high lights 0f trek and homestay
A few days ago, we embarked on a trek through the Andes. This was an amazing experience as I have never been to such a beautiful mountain range. Our first night on the trail was spent in a small village with a school, a soccer field, and a few houses scattered around the area. At this camp site, we played high altitude soccer with our guide and a few of the porters. This and hackysack were great ways to connect with those who we did not share a similar language. The next day, we went from a high altitude landscape to that of a tropical forest. In this rain forest we climbed over hills and across rivers, and wove our way through waterfalls. At our second to last campsite, we were visited by the resident cats. These cats spent the entire time we were at the campsite curled up on our laps as we ate or read. As we bid farewell to the place we had called our home for the last few days, a sense of nostalgia came over as I realized how lucky I was to be here in Bolivia. After our trek we had a quick shower, then headed off to our homstays in the quaint little town of Santiago de Okoia. Here we were split up into groups of two, I stayed with Luca at our guides house. At his house he had sheep, a cow, 4 cats, and around 10 dogs – although he only admitted to owning 4 dogs. All of our meals were wonderful and a great way to start off the day. On our first day there we played soccer, ate a potluck with all the homestay families, and at this potluck, we gathered a new member of our group: dog who we called Gusto. Gusto spent the rest of the day with us, even climbing to the top of the “Sleeping dragon” where we overlooked lake Titicaca. On our way back to the soccer field to end the afternoon with a game, we were joined by 4 more dogs who came back to the field with us. After an exciting game, we went back to our families and had a wonderful meal of chicken, rice, and potatoes. At around 20:00, we met up again and sat in on an Andean religious ceremony. This was a wonderful way to end such an amazing day. We woke up the next morning refreshed and ready to play more soccer. Again, we were joined by Gusto who continued to follow us around until we left. After our game, we went to learn about how Bolivian textiles are made. Here we learned even more about the village in which we had spent the last day in. The homestay was an amazing experience and I am now even more excited for what is to come in our final week in the beautiful country of Bolivia.