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    [post_content] => The Madagascar group has landed safely at Washington-Dulles airport and students are headed for onward flights and parent pick-ups. Wishing everyone a happy reunion with families and friends!

-Dragons Administration
    [post_title] => Madagascar Group Arrived at IAD
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SUMMER: Madagascar

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Madagascar Group Arrived at IAD

Dragons Admin,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

The Madagascar group has landed safely at Washington-Dulles airport and students are headed for onward flights and parent pick-ups. Wishing everyone a happy reunion with families and friends! -Dragons Administration

Posted On

08/7/17

Author

Dragons Admin

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    [post_date] => 2017-08-07 14:26:40
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    [post_content] => 

People come to your country for seasons and reasons,

Embracing you as you are, with all your pros and cons.

Some come in their teens, twenties, thirties and beyond,

Exploring, learning, teaching you things that make you bond.

Once they leave, they make you sneeze for more than three times a day.

Sneezing once means God keeps an eye on you, they say;

If it is twice, your ancestors are protecting you so much,

And if three times, you are missed by people who are dear to you a bunch.

Sneezing is normally healthy and a sign of care and benedictions.

And like everything, it can be subject to multiple interpretations.

But if you have the superstition, discipline or the drive to bless,

Then the rewards  to make yourselves feel great are endless.

Now, let me use the subject "I" to find the explanation for  my sneezes last night and today.

I have sincerely sneezed a lot, till my right eye turned as red as the chili sauce called sakay.

That's a symptom of how much our quality time as a group is dearly missed

And I would like to let you know that it's been day two that I have sensed it.

Here is still sneezing a lot and wishing you a bright present and future.

Whatever the season, may you all achieve what your hearts desire by nature.

Indeed, congratulations to all the instructors and students.

I hope that you will have good memories and stories to share with your family and friends.

Our 6 week journey has stood the test of challenges: we nailed it!

 

Whichever way you take in the future, be happy in your own merit.

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Things you should know about sneezing

Sidonie Emerande,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

People come to your country for seasons and reasons, Embracing you as you are, with all your pros and cons. Some come in their teens, twenties, thirties and beyond, Exploring, learning, teaching you things that make you bond. Once they leave, they make you sneeze for more than three times a day. Sneezing once means […]

Posted On

08/7/17

Author

Sidonie Emerande

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    [post_content] => 

Madagascar was the first country on this planet to welcome me to life just like a sage.

Thank you Madagascar for letting me be in the good hands of the kindest people teaching me how to read at an early age, to speak and play with kids from different neighborhoods in towns and villages.

Thank you for being so generous with your space where personal space does not even exist in your language.

Thank you for answering my questions whenever I am so curious about anything.

You have opened so many doors that can serve as a place for protection in case you need, or people to accompany, to hang out with and to watch people passing

Your time is not based on watches but on the sun, so there is always time for everything.

Thank you for sharing your beauty and your biodiversity that can blow our mind.

On the outside, you are endowed and charmed with endemic species of different kind.

On the inside, you are just rich with natural resources that you let us find.

To me, you are a unique place where I can live and work with people of different walks of life and nationalities.

You are so hospitable, and generous with your rice and your ranoampago or rice tea as that's part of your specialties.

In you, veryone is almost related as you value Fihavanana which is a sense of togetherness or brotherhood.

Even loved ones are reunited through an event called famadihana which is the turning of the bones during which the living ones rewrap the ancestors' bones in a new silk shroud to be put in the family tomb in the neighborhood.

Thank you Madagascar for opening up your heart and being kind to let people go back and forth.

Thank you for the bikes, Taxibrousses, motorbikes, cars and planes operated by kind hearted people who assured my arrivals and departures from the south to the north.

Thank you also for the roads  taking me and others to different places that have shaped my present me.

 

Especially for letting us work together within you and regardless of our respective manners and personalities, you have been a home sweet home for many.

