February 22, 2011

Ideas for Young Women Activities

So I am involved in YW and am very interested in hearing anyone's ideas for YW activities.  I have a few, but I know my awesome, talented friends have participated in many YW activities.  What are some of your favorites, please share with me! 

TTYS ;) Kim

February 11, 2011

The Last Days! Tiwanaku Ruins

 This is a topographical map, which I liked because it really demonstrates the altitude of Bolivia and how high it is.  The black arrows indicate the Tiwanaku movement/expansion from Bolivia. 

 Tiwanaku  is an important pre-columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia. Tiwanaku is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Incan Empire, flourishing as the ritual and administrative capital of a major state power for approximately five hundred years. The site was first recorded in written history by Spanish conquistador and self-acclaimed “first chronicler of the Indies" Piedra Ceazea de Leon. Leon stumbled upon the remains of Tiwanaku in 1549 while searching for the Inca capital Collasuyu. Some have hypothesized that Tiwanaku's modern name is related to the Aymara term taypiqala, meaning "stone in the center", alluding to the belief that it lay at the center of the world. However, the name by which Tiwanaku was known to its inhabitants may have been lost, as the people of Tiwanaku had no written language

 The three pictures before are some of my favorite and are what made is stand out a lot to me.  These heads represent all the governors of the Tiwanaku empire.  I found them beautiful and interesting to note the many differences between them all.

 This hole is really interesting because it is considered a type of "microphone" you speak in it, and your voice is amplified a lot.  The cool thing about it is that the hole is actually carved in the same manner and with the same curvature as the human ear.  So beautiful! and when you speak in it, it actually works very well!
 This is the famous "Sun Gate" it is entirely carved out of one stone and all the inscriptions on the top tell us a lot about the history of the people.  These gates and stones used to be covered in Gold and precious metals.  We know this because if you look on the side you see hammer marks from the Spanish, when they destroyed these ruins and took all the precious metals with them, making their country rich off of the wealth of these indians.
 This is a baby of indigenous heritage int he area, the indigenous people are so cute, becuase they always want you to take pictures with their children.

February 6, 2011

The Best Face Product Ever

So even though I'm in Bolivia, I can't refrain.  I've been using this now for over two months and I have not worn face make-up in TWO MONTHS.  I used to wear face make-up every day.  The reason is because my skin without make-up actually looks prettier.  I have only been using the Youth Code Serum and the Eye Cream and the best thing is that the serum is only $22 at Wal-Mart.  When I worked at Lancome (which is owned  by Loreal) they were working on this product for 10 years.  I started using the Lancome version samples, and decided to give the Loreal version a try, because I know that they both use the same science for their products (Lancome is the high-end brand and Loreal is the "regular") and I have to tell you that the Wal-Mart Loreal version works just as good as the $75 Lancome Nordstrom version.  My skin tone has evened out so much and it has brightened noticeably.  So like I said, even after a month I noticed a difference, but now I am hooked.  Just FYI for anyone interested. 

Another product I've been using for a couple years is for acne and scarring, it has been the only thing that could control my acne.  I have had such good results with it, and I tried getting it from a guy in SF before I left for Bolivia and he told me it sells out a lot because it works so well, he said people should bathe in this stuff.  Anyways it is more for acne and scarring.  IT is called Jan Marini Bioglycolic Acid Face Wash and PCA skin hydrator Plus (phase 6) face cream the packaging just changed to a little pump, not the cream jar.

February 4, 2011

The Pampa's; preview to the jungle and the Amazon river

 One of my favorite things about 3rd world countries and their rural airports are the fact that the runways are dirt and located in the middle of the jungle usually, covered in mud.  This airplane is abnormally large for such a little airstrip.  but I love it anyways.  If you notice I was wearing a jacket, leggings etc... because La Paz is really cold, but the second they open the cockpit door and you walk out of the plane, in this little city called Rurrenabaque.... the 100% humidity 100 degree weather hits you like a wall of wet sticky yuckiness.... Bolivia’s Amazon Basin is one of the world’s largest intact wilderness areas. The rain-forests, swamps and wetland savannas, through which many rivers flow, combined with many villages make for an awesome adventure. There is a sheer abundance of wildlife, including monkeys, alligators, macaws and  anacondas, piranhas and many types of birds.
 I dislike humidity more than most other things in life.  This picture demonstrates the runway carved out of the jungle and my friends all walking to the jeep for our 3 hour jeep ride to the Amazon river, which proved to be terrible, because there are no such things as paved roads here and it's more like a 3 hour long roller coaster.  Luckily I don't get car sick and don't mind the bumpiness for about 2 1/2 hours.  The heat is what gets to you.
 If you look behind me you will see a sheet of water, this demonstrates the flash rainstorms that come on without warning and leave just as quickly as they arrived.

