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Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012


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The entire group landed early this morning just after 5am and walked into this new world of India. Despite jetlag and culture shock, everyone arrived engaged and full of curiosity and excitement for the journey ahead. For breakfast we headed to Nehru Park, where we had a spread of fruits and yoghurt, where we began to think about what had brought us here and what intentions we wanted to cultivate.

The students decided as a group together that their mission statement is:

'To awaken your third eye...open yourself to this experience'.

And we certainly tried this out in the afternoon when we ventured into the crazy streets on our first trip to check out the local markets!

India is intense, exciting, and a culture of extremes. It is everything we expected it to be and didn't expect it to be. Here's to our first (long but successful) day in India!

More soon...

Sweta and Claire and the Archer India Crew

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Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

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Arrived and ready to learn!

Claire and Sweta,Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

Description

The entire group landed early this morning just after 5am and walked into this new world of India. Despite jetlag and culture shock, everyone arrived engaged and full of curiosity and excitement for the journey ahead. For breakfast we headed to Nehru Park, where we had a spread of fruits and yoghurt, where we began […]

Posted On

11/18/12

Author

Claire and Sweta

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The last two days have been spent on busy preparations as we get ready for the arrival of the Archer girls. We two instructors have spent these days in Delhi planning to ensure an inspiring and transformative trip. Our hotel room is packed with flowers, fruit, coloured paper and all sorts of other materials – now we just need the students!

Are you ready to follow our journey with us?

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Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

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Ready for an Adventure

Claire and Sweta,Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

Description

The last two days have been spent on busy preparations as we get ready for the arrival of the Archer girls. We two instructors have spent these days in Delhi planning to ensure an inspiring and transformative trip. Our hotel room is packed with flowers, fruit, coloured paper and all sorts of other materials – […]

Posted On

11/18/12

Author

Claire and Sweta

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    [post_content] => Hi! My name is Ava! I am 15 years old and I live in Los Angeles, California. I'm in the 10th grade at Archer School for Girls. I love to play volleyball, draw, spend time with friends and family, and travel. Im so excited travel to India! I can't wait to experience a new culture, try new foods, and meet new people. I have travelled to many places such as China, Fiji and Africa. I am a little nervous for the food and being away from home for so long, but it will be lifechanging experience. Can't Wait!
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Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

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Introduction

Ava Mandelbaum,Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

Description

Hi! My name is Ava! I am 15 years old and I live in Los Angeles, California. I’m in the 10th grade at Archer School for Girls. I love to play volleyball, draw, spend time with friends and family, and travel. Im so excited travel to India! I can’t wait to experience a new culture, […]

Posted On

11/16/12

Author

Ava Mandelbaum

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I can’t believe there’s only a month left until we leave for India. I went on the Archer trip in 2010 and there was never any doubt that I wanted to go back. Before the 2010 trip, I didn’t know what to expect but the trip surpassed everything I had hoped it to be. I was caught up by the energy of the places we visited, and every moment held a special significance that made the trip amazing. The best part was by far the time spent at Pardada Pardadi and I left desperately wanting to return and visit again, which is the main reason why I signed up to go on the trip again. I’m excited to see how Pardada has changed, meet new girls and form new friendships and cultural exchanges with them.

Once again I don’t know what to expect on this trip. I’m looking forward to having a completely different and new experience than last time. I want to be astounded again by the colorful energy of India but gain new insights about the culture and myself, since a lot of the experiences lead to self-reflection. I’m excited to go to Rishikesh as well, I’ve looked up pictures of it and it seems beautiful but I can’t wait to actually be there.

A little bit about myself: I am in eleventh grade and 17 years old. I am on the varsity tennis team at school and I’ve been playing piano, mostly classical, for about thirteen years. Other than English, I also speak fluent Farsi and a little bit of Romanian. I love playing sports, reading, writing, cooking, traveling, hanging out with friends, and doing pretty much anything outdoors. Again, I can’t wait for the trip!

-Leila Taleghani

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Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

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Introduction

Briney Harris,Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

Description

I can’t believe there’s only a month left until we leave for India. I went on the Archer trip in 2010 and there was never any doubt that I wanted to go back. Before the 2010 trip, I didn’t know what to expect but the trip surpassed everything I had hoped it to be. I […]

Posted On

10/24/12

Author

Briney Harris

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Hi! My name is Erin and I'm so unbelievably excited to be traveling to India this November! Ever since I found out about this trip, I knew I wanted to go due to my love of travel and fascination with other cultures. I can't wait for the trip and am honestly in disbelief that I even have this opportunity.

Here's a little bit about myself. In my spare time some of the things I like to do are cook, go to the beach with friends, and attend concerts as much as possible. My mom was a chef, so we cook together all the time and it's definitely one of my passions. One thing to know about me is that I’m absolutely obsessed with music. I am constantly listening to music and know more lyrics to songs than is at all normal. To quote a friend of mine, "My favorite genre of music is alternative, but I listen to more hip hop than people would think." That describes my taste in music perfectly.

I also love to dance! I am in the Dance Company at school and am also in the after school dance program. My favorite style of dance would have to be hip-hop, but I really like having the opportunity to experience all styles. Attached is a picture of me in the hip-hop dance I choreographed for last year's performance with my good friend Caitlin.

I am looking forward to the new experiences and knowledge I will gain from this trip. I know it's going to be a life changing and unforgettable opportunity!

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Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

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Archer India 2012: Erin Lassner’s Introduction

Erin Lassner,Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

Description

Hi! My name is Erin and I’m so unbelievably excited to be traveling to India this November! Ever since I found out about this trip, I knew I wanted to go due to my love of travel and fascination with other cultures. I can’t wait for the trip and am honestly in disbelief that I […]

Posted On

10/24/12

Author

Erin Lassner

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Hello!

