melissahearns' Travel Journals


What was the saddest moment you have ever seen in your travels?

Saying goodbye to the orphans at the SOS Children's Village in Botswana

  • 28 years old
  • From Massachusetts, United States
  • Currently in Amantani Island, Peru

Peru 2011 Winter

Living Routes: Study Abroad in Ecovillages, Peru 2011 Winter Session. Anthro 396P: Ecology, Community, and Indigenous Spirituality in the High Amazon

post program

Peru Tarapoto, Peru  |  Jan 26, 2011
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So I'm back in the snow and cold, dreaming of hammocks and banana trees. The first day of classes was a snow day already! It's strange to sit behind desks in classrooms again with blank walls and unenthusiastic classmates who are just in class to fulfill a general education requirement. I miss my classroom under the shade of a tambo, with open-ended discussion and a constant exchange of ideas and viewpoints. It's the second week of school and I've already found the things I learned in Peru to be relevant to my studies in other subjects. In my architecture class, I noticed the parallel development of certain structures between the civilizations of Mesopotamia and the ancient Native American societies. The hands-on learning experiences we had in Peru will certainly be missed. It's one thing to read about ancient building techniques, it's another to participate in the building of a tambo. When I think back to the time spent in the indigenous communities, and compare that to where I am now, it's a shock to the system. Reveling in my hot shower earlier today, I suddenly remember Shuchuyacu's water shortage, and promptly turned the water off. It seems funny to be surrounded by all this frozen water and imagine some people not having enough to drink. I am so lucky to have many of my wonderful fellow Peru students living in the Amherst area, so we can get together and process all that has happened in such a short time. But I am so thankful for everyone who was alongside me for this experience, and I can't thank you all enough for being yourselves.

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  • pre program

    January 12, 2011
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  • in program

    January 12, 2011
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    January 12, 2011
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  • post program

    January 26, 2011
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