City of Cenotes

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There were so many memorable parts of the trip (as you can tell), but I can truly say that visiting and swimming in the cenotes blew my mind. It is such a unique part of this area of Mexico and there are over 9000! The water is crystal clear, chilly and something that I would go back to explore more of. A lot of them have become commercialized and require a guide which I think is important so that people don’t damage the formations. We went to three cenotes: Carwash, Sak-Atun and Aktun-Chen. All three were different and something that made for a great afternoon activity!

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The Ruins of Riviera Maya

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If you go the Yucatan/Riviera Maya area of Mexico, I hope you take advantage of visiting all the archaeological sites and ruins that are spread out everywhere and truly awe-inspiring in their history and size. Of course Chichen Itza is world famous as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but there are several others that I think are worthy of visiting and one that rivals it and was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

 

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Road Trip: Yucatan Peninsula

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Happy New Year to you all! I sit here in my apartment staring out at the snow coming down and can’t help but wish I was back in warm and sunny Mexico! During winter break, I took a week-long trip around the Yucatan Peninsula, spending most of my time in Tulum and Playa del Carmen. I rented a car and drove around and truly had a wonderful time with my sidekick ;). Back in September, I booked flights and accommodations, did a little research and pretty much winged it day-to-day. I thought I would break up the trip into three sections/three posts and give you an inside look on my experience in this incredible part of the world. This first part mostly is about food…my favorite thing.

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Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and the Great Solar Eclipse!

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In the last few days, the weather has been cooler and I can feel the fall breeze coming in. Fall is my favorite time of the year and while it means that it is one of the busiest times of the year for me, it is also one of the most beautiful. Before I transition completely into fall mode, I wanted to look back on an amazing trip this summer to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone that I took with my mom and one of my best friends, Meggi. My mom has always wanted to go to Yellowstone and started talking about this trip years ago, as due to the popularity of the park, reservations need to be made way in advance if you want to stay at the old lodge. We happened to book our trip a week before the eclipse by chance and quickly changed it when we realized the date of the eclipse and that we would be in 99% totality in our location! And let me tell you, it did not disapoint one bit; in fact it far exceeded all expectations I had. I would hear people say that the eclipse was nothing special and that it was okay. Well let me tell you…seeing it in totality was absolutely magical!

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Sheryl Said What Monday

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It is no secret that my mom is hilarious; I think so, my friends think so and apparently you all do too. A few years ago, my mother refused to text and would only talk on the phone or in person. She refused to pay for texting and I didn’t even get a phone until high school (great choice in hindsight). However, in the last few years, she has upped her texting and technology game and I would say has the tendency of the millennial with her Iphone. I fact, she has a newer version of Iphone than I do. One of my favorite things that my mother texts me about is the family cat, Whisky, who is so cute and doesn’t like me unless I feed her. She is a small tuxedo cat and since I no longer get to see her, I like getting the occasional photo….and my mom’s captions to the photos.

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Book Review: Start With Why

 

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“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”

Hello long-lost friends! It is often too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, the routine we all can find ourselves settling into. I have neglected this blog much to my dismay! I wish I could blame it on a crazy schedule (true), need to use every spare moment to catch up on sleep (true) or a million other reasons, but excuses don’t really do much of good for anyone. It has been a crazy month since coming home from Bolivia almost a month ago and I still like I have barely had a moment to breathe and process it all. With a new job, another summer class and weekend excursions with friends, I have been one busy bee. I just got back from a weekend road trip back from Texas where I flew down to help a friend drive her car back to Boulder. We spent 48 hours straight together in a car in mostly the middle of nowhere and still are friends!

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Sonia M

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Sonia is pure sunshine. There is no other way to put it as she radiates joy that pours out of her gentle nature, kindness and adorable dimples. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met and is emotionally intelligent beyond belief. Her empathy and commitment to learn from everyone she meets is so admirable and I know she is one of those people here on earth that quite possibly is an angel.

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Coca Leaf and Cascadas in Coroico

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“Anthropology demands the open-mindedness with which one must look and listen, record in astonishment and wonder that which one would not have been able to guess.”

-Margaret Mead

One aspect of drug policy that I can reiterate enough is that coca leaf is not cocaine and because of the history of drug policy and the social rhetoric, many people think that the coca leaf is cocaine. The process of making cocaine involves dozens of chemicals that extend far beyond the coca leaf. The coca leaf has been long used to flavor Coco-cola and it is the only company that is allowed to important the plant. Because of the Single Convention in 1961, the coca leaf is classified as a schedule one drug, in the same category as opiods and hallucigenins. Chewing coca is a deep cultural practice of the Bolivian culture and is something that I was able to take part in through chewing the coca leaf and drinking coca tea almost daily. Farmers who grow coca leaf are not drug dealers, which I find to be a very unfortunate common misconception. While in Bolivia, I was able to visit a coca farm and picked coca. It is difficult, needing to keep the leaf perfectly in tact while moving fast through the fields, bent over in the blazing sun. It gave me a deeper appreciation for what it takes and the labor that goes into the process. I hope if anything, that people understand that without demand, there is no supply.

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Coroico Continues..

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

-Margaret Mead

We have a morning routine that starts with a breakfast meeting at 8:15 where someone has a message and then another person reads from their field journal. This is one of the many quotes that were shared over the last two weeks and always helped set the tone for the day. This quote by Margaret Mead is one of my favorites given the way she paved the way for female anthropologists and because in times like these, it’s an amazing reminder to have. The days go by so fast here in Coroico that I have to remember to savor the small moments, the moments of uncontrollable laughter and times when it’s hard to believe how wonderful life truly is. Everyday is packed with meetings, day trips, field journaling and more and we always manage to find time to sit in a hammock or have a beer with a friend and process the day.

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