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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.

To Nación Q’eros!

Hello friends and family!
Ok, in the past few days we have been flying around the Andes! Wes and Zoe spent all of Friday in the countryside at a greenhouse construction project (with a stop at some hot springs on the way back!), seven of us got up bright and early on Saturday morning to visit an enormous but rapidly shrinking glacier 7,000 ft above Urubamba – it was spectacular! – and Molly jumped in an alpine lake as usual on the way down, then we rocked out at a concert of my favorite band IN THE WORLD on Saturday night – Laguna Pai – and am still buzzing with excitement and good reggae rock vibes!!!
Yesterday, we got together as a group and traveled to Ocongate. It was a hilarious car ride spent playing a goofy game of contact. Fabian greeted us with a warm welcome and introductory Quechua language lesson. He inspired us to connect with the tradition of his Nación Q’eros people of respecting the natural environment too.
We spent the rest of the day prepping and packing for the next 6 days. About that – we are going to be in the Nación Q’eros until next Saturday! Don’t expect much communication. Of course, we’ll contact Julianne by satellite text message daily, but no Yaks or phone calls from the group until our return to Ocongate.
We are excited to learn from our hosts! It will be our most extended rural experience so far.
Lastly, Jackson presented his life story last night before bed. In addition to being as sacred as any story must be to us if we want to be compassionate listeners and good friends, it served as a great inspiration for the opportunity before us this week. The final question to Jackson, “What advice to you have for us who want to be good people in this big world?” he answered by encouraging us to take “mindful moments” and “to connect intentionally” to our lives in general but also the natural environments that surround us and can teach us if we listen to them.
Thank you! Thank you, Jackson. Thank you, Fabian. Thank you Nación Q’eros. Thank you, friends and family.
Wish us a week of presence in Nación Q’eros!
Brian + the A&A C community