Adios, Arecibo

Aug 8th, 2014 | By

I spent my final week in Puerto Rico finishing up my project and preparing a presentation for the Arecibo staff and students. While the dish has not yet been cleaned, I was able to start a design project that will be passed down through future generations of undergraduate researchers to eventually develop a full-scale, functioning robot.

Update from the States

Aug 5th, 2014 | By

I arrived back in the states in June, not sure how long it would take to get over my jet lag and readjust to the American lifestyle. As good as it felt to be home, I couldn’t help feeling a little “homesick” for what had been my home for the past six months. I’ll never forget the friends and experiences I gained during my time there.

A Final Trek

Jul 23rd, 2014 | By

Read more about Scott Harper’s trip to Nepal here. Sunday, 12 January 2014, 11:45 p.m., Golden, Colo. The four of us stumbled out onto pavement at the Sundarijal bus station after nearly eight hours of walking, knees and feet just on the verge of giving out. That was how 13 days of trekking came to

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Jul 22nd, 2014 | By

The same week that I arrived at Arecibo, the observatory staff began noticing another visitor, a small, black, shaggy dog, clearly struggling to survive in the streets. I have always been a dog lover and couldn’t bear to watch the animal suffer while I had more food in front of me than I could eat. So I began leaving food and water for the dog.

Six Months, Many Countries, Countless Memories

Jul 18th, 2014 | By

There is nothing that makes you feel quite so German as renting a car, driving the Autobahn, admiring castles in the distance and ending the day at a traditional Bavarian restaurant.

Farewell to Sisautiya

Jul 16th, 2014 | By

Read more about Scott Harper’s trip to Nepal here. Monday, 25 November 2013, 10:15 a.m. The wheels on the bus fall off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off. The wheels on the bus fall off, off, off all through Nepal! It’s a good thing that back wheels come in pairs. Otherwise, I probably

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Progress with Computers and Politics

Jul 8th, 2014 | By

Read more about Scott Harper’s trip to Nepal here. Monday, 18 November, 2013, 1:10 p.m. I must begin this update with some words of caution: Beware an 8-year-old Nepali kid named Rahul running around the Internet. If I hadn’t already unleashed him, I have surely done so now, because I helped create a Facebook account

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A Bit of Austrian Gastronomy

Jul 7th, 2014 | By

fter spending five months on the other side of the world eating totally different cuisine, another food post was inevitable. This one is a bit different from my last one, however, in that I didn’t actually make the food myself. The items featured in this post are just a few of the Austrian foods that

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Running in Circles

Jul 3rd, 2014 | By

During my freshman year at Mines I was a varsity track and field athlete. While I am no longer able to compete due to injuries, I enjoy running in my free time. Every evening, as the sun starts to set behind the trees, I run laps around the 305-meter-diameter primary reflector. I often use this

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On the Fly

Jun 20th, 2014 | By

This past weekend I was able to cross off a major bucket list item, piloting a plane! A local scientist took me out with a flight instructor and I was able to copilot a Cessna 172 around the island. The views of Arecibo from the sky are absolutely incredible. The topography of the island varies

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The Heart of Mithila

Jun 16th, 2014 | By

Another bus ride from hell marked the beginning of my second and last stay in Sisautiya. I was traveling with Prashant, Rashmi, Gayatri and Baibhav because Deepavali was approaching, and, for the same reason, everyone and their brother were also dispersing to their home villages from Kathmandu for the holiday. What resulted was a jam-packed bus, with people variably standing, sitting and lying in the aisle.

A Festival of Nations

Jun 13th, 2014 | By

Over the months I’ve been here, I’ve seen some amazing sights, met some incredible people, and have tasted some delicious food! Just a few days ago the school put on a Festival of Nations and it combined all three.

Home Sweet Hut

Jun 9th, 2014 | By

I spent my first day here moving in and exploring the campus. Arecibo is situated on very coarse terrain rampant with sinkholes, hills and valleys. To return to the cabin from the offices I have a stair climb roughly equivalent to climbing Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Hike for Help

Jun 5th, 2014 | By

I should have known that we would meet in Boudhanath. As the epicenter of the displaced Tibetan community in Nepal and generally all things Buddhist, there really is no more appropriate place for any true Sherpa.

A Day at the Disappearing Lake

Jun 4th, 2014 | By

As my time in Austria nears its end, my wonderful friends here are trying to make some of my last moments my best. While eating dinner the other night, I was told to meet them at a cross street at 10:30 the next morning for an adventure I would never forget.