We started our awesome Pamapa's Amazona tour in log canoes, they are essentially really long logs, dug out in the middle with the sides built up.  They made me a bit nervous at first, but our guide, said that it is nearly impossible to capsize them. Next I'm going to share with you many of the awesome animals that I saw along my treck on the river!

 In this photo, if you look really closely you can see the eyes of an alligator, we were in our canoe just slowly moving past it, while his eyes checked us out.
 this bird is very common in the Pampa's it is called Hoatzin or Bird of Paradise
 These two big daddies are called the Amazon King Fishers, very majestic and at least a few feet tall, massive birds!
 This guy is the largest rodent in the world he is called Capybara.  They are essentially large rats, cute little guys right?
So the first day I arrived in Bolivia, I had a meeting with my professor Dr. Lanza and Gonzalo Caure and I asked them "Where can I pet monkeys"  they didn't really have an answer, after that I made it my goal to pet and hold a monkey and if you look at my lap...... ahhhhhh an adorable bright yellow monkey!
NOT ONLY DID I HOLD ONE, THEY CLIMBED ALL OVER ME AND SAT ON MY HEAD.  If you will notice, we are all wearing jackets and long socks etc.... turns out the mosquito's eat you alive there, and our guides failed to tell us to buy DEET, so in the 100 degree 10% humidity we were dressed for the snow.  But worst of all.... these mosquito's EAT THROUGH YOUR PANTS they are genetically evolved to eat through your clothes, you have to drench your clothes in DEET in order to avoid being eaten alive.  Later when we got some DEET we were able to go in swimsuits and not die.... but until then winter in the Amazon!

This HOT fella was hanging out by our lodge when we arrived.  We just waited it out in the boat.  It's funny because when we arrived he started walking away and there was a boat of 6 or so people already there just sitting in the boat, and they told us that they thought the Gator was fake, because he didn't move for so long and didn't realize he was real until we pulled up.  They thought their guide was just having them look at a stuffed gator!  Good thing they didn't get out of the boat!
This is a picture of my housing for two days, my cabin is the one on the right.  You have the walk-ways in order to not get wet in the rainy season and avoid the local gator who slept under my house all night long.
Me, And my awesome friend Maria, Justin and Craig enjoying the mosquito's and the sunset!
Finally some shelter from those crazy mosquito's in this mesh "common area" complete with 15 hammocks and you could actually not wear winter-clothing in there.  Pretty awesome, I thought I was going to die from the heat!
One of the activities that you do at night is go Croc and Gator hunting at night.  I got this great picture of a spider eating and spinning it's prey in it's web.
If you look closely in this picture you will see a small glowing light in the top middle of the photo.  That is a Caiman Crocodile.  At night you go in the canoes and search for them in the bushes, by shining you flashlight and it catches the croc's eyes and glows intensely.  I have a lot of these glowing eyeballs.  It's a bit creepy to see them slowly creep back into the shadows and the glowing eyes disappear.
This is me with my night-time alligator neighbor that slept under my house.  Turns out he's pretty friendly and if you feed him chicken you can pet his nose.  Apparently he's a local at this eco-lodge!
The next activity for the next day was my LEAST-FAVORITE although these pictures do not do it justice we went ANACONDA HUNTING. We trekked through a couple miles of marsh-swamp land in galloshes (mine had at least ten holes in them) trying to find them.  We were out there almost three hours  and the mosquitos were insane and it was raining.  As my friend Guy likes to say "We're trying to find the Anaconda's, isn't it the other way around, they are supposed to find us!"  We didn't end up finding any... secretly I was VERY HAPPY THAT WE DIDN'T FIND AN ANACONDA!

NOW THIS PICTURE IS VERY SPECIAL, BECAUSE I WAS ABLE TO CATCH BRIEFLY THE BLOW HOLE OF A PINK DOLPHIN, THEY ARE VERY DIFFICULT TO TAKE PICTURES OF,  it's located to the right of the canoe and looks more like a white frothy thing rather than the blow hole of the dolphin. 
This area with the dolphins is where we went swimming because they scare away the croc's and so it is relatively safe to swim there.  It was so fun and such a neat experience, I never got to actually touch one, sometimes they come up really close to you and nip your feet and play with you, these one's didn't they just swam near us.  The picture above is us hanging onto our canoe and being dragged around by it while swimming.
This adorable guy is called Rutherford (I named him) the Three-Toed-Sloth, he is freakin adorable!
More Rutherford the Sloth!
After our swimming adventures we went to the "futbal field"  where we played a rousing game of soccer, in a half soaked, muddy field along with our friends the Ostriches!!!  I was the only girl that played and I soon realized why many didn't, I was soaked from head to toe in mud.
Here is Me, Justin and Guy's victory shot.  We lost the game 3 to 4 (to the Bolivian's) we were the Gringo's.  I actually made a great goal just before being pummeled into the mud and eating some sort of manure.  I topped it off with a victory mud slide into the goal!!!  I just can't get over our Ostrich team mates though, it was so funny!

