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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.

Looking Back on The Amazon

After resting up in the small Pueblo of Guanay for a couple of days, our group set out for a brand new ecological environment: The Bolivian Amazon, pure selva. We spent the first 2 and a half days moving down the Rio Caca and Rio Beni. We were accompanied by our super-guides Angelica, Ramon, Martin and, Julio. We would de-board midday for quick excursions, including a Beautiful waterfall, lagoon area on Sophie’s birthday. During these days the meals we were eating (thanks to Angelica) were beyond belief. I could go into each savory detail but I would still not be doing it justice and I’m getting hungry thinking about it. The nights were filled with river side beaches we used as our campsite. As the stars came out at night so did all the spiders, beatles, and other critters.
Once arriving to the tranquil Amazonian village of Asunción we settled into our new and temporary homes. I was greeted with hospitality and love in the form of banana pancakes for breakfast and tasty anteater for dinner, courtesy of Felicia. Over the next few days we learned about this communities agriculture, love for soccer, and midday heat induced siestas. Finally, on our last day we were sent off with a pig roast of a lifetime. The fish were so fresh that some were still flopping around in the kitchen. Although we were challenged with blazing heat and dozens of mosquito bites, we were rewarded with wonderful conversations and moments with the people of Asunción.