Arecibo Bound!

May 30th, 2014 | By

When I first announced that I would be going to the Arecibo Observatory this summer, I was told by many people that I should watch the James Bond movie “GoldenEye.” I had never seen the movie. After all, it came out in 1995 when I was just learning to walk.

A Little Bit of Literature

May 30th, 2014 | By

Hello again! Things in Leoben have been busy, as usual. Between studying for exams and trying to find the time to see newly made friends before going back to the states, the days seem to fly by! It amazes me how I have been able meet new people and create amazing friendships here in Leoben

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A Stupa, Temples and the Valley Rim

May 29th, 2014 | By

Read more about Scott Harper’s trip to Nepal here. Wednesday, 16 October, 2013, 7:45 a.m. So, a Canadian, a German and an American walk into a medieval Nepali city. No joke, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Last Thursday, I set out on a five-day mini-trek into the eastern portion of the Kathmandu

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Exploring the Kathmandu Valley

May 22nd, 2014 | By

The pace of the last week picked up considerably from previous weeks. Last Wednesday I wrapped up my first stay in Sisautiya with the promise that I would return, and I devised a way to avoid the 14-hour bus ride back to Kathmandu.

The Situation at Eejot

May 15th, 2014 | By

Read more about Scott Harper’s trip to Nepal here. Monday, 30th of September, 2013, 10:30 a.m. This morning starkly contrasted with last night’s comfort. The weather was pleasant; you could sit without sweating and I got one of the best rests since being here. I woke up at 5:30 to similarly pleasant weather, but I

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Village Life

May 8th, 2014 | By

Read more about Scott Harper’s trip to Nepal here. Monday, 23rd of September, 2013, 7:45 p.m. My second week has had its peaks and troughs. Slowly but surely I seem to be gaining some momentum at Eejot. The students and I have settled into a mostly regular rhythm composed of about 45 minutes of lecture

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Religion Around the World

May 6th, 2014 | By

I was lucky enough to spend Easter Break on a trek through Nepal. It all started with a Groupon I received in my email for a 12-day tour, which included a five-day trek.

Into India

May 2nd, 2014 | By

It all started with a 36-hour travel period from Austin to Kathmandu, which included a three-hour excursion to see the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque during my layover in Istanbul. Besides commenting that the monuments were breathtaking and the weather excellent, all I’ll say here is that I will have to return some day.

Why I Went to Nepal

Apr 18th, 2014 | By

I am Scott Harper, a 2013 graduate of Mines in metallurgical and materials engineering. During the summer of 2012 I spent 10 weeks at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore as part of an undergraduate research project. I became fascinated by aspects of South Asia that distinguish it as a subcontinent to the rest

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Learning a Few New Phrases

Apr 10th, 2014 | By

After living in Austria for a few months now, I have put together a list of commonly used phrases that I have heard on a day-to-day basis. My knowledge of the language is still pretty basic, so while the phrases are not complicated, they are the only ones I can pick out when walking down the streets or browsing the stores.

A Look into Austrian Flags

Apr 5th, 2014 | By

I have spent some time now looking at the Austrian flag and wondering what exactly it stood for. Every flag has a special meaning, and the more I saw the Austrian flag embedded with the coat of arms, the more curious I became. I finally took the initiative and asked some locals what the symbols meant, filling in any blanks with a little research of my own.

Austrian Cooking

Mar 31st, 2014 | By

My latest endeavor to involve myself in Austrian culture was cooking a full Austrian meal. Thus far, I have very much enjoyed the local cuisine at the restaurants here in Leoben, so I though I would try out some of the recipes myself.


Mar 23rd, 2014 | By

In addition to the wonderful people I’ve met here at school, I had a chance meeting with a young Austrian from Salzburg, who happened to be sitting in the same train car I was in for about five hours. Now, if you ever want to learn about someone, sitting in the same 6 x 6-foot

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Living As the Locals Do

Mar 18th, 2014 | By

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post, but it has been quite busy the last few weeks! I want first to tell you about my classes here, since I am well into the semester now. While the system is definitely different from that at home, I quickly adjusted to the one-lecture-a-week schedule and

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First Moments in Europe

Feb 25th, 2014 | By

I arrived in Leoben Monday last and have spent the week settling into my new home for the next five months. I can already tell I will love it here.