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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.


Hi parents and other faithful readers!!

Last night we kicked off our X-phase by catching an 8:30pm night bus (just barely) after a meaningful and delicious goodbye dinner with our host families and a very efficient clean up of the Tiquipaya program house. The result is that we have arrived in Sucre, the first destination on our student-led expedition. We began our first full day by arriving at the bus terminal at 4am this morning. We spent today recovering from our long ride, refreshing with naps and much needed showers, beginning to explore the beautiful colonial city that Randall calls home, and buying food and other supplies for our trek tomorrow.

Early this morning before our naps (during which all three boys shared one bed because their room wasn´t ready), we finalized our x-phase plans, which are as follows:

Starting tomorrow at 6:30am, we will begin our trek in Toro Toro National Park. Our guides for this trek, which will take us to the famous dinosaur prints outside of Sucre, are from the great Condor Trekkers charity organization (begun by our very own Randall Howlett). The trek will last three days, and will be followed up with another night in Sucre and a day to explore the city more and learn about its complex history. That night, we will head to Potosi, where we hope to watch The Devil´s Miner in the hostel (a documentary about the mines of Potosi that we will be touring the following day). After our tour of the mines and meeting with Basilio, a former miner who was interviewed for the film, we will spend another evening in Potosi, with time to reflect on the difficult things we have seen during the day and talk further. Finally, we will head to Salar de Uyuni to see the salt flats in a two day tour, bookending the X-phase with another night bus. This time, the night bus will head to La Paz, where we will catch another bus in the morning to take us to our Transference spot in the Yungas (Coroico). We have decided to arrive to Coroico one day early (December 1) before Transference begins to sleep and relax after our long travel day and week of excitement.

We cannot wait to get started, and are feeling closer than ever and so happy to be a part of this adventure! We are all so excited to come home and see the loved ones who are waiting for us, but we are also nervous to leave each other and the beautiful culture here with which we have all fallen in love. We plan to make the most of the next two weeks, and will see you so very soon!


-Zora and the rest of the Dragons AAB crew