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Thank you Madagascar

Sidonie Emerande,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

Madagascar was the first country on this planet to welcome me to life just like a sage. Thank you Madagascar for letting me be in the good hands of the kindest people teaching me how to read at an early age, to speak and play with kids from different neighborhoods in towns and villages. Thank […]

Posted On

08/7/17

Author

Sidonie Emerande

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    [post_content] => Namastey Family And Friends

North Indian Six students through to security and they’re off! The students and Rebecca ji made it safely through security and are on their way back home. Thanks for lending us your children– many stories await you upon their return!
    [post_title] => NORTH INDIA STUDENTS THROUGH AIRPORT SECURITY
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NORTH INDIA STUDENTS THROUGH AIRPORT SECURITY

I-TEAM,SUMMER: North India 6-Week

Description

Namastey Family And Friends North Indian Six students through to security and they’re off! The students and Rebecca ji made it safely through security and are on their way back home. Thanks for lending us your children– many stories await you upon their return!

Posted On

08/7/17

Author

I-TEAM

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    [post_date] => 2017-08-07 10:49:27
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    [post_content] => Hello Friends and Families,

The group is safe and doing well in Beijing. Unfortunately, their original group flight from Beijing  was cancelled. They'll be spending the night at an airport hotel in Beijing and have been now rebooked onto the following flights: (all times local)...

Depart Beijing for Hong Kong at 9:50 AM 8/8 (Cathay Dragon #905)

Arrive in Hong Kong at 1:30 PM 8/8 (China time).

Students and instructors on the group flight have been rebooked for travel onward to Los Angeles...

Depart Hong Kong for Los Angeles (LAX) at 4:35 PM, 8/8 (Cathay Pacific #882)

Arrive in Los Angeles at 2:50 PM, 8/8

 

Any onward flights from Los Angeles that need to be rebooked should be scheduled for 6:00 PM PST or later.

Our office will be reaching out to all families individually to make sure you have this important information about flight changes and can rebook individual domestic/international travel as needed. Please email us at info@wheretherebedragons.com or call us on the admin cell phone at 303-921-6078 to communicate new travel plans.

To contact the office, please reach us on our Admin cell phone at 303-921-6078.

Thanks,

Dragons Administration

 
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SUMMER: China Language 6-week

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Beijing to Hong Kong Flight Cancelled, LA Arrival Delayed

Jody Segar,SUMMER: China Language 6-week

Description

Hello Friends and Families, The group is safe and doing well in Beijing. Unfortunately, their original group flight from Beijing  was cancelled. They’ll be spending the night at an airport hotel in Beijing and have been now rebooked onto the following flights: (all times local)… Depart Beijing for Hong Kong at 9:50 AM 8/8 (Cathay Dragon […]

Posted On

08/7/17

Author

Jody Segar

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    [post_content] => Hello Language 6 Friends and Family!

I’m Benjy Renton — an alum of the Language 6-Week program with Dragons in 2015, an alumni ambassador for Dragons and currently living in Beijing this summer.

Over the past few days, I have been with this amazing group of students and instructors, guiding them through my favorite sights in Beijing and living (and eating) like a local. Here are a few of our highlights.

After a 6 a.m. flight from Lijiang, the group arrived in Beijing, checked into their hostel and visited the 798 Art District. I then met the group at a dumpling restaurant, where we dined on dumplings ranging from curried chicken to duck to bamboo shoots and cabbage. We returned to our hostel for a birthday surprise — one of my local friends in Beijing owns a pie restaurant and we ordered apple, mango, pecan, pumpkin and key lime pies for Gillian’s 16th birthday (Happy birthday Gillian!). The pies were graciously cut with Jade’s newly bought sword, which actually worked quite well. In true Beijing style, we at them in a hutong alleyway, surrounded by locals looking rather confused at this American concoction that we were eating.

On Saturday, we woke up and had a local breakfast of Baozi (steamed buns) and vegetable cakes near our hostel. We then went to Yuanmingyuan, the Old Summer Palace, which is now mostly left in ruins. We divided into groups and rode four-person bikes through the palace grounds. Due to our lack of pedaling coordination, most of the chains on the bikes broke a number of times during the excursion. While the instructor bike (me, Joseph, Matt and Jiling) did not suffer as many broken chains, we did endure a flat tire, which significantly impacted our performance towards the end of the trip. Luckily, we entered in a dramatic entrance to Raider’s March at the end of the time.

