18 weeks in 18 photos

by Sara Dykman

Well, I am starting this blog four months into my travels. And while better late than never might be true, the idea of catching everyone on up to speed is a bit daunting. So instead, I’ve chosen a highlight from each week, or 18 highlights for 18 weeks.

Week Negative 1.

After two weeks of freaking out (the world is huge where should I go), asking advice from adorable 2 year olds, friends, and family, I decided to explore Bolivia as a volunteer for the Bolivian Amphibian Initiative and later on my bicycle.
After two weeks of freaking out (the world is huge where should I go), asking advice from adorable 2 year olds, friends, and family, I decided to explore Bolivia as a volunteer for the Bolivian Amphibian Initiative and later on my bicycle.

Week 1.  December 2-8

This women paddles us out to the grass island, which displays information on the water frog, a species found only in Lago Titicaca and threatened with extinction.
This women paddles us out to the grass island, which displays information on the water frog, a species found only in Lago Titicaca and threatened with extinction.

Week 2. December 9-15

Charbel, another volunteer at the museum, prepares the newest batch of tadpoles (ahhhhhhhh) for a dose of UV (which comes naturally from the sun and thus is lacking in the indoor acuariums) to help the tadpoles - which I now consider my babies - grow strong.
Charbel, another volunteer at the museum, prepares the newest batch of tadpoles (ahhhhhhhh) for a dose of UV (which comes naturally from the sun and thus is lacking in the indoor acuariums) to help the tadpoles - which I now consider my babies - grow strong.

Week 3. December 16-22

I creep up the dirt road, Tunari Mountain to my back and Cochabamba several thousand feet below.
I creep up the dirt road, Tunari Mountain to my back and Cochabamba several thousand feet below.

Week 4. December 23-29

I live in an apartment in Cochabamba with Andrea, an incredible women that volunteers at the museum; Carlos, a great guy that speaks incredible slow so I can understand; and Pulga,aka Flea in english and a great Christmas companion.
I live in an apartment in Cochabamba with Andrea, an incredible women that volunteers at the museum; Carlos, a great guy that speaks incredible slow so I can understand; and Pulga,aka Flea in english and a great Christmas companion.

Week 5. December 30-January 5

After finding frogs in the stream we sample the water quality and talk to the growing mass of children curious as to what we are doing.
After finding frogs in the stream we sample the water quality and talk to the growing mass of children curious as to what we are doing.

Week 6. January 6-12

Andrea and I get some exercise and some views of Cochabamba as we walk the steps to the giant statue of Jesus Crist.
Andrea and I get some exercise and some views of Cochabamba as we walk the steps to the giant statue of Jesus Crist.

Week 7. January 13-19

Eliana and Nati just moments from the top of mountain Tunari with inspiring views of layers of mountains in much missed silence.
Eliana and Nati just moments from the top of mountain Tunari with inspiring views of layers of mountains in much missed silence.

Week 8. January 20-26

We weight, measure, check for overall healthy, count parasites, and take a swab to send to a lab to test for Chytrid...all on a boat that was ofter wouldn't sit still!
We weight, measure, check for overall healthy, count parasites, and take a swab to send to a lab to test for Chytrid...all on a boat that was ofter wouldn't sit still!

Week 9. January 27-February 2

No matter what you need, you can find someone selling it on the streets of Cochabamba.
No matter what you need, you can find someone selling it on the streets of Cochabamba.

Week 10. February 3-9

What. More. Could. A. Girl. Want?
What. More. Could. A. Girl. Want?

Week 11. February 10-16

Food for the week.
Food for the week.

Week 12. February 17-23

During the day we wait for the sun to go down so the frogs will come out, and Matias has his FIRST PB&J.
During the day we wait for the sun to go down so the frogs will come out, and Matias has his FIRST PB&J.

Week 13. February 24-March 2

renacuajo
renacuajo

Week 14. March 3-9

Like addicts the museum returns to the jungle to find (surprise) frogs. While searching through the dark night of the Bolivian jungle for frogs I am astounded that I have found a group of people that ALSO want to look for frogs at night in the jungle…AND they let me come along with.
Like addicts the museum returns to the jungle to find (surprise) frogs. While searching through the dark night of the Bolivian jungle for frogs I am astounded that I have found a group of people that ALSO want to look for frogs at night in the jungle…AND they let me come along with.

Week 15. March 10-16

I celebrate my 28th birthday with pizza, cake, and a party. In Spanish class, my teacher Andrea, serves up an awesome birthday cake and sings Feliz Cumplianos.
I celebrate my 28th birthday with pizza, cake, and a party. In Spanish class, my teacher Andrea, serves up an awesome birthday cake and sings Feliz Cumplianos.

Week 16. March 17-23

plaza
plaza

Week 17. March 24-30

I show a group of students visiting the museum several tadpoles. Luckly I don't need to say much when I can point and they can see tadpoles in real life.
I show a group of students visiting the museum several tadpoles. Luckly I don't need to say much when I can point and they can see tadpoles in real life.

Week 18. March 31- April 6

trail and creek
trail and creek

And now I will post this, because tomorrow starts week 19, and I think one blog post in 18 weeks is slow enough.  I hope to add my musings to this website more often in the coming weeks. And the upcoming weeks should be noteworthy. Next week my friend, Nia, will be landing in Cochabamba. The plan is to head to Lago Titicaca for a week of field work, have a week long Cochabamba tour, and then strike out on our bicycles for an exciting adventure. Maybe we will even find a spoon in the road.