Brad Engelsma ’07 wrote in about his experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador. In the photo above, Engelsma demonstrates dental hygiene to a group of children.
“As a rural health and sanitation volunteer, I live in a small community in the department of Usulutan, El Salvador. There are just over 300 people, no electricity, no running water, and lots of farm animals. My work has been far more varied than I anticipated. I recently completed a health census and am educating families about water treatment in advance of a project set to arrive in November that will place filters in local homes. When not visiting families, I’m usually at the school, where I’m working on establishing a library with the help of Rotary International, teaching computer class, and helping out with English class. We also recently finished painting a map of El Salvador for Independence Day. After living here for six months, I can honestly say there isn’t anything else I would rather be doing right now. I live with a great family (I have seven Salvadoran siblings ranging in age from 8 to 23), play soccer with the guys in town a couple times a week, and, thanks to my diet, will almost certainly be able to win any rice and bean eating competition when I return to the United States.”
Maroon'd... in Costa Rica
Samantha Kohn ’99 lives in San José, Costa Rica, with her Costa Rican husband, Amedeo Gaggion. Her event-planning business, Events & Weddings Costa Rica, has given her the opportunity to see a lot of the country! Here are some of her adventure tips:
Don’t miss the… Zip-line tour
Also called the canopy tour, this activity involves swinging through the jungle.
Coolest nighttime adventure… Turtle watching
At night, sea turtles come to shore to deposit their eggs on the beach — an amazing spectacle to see.
Nicest national park… Manuel Antonio
Visitors can take hikes through the rain- forests and see a variety of tropical animals including multiple monkey species, birds, and insects, as well as spectacular views of the ocean.
Prettiest beach… Playa Conchal
Some of the nicest beaches are in the Guanacaste region. The mix of the rainforest and the beach makes Costa Rica’s beaches distinctive and beautiful.
Favorite day trip from San José… Poas Volcano and La Paz waterfall gardens
Just 30 minutes from the international airport, you can see a volcano, hike the mountains, see exotic frogs and butterflies, and then try some gallo pinto (rice and beans) and other local fare.
Best place to stay…
• Relaxing beach vacation: Nosara
• Volcano and hot springs: choose a hotel near Arenal Volcano
• Beach and rainforest: Manuel Antonio
• For the very adventurous: Corcovado National Park (small plane or long bus ride required to get there)
Have tips for people who might be maroon’d in your town? Write us at email@example.com and put maroon’d in the subject line.
In Eiger Dreams, John
Krakauer described Chamonix, France, as “the death-sport capital of the
world.” Lyndsay Meyer ’96 lives and works there part time for just that
reason. Wanting to live abroad and pursue her interest in winter
sports, Meyer took advantage of the town’s sister city status with
Aspen, Colo. (where she spends the rest of the year). The freelance
writer has made a name for herself as one of only a few American women
to compete in ski mountaineering, races that involve uphill climbing
and steep backcountry skiing.
Meyer and her partner, Nina
Silitch, were the first U.S. women’s team to compete in the Pierra
Menta in France, and the first U.S. women to finish the Tour du Rutor
in Italy and Patrouille des Glaciers in Switzerland — three big races.
The sport is traditionally dominated by the French, Italian, and Swiss,
who typically start training as youth in their local alpine clubs. For
Meyer and her fellow American teammate to become strong competitors in
just two years has gained them recognition among other teams. Meyer and
Silitch are not only in the minority as Americans, they are also among
the few women who compete in the elite courses.
Patrouille, for example, Meyer’s was one of only 26 female teams,
compared with 300 male teams, competing in the A course, or elite
division. “There’s no chivalry, that’s for sure,” Meyer said. “Mass
starts are pretty chaotic because there are poles everywhere, and guys
will just shove you out of the way.”
