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Two Dragons welcome the sunrise with an improvised dance atop the Andes. Photo by Ryan Gasper.

Saludos from your Instructor

Hola a todos,

¡Feliz año nuevo y bienvenidos a Dragones! This 2019 New Year feels extra special to me as it marks the starting point of our journey together in Peru and Bolivia.

Today I am writing you all from the comfort of my apartment in Hanoi, Vietnam, where I have been living with my brother and working as an English teacher for the past 6 months. I have just had the immense pleasure of welcoming my parents to Vietnam to visit their two sons in an action packed couple of weeks together.

Just like you all, I am preparing for significant change, wrapping my life up in this part of the world and getting ready to immerse myself in the vibrant cultures of highlands Bolivia.

In the last couple of years, transitions like this have become common (but never entirely comfortable) for me. After graduating university, I was accepted for a Princeton in Latin-America fellowship in Guatemala. I served a year as development coordinator for a local non-profit in Santiago Atitlán that supports the rights of people with disabilities. I then worked last summer as a trip leader for the Experiment in International Living in Argentina before quickly packing up again to join my brother as an English teacher in Vietnam.

Throughout these changes, I have been challenged to value each experience in the present moment. When one chapter ends and another suddenly begins, it can be difficult to leave the past behind and focus yourself entirely on the now.

In only 1 months time, the “now” will be Jhasmany, Sandy, and I meeting all of you guys in Cochabamba! Together we will climb mountains, trek through jungles, and hear firsthand the stories, passions, and challenges of Bolivian and Peruvian people. We will also wait in bus stations, feel homesick, get bitten by mosquitos, and push the limits of our physical and mental capacities. This is all intensely exciting and perhaps a bit overwhelming. Just how I like it.

As we think ahead to February, I implore each one of us to be mindful in our preparation.

Here are some questions I’ve been asking myself lately:

What do you need to do over the next month so that you feel ready to give your whole self on program?

What do you hope to gain from this semester?

What are you passionate about? How are you going to apply your passions on program?

Why do people say “tuna fish” when they don’t say “beef mammal” or “chicken bird”?

Jaja okay pero en serio……

I am beyond excited to meet all of you and share this incredible adventure together.

If you have any questions, thoughts, ideas or concerns whatsoever, don’t hesitate to send me a note. Your instructor team will be here to support you from start to finish.

Whatsapp +1 206-619-1601

[email protected]

Okay basta ya.

Hasta pronto viajeros.

 

Abrazos,

Jesse

PS: Photo taken in Hanoi while eating at my favorite street food hangout. As my face clearly indicates, it was tasty.