Steamboat Mountain School Global Immersion Studies Blog

Steamboat Mountain School Australia 2017

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Apr 27, 2017 12:49:44 PM
Yoshi  '17 
Today we walked around the forest and saw wild koalas. The first one we saw was really high in a tree so I couldn't see it very well, but the second one was at head level. It looked so fluffy and cute and I wanted to touch him. Unfortunately it was a wild koala, so I didn't know if it had any diseases. We saw two more that were pretty close to the ground. Thankfully, later on in the day we got to see a koala up close named Hagrid. We got to pet him and he was very soft. He was also funny because he acted like a dog when we hit a spot he liked. He would shake his foot really fast as we scratched the spot. Koalas are really cute and cuddly!!
 
Annalise '18
Within the past few days, the group and I have been fortunate enough to visit Australia's most renowned location. The Great Barrier Reef is a world famous tourist (and local) point of interest with creatures dating back to prehistoric times. At our stay at the Great Barrier Reef HQ Aquarium, we got "behind the scenes" access and tours to learn and engage with many different living things. For example, we  looked at sea sponges and different forms of coral under a microscope to find its mouth, spine, etc. Our day behind the scenes was full, not only of information, but of professionals who are very passionate about their jobs and the creatures that they were working with. After the GBR HQ, we took a short ferry ride to Magnetic island. Magnetic Island gives off the vibes of a small surfer town, but at a closer look, is filled with creatures and life. Our stay at Magnetic Island, or in local terms, "Maggie", we have visited the Billabong wildlife sanctuary where we not only pet, but studied koalas and their living habits. Tomorrow, we are snorkeling the GBR in hopes to remove algae in order to allow new coral to grow, I can not wait to see what I will learn.
 
Cole  '17

Event: 4/12/17 The Road to Wujal

Our first night in Australia was spent in a hot, humid, and slightly cramped room. Several bunk beds lined the walls and a couple of fans were spread sporadically throughout the room. Despite all of the seemingly poor characteristics, after almost two days of non stop travel, we slept soundly and gratefully. We joined together for breakfast at the restaurant downstairs in the hostel. Our guides from Red Earth, Nick, Rael, and Jasmine, met us and we began our introductions. We loaded all of our gear into three 4WD vehicles and hit the road out of Cairns. The road followed the coast and presented us with stunning views of the tropical mountains and forests, cane fields, and the sea. Our first stop was at a grocery store to pick up supplies for the journey ahead. Next, we drove to a crocodile tour on the Daintree River. Our guide, Bill, took us up the river in a covered boat and gave us facts about the ecosystem of the Daintree River and its inhabitants. Such facts included information such as: crocodiles can go up to a year on a single belly full of food, crocs have a resting heartbeat rate of about 40 bpm but can lower it to as far as 2 bpm if necessary, the baby sunbird will excrete outside of the nest and have the mother pick the excrement out of the air and drop it away from the nest to avoid attracting predators. Throughout the tour, we observed two baby crocs and a green frog that was stowing away under one of our seats. After the tour, we drove to the Marrja Botanical walk. There we experienced the inside of the dense, Australian rainforest for the first time. That rainforest is one of the oldest and most diverse tropical rainforests on planet Earth. We observed some of the oldest evolving plant organisms in existence . Some of the tree ferns are considered one of the first plants to ever evolve and help transform Earths atmosphere. We came across many fruit bats and golden orb weaver spiders. After our walk, we drove to a dirt road that led to Wujal Wujal. It wasn't a particularly rough road, but I was glad we were in 4WDs. We drove through several creeks and came across a recently fallen tree that completely obstructed the road. We got out and began breaking, lifting, and sawing the tree. Despite our teamwork, the tree still would not move. Several strangers became entangled in the same predicament and joined us. We eventually towed it with a wench and lifted it to the side. We drove to our campground on the outskirts of Wujal Wujal. The campground was a recently mowed field next to a rugby oval. We set up our tents and found some of the infamously large Australian spiders. We set up a hamburger dinner with the guides and were joined by a group of elders and some children from Wujal. We exchanged yarns and conversed late into the night. We said goodbye to them at headed to bed. Many of those people would become integral characters in the storyline of the adventure ahead of us. We went to bed with curiosity, and maybe some trepidation, for what the future holds for us.

 

