Antarctica and South America!

Antarctica and South America!

May 06

Hey Guys.  Since my last blog, we have flown to Ushuaia, the southern most city in the world. It was so great to step off the plane into cool air after a month in the outback of Australia.  While we were in Ushuaia, we arranged for our trip to Antarctica… the last boat of the season.

Because our boat didn’t leave for two weeks, we decided to head up to Buenos Aires to work with L.I.F.E., a organization that works with kids in the disadvantaged suburbs of Buenos Aires. We helped out with birthday parties, after school programs and did activities with kids in the homeless shelter.  The kids were really fun to work with.

I made a great friend of one of the boys, Brian, who adopted me as his big brother.  He was a really special kid.  It was really hard to leave.

Before we left, my dad found out his friend was in Buenos Aires who was on tour with Roger Water’s The Wall and we got invited to the show in a huge Futbol Stadium. We had 18th row center seats and got to go backstage before, during intermission and after the show.

We got to hang out with the band and actually go onstage right before the show in front of 60,000 people. It was awesome.

After saying good-bye, we flew back down to Ushuaia to get on our ship headed for the end of the world.  The trip was so amazing.  The first few days we crossed the Drake Passage and then made our first landing on an island.  On the fourth day, we stepped foot for the first time on mainland Antarctica.

Everything in Antarctica is so beautiful…  The snow covered rugged mountains, the gigantic white and blue icebergs, and the wildlife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We saw so many cool animals: leopard seals, fur seals, sea lions, whales, and all kinds of penguins.  I even join a group of people to swim in the ocean.  It was freezing, but now I can say I swam in the Antarctic. It was a remarkable experience.

The trip back through the Drake Passage was not so great. We hit a huge storm and most everyone, including me were sick as dogs.  The waves were so huge that they were crashing over the deck of the boat.   Overall, it will be an experience I will never forget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we got back, we had the opportunity of donating two bicycles to kids in need in Ushuaia.  That was really cool. Then we flew to Buenos Aires, saw an incredible music show in one of the oldest theaters in Buenos Aires and then got on two buses at midnight, overnight to arrive at The Refugio de Monos in La Cumbre to work with Howler Monkeys.

Working at The Refugio de Monos has been one of the highlights of my trip around the world.  We worked hard. Up early, picking leaves for the monkeys, hiking deep into the forest to feed them, observing the howler monkey groups, feeding llamas and pumas, and playing with the baby monkeys.  We also took care of dogs, cats, geese, wild horse and donkeys.  They were long days but ever minute was truly amazing.

 

We got to spend a lot of time with the director of the project, Alejandra Juarez who is a very cool lady.  She has been working rescuing and rehabilitating animals for many years.  I also hung out with her daughters, Mayu and Malen, who were both super cool.

 

 

 

We have just left the Refugio after spending three weeks there.  We are sad because it really felt like we were a family, working with the animals and spending time together.   Now we have just come from the salt flats in Uyuni, Bolivia which was really beautiful and tomorrow we head to Lake Titicaca (yes, it’s a real lake) and then on to Cusco, Peru to begin working with Casa de Milagro, an orphanage just outside of Cusco.

More to follow.