My awesome Pampa's Amazona vaccacion ended SOOOOO WELL with a huge bottle of DEET and my good friend the Caiman Crocodile PEPE!!!
Best wishes mi amigos!
Hope you've enjoyed my adventures!

Love, Kim    
Some other animals I met are:
-Howler monkeys

·         Brown capuchin monkey
·         Capybara
·         Pink river dolphin
·         Black caiman
·         Spectacled caiman
·         Yellow spotted river turtle
·         Macaws and parrots
·         Hummingbirds
·         Herons
·         Amazon kingfisher
·         Black vulture
·         Three-toed sloth
·         Red brovker deer
·         Anaconda: 3!
·         Toucans
·         Paradise bird/hoatzin
·         Storks
·         Red cap cardinal and red crested cardinal
·         Turkey vulture

February 3, 2011

More Uyuni!!!

So for those of you who don't know, one of my favorite things about visiting Peru and Bolivia are the Llama's.  I think they are so beautiful and they have such an arrogant face, that you can't help but bother them as much as possible.  Most of the time the locals tie little bells and bright colored fabric to their necks or ears to keep track of them. 
As you can see the terrain in Uyuni is very dry (seco) and has little Oases throughout this desert-like area.  The sky is one massive expanse that travels so far with small mountains in the background.  I loved this trip because we jeeped for at least three hours on dirt roads to get this far.  We were literally in the middle of nowhere or as I like to think "God's country." 
My favorite Llama picture because this little guy finally decided to give me the time of day......Isn't he beautiful.  I love the desert background.
This is a picture of the laguna Colorado, otherwise known as the "Pink Lagoon"  if you look in the picture below, you will see that there are flamingo's here year round.  I think that the weirdest combination of animals is definitely Llama's and Flamingos.  The Flamingo's are pink because of the algae that they eat.
This is one of my most favorite pictures because it demonstrates the remoteness of the area, and the beautiful red lake and a flamingo and a wind storm.  Pretty amazing RIGHT!
This is just a picture of a perfectly pointed mountain and demonstrates the beauty of this lake so well.  I was imagining that, that pointed mountain is really an Incan pyramid covered in dirt, that is why it is so perfect.  If you look at that white sandy stuff, that is actually a medium that is used to make glass, I can't remember the name of it, but that is probably why the water is so glassy looking :)  I just thought what a beautiful landscape, so far out in the middle of nowhere.
Next we jeeped a couple of hours to the geysers and mud pots.  They are really so random, we're driving around  in desert and all of a sudden these beauties pop out of nowhere.   The cool thing about them, is there are no rules where you go, I pretty much walked right through them and got some of the steaming mud on my pants.
This is my favorite picture of the geysers, because it looks like we are in the clouds, me and my buddy Suzzane!  what an experience, loved every minute of it!
Next we went to a natural hot spring, or hot pot, the best thing about it is that it was in the middle of nowhere, once again.  If you look at the background and that beautiful landscape, it's like we were swimming at the end of the world.  In the picture are my friends Erin, Suzanne, Ruth, Maria, me and Craig.
Another beautiful flamingo!!!
Afterwards me and my friends all had a modeling session (no making fun of me) but I like this photo so much because it demonstrates the vastness and remoteness of the area.  Have you ever seen a more beautiful world!
More of me, but you will notice that the Southern parts of Bolivia are similar to Utah, because we are now leaving the deserts and Geysers and getting into some red rock formations. 

This cute little bunny-looking thing is called a Biscotcha, it looks like a mix between a rabbit and a squirrel.
Ruth, me and Suzanne
we are sitting on a rock formation that we considered a duck, we are technically sitting it it's mouth.  The name for all of these rocks are called the rock gardens.  They are actually molten lava deposits from many years ago and they expand for miles.

This is a picture of one of my hotel rooms there, it was pretty because they used the molten rock as a wall, to give it an artistic appeal. 
Next, we commenced our journey to the salt flats were we started driving through at least 6-12 inches deep of mud.  A solid lake of mud that we drove through for about 20 minutes.  there was a while where one of the windshield wipers stopped working and I couldn't see anything but sheets of mud.  We couldn't stop or else we would get stuck.  Definitely an experience.
Me in front of our muddy car, that got kind of washed off becuase the mud was so watery. 



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