HOW TO GET TO THE COOK ISLANDS. MILK AND COOKIES N GAME. SCHOOL FUNDRAISERS COOKIE DOUGH
How To Get To The Cook Islands
- A group of 15 islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean between Tonga and French Polynesia that have the status of a self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand; pop. 18,000; capital, Avarua, on Rarotonga
- The Cook Islands (Cook Islands Maori: Kuki 'Airani) is a self-governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand. The fifteen small islands in this South Pacific Ocean country have a total land area of 240 square kilometres (92.
- (Cook Island) Cook Island(s) may refer to
- New Zealand · Niue · Ross Dependency · Tokelau
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"San Juan Poriahu" is an old estancia located on the Ibera Marshlands, a vast extension of virtually untouched wilderness combined with the colorful land of the gauchos. It has thirty-two thousand acres used primarily for livestock. Almost half of the land is covered by marshes, and the vast wetlands of the Ibera Lagoon begin on its eastern border. On its varied landscape, which ranges from marshes to long, low hills, live carpinchos (large rodents), yacares (alligators), swamp deer, monkeys, nandues (ostriches) and the nearly extinct aguara-guazu (hairy wolf). More than two hundred species of birds have been recorded, including the jabiru, the largest stork in the Americas.
The main buildings are built on the crest of a low hill surrounded by woods of native trees and plants: lapachos, ibira-puita, gomeros (rubber plants), and ombu trees. A settlement of low houses of simple design, well adapted to the region, the three-hundred-year-old house was a former Jesuit chapel. It has small windows, and its thatched roof offers protection from the intense summer heat.
In the seventeenth century San Juan Poriahu was part of the vast circle of estancias of the Society of Jesus. The terrain was particularly well suited for raising cattle: it had fresh water and its fertile pastures formed a sort of island between the marshes that was easy to defend. Part of the old Camino Real, which connected distant parts of the colony, is preserved on the estancia. General Belgrano passed along this road on his way to Paraguay after the May Revolution of 1810 which led to the independence of Argentina from Spain in 1816.
After the Jesuits were expelled in 1769, the lands belonged to a local Spanish pioneer, Don Pedro de Igarzabal, and later to an old family from Corrientes, the Fernandez Blanco. In 1890 Angel Fernandez Blanco died heirless and bequeathed the property to a friend, Ernesto Meabe, a cattleman and distinguished public figure in the province. Meabe bought two contiguous estancias and joined the three properties together, calling the new one San Juan Poriahu-which in Guarani Indian language means Poor San Juan-because the estancia originally had no livestock. Meabe pioneered Shorthorn cattle breeding in Corrientes and brought the first shorthorn to the estancia in wagons from Buenos Aires. His son Raimundo, one of eight children, inherited both San Juan Poriahu and Santa Ana, a neighboring estancia. An active politician, he was also a progressive, successful cattleman. His daughter Ana Maria now owns the estate.
The Corrientes estancias, including San Juan Poriahu, have changed little over the years. The persistence of tradition is apparent in the ranch-hands' attire, which is so well suited to the environment that updating it has been unnecessary. The gauchos still wear the typical bombacha (baggy trousers) and a wide belt; their leggings are made of canvas because they often work in water and the climate is extremely humid. A deer or carpincho hide is folded over their belts and unrolled when they work on foot to protect against rope burns and kicks from the animals. Gauchos from this province also wear a kerchief around the neck in a color that indicates their political sympathies.
Location: Mesopotamia, the north-east region, in the Ibera Marshlands, Province of Corrientes.
The Region: The Ibera marshlands ("Ibera" means Brilliant Waters) are the habitat of the most amazing wildlife in Argentina, formed by a vast extension of wetlands, lagoons and lesser pools, located in the Corrientes Province in the Mesopotamia region of north-east Argentina. An infinite variety of trees, aquatic vegetation as the beautiful "irupe" flower, endangered species as the marsh deer, capybaras (carpinchos), bountiful fish and amazing birds, storks, duck, herons, sea-gulls, flamingos inhabit this magical scenery. It is a subtropical paradise and one of the most spectacular ecosystems in the continent. Watching the colorful 'gauchos", the land of the "chamame", rhythm derived from the polka played by the Guarani Indians first on their flutes and later on with accordions after the arrival of the Europeans and savoring the "mate" in its country of origin, the typical infusion sipped from a gourd with a silver straw called "bombilla", are all part of an exciting sojourn in this intriguing setting. This destination is ideal to combine with a short side-trip to the wondruous Iguazu Falls, the untamed rain forests of the Iguazu National Park, the fantastic San Ignacio Jesuit ruins and precious stone mines that lie at close distance.
