My name is Jackson, and I’m from a small town north of San Francisco called Mill Valley. I graduated high school in the spring of this year and deferred my acceptance at Oberlin College to take a gap year. As for interests, I’m an avid martial artist and proud to say that I just earned my black belt in MMA over the summer. I have a major love of the outdoors, specifically fishing, hiking, and skiing. I also like reading (epic fantasy), spending time with friends, listening to music and watching action movies. I just watched the movie Tambien la Lluvia, which focuses on the water wars in Cochabamba and colonialism; it was fantastic
While I was looking for connections to the places we are going, I found that the bananas in our fruit basket were from Peru. When I was younger I collected coins passionately, to the point where I went to some small local coin shows. Looking back at my collection I saw that I had a Spanish coin from one of the places we are going. Amazingly the coin that I have was minted in 1770 at the Potosi mint with silver mined from the Potosi mines. That coin meant a lot to me for a number of years, it was the jewel of my small collection. While I can appreciate the artistry of the coin it now has a double edged meaning for me after I really thought about the conditions of the Indigenous laborers that mined the metal.
Home is more than just where I eat and sleep, it’s where I feel safe and there is a measure of familiarity with the physical space. The memories of the place and the experiences that made up time spent there usually make a place feel like home.
I’m super excited to meet you all and to experience the landscapes and cultures of Bolivia and Peru with you guys.
P.S. Ned, I was in the Alps in Jungfrau region three years ago and stayed at the Faulhorn lodge, it was breathtakingly beautiful!