adventures abroad

Adventures Abroad: Trekking through Cajas National Park


“Bleak” and “wintry” aren’t usually descriptions that apply to my experiences in Ecuador. The jungles of the Amazon region were oppressively hot, and the cities of Quito, Cuenca and Cañar have all been warm and sunny most of the time. However, I barely saw the sun at all during my group’s visit to Cajas National

Adventures Abroad: Encounters with the natural and spiritual in Cañar, Ecuador


Our first day at Cañar required two members of our group to stick their heads under open flames as part of a healing ritual. The second day was more restful: we visited an ancient monument with mass graves and colossal stone faces. Shortly after arriving in Cañar on Friday, we met with a local healer

Adventures Abroad: Dublin pubs and alternative humor


Dubliners have a unique way of interacting with strangers: they f**k with them. It’s often a sort of jeering friendliness, a disingenuous niceness that seems a little off. They’re not necessarily being malicious. They just find your disarmed confusion incredibly amusing. One particularly memorable example happened early in the semester. A small group of people

Adventures Abroad: A day’s work at the Amaru Zoo


“Be careful — they can kill you!” the Zookeeper jokes as I recoil from an aggressive parrot at Cuenca’s Amaru Zoo. The quip comes from Victoria Arbelaez, the owner of the zoo, while she teaches me how to clean the aviary and restock the food trays with dozens of hungry birds still inside.   I