The river, by Maggie

Alzar School | 03.01.12

The rivers in Chile are very different than what I am used to. In Los Quenes we paddled the rio Teno as a group the first time. Between kayaks and a raft we made it down the river with much excitement. I worked on my kayaking skills and became familiar with the water. It was quite a different experience for me because I am used to a more structured river environment. Here, we are way more challenged on the water. We are being pushed out of our comfort zones and learning to be strong leaders in uncomfortable settings! I am already seeing a difference in my paddling skills.

The next day I went and kayaked a harder section of the Rio Teno with one other student, Hannah. Right we got in the water, I was told to lead the group and make decisions as to what lines we would run on the river. This was pretty shocking and nerve wracking because I have never done that before. I am used to just follow the leader style. Once I got going though I did a pretty good job. Hannah and I switched off leading along the river and I became much more comfortable as a kayaker. I am so glad that Alzar is really pushing us to be strong individuals and I can see results in my leadership skills already.

I am also very impressed by the scenery of the Rio Teno. It was stunningly beautiful. The water was clear and cool and we didn’t see a single other boater. This was absolutely amazing to me because all the rivers I have paddled are heavily populated. I can’t wait to experience the next rivers we explore here in Chile.