Distance from Buenos Aires: 800 miles
How to get there: To reach San Juan de Poriahu one must fly from Buenos Aires either to Corrientes or Posadas cities (one hour and a half daily flights) on Aerolineas Argentinas or Austral Airlines.
Accommodations: 5 double-bedrooms with private bathroom (three en-suite and two with external bathrooms).
Uros Islands - Isla Trucha
I took this shot when we had 15 minutes free time after we had a talk with the local people and they explained how they make their islands from the reeds. I just love the fact they have built their lookout and communication tower into a giant trout!! haha :)
From Wikipedia -
The Uros is the name of a group of pre-Incan people who live on 42 self-fashioned floating man-made islets located in Lake Titicaca Puno, Peru. The Uros use the totora plant to make boats (balsas mats) of bundled dried reeds as well as to make the islands themselves.
The Uros islands at 3810 meters above sea level are just 5 Km west from Puno port  (20 minutes in a boat ride from Puno). Around 2,000 descendants of the Uros were counted in the 1997 census, although only a few hundred still live on and maintain the islands; most have moved to the mainland. The Uros also bury their dead on the mainland in special cemeteries.
The Uros descend from a millennial town that according to legends are "pukinas" who speak Uro or Pukina and that believe they are the owners of the lake and water. They used to say that they had black blood because they did not feel the cold. Also they call themselves "Lupihaques" (Sons of The Sun). Nowadays they do not speak the Uro language, neither practice their old beliefs but keep some old costumes. 
The purpose of the island settlements was originally defensive, and if a threat arose they could be moved. The largest island retains a watchtower almost entirely constructed of reeds.
The Uros traded with the Aymara tribe on the mainland, interbreeding with them and eventually abandoning the Uro language for that of the Aymara. About 500 years ago they lost their original language. When this pre-Incan civilization was conquered by the Incans, they had to pay taxes to them, and often were made slaves.
The islets are made of totora reeds, which grow in the lake. The dense roots that the plants develop and interweave naturally form a natural layer called Khili (about one to two meters thick) that support the islands . They are anchored with ropes attached to sticks driven into the bottom of the lake. The reeds at the bottoms of the islands rot away fairly quickly, so new reeds are added to the top constantly, about every three months; this is what it makes exciting for tourists when walking on the island.  This is especially important in the rainy season when the reeds rot a lot faster. The islands last about 30 years.
Much of the Uros' diet and medicine also revolve around these totora reeds. When a reed is pulled, the white bottom is often eaten for iodine. This prevents goiter. This white part of the reed is called the chullo (Aymara [t??u?o]). Like the Andean people of Peru rely on the Coca Leaf for relief from a harsh climate and hunger, the Uros people rely on the Totora reeds in the same way. When in pain, the reed is wrapped around the place in pain to absorb it. They also make a reed flower tea.
The larger islands house about 10 families, while smaller ones, only about 30 meters wide, house only two or three.  There are about 2 or 3 children per family currently.
Local residents fish ispi, carachi and catfish. There are 2 types of fish foreign to the lake that were recently introduced. Trout was introduced from Canada in 1940 and the kingfish was introduced from Argentina. They also hunt birds such as seagulls, ducks and flamingos. and graze their cattle on the islets. They also run crafts stalls aimed at the numerous tourists who land on ten of the islands each year. They barter totora reeds on the mainland in Puno to get products they need like quinoa or other foods.
Food is cooked with fires placed on piles of stones. To relieve themselves, tiny 'outhouse' islands are near the main islands. The ground root absorbs the waste.
The Uros do not reject modern technology: some boats have motors, some houses have solar panels to run appliances such as TV, and the main island is home to an Uros-run FM radio station, which plays music for several hours a day.
Early schooling is done on several islands, including a traditional school and a school run by a Christian church. Older children and university students attend school on the mainland, often in nearby Puno.
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