A Bolivian Christmas

I decided to visit my uncle and cousins for Christmas, in Bolivia.

I have never had a warm Christmas, so this was going to be different. I arrived (from New York) in snow boots carrying my ski jacket and my ski boots as hand luggage, people on the plane found this quite amusing, as obviously I would have no need for them in Bolivia!

It was their summer, and their rainy season, so the 1st few days were torrential (warm) rain, like nothing I had ever seen before. But luckily for me, this meant that it was slightly cooler than the nearly 40 degrees celsius it had been the week before my arrival.

One of our first tasks was to decorate the Christmas tree!

A very resourceful Christmas Tree that cost the equivalent of £3. The tree was found in the street, cemented into a pot and sprayed silver and white.

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Dendrochronology – The study of tree rings.

This is my favourite course that I have taken so far! We were out in the woods in the 2nd week of term practicing taking tree cores and analysing them to infer climatic changes. Its a small class, there is only 6 people, so its really nice, and we get to work together a lot, and have some good class discussions.

First time taking a tree core!

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Dining Halls…

I knew the food wasn’t going to be great, but to be honest it has exceeded my expectations. Everything is laced with copious amounts of sugar and salt, nothing I eat feels ‘healthy’, or like its doing anything good for my body. I can now see why the “freshers 15” is a thing. I was speaking to my friend, who was telling me how the apples even made her fat!!

There isn’t a massive amount of choice, there is pasta, pizza, burgers and chips at every meal, and if we’re lucky, one other option.

This is the amount of SUGAR left over from a plate of sweet potato fries, I have never seen sugar on chips before…

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Sunset Ridge at Sunset.

Mount Mansfield, the tallest mountain in Vermont. What had we got ourselves in for… oh and it was 30℃.

Ready to go! Fresh legs and prepared for a climb!
On our way up!
Watch out for mountain creatures! 
Views getting better every minute!
Top of the trail. Just a short scramble to the top to beat the sunset!
There it is!
Victory shot! (Featuring very hot and sweaty people, sorry).
Mountain friends!
Totally un-posed.
Who knew it would be so hard to take a selfie with head lamps on!
Just got to get back down in the dark now! We took the shorter, but steeper route down, which was pretty slippy, only thought it was the end once.


Burlington, VT.

Its amazing how warm it is here! Its been consistently shorts and t-shirt weather so far, which is amazing, but I packed for cold weather so have been caught slightly off guard.

However, we have been making the most out of this gorgeous weather and spending as much time on the lake as possible.

Lake Champlain, Burlington, Vermont.

The town is very cute, a far cry from Manchester! It is officially a city, but the centre of town is about a 10 minute walk from end to end. Everyone is super friendly, and takes the time to help you find your way or just have a chat.

Apparently homework is a thing again for me now. Classes are a lot more interactive and for me are much more like being back at school with much smaller classes, in class tests and homework (which they give you a week to do and then collect in class). But its good! I feel like I am going to learn a lot and the classes are interesting!

This place has the most amazing sunsets! we were told we should get a Maple Creemie (Mr Whippy ice cream) by the lake and watch it, so that is what we did, many times.

Creemies on a swing bench, yes a giant swing, down by the lake.
The very end of a sunset over Lake Champlain.



Getting Ready

Packing was an extremely stressful process!

Trying to pack my life into one suitcase and a hand luggage bag was very hard, given that I am used to taking an entire car load to university with me. We had to filter my stuff down several times and still some clothes need to be sent out! But the most important thing is that I have the essential things, and that is my skis! Skis for Blog

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