Altiplano: Birds, Bunnies with attitude, and other creatures

While the Vicuñas, Llamas and Alpacas tend to show up on most tourist photos, there is actually a large amount of other creatures living in the Altiplano.

Most of the birds are found in the wetlands.  There are two types of wetlands: Hydric and Mesic:

  • Hydric – has water permanently
  • Mesic – has water sporadically and salinity can be observed

The smallish birds that are most often seen are: buff-winged cinclodes, slender-beaked finch,  black-hooded sierra finch and Puna ground-tyrant.

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I think these two are moor-hens

Flamingos:

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Taking off

 

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Flamingo in the Altiplano Wetlands

Rheas

I managed to spot a small group of 4 or so of these large ostrich-like birds on the side of the road.  Had to use my zoom lens to capture this photo.  They are very skittish and we had to be super quiet.

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What do you call a group of flightless birds?  Still a Flock?

 

Vizchacha = Bunny Rabbits with attitude.

They eat vegetation mainly from the wetlands.  We found a huge amount of Vizchacha in the “Las Cueves / Chañacaca” area which is made up of a collection of several overhanging rock caves located in the middle of a wetland area.

In this area, people have found evidence of occupation of small groups of humans from 9000 to 1000  years ago.    Evidence such as stone, wooden, and bone tools.  This may have been a resting place for people traveling to/from the coast.

They have a comical facial expression as if to say “I am sitting here and I don’t care who knows it”

Lizards:

Our bird guide:

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Smallish Birds:

This guy visited us at one of the rest stops, but I am not sure on the species.

These two were busy making a nest – maybe Moor-hens?

Another bird-spotting:

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Bees:

I did see a bumble bee on this flower, but didn’t get my camera out in time so you can just take my word for it.  The bee was huge (width of my thumb).

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Condors:

Didn’t see any condors this time – another good reason to return some day in the future.

 

#IBMCSC Chile #CSCChile8

 

 

 

IBM Design Thinking with JUNAEB

To better understand the needs of our users (JUNAEB staff), we have performed two IBM Design Thinking workshops with JUNAEB.  On the first one we focused on the problem statement, personas, and empathy map.

Design an effective way to gather data and view trends on obesity in the student population to better understand the impacts of the Contrapeso and other programs combating obesity in the schools.

Diseñar una manera efectiva de recopilar información y ver las tendencias de obesidad que se presentan en la población estudiantil para comprender mejor el impacto del programa Contrapeso y otros relacionados a la lucha contra la obesidad en los colegios.

The staff at JUNAEB really seemed to enjoy the process.  It was slow at first, especially with the need to translate each instruction and post-it note, but once we got going it was very successful.  We learned a lot about our target persona, the supervisors of the school feeding program, and some of the pain points they experience as they try to help.

We held the second workshop earlier this week where we focused on ideation and prioritization.  We got a really wide spread of ideas.  We had left the circular voting stickers at the hotel, so had to improvize with some ripped up post-it note pieces instead.  It still worked, but the photos of the post-its were not as pretty.

Overall we were very pleased with the results and are busy working away at designing the solution with JUNAEB.

#CSCChile8 #IBMCSC Chile

Learning Aricaños Spanish

Our host client today complimented us on our improving Spanish.  He says we are saying “Buenos Dias” more like the way the locals say it, which pleased us.

We had shared that we were not used to the hugging and the kissing as part of the greetings and goodbyes, and they responded with “we noticed”  🙂

Duolingo is great, and really helped us understand a base layer of Spanish, but we are noticing multiple local differences which Duolingo did not cover.  For example, “permiso” is used for “excuse me”, while “disculpe” is not used very often.

I also love when Chileans answer the phone with “digame” which means “talk-to-me”.  I remember my sister Katy and I finding that strange when we traveled together to Ecuador many years ago.

Some important phrases:

  • Hola = hello (along with a hug and a kiss)
  • Buenos Dias = good day  (but only in the morning) – (along with a hug and a kiss)
  • Agua sin gas = water without carbonation
  • Mas lento por favor = slow down please
  • Tiene ….. =  do you have …
  • Es Claro?   = is it clear?
  • Chao = good bye
  • Cuanto cuesta? = how much does it cost?
  • La cuenta por favor = restaurant bill please

 

#IBMCSC Chile #CSCChile8

 

Working with JUNAEB to address obesity

A growing trend among the youth of our world is obesity, and this is also being felt very strongly in Chile.  Chileans are the number one consumers of sugary drinks around the world. Arica, where a Coca-cola factory is located, is one of the highest consumers per person.

As part of the IBM Corporate Service Corps, we are working with JUNAEB-Arica of the Ministry of Education in Arica to help address this growing trend.

There is a good Contrapeso plan which contains 50 measures (action plans) to help address obesity in the youth of the country.  These measures vary from increasing the physical activity of the students, to modifying their food intake at schools, and to improving student and parent education so the kids eat more healthy food at home.

It is a significant challenge as we have found that cheaper, processed foods are widely available in stores everywhere, and it is much harder to find healthy options.

In 2016, Chile launched a new law requiring black stop-sign labels on foods which contain high salt, high fat, and/or high calories.  This is a good step and we have seen these labels on many (but not all) of the products on the shelves.  However there is no apparent concern of the use of alternative sweeteners or the high number of processed ingredients or the environmental impact of the excessive packaging in these processed foods.

We continue to work with JUNAEB-Arica to find ways to digitally measure and track the weights and other health stats of the students so that they can better understand the impacts of various programs and initiatives.

#CSCCHILE8  #IBMCSC Chile

A great beginning

Today Tommy, Helen, and I (one of the 4 sub-teams on CSC Chile 8) got to meet our host client for the first time face-to-face.  We were thrilled to meet Señor Victor Alberto Contreras Oyarzo and Señor Pedro Antonio Limarí Castro from JUNAEB (Junta Nacional de Auxilio Escolar y Becas), the National Council for School Assistance in Chile.

We heard about how  JUNAEB’s school feeding program provides breakfasts and lunches to millions of students throughout Chile so that vulnerable students can enter, remain, and succeed in the education system.  It is very hard to concentrate on your studies when you have an empty belly. In the Arica area alone they are preparing  over 23,000 meals per day.

Our focus will be to help JUNAEB address 50 measures from the Contrapeso plan which has been defined at a National level to combat obesity in students which is a growing problem in Chile.

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Then we headed to the JUNAEB office and met the staff there.  They were so welcoming and really made us feel at home.

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We  met the teams from the Nutrition, Scholarship, Health, Logistics, and Resource units.  Then we spent most of our time  with the unit for school nutrition, learning about each other, and the school feeding program: Programa de Alimentación Escolar (PAE).

 

#IBMCSC Chile  #CSCChile8