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7 months of traveling. That's what I did before I returned back to my country of birth, Sweden. 7 months of packing my backpack and moving a few times a week, climbing mountains and diving down to the Sharks, meeting people from across the globe and getting to know myself and my culture. 7 months of freedom, rice, Spanish, life changing decisions, cold, warmth, robberies and so much more. 7 unforgettable months in a continent where I left a piece of my heart with a promise to one day come back. So much of the jungle I never saw, so many ruins I missed out on, people I never got to know and villages I never visited. Still I feel peace with arriving to Sweden, family and friends.

I climbed a mountain in Peru and had an amazing view that almost reminded me of the lion king with rivers in the valley in between mountains and when it didn't swipe me of my feet I realized that I need to stop for a while to be able to enjoy it again. I don't regret I thing about it, all good and bad things made it what it is, but neither do I regret to leave Bolivia the 27th of May. It is not easy to leave the kids, say the last goodbye, hug them the last time but this time comes eventually, in every situation. In exchange I got to see the happiness in the eyes of my niece when I surprised them, hug my family once again and talk all night long with my friends. One chapter is now closed and another one just opened. I will never forget but for now, let the Swedish summer begin!

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Long weekend with fours days without school sounds like a dream to many people. Both Thursday and Friday schools were closed due to bank holiday on Thursday and Mother's Day on Friday. First of all, Mother's Day here is a big thing, bigger than in the states, I would say. During a month everything circles around mom, how amazing she is and what she has done for you and sure, it's nice to appreciate you mom. If you have one. And if she cares about you. For our kids this day/month is a bit difficult. It is more like a reminder that their mom doesn't want to be a part of their life or the gap between a kid and it's mom when they are not allowed to live with her. Still they need to go to activities in school to celebrate the day of the mother. This is not only an issue for our kids, so many kids in Bolivia are in the same position. In my way of writing it sounds sad and discouraging but still, to be with the kids I don't feel anything of this, I can just imagine what's going on behind the smiling, energetic outside. 25 kids live in Talita Cumi and they are all amazing, unique individuals. To hear the laughter when you throw them in the air, the hugs, doing laundry with them, the chat with the teenagers and all the other moments with them makes it worth it over and over again.

Someone else in Santa Cruz who have been and is a blessing to me is Muriel. He is a Swiss girl who lives in the same host family as me. To arrive and have someone who has the time to walk you through the most important things and someone who's always by your side you can ask makes it easier to get in to routines and learn the new life. Not only this but we have had so many evening talking passed midnight about life in different ways. We are a team, like sisters. Where she goes, I follow and where I go, she'll be by my side. If one of us arrives to Talita without the other one everyone will ask why. In so many ways we are each other's opposites. Not only outside but also personalities and what we like. What we have in common is fundamental values and perspective of life even if my life in 5 years will be very different from hers.

Thursday, bank holiday, was also Muriel's birthday and we celebrated from morning to evening, Bolivian style. It was food, food and more food, friends and family, balloons, hugs, presents and a lot of love. In the afternoon we had the opportunity to spend a few hours with the kids, a few hours of playing without responsibilities, chores, nagging and bad stuff. Just playing, talking, taking photos, laughing and having a good time. These moments I will keep in a special place in my heart and I will leave a piece of my heart with them when I leave.

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A disease unlike any other. I didn't know a lot about this subject before I arrived here more than the debate about teenage girls in the western world being harassed and raped which is a problem and the way it has effected us in our world. The problems with sexual abuse here is on a different level. Here sexual abuse is a common thing and most kids have at some point been sexually abused from family members, neighbors or friends. This creates an weird picture of the personal parts of the body and becomes a normal thing which leads to kids doing it to other kids, who later on do it to others. If a kid gets sexually abused it's a big risk they will do it to someone else. So the bad circle is going. That is the reason they are so strict at separating girls from boys, only that they realized that it doesn't help because boys do it to boys and girls to girls also. It's such a nationwide problem so to kill it you need to change the mentality of the people and find a way to stop it spreading which is difficult since it's so hidden as well as it is so opened.

