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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Instructor Introduction

Hola A&A Group B Dragons students,

My name is Zack Siddall and it is my distinct pleasure to be one of your 4 instructors in Bolivia and Peru this fall. I, along with my amazing co-instructors Raquel, Sandy and Erick are working hard to fine tune our itinerary to fill it full of rich and rewarding educational opportunities. We will be presenting our itinerary shortly but first let’s get to know each other a bit.

This will be my 5th time leading the Andes & Amazon semester program but my journey with Where There Be Dragons started far, far away from Bolivia and Peru. It all began in the tiny East African nation of Rwanda. While serving in the US Peace Corps in the remote Rwandan village of Kanyanza in the Muhanga district I was introduced to the Where There Be Dragons Rwanda summer program. I spent two fateful days with that group back in 2012 and that’s all it took for me to be hooked. After I finished my time with Peace Corps I applied to Dragons and was hired on for the 2013 summer in Rwanda.

Since that summer I have worked pretty much full time for Dragons, mostly in the field but also in the United States in the marketing department. My journey with Dragons has taken me back to Rwanda summer after summer, and has me bouncing between the Central America and Andes & Amazon semester programs. This past summer I was blessed with the opportunity to lead my first course in China. We started in Shanghai and made our way all the way over to Xining by land. Quite an exciting adventure it was!

In these weeks leading up to when we meet you in Cusco know that we are here for you, ready to answer any questions you may have. Please check this Yak Board regularly for important course related updates. Whenever you have a question or concern please don’t hesitant to send me a note at [email protected] or post said question(s) here on our Yak Board.

One final note: A program like this takes courage. You’re throwing yourself into another culture, perhaps with a language you do not speak (yet). My team and I (along with our Bolivian/Peruvian friends, local guides/teachers/mentors, homestay families, etc) will do everything in our power to make this a transformative, educational, fun and safe adventure for you. However, we need your help. In these next couple of weeks begin to prepare yourself for this trip. Start reading the materials and recommended books/articles provided to you by Dragons. Read news about what’s happening in Latin America. Practice your Spanish. Get active, get your body ready for some absolutely stunning hikes in the Andes. This is your trip, own it! We’re so excited to meet you in Cusco in just a few short weeks!