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Yakking about Packing

Hola [email protected] estudiantes and families,

We hope this note finds you doing well as you prepare for a Summer of navigating your way through colorful markets, steeply inclined potato fields, and densely green jungle. This message is meant to supplement the information in the “Clothing and Equipment List” section of your Course Preparation Manual.

Cost of gear: We understand that the gear recommended for this course is expensive. If you are feeling a little daunted by gear or clothing, we would love to help you find less expensive options. For most items on our packing list, there are used and/or alternative products. If you have questions about some of your choices, feel free to text or whatsapp Ben, +1 (414) 916-4404, to set up a time to talk things through.

Cultural norms and clothing: We want you all to feel comfortable and confident during your time in Peru. To feel comfortable in a country with such immense cultural diversity, it will be important that you have clothes with you that will show Peruvians that you recognize you are in their community. At the same time, we want you all to have the clothing that allows you to express yourself and be you! This can be a tricky balance.

For me (Ben), while in Peru, I only wear shorts in the Amazon. In the highlands, I just feel that my thighs and calves are the only ones out there (apart from the other gringuitos). I usually save my eccentric leggings for chilling, especially in small communities where they would stand out (even more).

We encourage you all to think about how you want to express yourself in this new culture, and consider how your clothing will affect your various interactions (in Spanish) with the people you meet. We look forward to talking with you all more through questions and suggestions!

Climatic Diversity in Peru: This is one of the (many) things that makes Peru so unique. While the actual geographic distance we will cover only makes up a small portion of the country, we will experience many different climates. On trek, you may wake up in the morning with some ice chunks in your water bottle. In the Amazon, a shady hammock or dip in a nearby stream might be the best ways to combat the heat. Having both warm layers for the Andes, and light/long sleeved options for the Amazon will be key.

Amount of stuff: On this course, we will constantly be transporting our stuff. This will not only include our personal packs, but group gear as well! We want you all to be comfortable carrying your pack, so please consider your priorities when deciding what to bring. You might be thankful that you brought that extra super-awesome-long-sleeve-sun-protecting-insect-repelling-lightweight shirt instead of that extra pair of jorts.

Okay, I think that is all we have for right now. You all have our contact info, so feel free to reach out to any of us with questions! We will be contacting each one of you in not too long to set up a time to talk pre-course, so you will have that chance as well!

Abrazos!

Colleen, Paola, and Ben