Grenda 10>> ventured into the Bolivian Andes as producer of a film on bear researcher Susanna (Susy) Paisley:

  • From the moment I arrived I had a hard time with respiratory problems. Within three hours of landing I was short of breath—but then, so was the rest of the crew....Susy had been asked by the Bolivian government to take charge of a small bear cub 29>> that had been orphaned in the wild....

  • I went another way with a smaller camera. This alternate route was supposed to be less steep, so the thinking was that I would have an easier time. There is no such thing in the Andes 34>>. Mother Nature and I fought and Mother Nature said, “I’m going to win.”

  • I could barely breathe, I hadn’t eaten well in days, my skin was parched, I was disoriented by the altitude, and there I was on this bus in a sleeping bag. I’m sure a lot of people can tell you about bus trips in South America. I’m here to say, I’ve survived one!

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© 1999 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.
Susy and the Bear Cub

Grenda on Barely Breathing

Photographs 10 and 34 from
National Geographic Television

Photograph 29 from
Susanna Paisley