Tribal Gap Year Students Meet in Peru!
We are excited to share that our gap year student Theo has reached his halfway point in his gap year experience, and our new gap year student, Arianna has begun her journey. Arianna has a lot to experience, following the path Theo has paved in his first two locations in Tanzania and Nepal.
Arianna’s journey begins!
January 10th, 2018
After traveling for over 24 hours, I finally made it to Cusco Peru. Julio from the Q’wear Project picked me up and we drove to Andahuaylillas where the Q’wear Project is located.
After breakfast, the next day Lucy gave me the tour of the Q’wear Project, informing me of how everything they built here was paid for with the money earned from the famous dolls that are made at the Q’wear Project.
There are four or five different buildings the women work in to make the dolls. There was only one women working with felt, she didn’t speak any English which really put my Spanish skills to the test. I felted a small woman, a cat, an otter, a turtle, an owl and a bird. Nelly was incredibly kind and supportive even though we were both laughing at my failing attempts.
Theo and I traveled to Cusco and walked all over the city, getting crepes for lunch, buying various trinkets, and trekking up to a nice vista to get a beautiful view of the city.
~ Arianna, Tribal Gap Year Student.
Tidbits of Theo’s Experiences in Tanzania and Nepal
Journal entries from Theo in Longido Tanzania:
October – December 2017
The family I’m staying with turned out to be great people, too the extreme almost, I get woken up to my floor being wiped down often, I can’t eat a meal without my fullness level being questioned, and best of all I often get doughnuts and chai delivered in the late hours of the evening to my bed
This weekend I went to Arusha, a fairly large city about forty-five minutes away from Longido, and it’s amazing how the landscapes completely transform. The mountains start to rise up out of the red dirt, turning the land brown and lush as we go from the desert to the jungle. The city itself is unpredictable and chaotic as there is no rhyme or reason to the mass of signs and traffic. Things are not formulated and grid-like here compared to New York City, for example. The bus station is always on the edge of a gridlock of vans, or “dolla dollas”, as full-sized buses try to make a three point turn amongst the mass of pedestrians and vendors. Despite all of this, it’s amazing how things seem to run very smoothly, you can just trust everyone knows what they are doing.
All in all, though I had nothing to fear, everything is very relaxed and peaceful and easy, except for the obvious communication issues, but I would definitely brave Africa again someday.
Second Stop: Nepal
December- January 2018
Living with a traditional family in Lulka~
“Unless you want to pay for a helicopter, the most common way to get to Everest is to fly into a little mountain town called Lukla on a tiny thirty or so person plane, as you fly into the Himalayas, the hills, full of little towns and rice paddies that give the landscape a topographical look, rise and fall away from the low flying plane. The runway itself is very short but rises up at about a 20-degree angle, slowing the plane quickly on descent and giving it a nice boost on the way out. From Lukla, a good hiker can make it to base camp in about 3-5 days, I never went that far but I did end up seeing that famous peek at a safe distance. From there on out, the only way to travel is by foot or horse a wide dirt footpath has been carved into the sides of the steep mountains, made out of everything from nicely laid down stones to worn down dirt amongst the random, sharp ones, sticking out of the earth, connecting the many towns and guesthouses along the way. The path runs next to a valley with a river running through it, made turquoise by ice crystals.” Theo
In the low but spread out the city of Pokhara in Nepal, I stayed in a small Waldorf school/farm on the outskirts of the town. The place has I think about eight acres of land that they use to graze a herd of eight cows that I spent many hours trying to keep out of the large garden of greens and veggies. Next to the property is a bunch of rice fields that lead out to the looming Himalayas. But they pointed out to me a few times that the view was slowly being filled in by these interesting checkered apartment buildings, about three or four floors divided by balconies. They were sort of randomly scattered across the landscape, occasionally congealing to create small proto neighborhoods. This developing was pointed out to me by farmers and taxi drivers, Pokhara is the second most visited city in Nepal and has developed a tourist playground know as “Lakeside” of the edge of town next to, well, a lake. It’s a fun stretch of small shops that sell everything you would want to bring back from Nepal, gongs, incense, cloths, hemp clothes and backpacks, while classic rock cover bands drift out of the bars and restaurants.
As a tourist and adventurer, I actually really appreciate the familiarity of all of this with action created by the all-out utilization and exploration that is done with it. I don’t think I could spend very much time in these places a hundred years ago when while we were ramping up to the roaring twenties the rest of the world was still very slow paced and simple, sitting around on stoops and in cow fields.
“I’m writing from my relatively luxurious compound. The house acquired and lived in by a couple whose good family friend rented to them up in the hills outside of the city to raise their adopted Nepalese child, complete with a gardener and house cleaner all for less than the Manhattan apartment they moved from” Theo, Tribal Gap Year Student.~
As Theo and Arianna enter their experiences in Peru we look forward to hearing more about their experiences, as Theo concludes his journey and Arianna begins hers. Here is a little of what we might expect to hear from them in their journeys forward.
They will begin their journey learning with the Q’ero tribe. While living at the Q’ewar Project they will work within the community, as well as with other indigenous tribes around the project. They will be given the opportunity to live with a homestay in Ollantaytambo and learn more about the Q’ero tribe and working on an organic farm. Living in a homestay allows them to make closer connections to the culture and people. While living in the homestay they will be working in agriculture and a school nearby their homestay.
Theo will end his Tribal Ambassador Gap Year in a developed country. This is an important contrast to experience for optimal self-discovery and learning. Here he and all other students will learn about the life of Los Gitanos de Andalucía (The Gypsies of Andalusia) in Southern Spain; and the joy and history of flamenco music and dance.