After the palace visit, we treated ourselves to a delicious lunch of Taiwanese and Cantonese-style food, including mango smoothies. The group then had some time to explore Panjiayuan (潘家园), an antique market which, in my opinion, is the best place to buy cheap souvenirs in Beijing. Some of the group’s purchases included a Terracotta Warrior chess set, a propaganda poster, a Mao watch, and whatever trinkets Ryan ended up buying. From Panjiayuan, we took the subway to a street behind Tiananmen Square for a traditional Peking Duck dinner. While the meat-eaters feasted on ducks with pancakes, peach sauce chicken and squirrel fish (it’s a fish that looks like a squirrel), the vegetarians sat with me and dined on edible delights such as corn with pine nuts, hot eggplant in a pan, tofu in a pan, steamed broccoli and mushrooms, sweet buns and scallion pancakes. With our stomachs full and spirits up, we had some free time to walk around the restaurant area before going back to our hostel for the night.

The group is currently at a quaint, family-run guest house on a wild (unrestored) section of the Great Wall (I saw them off this morning). They will begin their transference activities and complete end of course logistics today. They plan to climb the wall tomorrow and so hopefully you’ll hear from them soon!

Thank you to Sarah, Gillian, Amélie, Sydney, Eastlyn, Tommy, Ryan, Kyle, Jade, Sarah, Harry, Rhys, Benjy, Joseph, Matt and Jiling!

I hope the students leave Beijing with not only an appreciation for its historic sights and a hatred of its horrendous pollution (which we surprisingly did not have much of), but a newly found sense of discovery, leadership and camaraderie. Throughout our time we spent together, I am forever grateful for your kindness, good spirits and inclusivity. Wishing you all a safe onward journey home.

一路平安 (Bon voyage!)!
Benjy
    [post_title] => A Visit to the Capital
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A Visit to the Capital

Benjy Renton,SUMMER: China Language 6-week

Description

Hello Language 6 Friends and Family! I’m Benjy Renton — an alum of the Language 6-Week program with Dragons in 2015, an alumni ambassador for Dragons and currently living in Beijing this summer. Over the past few days, I have been with this amazing group of students and instructors, guiding them through my favorite sights […]

Posted On

08/7/17

Author

Benjy Renton

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    [post_date] => 2017-08-07 07:06:36
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    [post_content] => Dear Friends and Family,

We are writing this from the airport in Leh, Ladakh where we're waiting for our flight to Delhi. Patience is perhaps one of the most important traits a traveler can possess. Flights and trains get delayed, and especially in India things rarely happen on our schedule. In our busy lives at home, waiting is an undesirable state-the cause of much anger and frustration. If we must wait for something, you can bet we will be glued to our phones. But there are no phones here, no computers, no headphones. The students are curled up in a corner of the waiting room, heads on shoulders or in each other's laps. They're laughing and joking, drinking cups of masala chai and eating samosas and biscuits. We've been here for over an hour and may be here another hour more. No one seems particularly upset or frustrated. Over the past six weeks, we've waited for flights, train, taxis and each other. Waiting has become as much a part of our group as sleeping or eating.

Each day, students ask each other an “x-factor” question which can range from favorite food to places they want to travel. Yesterday, the question was “What advice would you give to students doing this program next year?” Most of the advice seemed to boil down to this “Be present. Be here. Engage with the people, places and experiences you are with now.”

We're often asked what students take home from these programs. Many take home a greater confidence in themselves and their ability to deal with challenging situations. Many take home new skills-packing a backpack, treating a blister, making momos. Most take home new friendships and inspirations. But what's less obvious and harder to qualify is their ability to sit with themselves or others without the multitude of distractions our modern lives throw at us. And how much students come to cherish these quiet moments. Sitting in a remote Ladakhi village among fields of ripened wheat, one student sighed, “I'm going to run over my phone with a car,” and many others nodded in agreement.

