By: Donna Metallic A new year prompts reflection on how to better oneself and one’s environment, to make the most out of what you have. It reminded me of my daughter’s recent trip to the floating islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake located between Peru and Bolivia. It is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I have ever seen; I’m really not sure how you could make this place any better. The Uros people truly make the most out of what is given to them. They are self-sustaining and have been doing this for centuries. From Wikipedia: “Lake Titicaca is a lake in the Andes on the border of Peru and Bolivia. By volume of water, it is the largest lake in South America. An island, called Uros on Lake Titicaca is notable for a population of people who live on the Uros, a group of 44 or so artificial islands made of floating reeds (totora, a reed that abounds in the shallows of the lake). These islands have become a major tourist attraction for Peru, drawing excursions from the lakeside city of Puno. Their original purpose was defensive, and they could be moved if a threat arose. Many of the islands contain watchtowers largely constructed of reeds.” Check out the photos to see the handmade reed floating islands, boats, and houses. The Uros people make their homes by hand, a craft that is handed down from generation to generation. As we look forward to a new year and all the opportunities, let’s not overlook the simple things in life that make our world so beautiful. When we respect what we are given, then the output and rewards are bountiful. May 2014 spark your ingenuity!