Lauren Takehana

Lauren in South America

Lauren Takehana

I am a med student traveling to Bolivia for four weeks of working in the Arco Iris Hospital. We will be taking Spanish lessons, going on weekend trips, and taking in the culture. After that its off to Peru to hike Machu Picchu and then to Ecuador for some relaxation, beach time, and trekking the Amazon rainforest!!



South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños July 10th 2011

So today Cody and I arrived in Banos after a 2.5 hour bus followed by a 6 hour bus followed by a 1 hour bus. The town is beautiful. It is surrounded by tropical trees and everywhere you look is green...... or is an amazing waterfall. We just got back from three days is Montanita which was fun for the most part. Montanita is kinda a surf/discoteca city.... so not really my thing but we did do one day in Puerto Lopez and Isla de Plata which is dubbed the "poor man's Galapagos". We saw some blue-footed boobies, this bird with a red, inflatable neck, turtles, and went snorkeling with some amazing fish. So plans for Banos include rapelling down a waterfall, a jungle tour, a day of hiking to various waterfalls, and hopefully seeing this ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu July 5th 2011

Hi guys, So Peru has been awesome so far. Cusco is a very pretty city and the food is better than in Bolivia so far. We just got back from Machu Pichu and Ollantaytambo (the sacred valley). It was really gorgeous. The morning of the 4th of July we hiked up to Machu Pichu which took about an hour and a half and then hiked all over Machu Pichu including Huaynu Pichu. The night of the 4th we took the train to Ollantaytambo and today we did a couple hour hike. Take a look at the pics. I miss you guys!!! Wish you all were with me :)... read more
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South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco July 2nd 2011

Hey y'all, So after a 14 hour bus ride we finally made it to Cusco!!! It's cold and rainy but the little we saw last night was gorgeous!!! Today we're exploring Cusco a bit and then tomorrow it's off to Machu Picchu. We'll spent a night in Aguas Caliente and then wake up early on the 4th of July to hike Machu Picchu. Then a night in the Sacred Valley and a couple more days in Cusco. I am really excited to be done working and traveling so hopefully I will have some good pics and stories for you guys!!! Moua ... read more


Salar de Uyuni was an absolutely amazing experience. On Wednesday night we hopped on an unheated..... super cold bus for an 11 hour overnight to Uyuni. When we arrived our guide met us, dropped us off in the town square to pick up breakfast and then we left for our day. The first place we stopped was the train cemetary which was a bunch of old school abandoned trains. Then we went out to the salt flats. It was amazing. Nothing but stark white salt for miles and miles with beautiful snow-capped mountains in the background. We took some geeky photos and headed off to the Ojos de Sal or the "water eyes" where the salt meets holes of bubbling water. Then off to the Tunupa Volcano. There was a really small town there where we ... read more
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South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz June 22nd 2011

Hola todos!! So tonight we are taking the overnight bus to Salar de Uyuni after a fairly boring week of work. I switched to the clinics where I am busy but it's more of a nursing rotation than a medical rotation. But oh well. We'll travel all night tonight and tomorrow begin our 3 day 2 night tour of Salar de Uyuni. They have some gorgeous lakes, we're hiking a volcano, and staying at a hotel entirely made of salt!!! Sounds super fun!!! Can't wait to give you guys some photos when I get back. A week from Friday we will be done in Bolivia and taking off to Peru!! Miss you guys!!!... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department June 18th 2011

Hey guys, So this week of work was better than last week. I am in a clinic which is an inpatient extension of the main hospital. Since there really are no other students or interns there I get to do a lot more. I'll spare you all the gross details.... Mom you can have the stories when I get home but check out the pics. Today was the biggest street festival in La Paz. There are costumed dancers that march through the streets. It was pretty interesting. Next weekend we are going to Salar de Uyuni.... google some photos. It is the largest salt desert in the world and is amazingly beautiful!!! So I can't wait to tell you all about too. Gotta hurry up and load some pics before my computer dies!! ... read more
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South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department June 13th 2011

More photos in no particular order!!... read more
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Hola Guys, So this weekend we went to Lake Titicaca. We left Saturday morning after waiting in the freezing cold for our bus to show up for around an hour. The drive was beautiful!! We got there and checked into our hostal. Jess and I stayed in a cute little villa with a lake view, hammocks, and a fireplace!! The rest of the crew stayed at a different hostal around the corner from us. We did a gorgeous hike up a hill that had crosses with the story of the crucifiction of Jesus lining the path. We hung out at the peak drinking beers and taking silly photos until the sun went down. Then we went out for dinner and drinks. The next morning we were on a really rocky boat ride to Isla del Sol, ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department June 9th 2011

Hey y'all It was nice to see some of you online tonight.... especially my Scotty!!! I had my second day of Spanish classes today. I'm in the beginning class.... ya know the one where only a portion of your brain need be functioning to participate. In the hospital today we rotated in OB... It was nice. I am sitting in on a cesearean tomorrow and possibly the removal of some retained placental contents from a spontatneous abortion. Anyways the boys in our group saw a vaginal birth today. One of them looked as pale as a ghost kinda like he was surprised about the process. Anyways... this weekend we are going to lake titicaca. We are staying one to two nights and maybe going to the ruin... so it should be fun. I'll post some more ... read more

South America » Bolivia June 8th 2011

So we started working in the hospital yesterday and our schedule is pretty Cush. We only work 3 hours a day while in the hospital. In two weeks I'm going to start working on the mobile units where we get to do more and will work a full day. Tomorrow I start Spanish lessons 2 hours a day for a month. It's a fun city so far and money goes a long way with a 7 to 1 ratio. I'll have more time tomorrow. Talk to you guys later :)... read more




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