October 2011

Chapare: A Trip to the Jungle

After our first week of classes, we took a weekend trip out of the Cochabamba valley and into the jungle. We traded in the dry, high altitude Cochabamba for the humid lower lands of Villa Tunari in the province of Chapare. As we left Cochabamba, the road began climbing the mountains, but everything was still brown and dry like the city. Little towns and farms lined the road, which with the mountains and hills provided for a beautiful landscape.

+ READ MORE
Safari Njema! Our Mid-term Break in Bukoba

Safari Njema! Our Mid-term Break in Bukoba

We were all ready for our break in Bukoba. The students were excited to do something new and leave their studies behind for a few days. Paul and I were happy knowing our budget would allow for some exciting adventures. We set out on our journey from Misha walking with our backpacks ready for adventure. After waiting for the Bunda bus to arrive in Kayanga, we boarded and were off to Bukoba.

+ READ MORE

Cell Phones, Classes, and Trufis

Today, Monday Sept. 12, was another beautiful day in Cochabamba. It was also an important day; today was the first day of classes. The four of us from Amizade met at 9 AM to meet our new Spanish instructor, Toni. I had heard very good things about her from many people, so I was excited to meet and work with her. We met at her beautiful house where our class will be.

+ READ MORE
Cochabamba

Cochabamba

Sept. 10, 2011 On our first full day in Cochabamba, the four of us in the group decided to meet up in the afternoon at a park to walk around some of the city. As I walked to the park, I passed a lot of houses. Walls to protect from robberies surround most of the houses in the northern part of the city. This is a bit upsetting because the houses are very beautiful, but the five-foot walls that are topped with electric wire, barbed wire, or even broken glass mask the view of them. A lot of people have dogs, and there are also a lot of stray dogs on the streets. Most of the time though, these dogs are calm and harmless and don’t even lift their head as people walk by.

+ READ MORE
Bienvenidos a Bolivia!

Bienvenidos a Bolivia!

All four of us from Amizade were on the same plane to La Paz, and we ended up meeting each other in line for immigration and customs. All of us were unsure about what to expect while actually entering into Bolivia. Even though my Spanish is pretty good, I was really hoping the immigration and customs officers spoke English; they never spoke a word of English to me. I had to use my Spanish skills right from the beginning.

+ READ MORE
Day of Pedestrians

Day of Pedestrians

Bolivia is celebrating the beginning of spring. In Cochabamba, the snow is melting from the peaks of the surrounding Andes mountains. The jacaranda trees in plazas, gardens and streets throughout the city are sprouting vivid purple blossoms that frame the sky. Later, the blossoms will drift lazily down to the ground to form carpets of rich purple. Bolivian children are tingling with the anticipation of freedom – schools will let out for summer vacation by late November or early December. So it is the perfect time to celebrate the Dia de Peatones.

+ READ MORE

Karibu Karagwe, Wanafunzi!

After a long week in Kampala it was time to…

+ READ MORE

Kampala, A Bustling City

Our hotel is a nice respite from the chaos that is center city, Kampala. We have ventured into the heart of the city twice now, and even the students admit it is difficult to explain the experience in words only. People are everywhere, vehicles are everywhere (on the road, on the sidewalks, in the shoulders), and there is much to take in. Personally, I will feel much more at home in Karagwe where the most common sounds are those of farm animals… cows, goats, chickens, the lone roaster crying to wake up everyone when the sun rises.

+ READ MORE

Traveling in East Africa… A Typical Journey

Yesterday was our big day of travel from the Karagwe district of Tanzania to Uganda’s capitol, Kampala. Travel in East Africa is typically exhilarating, scary, frustrating, and cause for great laughter all wrapped in the same journey, and rest-assured our day did not disappoint.

+ READ MORE
More Stories