Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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10 Days Unplugged and Keyed In


Atacama Desert, Northern Chile

Atacama Desert, Northern Chile

During my semester abroad in Chile, I was lucky enough to have time to explore the very long and diverse geographic country. This particular photo was taken during the week we had off of school during “Fiestas Patrias” which is Chile’s independence week celebration. Myself and five other students took off to the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile for 10 days of camping, hiking, exploring, rock climbing, bonding and bumming around in a van. Completely away from all forms of technology (apart from some awesome driving music), I was able to really get in touch with the beauty that the land had to offer. Sometimes, I find that I get so caught up in the day to day responsibilities of being a student, that I loose sight of the bigger picture. I had never visited a desert before, so what a slap in the face to visit the driest place on Earth. However, my expectations of a desert were not met. I was blown away at the beauty of such a place. The colors constantly changing, the immense power of complete silence, so much so that if one held their breath all you could hear was the pounding of ones own heartbeat, the diversity of the land from mountains, to lakes, to sand dunes, and back to caverns and hot springs. I fell in love with the Atacama Desert, and came back to my studies rejuvenated and able to enjoy the ‘little things’ that much more.

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