I try to learn as much as possible and adapt to the new way of thinking. As well I went to a class about domestic abuse and how to help. That as well is a problem, not only here, and I have so many projects I would want to be involved with. Due to lack of health system and a protection of the people, everywhere help is needed and people desire for someone to reach out their hand to them. So many areas, so much work still to do.

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One word that I hear a lot here is discipline. It's one of the big differences from my childhood that they live with here. Discipline or punishment. It's not only at Talita, it's something nationwide that everyone has grown up with. That if you get bad grades, misbehave, take something or in general break a rule you might end up washing more clothes, cleaning the kitchen, eat beans only or just sit on a chair for a day or two. Since it's such a big part of their culture it's nothing you can just proclaim your opinions about since it's a sensitive thing for many people. As well, it's mostly easier or at least faster to say no and give a punishment that actually taking the time to discuss with the child, especially if you have never really experienced a conversation like that as a kid yourself. This in a mix with bad education and that 70% of the girls get pregnant before 17 ends up in a bad circle. Many also have a complicated relationship to their body and sexuality as a consequence of sexual abuse from family/friends. A lot could probably be better with education. And love.

In Talita live 25 children in the age of 3-18 years old who all desires love and hugs. They live a life where they have them self only. They are so used to "tías" (staff) who come for a few months and then leave. That's how they live their life, get attached to someone who will leave of not get attached to anyone. Kids 6-8 years old that run to us when we arrive in the morning to be the first one to give us a hug and doing everything to steal out attention. Imagine always fighting for love and attention... They are love tanks that will never be truly filled.

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One week after arrival to Santa Cruz I have experienced a lot of things, different things compared to the past six months. Not only have I passed six months since I left Sweden I also passed 23 years since I was born. I thought no one had any reason to know it was my birthday, not two days after I arrived here but sneaky as they are they found their ways to figure it out. We had breakfast together where I got fruit salad, toast, cake and salteñas (a kind of pirogue but with a more liquid content and taste different). We arrived late to work but luckily we live in a culture where it's more important to celebrate a birthday then be on time to work. The whole orphanage sang to me and I received loads of hugs. At night I got amazing food and once again I got celebrated but from even more people this time. The following day we flew a 25min flight to Sucre to spend the long weekend. It's always good to leave and see something new.

This week I also visited a different project called el Jordan which is a center for woman from the street and aims to help and teach them o do things that will generate money. El Jordan wants to help the woman to get back up before the social service takes away their kids and to keep the families together as long as possible. Here it's a normal thing to take the child away from the family when they think they family can't take care of their child and then put him or her in an orphanage. Since a lot of children (one statistic said 70% but no matter how accurate it is, more than half probably) are being sexually abused which leads to a lot of kids in orphanages. El Jordan wants to, as long as possible, keep the family together.

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I arrived to a completely new adventure. This is something that in one way is out of my comfort zone and in one way is so typical me. However, this is something that is very different for what I have done the passed 6 months.

At the moment I am trying to settle down a bit in "my" room with my host family, here in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is a city in the more eastern part of Bolivia and is one of the richest (if not the richest) city in Bolivia, which doesn't say a lot. It is still poorer than any place you can find in Sweden. Here people live in a completely different reality and I am here to try to be a part of it and help as much as I am able to.

Mostly I will visit two projects and I spent the day today in one of them. It is an orphanage here with about 25 kids, boy and girls. This one of many orphanage just here in Santa Cruz. As you might imagine, a lot of the time is spent with the kids, playing, talking and in general just be with them but also to do chores with them and encourage them to finish what their supposed to do. To be a grown up who loves them and cares.

Something that I didn't expect and came as a surprise is that one of the staff, Tía Fanny, speaks Norwegian. So here I find someone I can communicate with in Swedish. Everyone knows that Swedish isn't my favorite language but it is still something special when you see that glimpse in someone's eyes of something special, when you find something you have in common and your little secret. Especially since she is Bolivian and just has an extra love for the Scandinavian countries.

Conclusion of these two days is that it has started of well and I am very excited for the time I will spend here and see what k can do to help out.

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Lima, the city of food, is now left behind. For now. After a lot of time in the capital I decided to continue my trip 16h south, to a city called Arequipa. It's exciting to move on but also, as always, a bit hard to leave the comfortable life with good friends when you finally get a glimpse of it. Luckily I made sure to keep myself busy while here in Arequipa.