At the end of the course, we like to ask our students a few questions about their experience. Below you will find their anonymous answers. As you will see, they have been changed in ways both big and small, obvious and more subtle. As instructors, we are honored that you lent us your students for the summer! We feel privileged to have spent the last 6 weeks traveling around North India with ten such inquisitive, kind and curious young people. They inspire us every day and make us proud to do this sort of work.

Thank you,
Saurabh, Hemant and Rebecca

1) What is one thing you learned?

The people of Ladakh taught me how a remote, sustainable life can be challenging, fulfilling and joyful at the same time.

Learning never stops and it's always possible to keep learning no matter the circumstances.

I finally understand the idea of internal happiness and how to have it anywhere.

One thing? I have learned so much in the past 6 weeks, from how to sit with myself and feel my emotions to how to engage in cultural exchange and form bonds with people who have nothing in common with me and everything in between.

Over the course of this trip, I found that it was impossible to avoid learning something new every day, whether it was how to make momos, phrases in a new language or just more about myself and how I fit into the jigsaw puzzle of the world around me.

I have learned how to sit with myself and my thoughts.

My time in India has taught me more than I'll probably ever know. But as I think back on what I've learned, the paper-thin Ladakhi air cutting through my lungs, I can say one thing of which I've become sure: there is a song that wants to be sung through us. Much of it, we are able to write ourselves-the rest can be heard as a whisper from the mountains.

The emotion or pain or heartbreak has always had the ability to trump happiness and joy. However on this trip I learned that no matter how much pain one may be in, happiness and joy is ultimately more powerful.

2) Who is a person who affected your trip?

My homestay father in the village of Taar showed me his love for the Himalayan mountains by taking me on a hike, starting at daybreak that I will never forget.

Rebecca ji, one of our beloved instructors became a role model for me, not only because of her unique and exceptional leadership style, but because of her courage to always try new things and push her limits and ultimately challenge herself.

Hemant is a person that has affected my trip.

Preet-a fascinating leader, charasmatic, consistent, diplomatic and disciplined. A man whose traits I admire and wish to develop.

My parents have affected my trip, because I am constantly realizing how much they have sacrificed to give me the incredible life I have.

I began to realize that every single person I spoke to, whether is was a random Ladakhi villager walking by, an instructor, or my roommate for the night helped to shape the cherished experiences; they all added a little more to the epic story of my time in India.

Rebecca ji, Saurabh ji, Hemant ji.

Every single person I encountered on this trip has changed me in their own unique way and I am endlessly grateful that they have opened their hearts to me and helped me to discover so much about this life.

3) What should people at home know?

I would like them to know that I aim to make some sustainable lifestyle changes modeled after ways that I have lived over the last six weeks.

Grateful and thankful to be able to visit to such a great country.

I will find joy in the smallest things.

No matter how much or how often you travel, even if it is to the same location, there is no way to leave as the same person you were upon arrival. Every person you meet, whether a mother who cared for you as her own for weeks or months, or a street vendor who is excited to share a language, or one who is exacerbated that you don't, teaches you something new and unique. No lesson is too small or interaction insignificant; with experience comes sensitivity and the ability to bring awareness to your own growing wisdom and change of character. Don't expect the same daughter, sister, or friend when I come home, but please be ready to welcome whoever walks through your door, because she is full of love and new life.

I guess I just feel like I've changed in ways that may not be obvious on the surface but are a deep part of me now.

Every experiences brings its own uniqueness and hence I wish each parent/guardian welcomes their child back with an open palm and respects how they have changed.

I will try to explain all that I have lived for the past six weeks, but know that my words could never quite do the mountains of Ladakh or all of the laughter or the million starts we all saw together, justice.

I'm prepared to not let other people's perceptions of ideals, values, and people dramatically affect my own conclusions. I will also be location the nearest Indian food shop as soon as I get home.

