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Crossing the river before summiting 17,500 Pico Austria. Photo by Ella Williams (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest, 2nd Place), South America Semester.


As the condor prepares to take flight, it spreads its wings wide…

As I write this yak on our final day before our Expedition Phase, I can’t help but think back on our trip as a whole and how far we’ve come. After exploring Bolivia and Peru with the help of our instructors, we have learned and developed skills essential to being world travelers.

Over the past week, we have been planning out our adventure in the Amazon, looking forward to all that is to come. Taking into account 11 people’s different opinions, what they want to do and learn from this trip, and finding the best plans that met all of those needs, we have found a program that will help guide us throughout the jungle.

Spending my last day in Urubamba has been difficult to come to terms with. The idea that, in just a couple weeks, I will no longer be walking the 20 minutes to spanish class, hiking up to the cross, and seeing my host mother and eating her delicious food is hard to imagine. Although I feel as though I have done all that I wanted to in Urubamba, I feel like walking everywhere surrounded by terrible traffic laws and eating alfahores nearly daily has become my new life.

I look back at my time here with the greatest of joy, however, from the soccer game on my birthday to the dinner at Uru which Ned and I planned alone. I look forward with hopeful eyes and see the flight of our group as condors as we govern and coordinate ourselves in the next couple of weeks.