Idea: Independence

It takes many things to live in the harsh Australian outback. One theme that I have observed throughout the journey through the outback is the necessity to depend on oneself. This does not mean that one must become a recluse, but one must be able to rely on oneself rather than provided luxuries to survive. Not only are grocery stores and the like, sparse, but the food they provide is manufactured and often poisonous to people that have never relied on it before. I have spent much time recently reflecting on the various insidious poisons that lurk in our American (even all first world) society. I believe that our food system in one of them. I met a man of the land named Mick. He has spent his life living off the land and he told me he has only traveled on a plane once. He once went to a grocery store and was sick for days after due to the preservatives and chemicals in the food. He also used to work on an apple orchard. The owner refused to eat his own apples because "he knew what was in them". People out here use the bush as their grocery store. They walk into their backyard and take only what they need. We participated in this hunter-gatherer lifestyle one day when we went hunting for crabs and mussels in the mangroves by the sea. We took our catch and threw it on the coals of a campfire that the elders made on the beach. The fire did all the work, and we consumed the morsels with our bare hands. It was by far the freshest sea food that any of us had ever had. It had gone straight from the mangroves to the fire within several hours.I knew because I normally hate sea food. I detest its fishy flavor. However, our catch didn't taste anything like that. It was the taste of freedom to me. The people of the outback also use the bush for medicine. Green ants are eaten to cure cold and put on the scalp to create breast milk in women that aren't mothers (but need to take care of children). Wild ginger is also used for colds. Ironwood sap is used for glue to seal spears. Everything the bush people need is already here. I firmly believe that this type of life can be found anywhere and, if one seeks to return to a pure way of living, depending on your self and the land that surrounds you is the way to live that life.

 

  The dull glow of a street lamp, the doldrum of thought that comes after a smile from a pretty girl, a meaningless interaction, all these things pass before me like so many particles on sea drift. They have no meaning, but then again, does anything really? Sure they do, but in isolated circumstances. They create no pattern. There isn't a predictability to life. I always knew that I suppose, but I still have spent time, too much time, looking for this pattern. A meaning maybe. What does is mean to be an adult? A man? These aren't things that life will reveal to you in due time. They are meanings that we give ourselves. I saw an old homeless man yesterday. He had a beard down to his chest. He sat on the street, reading a big book. I asked him what he was reading. He turned the cover to reveal it was a paperback novel by John Grisham. I felt kinda disappointed. Why? Maybe I expected something else. Should I have been? No. We look for logical answers, expectations. This isn't how life works. Life isn't always a game of logic. Sometimes it just is a frothing mix of random interactions and strange, yet somehow monotonous, events. I'm ok with this I suppose. It adds to the fun of the guessing game. After all, I never liked math equations. I like finding the solutions to calculations, but if there isn't a clear way to calculate an incalculable problem, then maybe it is better to lean back, and breathe, love, live. Live unexpectedly.

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Topics: Colorado high school, Student travelers, boarding school with international travel program, Service learning, life beyond college, college prep, student voices, Rock Art, Aboriginal studies, Australia, wildlife

Steamboat Mountain School Ecuador 2017

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Apr 24, 2017 8:02:06 PM
Ashley Simon '19
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Topics: Colorado high school, Student travelers, boarding school with international travel program, Service learning, life beyond college, college prep, Ecuador, biking in Ecuador, student voices, village life, homestay programs

Steamboat Mountain School Australia 2017

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Apr 24, 2017 7:55:02 PM
We've been eagerly waiting to hear from our students in Australia! Here are the first blogs:
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Topics: Colorado high school, Student travelers, boarding school with international travel program, Service learning, life beyond college, college prep, student voices, Rock Art, Aboriginal studies, Australia

Steamboat Mountain School Ecuador 2017

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Apr 21, 2017 1:42:04 PM
Hello people of the world! It is me, Maya.  Anyways, about today . . .  I learned a lot about how to go with the flow and see where that takes you. 

They have a saying here in Ecuador: "Ya mismo." This is what they say when you ask what time to expect someone or something similar. This means they could be here  in 5 minutes or maybe 5 hours. I hate this! I like my schedule, my plans, my timelines. Yet, I don't know how, but I ended up in Ecuador. 
 
Today, we woke up thinking that we would leave the hotel in Quito at  8:30, drive to a laguna, hike around the laguna, go to a market, and drive to the next hotel. Things change. Estelle's feet were really hurting so we took necessary precautions, and we changed our plans. When I asked the leaders what the plan was, they would just shrug and say something like, "to be determined." What the heck? Not to mention, I'm leader of the day, but how am I supposed to lead with no plan?  Today we woke up thinking that we would leave the hotel in Quito at  8:30, drive to a Laguna, hike around the Laguna, go to a market, and drive to the next hotel. Things change. " Ya mismo." Go with the flow. Rather than the laguna, we decided we'd explore Quito, and it worked out perfectly. 
 
Time is something I never realized I was so dependent on. My whole life is a schedule of places I'm supposed to be. Being the American that I am, I'm not used to not having a plan. It's hard. Ashley loves it here, though. She's one of those people that makes a ton of plans and then realizes she can't do them all. She's a super last-minute planner. She is almost never on time for our Q-doba dates. Don't get me wrong; I love her to death. But I hate having to make plans with her. It gives me such anxiety. I like my schedule, thank you very much. However, being in Ecuador has changed my perspective on time. It's not necessary. It lessens my options. And being without a time schedule is just more fun sometimes. 
 
When you just decide to get out of the house and see where things take you, you realize that life is much better lived this way. Everyday is an adventure. My brain isn't constantly thinking of what I have to do next, but rather what I can do now. And let me tell you, that's the way to live. So, next time Ash asks me to hang out, I'm going yo say "Yamismo." Karma. 
 
