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Photo by Ryan Kost, Andes & Amazon Semester.

Reflections of the Mountain

(7-16-19) Today we hiked up Killimqollo or sleeping dragon, a mountain about a 20 minute walk from where we are staying in Santiago de Okola. The mountain itself has a quiet strength and presence, with a watchful eye towards the towns and lake. At the base of the mountain are ancient drawings, and up the hill remnants of stone wall and farms. The hike wasnt too steep, but because of the altitude we all had to stop frequently to catch our breath. A dog followed us all the way to the top, and every time we would stop he would lie down at our feet and sigh. When we finally reached the top the view was breathtaking. The lake had crystal clear water which blended into dark blue, and the water stretched out as far as the eye could see. When our voices faded the only sound that remained was silence, and I found a rock which cradled me as I closed my eyes. I was awestruck by the mountain, the lake, the fields and the sky. I remained helpless to the feeling that I would never be able to repay the gift of living and existing in that moment. Whenever I travel somewhere new and on my own, I am constantly picking apart my own brain, trying to find some greater purpose. But the more time I spend here, the more I want to reflect my energy outward. Practice connecting with people, expressing gratitude and humbleness to the land, and understanding that instead of trying to find my place in the world I should just live it.