Friday, June 22, 2012

Livin' it up in the Lew

Hey everyone!

I just got to Maine a week ago, after spending 5 months in Chile! The trip itself was fabulous and I'm thrilled because now I can speak in Spanish (although my accent still sounds like I'm a white girl from the US... woops). In January, I hiked in Torres del Paine national park in Patagonia with some Bates friends, worked on an organic farm for a month in Chillan (near Santiago) and then spent  the rest of my time learning about the Chilean public health system in Arica, Temuco and in a Mapuche community (the largest indigenous group in Chile). I spent a month living with a traditional Mapuche healer named Fransisca and she taught me to use herbs, plants and trees to heal almost all health issues that arise in the body. It was incredible to live so close to the land: we collected all our water from the well, washed all our clothes by hand, mostly ate food from the garden and  tended cows, chickens, horses, and pigs! It was super sad to leave such a beautiful country, filled with amazing people who taught me so much but it has been wonderful to see family, friends and to finally eat whole grain bread and peanut butter again!

Now that Will, Ellie and I had a chance to catch up for a bit (so fun!), I'll now be here in Lewiston for the summer to help work on all things AESOP! If you are in the area, swing by! And of course if you have any problems with your AESOP application or any concerns about college life, shoot us an email at



***Below are some photos from my trip!*** 

In Patagonia, Chile

On ze farm in Chillan!

Fransisca, the Mapuche medicine woman, when we were collecting plants for a patient.

Pica Pica: good to soothe a cold with honey and eucalyptus leaves

Making empanadas!

It was so cold one morning we had to drink our yerba mate in the shed... gotta love those self pics!

Sunset in Carahue

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


After nearly 5 months of spotty skype video chats, lengthy emails going over AESOP updates, and attempting to communicate with thousands of miles between us, the 2012 AESOP coordinators are finally reunited!  IT FEELS SOO GOOD! Will, Mackie and I have worked on AESOP this year from around the globe--Will in India, Mackie in Chile, and me in Maine. I can't tell you how tricky it was to coordinate AESOP from completely different parts of the world, but WE DID IT! I must say, the office was a bit lonely without these two goofballs and it was hard not to be able to bounce ideas back and forth. In my spare time, I built a mini Banyan tree with NanoBlocks (they're like Legos for adults if you're still into that kind of thing) and eating a large portion of gumballs over the course of a couple months from that container (pictured below). I got pretty sick of them after a while, but I have perfected my bubble-blowing skills which is a feat in itself! I must say that I'm pretty proud of my new talent.

Aside from those silly shenanigans, everything is pretty much set and ready for you AESOPpers to arrive! We've made campsite reservations, bought some brand new gear (sleeping bags, tents, stoves, canoes, a new canoe trailer and more!), and are working on organizing your arrival. The next thing we have to do is to sort you on trips! Your leaders are eagerly waiting to hear who their AESOPpers are going to be and you'll hear from them around mid July. It's pretty quiet here in the summer and we are ready for you to get over here! We can't wait to introduce you to Bates-We have some really fun things (and surprises) planned for you guys so get excited for some fun times!

That's it for now. Back to work for a while.. Talk to you guys soon and please, if you have any questions at all, email us! We'll be around!


Friday, June 1, 2012

Welcome to the 2012 Bates College AESOP Blog!

Hello everyone and welcome to the 2012 AESOP Blog!

In this blog we will post updates on the work that goes behind running the AESOP program.  We will post updates on what the coordinators and leaders are up to this summer as well as the preparations that go into the AESOP program!  This blog is a means for us to keep connected with you and most importantly to get you excited about your upcoming years at Bates! 

We’ve been working hard for the past few months hiring a group of dedicated, enthusiastic, and responsible leaders for your trips as well as planning and updating the 48 trips we have to offer.  If you haven’t already checked out our website head on over to and look over the trips and other information about the AESOP program.

We hope that your summers are starting off well and are excited to start your college careers.  I remember my summer before my freshman year being a mix of excitement, anxiety, curiosity, and shenanigans.  I foresee this summer as being a similar bag of things going into my senior year and co-directing AESOP. 

Over the past semester Ellie, Mackie, and I have been up to all kinds of adventures ranging from working on organic farms in Chile, to climbing peaks and jumping into frozen lakes, to meeting H.H. the Dalai Lama in India.  That last one was one of my adventures and it was unbelievably special.  It was certainly one of the many highlights in my 4+ months abroad in northern India studying Tibetan culture.  Other highlights included hiking in the Himalayas, drinking copious amounts of butter tea with my Tibetan host family (acquired taste/highlight), eating delicious and cheep Indian food whenever I wanted, and learning that many Buddhist monks are HUGE fans of Justin Bieber (it’s quite entertaining to be playing carum with several monks while they all sing BABY, BABY, BABY, OH).  It was an incredible and life changing experience and I cannot wait until we can return... Talking about India in general not singing some Justin with maroon clad Bieber fans, although I would never pass that opportunity up.   

I’ve added some pictures from my adventures in India below, enjoy! 

That’s all folks (for now).  Remember to get your AESOP applications in and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to email us at or call us at 207 330 0610!  Have a great summer and check back every so often for new updates!


First Auto ride through Hyderabad

Epic sunset over the Dhauladhar subrange of the Hymalayas

Easily wins the best beard I saw while in India

Dharamsala, India

Triund, Dharamsala, India

Ft. Kochi, Kerala, India

Another epic sunset in Dharamsala, India

At the daily 6am fish auction in Kochi

Last day in India spent hiking in the Himalayas!