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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

“Not sure if my feet are dirty or tan”

Hola familias!
Apologies for the lack of updates, but the group has been very busy finishing our five day orientation period. Here is a brief summary of what we’ve done so far.

After a long journey full of car rides, multiple airports, and trying to cram our bodies into public transportation seats to find some rest, we made it safely to La Paz around 5:15 in the morning on September 16th where we were greeted by our instructors. The thin air hovering along the 15,500 ft. mountain pass we ascended in order to get to our primary destination in Coroico, affected some of us more than others (Tom). However our bubbling excitement to explore this new place provided a distraction from any health concerns. Coroico, a quaint valley town nestled into the Jungas jungle hills of Northwestern Bolivia, provided our orientation setting. Here we got to know each other a bit, and laid down the ground rules needed to make this trip awesome. This consisted of silly energizing games, multiple hour safety talks, a water fall hike, and a scavenger hunt in town. However, we recently finished our orientation period in Coroico and are now in our instructor, Anna’s, beautiful and eccentric town called El Alto.
On the way to El Alto we stopped at a lake at the base of the most breathtaking mountains we’ve ever seen. In order to show our respect we each held up the sacred coca leaves and placed them on a temple. It was a beautiful experience.
Last night at Anna’s we got the opportunity to see an Obra which is a Spanish play called La Preste. Though most of us couldn’t understand most of it, we were able to follow the plot due to the vibrant energy and passion of the actors.
Today we are planning our meals and gear for our first trek to La Cordi Real where we will see glacier lakes, glistening mountains, and learn how to navigate unknown terrain!
Sending our love from El Alto!
Reilly and Tom