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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.

Happy Things!

Good morning fans!

Instead of writing some inspiring prose for y’all, I’ve decided to take the lazy Yak route and share some things that make me smile in Bolivia. Mom – I hope this satisfies your craving for an image of my life here (I promise I’ll upload actual pictures soon!).

  • Sucre, our snuggly doggo at the program house
  • The sound of birds chirping in the mornings (NOT the hens, though)
  • My three daily cups of instant coffee
  • Sean’s ~smooth~ guitar playing
  • The views of Cochabamba and the mountains from Tunari’s peak
  • Oxygen, an underrated element! Being able to breathe is such a privilege.
  • The HUGE paltas (avocados) in the markets
  • Trufi-ing everywhere to escape additional sun poisoning (oops)
  • Being able to see las estrellas so clearly at night
  • My four one-week old kittens! Parenthood is so wonderful.
  • The Bolivian gamers at internet cafes who help me find the “@” symbol
  • Seeing the mountains change colors throughout the day, especially during sunrises & sunsets
  • The calm of Tiquipaya compared to the noise and speed of el centro de Cochabamba
  • Spanglish
  • My mosquito net! I never have to worry about getting eaten alive, and I LOVE IT!
  • Cold mornings – I cannot WAIT for the cool weather in La Paz.
  • The accessibility of filtered water in my homestay – I am a very lucky woman.
  • SHOWERS! TOILET PAPER! FLUSHING! Things I will certainly miss on trek… 🙁
  • Our library at the program house – the copy of Zinsser’s On Writing Well makes me feel right at home!
  • Walking with Marío every morning to the program house (Doña Pilar has decided “Mahesh” is too hard to pronounce)
  • Washing my clothes by hand with my homestay sisters
  • My new body lotion – I really needed this after our Tunari hike.
  • Probiotics!


  • My plastic bag of peanut butter. Best five bolivianos I ever spent. Truthfully, it doesn’t compare to Don Juan’s, but it still makes my day.

I look forward to updating this list as we embark on some wild adventures over the next three weeks. Until then, thanks for reading! 🙂

xo, Molly