place using mostly manpower and without […]

Posted On

07/26/17

Author

Ginsy Barnes

1 2 3 11