-maya
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Topics: Colorado high school, Student travelers, boarding school with international travel program, Service learning, life beyond college, college prep, Ecuador, biking in Ecuador, student voices

Steamboat Mountain School Ecuador 2017

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Apr 19, 2017 6:09:36 PM
l
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Topics: Colorado high school, Student travelers, boarding school with international travel program, Service learning, life beyond college, college prep, Ecuador, hiking in Ecuador

Steamboat Mountain School India 2017

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Apr 17, 2017 4:35:32 PM

 

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Topics: Colorado high school, India, Student travelers, boarding school with international travel program, Service learning, outdoor education, life beyond college, college prep

Steamboat Mountain School Ecuador 2017

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Apr 17, 2017 4:23:57 PM
Eric Phalen '17
Hello.  The travel here was quite hectic but we managed and became a team. T his was very valuable to me because I could trust all of the group and have fun. Pero mi Espanol esta mejorando porque yo hablo con muchas personas en Ecuador. During my stay at Mama Hilda hostel, which is a great place, I brought dishes to the kitchen to help out Juan, Mama Hilda y Dardio. Mama Hilda invited me to cook in the morning, so I did. After that, I did yoga and headed back to the kitchen where Mama Hilda and Juan pointed to a bowl with aloe vera plant spikes in it.  I had been wanting to use pure aloe vera gel, which is called sabila en Espanol!  During my stay, I have learned how to cook and the locals have shown me how to use and where daily items are from. I make my own lemongrass tea by just taking it off the tree and boiling it in water. I have also learned how to cook. The food is very good at the homestay; it's all organic and handmade. Today, April 14th, we walked 22 km and got to see the beauty of Ecuador but also understand how hard the people work here. I said today that Ecuadorians work 15 times harder but have 15 times less than Americans. I have also learned how to manage my self and how to work as a group. Things can get difficult, but your attitude is important. Anyways, the trip has been great, and we have much more to come. 
       Gracias,  Eric
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Topics: Colorado high school, Student travelers, boarding school with international travel program, Service learning, life beyond college, college prep, Ecuador, beyond college prep, students learn to cook

Steamboat Mountain School Ecuador 2017

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Apr 17, 2017 1:57:11 PM
Steamboat Mountain School is thrilled to announce the Global Immersion Studies Program students will spend one month (April, 2017) exploring: Trip 1 Sikkim region of Northern India with faculty leaders Gina Wither and Robbie Tesar. OR Trip 2 High Andes of Ecuador with faculty leaders are Charlie Smith and Kaiti Kinshella.  OR Trip 3 Australia to  work with 2 Aboriginal communities with faculty leaders Margi Missling Root and John Morse.

These amazing travel experiences will help our high school students deepen their understanding of culture and responsible travel.

Here's the first update from Ecuador on April 13!

Tanner Richard '17

The first moments of the trip went by in a blur. Before I knew it, our group met at the school and departed to Denver. We met and ran through logistics before going out for one last American meal. It was hard to believe that it was already the time to leave. We have done everything that we could to prepare for the experience, but it still was a scary thing to leave the country with only our group, baggage, and two leaders . . . We soon arrived in Quito and took a quick bus ride to a hotel for the night. During our ride in the dark, we gazed out at the night scape of Quito and wondered what adventures lay beyond. The next day, we took a spectacular drive to the village of Chugchilan. As we climbed the magnificent Andes mountains, we marveled at the high peaks and low valleys. The sky seemed to meet the Earth in a way that I had never seen before. We soon settled into our rooms in the Mama Hilda hostel and rejeuvinated. Our experience in Ecuador so far has been one that I will never forget, and we have just started the trip! We can only dream of what the next few weeks have in store for us.
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Topics: Colorado high school, Student travelers, boarding school with international travel program, Service learning, life beyond college, college prep, Ecuador

How we broaden students' perspectives through international travel

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Jan 24, 2017 1:22:53 PM

Foreign travel at the Steamboat Mountain School dates back to 1958. Since the first trip to Mexico, students have visited over fifty-five countries. This strong tradition, combined with an integrated academic curriculum, makes Steamboat Mountain School a unique and exciting place to learn, gain life experience, and develop a world perspective. Spring 2017 will mark the 59th year that the school travels internationally. Each trip will focus on home-stays, service projects, language study, cultural immersion, adventure, and exposure to the host country’s natural and man-made environments. Steamboat Mountain School’s Global Immersion Studies program (GIS) challenges students to broaden their global perspective and deepen their understanding of diverse cultures while they learn more about themselves and their own culture. 

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Topics: Colorado high school, Student travelers, boarding school with international travel program, Service learning, life beyond college, college prep

Take Advantage!

Posted by Marta Miskolczy on Dec 15, 2016 12:58:38 PM

Steamboat Mountain School offers students opportunities to shine- both in the classroom and the out-of-doors. How to make the most out of a Steamboat Mountain School education:

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Topics: Colorado high school, Student travelers, boarding school with international travel program, outdoor education, skiing, ski/ride, out-of-doors, life beyond college, interesting careers, college prep