I left Lima Thursday night and entered this amazing bus. Not only did we get food, I could also tilt the seat I 180 degrees, personal TV, wifi, outlets, coffee, drinks, pillow, blanket and everything you can imagine. So that was a good start. Arequipa is an inka city, like Cusco, and even if it's getting more touristic it's not quite as much as Cusco yet. It has a lot of history and is surrounded by three volcano, one still active. It's a nice city with a lot going on. I spent the day around he city and early next morning (3 am) I got picked up to go trekking in the Colca canyon. First of all we stopped to watch condors fly above our heads, only a few meters away and then the hard part began; hiking down and up the canyon. Why? Well.... I don't really know. But it was exhausting and good for my body to do some exercise. The view was amazing and ever time, I get struck by how incredibly this world is and how diverse it is. I, a small girl from Sweden, got the chance and the opportunity to experience it. I am and will forever be grateful for the blessing of traveling.

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I'm here and I'm settled in Lima for a while. The city of shade, for a reason. One week stay in a place for me is a long time so I'm taking the moment to enjoy the mess I can make around me and not having to pack everything together ever day, all the time. Lima, such an amazing city. It's a good mix between western and Latino and I really like it. I can see why people like it but also why not, it might just seem like another capital. For me, as long as a city has water and kind of a beach it gets some extra point. This city is modern and you can just find whatever you want.

Right now I'm lying in my bed trying to let my body recover from surfing. First time ever. I've postponed it for a long time but it was finally time to try it. Sun, water and surfing after not doing physical exercises for 5 moths results in me passing out in my bed early. So worth it tho!

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40 hours. That's about what it took to go from Quito to Lima. 1900 kilometers. Including getting ripped of form a taxi, a broken bus and get of at the wrong station. Finally I found myself here, in the capital of Peru.

Mom left a few days ago and I was once again left alone to keep on traveling. I find it that when you spend a lot of time with someone and a few or one day before they leave they go in to some "before travel back"-mood which I join as well. Both before Sabrina and mom left I felt like I was going too leave too which is not true at all. After mom went to the airport early Wednesday morning I went in to the city of Quito to meet a friend I got to know in Bolivia. My plan was to only stay for a day but the hostel and the people were too good so after two night I went to a bus that was gonna take me many many kilometers south. From here everything is unknown.

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Many, many kilometers outside Ecuador's coastline is the location for a very unique nature and wildlife. Charles Darwin was very interested of this and spent a lot of time here. I will try to explain my view of it, partly colored by the fact that this has been a dream of mine for a long time. Not only is it a group of islands, 13 main islands, surrounded by warm, clear turquoise sea. Going with a cab we needed to stop for turtles on the street and on the way to the beach we got company from some Marin iguanas. In total about 40 000 habitants combined are living on all the four islands and then tourists on top of that. A lot of tourists.

Here everything is expensive. All tours, food, taxis and everything else is pricey. It's possible to get away less ruined tho but it takes that you're very handy and don't mind walking around bargaining and talking to a lot of agencies. "Last minute" multi days cruises you can find and then get them way cheaper but the negative side is that you're not guaranteed anything, obviously.

We did everything from snorkeling, watching turtles, iguanas, birds and visited in total about four of the main islands. I also did diving which is very recommended! It's probably one of the most expensive dives but not considering we saw three different types of sharks, two or three different types of rays and many different types of fishes and more. At one point we had a shoal of fish in front of us while watching a few white tip sharks and an eagle ray a few meters away. Even if the water has a visibility of not more than maybe 10m in some places the underwater life is spectacular.

My two highlight have to be diving with sharks and rays and then snorkel with baby sea lions. To have them play around me and try to play with me and biting my fins.

If you had unlimited with money and time you could probably spend a lot of time here and experience a lot from the nature and wildlife and return with many memories of a lifetime. If you go, I would recommend to have at least 5 full days on the islands since it's good to visit the other islands as well. Every island has its own type of animals and some you can only find on specific places. It's definitely worth a visit if you ever have the money and time to go, especially if you're somewhat interested in the earth we are lucky to be a part of and what it has to offer.

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