Waterfalls and Feasts from Global Immersion Studies Groups

Nicole ’17 & Siena ’16, Ecuador, 4/14/2015
For most of us, The day started out pretty early, around 6 am when we found out that our hostel in Banos was right next to an elementary school. We watched the kids run around as we ate breakfast on the rooftop with pretty pink flowers around us. After the delicious breakfast of homemade bread and eggs, we hopped on our bikes and started our way towards the rain forest. It was an easy bike ride, mostly down hill as we made our way from the mountains of Baños to the lower elevation of the Amazon. Although it was not physically hard, it challenged us mentally. Since we were some of the least experienced bikers in the group, we had the most to learn. It was difficult to try and not get distracted by passing cars while still looking around at the fluffy clouds hovering around the trees. After about twenty minutes we were able to absorb the sound of the river flowing below us and waterfall flowing in the distance. Along the way, we stopped and did group yoga on the side of the road. We were having so much fun that strangers decided to join our impromptu class. After stretching our hammies, we got back on the bikes and before we knew it, we had finished our ride and ended up at the beautiful Diablo waterfall.

As we hiked down, we had no idea what was in store for us. Eloise’s excitement led us down the tropical trail down to the majestically powerful waterfall. From where we were at first, we only got a slight mist, but when we looked up, we saw another balcony behind the waterfall. We ran up the trail only to find that the path was a little tunnel that you had to crawl through. This didn’t stop our momentum as we crawled like monkeys through and up the tunnel. Once we were at the top, we felt a cold refreshing rush as the waterfall poured over us. The energy from the waterfall was so powerful that cleansed us not only on our body but also in our mind. We stood under the water with smiling faces trying to take in the moment as much as possible. You could see how the waterfall washed away any negative energy and left behind happy thoughts and huge smiles. As we were walking away in drenched clothing, we realized that we had just experienced something rare and spectacular. As the trip goes on, we hope that we will continue to remember the positive emotions that we felt and hopefully experience some new ones.

Brady (Leader), Greece, 4/14/2015
All is well. We left Meteora this morning with Thanasis and drove to the big gorge. . .It is magnificent here. Stone houses with stone roofs surrounded by huge rock walls. This gorge place and Meteora are two of the most amazing places I’ve ever been.
So far, Thanasis is great. He engages the kids and is very enthusiastic about putting together a good trip. Tomorrow we have a full day of hiking through the gorge. Apparently the river at the base is the purest in Europe and you can drink straight from it. . . .Tonight we had our best meal so far. Bread, salad, cheese pie, saganaki, french fries, pork over rice, sausages, and greek meatballs. Then greek yogurt with choke cherries and syrup for dessert. Thanasis is determined to make everyone gain a kilo or two . . .

The above shot is the Easter Feast the group made with their host family in the camp ground.

Mongolia, 4/14/2015
The Mongolia group is in remote Western Mongolia doing a homestay with the nomads, out of internet contact. We will post updates when available!