Meyer wrote about the mass
start of the Patrouille in an article on fasterskier.com: “At 11:45
p.m. we headed out into the street. The gun sounded and suddenly we
were a herd of ski freaks running down Zermatt’s main street, people
cheering from hotel windows and bar stools.” Competitors race 32 miles
from Zermatt to Verbier on foot and skis, climbing from 5,315 feet to
12,218 feet, further down and then up again to the finish. At 12:30
p.m. the next day, the pair crossed the finish line in seventh place
for women, greeted by deafening clangs. “Instead of clapping or
cheering, they use cowbells, and huge ones,” she explained.
Meyer said that ski mountaineering can be a grueling physical and
mental battle, but 10 minutes after finishing a race, it feels like the
greatest thing she’s ever done. The allure of the sport includes
scaling incredible peaks in different parts of the Alps. “It’s like a
beautiful backcountry tour, and the stuff you get to do and see in a
short period of time takes some people two to three days to get to,”
Meyer said. The energy generated by the spectators is another aspect
that makes competitors feel like they’re part of something special. One
of Meyer’s favorite memories is going over the summit in the Pierra
Menta and suddenly seeing 3,000 fans who rode the cable car up the back
side of the ridge and skied up the rest of the way to fondue (their
version of barbecue). “It’s their culture, like we sit and tailgate for
a football game.”
Experiences like this inspire Meyer’s
writings for sports websites. On fasterskier.com she wrote about
another memorable event, in France. During the race, which was held
completely off piste (away from any ski trails), Meyer and Silitch came
across an elderly man who was sitting and playing the accordion as
racers went by at 8 a.m. — a startling sight because the septuagenarian
must have skied up 4,921 feet with his instrument to get there.
“So many crazy things happen that you need to write them down,” she
said, which is one of the reasons she is developing her own site.
Another is the time she devotes to answering people’s e-mails asking
for advice on various sports. “I thought, I spend so much time giving
out this information, and I love to inspire people to get out there,
primarily women because that’s the demographic I come across more,” she
explained. Meyer’s website, Bravabella.com, is geared toward women and
will provide information on athletic trips, advice, and a support
Additionally, Meyer will blog about her activities
and her athletic friends, “who should be celebrated for all the cool
things they do,” she explained. “It is my goal to empower and encourage
women to achieve their athletic ambitions with the support of their
female peers while being inspired by others.” The name for the site
came to Meyer as she and Silitch were finishing a race in Italy. As
they were passing other, predominantly male, teams, spectators cheered
“Brava, Bella!” as they ran past. “I thought to myself, this is
fantastic, being recognized for our athleticism and being respected as
strong females,” she said. “The phrase stuck with me.”
— Aleta Mayne
you know of the whereabouts — home address, phone, fax, or e-mail — of
anyone on this list, please contact alumni records: 315-228-7435;
228-7699 (fax); firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your help!
David C. Starkey ’49
Clay C. Fuller ’60
Edward H. Miller Jr. ’62
Raymond S. Grimm ’84
Antonio Azar ’85
Kathleen Whelan Bothfeld ’87
Jasmin Perez ’89
Jeremy Chai Yuen Lee ’90
Neleen M. Eisinger ’94
Chinatsu Kaneko ’94
Bei Shen ’02
Maho A. Ishiguro ’04
Stephanie A. Sambeat ’06
Front row: Sabrina Applegate, Debra Jones, Helen Mueller Geyer P’71, Sylvia Boyce,
Joan Eichhorn P’05; Second row: Chris Clifford ’67, Brion Applegate ’76, Robert Jones ’72,
President Rebecca Chopp, Keven Maher ’65, Gary Eichhorn ’75, and Malcolm Boyce ’54.
Reasons to Give
“You are connected to Colgate and you don’t shake it”
– John LeFevre ’41
John pumps iron in Huntington Gym at noontime every day, he is planning
ahead for Colgate’s healthy financial future. In his will, he has
provided for a gift to the John M. and Marian LeFevre Scholarship,
which he and his wife created in 1985. The fund provides financial aid
to Colgate students, with preference to those from New York State.
Make Colgate a part of your long-term financial plans. Information online at www.colgate.plannedgifts.org
Or call 1-800-813-1819