Monmouth College students went all over the world this summer! Junior Psych major, Miranda Rodebaugh spent two weeks of her summer vacation in the Jungles of Colombia on a Monmouth College-sponsored expedition led by James Goode and Wendy Bolon. Miranda described many different adventures that they went on while they were there, including a 4-day hike through the tail end of the Andes mountains. They had meals served to them in every village they stopped in, and also got to sleep in hammocks. They also explored the city of Cartagena by touring some of the businesses and meeting some of the locals there. In Cabo de la Vela they stayed in wooden shacks that had only the bare minimum for what they needed to survive.
They also visited a village that Miranda called “The Lost City”, which was inhabited by indigenous people of the area. These people live off the land and are, except for tourists, disconnected from society. After visiting this isolated society, the students stayed in a hostel in Santa Marta. Later, they visited some Salt Flats. People local to these Salt Flats harvest salt from the water and sell what they harvest to other local individuals.
Also, on this trip, Miranda says they visited The Golden Beach, which, judging by some pictures, looks absolutely gorgeous. One of Miranda’s favorite parts was a boat ride where they got to see some flamingos dancing outside the boat. Among the most exotic things Miranda experienced here was a massage inside a mud volcano called Totumo. Miranda said the volcano was very deep, but they didn’t have to worry about sinking into the mud because it was so thick that it stopped them from sinking. Miranda describes the experience as “sitting in a chair”. One thing Miranda might have liked to have done differently would’ve been the massage she received in the Mud Volcano. She said it wasn’t the worst thing ever, but she was a bit uncomfortable when she asked to not be massaged and they continued with it anyway.
All in all, it was quite an adventure for Miranda and the crew. They learned a lot about the outside world and got to make everlasting memories along the way.
Jacob Duncan – Contributing Writer