Ringing The Bell On The Bolivian Altiplano


“I wanted spiritual adventure!

The gods got together and said they’d give me the time of my life.”

–Wendy Wagner, PhD


Ringing the Bell


If you ever thought that Indiana Jones was fiction, this story might just make you change your mind.This is the third installment of the ultimate summer adventure. And it’s all true.

It’s the story of one PhD student on a quest for the meaning of life. Why are we here? What are we meant to do? Ageless questions for which each generation and each individual must seek their own answers.

The next step of Wendy’s journey is guided by the mysterious and elusive Juan Flores, Wendy’s contact and guide in La Paz Bolivia. He tells her:



“First you must find the devils bell, a rock that rings like a brass bell.”


With specific instructions from Juan, Wendy sets off to find the Devil’s Bell somewhere in the Bolivian altiplano near Lake Titicaca.  This rock that rings like a brass bell, she is told, offers the portal to the next stage of her quest. 


Ringing the bell

The Bolivian Altiplano



What Does Ringing The Bell Mean?


Bells ring for joy. They ring for sorrow. They ring in remembrance. The sound of a ringing a bell suggests a break in time where one pauses to contemplate events.

My first association with “ringing the bell” is with the Navy Seals.It’s a marker in a wanna be Seal’s career and some would say it is giving up. Or is it about self reflection? About facing one’s demons, and coming to terms with them?  In this episode Wendy struggles with her desire to escape the harsh reality of the altiplano, her intense desire for answers, and the reality of the situation.

If you missed the prior podcasts, here they are:

Episode 1:  Indiana Jones Meets Margaret Mead

Episode 2:  The Magic and Serendipity of Travel







​Bump In The Road:

Wendy Wagner, Part Three

Ringing The Devil’s Bell

Next week, Wendy reflects on her journey and the meaning of it all.

Bump in the Road

Everyone hits a bump in the road. The question becomes: What do you do with it?

I share stories about how people experience, manage and navigate life's bumps, hopefully using them as a pivot into a more conscious and meaningful life.