Over this past year, social distancing all over the globe has really changed the way we see the world and our communication with other people. As a result of this ‘new normal,’ smartphones have quickly filled the void of social interaction. It’s come to the point where many of us have shifted to a more virtual life. We became so dependent on these little devices that we are simply trapped on the screen we have in front of us. In some cases, we don’t know who our neighbors are or what might be going around us. Instead, we follow an influencer that might live thousands of miles away on Instagram or Tik Tok.
We believe it’s important to slow down and ask ourselves a few questions. How often do we interact with nature? When was the last time we were wandering in the forest? When was the last time we were hiking with family and friends?
Do you feel the need to reconnect with nature and with yourself?
Let’s take this opportunity to disconnect from our virtual life and challenge ourselves to connect with Mother Earth (Pachamama for us, here in the Bolivian Andes). To that end, please review our Technology Policy and FAQs.
Q: Am I allowed to bring my phone with me?
A: Yes, you are. In fact, we are encouraging you to bring your phone to facilitate communication home. It is still important to know that we will collect all cell phones upon your arrival in the country. Smartphones are not allowed during most of the program. However, there will be opportunities to use your phone to communicate with your family. There will be a couple of hours per week for this matter, depending on where we are and whether there is any Wi-Fi availability.
Q: If I deactivate my phone, can I still use it as my camera and music player?
A: We acknowledge that smartphones can wear many hats, but we’ve found that even a deactivated phone has incredible potential to alter your experience. As we said before, we will collect your phones. The same goes for iPod Touches since they are basically the same as a deactivated phone.
Q: I feel that it is a waste of money and resources to buy new electronics that meet these requirements since I pretty much use my phone to do everything. What do you suggest?
A: Yes, we realize that not everyone will have an old MP3/Music player or point-and-shoot or DSLR camera sitting around since smartphones have replaced most of those devices. However, many past students were able to borrow music players, eReaders, and cameras from friends and family for use on the trip. Ask around and see who can lend you one! Or, you could purchase a used or refurbished one on eBay or from Apple for pretty cheap.
For family and friends back home, know that the instructor team will be in regular communication with the Dragons Boulder office (even while on treks and in remote communities). If your family needs to get in touch with you, they can contact the Boulder office and we will receive forwarded questions. Watch our Yak Board for exciting updates every few days.
Thank you for understanding this policy! If you have any questions, one of us will be contacting you over the next couple of weeks for a pre-course phone call.
Los instructores del programa Bolivia