Peru Program - The Horn

Before arriving to Peru I took the road laws for granted. Actually, I never had to consider why anyone would be in any lane but the right. But surprises are the beauty of traveling, and the first taxi experience in Lima will totally change your perspective on driving. On every street the taxi drivers appear to be jockeying for space, coming within inches of eachother every other second. And how do these drivers magically move around without too big of a pile up? Well, in… Read more

Departure 2008

Vietnam Program highlights

We are in Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City, and all is good. I am writing this while the rest of the group are off at the water park - the curse of my job. We have been here for one night and it has been quite an experience after arriving from Hoi An. We went from a small town, with World Heritage status to a city of 8 million and probably twice as many motorbikes and neon lights. It is crazy but pretty amazing. It feels like we have done so much already in Saigon - cyclo rides… Read more

Peru Program - Inca jungle trek and my coca leaf habit

The time in the trip had arrived that most of us had been waiting for - the inca jungle trek! The trek we´d be taking was an alternative to the one that hourdes of tourists come to trek day after day. As apposed to dealing with 500 people, we only had to contend with a dozen or so. The first part started out with a cool descent of nearly 8,000 feet by bicycle. At the top of the mountain it was cold and cloudy, but our rapid descent brought us into the thick of the jungle… Read more

Departure 2008

New Zealand conservation program - Urupukapuka Island

The New Zealand Program kicked off with a sunrise swim in the Pacific Ocean before breakfast, a briefing then a scavenger hunt across downtown Auckland. The next morning we drove North in pouring rain to the Bay of Islands and a quaint town, Russell, which was once dubbed the 'hell-hole of the Pacific' for its licentious ways! Charles Darwin, on his 'voyage of the Beagle' was so disgusted that he donated money towards the construction of a church, which we visited. In co… Read more

Vietnam Summer Program: Cat Ba National Park & Halong Bay

Owen belatedly joined the group and has fitted in easily - like he has always been here. Our small group is great, relaxed, easy going, inquisitive and always up for a challenge. After picking up Owen in Hanoi we made our way to Cat Ba Island, northeast of Hanoi and situated within Halong Bay. We were met by Mr Hack, a good guy working with the National Park Service on Cat Ba Island, who was our main liaison during our 5 days on the island volunteering to help the envir… Read more

Peru Program - Ceviche, Coca, and Cusco

These are just three of the many new things that I have discovered during my first week in Peru. Ceviche is a delicious national food composed of a type of fish served mixed in with vegetables and plenty of lime juice to create an overwhelming flavor. The coca plant, which may carry a bad connotation in the US given that it can be turned into cocaine (which we have been told is an arduous and expensive process out of the capabilities of most Peruvians), is an everyday no… Read more

Departure 2008

Peru Summer Program - Dos

My twenty-minute walk to school this morning from my homestay in Santiago, an area of Cusco to the south of the main plaza, was eerily calm. Due to the country-wide transporation strike, "Paro," a protest of rising gas prices, among other complaints, I didn´t have to constantly guard my toes from speeding taxis, which swarm the city´s narrow, cobblestone streets with what seems like no sense of caution or pedestrians. Still, though, the city retains its constant buzz of … Read more

Departure 2008

Peru Summer Program - Una

After arriving late Saturday, little did the group know their day would start by exploring catacombs, and end with paragliding and eating octopus ceviche. But such are the adventures when you´re traveling in Peru. The group is getting along well, and have been learning as much from each other as they have from Peru. Through out the trip we´ll be composing a group guidebook for future Peru adventures. Each participant has been assigned a section of the book, and will… Read more

Departure 2008

Vietnam Summer Program - Part I

Well this is a hectic country full of lush beauty and contrasts, it challenges your mind, beliefs and your nerve, while all at once being relaxed, friendly and safe. We are only at the very beginning of out trip but already have experienced so much.   At present there are 5 of us,including the leaders, while we pick up Owen, our 6th tomorrow. We started off in Hanoi, straight into the old quarter and the hustle and bustle. Small narrow streets, choked with vans and wha… Read more

Loving Vietnam

Sitting cross-legged in my cabin, typing on a laptop while listening to Sigur Ros. If I turn ninety degrees, the view through the window is from a movie - golden ocean, limestone islands, distant boats and the sun on fire, a few fingers from the horizon. One week into a Vietnam trip for 20 students from Nelson College for Girls and loving it! No hitches or glitches and the most arduous part of the trip behind us. We started with a long flight to Hanoi, the same night bo… Read more

Departure 2008