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A young arriero leads a mule across fresh snow in the Peruvian Andes. Photo by Benjamin Swift (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest Finalist), South America Semester.

Parque Nacional Amboró First Trek!

Hola todos, I’m in a cafe internet in our new home of Tiquipaya. After finishing our first trek we carried our packs and enthusiasm through Amboro National Forest. Although we did not see the sacred Jaguar we did see lots of cool critters. A small family of spider monkeys were spotted in the tall tree tops. A large black and yellow snake slithered away as we approached its territory. And the Bullet ants were everywhere. I can honestly say I’ve never seen bigger or more terifying insects. Although we were met with some uncomfortabilities while trekking we found comfort in the fact that this was a new experience for all of us. I also felt safer because of our trusty guides Hernan, Carlos, and Junior, who had an anwser for every pregunta we threw at them.

We rolled into Cochabamba after taking a 10 hour, double decker, night bus in which we we were greeted by a violent movie starring ‘The Rock’. After sleeping through the night we took taxis into Tiquipaya where we now stand. After bonding for the last week we students, will spend some time apart, living with different homestays and reconnecting for spanish practice and charlas (group speakers).

Althugh I cannot say what exactly the rest of our travels hold for us,  I can say that we will continue to live in the moment and hopefully grow closer.