I am not the same as I was when I left six weeks ago-just as I'm not the same as I was when I woke up yesterday or even when I started writing this. Please don't worry or be alarmed. Just be with me and breathe with me on this journey. “Is not impermanence the very fragrance of our days?”
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There Is a Song That Wants to Be Sung Through Us

North India 6 Week,Best Notes From The Field, SUMMER: North India 6-Week

Description

Dear Friends and Family, We are writing this from the airport in Leh, Ladakh where we’re waiting for our flight to Delhi. Patience is perhaps one of the most important traits a traveler can possess. Flights and trains get delayed, and especially in India things rarely happen on our schedule. In our busy lives at […]

Posted On

08/7/17

Author

North India 6 Week

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    [post_content] => Dear Dragons friends and fam,

We ended transference last night at a deserted beachfront resort - somewhat of a shock after the tight community of Sampela. Sitting in a circle at the end of the dock each student recalled their favorite memories and gave thanks to each group member. The gratitude ceremony was a perfect way to end our time together. Even though the night wind kept blowing out our candles, the magic of sitting together under the bright moonlight and stars was enough.

Today we say goodbye to Indonesia - to nasi goreng, selamat pagis, to walking into strangers' homes as family, to the infamous "squatty potty".

After 6 weeks of questioning our assumptions about ourselves and the world, reflecting on complex concepts such as economic globalization, structural  violence, inequality, impoverishment, and climate justice, and listening to the narratives of people from across this island nation, we return home to you.

Please be kind and patient with your students, as they will each process in a different way. We hope you recognize something deep and permanent in the way they walk the world upon their return. Maybe a heightened awareness, maybe a new type of humility. However and whenever it presents, we hope you encourage these seeds to grow.

With much gratitude for your continued patience and ultimate trust in us with your children...

Lindsay, Rita, and Sarah
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SUMMER: Indonesia

View post

Transference

Instructors,SUMMER: Indonesia

Description

Dear Dragons friends and fam, We ended transference last night at a deserted beachfront resort – somewhat of a shock after the tight community of Sampela. Sitting in a circle at the end of the dock each student recalled their favorite memories and gave thanks to each group member. The gratitude ceremony was a perfect […]

Posted On

08/7/17

Author

Instructors

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    [post_date] => 2017-08-07 07:05:01
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    [post_content] => Dear Dragons Family and Friends,

We have completed the first leg of our journey and safely arrived at the Paris, CDG airport. Our next flight will be within the hour. We are really excited to be journeying back to our homes and families but before we arrive, we want to make sure you understand how much we appreciate your kindness, love and support.

See you soon.

Madagascar Summer 2017
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View post

Safely Arrived at the Paris Airport

Rasheika Robinson,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

Dear Dragons Family and Friends, We have completed the first leg of our journey and safely arrived at the Paris, CDG airport. Our next flight will be within the hour. We are really excited to be journeying back to our homes and families but before we arrive, we want to make sure you understand how […]

Posted On

08/7/17

Author

Rasheika Robinson

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    [post_date] => 2017-08-07 07:04:54
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Hi Families!

Just letting you know that we said goodbye to Lindsay and Rita, who are heading their own ways. We are currently in the Jakarta airport waiting to board our midnight flight to Hong Kong, and then on to LA (except for Sammi, who is meeting her parents in China to then explore Vietnam!) Everyone has their movie-watching plan already worked out, excited to zone out and relax after a month and a half of non-stop programming. With gratitude and excitement, Sarah     [post_title] => Sleepy in Jakarta 😊 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => sleepy-in-jakarta-%f0%9f%98%8a [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-07 07:04:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-07 13:04:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 634 [name] => SUMMER: Indonesia [slug] => summer-2017-indonesia [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 634 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 621 [count] => 44 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0.1 [cat_ID] => 634 [category_count] => 44 [category_description] => [cat_name] => SUMMER: Indonesia [category_nicename] => summer-2017-indonesia [category_parent] => 621 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2017/summer-2017-indonesia/ ) ) [category_links] => SUMMER: Indonesia )
View post

Sleepy in Jakarta 😊

Instructors,SUMMER: Indonesia

Description

Hi Families! Just letting you know that we said goodbye to Lindsay and Rita, who are heading their own ways. We are currently in the Jakarta airport waiting to board our midnight flight to Hong Kong, and then on to LA (except for Sammi, who is meeting her parents in China to then explore Vietnam!) […]

Posted On

08/7/17

Author

Instructors

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