by Lindsay Cox
The hike through El Cañi reserve was long and uphill, and could have been very arduous. But we took the advice of Rod Walker, our guide and the father of environmental education in Chile: walk slowly so you have the energy to feel, observe, and maybe take a moment to talk to the person next to you. The breeze introduced us to the fragrance of plant species which were new to our senses, and the birdsong and running water formed a constant yet varied natural music. In the steep sections, the rhythm of slow walking helped carry us up, and we had time to reflect on our experiences thus far, which have been many in a few short days. Our overnight trip in El Cañi was the culmination of some of the concepts of human ecology we had been discussing– human beings cannot exist separately from nature, there is intrinsic value in exploring our connection to nature, and our connections with other people help us to expand our vision of how we interact with our world.
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