Monday, December 05, 2005

La Paz, Bolivia (February, 2004)

Right now my head is spinning, and I'm feeling pretty disoriented. I'm told that these are symptoms of altitude sickness that many people suffer when they first arrive to La Paz, Bolivia – elevation 13,000 feet above sea level. There’s this sense of fatigue and feeling hung over and lethargic... Yeah, it’s a pretty crappy feeling, but I feel better today than I felt yesterday (the day that we landed), and the overall sensation I am feeling right now is elation to be traveling again!

My co-leader and I are leading ten 18-23 year olds on a trip to Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. We'll be in each country for about a month. We'll live with host families in each country for about 2 weeks as we engage in community service projects like pitching in on the construction of an orphanage. The other 2 weeks will be spent exploring each country. In Bolivia we'll experience Carnival and explore the Southern Altiplano salt plains and the Amazon river basin. In Peru we'll hike the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. And from Ecuador we'll do some deep sea dives while sailing between the Galapagos islands. Check out Youth International ( to see a detailed sample itinerary.

We're staying with host families just outside La Paz while we take Spanish lessons for a week. There is way too much to talk about to try to do justice right now (given my current "inebriated" state), but do a Google search for a pictorial of Bolivia, and you'll see what I'm seeing regarding the traditional dress and Valle de la Luna... Too many impressive sights to detail!

Take care and let me hear from you. I look forward to doing a better job of keeping in touch with you now that I’m on the road again, and hopefully a little less stressed out.

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