My name is Olivia. This is going to be my first time going out of the country and I am so excited! Ever since I was a little girl I have always dreamed of going out of the country and I am so glad that my first time is going to be in India.I remember in seventh learning about India and watching the movie Gandhi in class. It was so inspiring and interesting and from that point on I wanted to know more and get to experience the culture learn about the people.

I love to act, sing and dance and I am obsessed with Mumford and Sons new album.

I'm nervous for the long plane ride and being in a whole new environment but at the same time I cannot wait to be pushed out of my comfort zone.

- Olivia Bagg

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Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

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Introduction: Olivia Bagg

Olivia Bagg ,Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

Description

Hello! My name is Olivia. This is going to be my first time going out of the country and I am so excited! Ever since I was a little girl I have always dreamed of going out of the country and I am so glad that my first time is going to be in India.I […]

Posted On

10/18/12

Author

Olivia Bagg

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Hi, I am Sofia Garrick. I am extremely excited for this great oppurtunity to get to go to India. I am most excited to work with the girls and learn about their lives. I am also very excited to experience the life and energythat, so I have been told many times, seems to encompass India. A little information about me is that I am an artist, I love spray painting, singing, and photography. My parents love to travel, so I have been all over the world. But one of the places that I have always wanted to go but haven't been given the oppurtunity was India. The colors and life that just seems to emanate from Inida has always intrigued me. I am very excited to experience it first hand rather than through stories, movies, or books.

Can't wait to be in India!

-Sofia

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Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

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Introduction

Michelle Johnson,Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

Description

Hi, I am Sofia Garrick. I am extremely excited for this great oppurtunity to get to go to India. I am most excited to work with the girls and learn about their lives. I am also very excited to experience the life and energythat, so I have been told many times, seems to encompass India. […]

Posted On

10/11/12

Author

Michelle Johnson

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Namaste!

My name is Sweta and I am very excited to be part of our sojourn

through colorful India this fall!

I am Nepali and call Kathmandu Valley my hometown. Nepal shares its

border with Tibet in the north and India in the east, west and south.

Nepal’s capital – Kathmandu is conveniently connected with Delhi

(capital of India) by air travel of 1 and half hour only. Hence, the

economic, religious and political influence of these two nations is

very old and fascinating.

India has always been a second home for me. Its diversity in land,

culture and religion is very unique in the world and has been a source

of inspiration and amazement to me. Although I started traveling to

India since the age of 10, my solo travel in the plains and mountains

of India began when I was 18. Since then, I have traveled extensively

in India through personal journey as well with Dragons.

“Traveling puts us in many circumstances and situations where we cannot

have answers to our questions instantly. It is a great test of letting

go and embracing what is in front of you for what it really is, and

allowing the answer to our curiosities to manifest in the future. It

is a physical journey we take to come closer to our spiritual-self.

But the tricky part for people from my part of the world is

maintaining that fine balance of independent traveling and

self-discovery while keeping the family and community values intact.”

This is an excerpt from my 2001 travel journal. It has been fun to

realize that practicing this has helped me remain open and learn great

deal from people and places I have come across thus far. I invite you

to come with similar sense of openness and desire to learn from all

that you are going to meet and see.

I am really looking forward to seeing you all in Delhi in November and

beginning our journey together. I would like to welcome everyone

aboard on this Dragon’s adventure boat and congratulate each one of

you for choosing to come and travel with us. You are one of the very

few lucky ones to have such a special opportunity to explore India in

the way we are going to. So, get excited!!!

Thank your family, teachers and friends for making this happen, and

also thank them for encouraging and supporting you in this brave

endeavor. Enjoy packing and please do take advantage of this Yak board

to post your questions, concerns, interests, etc.

See you all next month!

Sweta Gurung

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Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

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Namaste (and Introduction) from Sweta

Sweta Gurung,Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

Description

Namaste! My name is Sweta and I am very excited to be part of our sojourn through colorful India this fall! I am Nepali and call Kathmandu Valley my hometown. Nepal shares its border with Tibet in the north and India in the east, west and south. Nepal’s capital – Kathmandu is conveniently connected with […]

Posted On

10/5/12

Author

Sweta Gurung

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Dear Intrepid Student Adventurer,

I am so excited to introduce myself as it brings our incredible impending journey a little closer to mind. I am also so excited for all of us to embark on this voyage together.

My relationship with India started when I was a teenager, when I learned about Hindu philosophy in an ashram in my native England. I started sponsoring a child in India from my fifteenth birthday, which was at the time what I thought would be my own small contribution to solving world poverty – we can discuss whether it was or not and how my opinions have developed over a cup of hot chai when we meet in Delhi!

The first time I went to India was in 2001 when I was just 19. My crazy plan was to travel to Gahrwal in northern Uttrakhand to visit the young boy I was sponsoring. I travelled alone, along a similar route that we will be going, north-east from Delhi to Haridwar and Rishikesh, following in the footsteps of George Harrison, using public transport and staying in ashrams along the way. I eventually got to a remote village near Srinagar and spent nearly two weeks in a village in the mountains learning about community development, global citizenship, and myself. It was one of the most memorable journeys of my life.

The first job that I had after graduating from university was as the UK Director of the youth-led charity Development in Action (www.developmentinaction.org) coordinating service placements for young people all over India, and also getting involved in awareness raising and advocacy back in the UK. I became involved in development education and started to understand that having the humility to question and learn about the world needs to come before the arrogance of trying to change it!

A few years ago I helped to found a non-profit in Nepal, a country that has had a profound impact on my life, which we called ‘Practical Help Achieving Self-Empowerment’ or PHASE-Nepal (www.phasenepal.org). The organization works towards the empowerment of some of Nepal’s (and the world’s) most remote and isolated communities. A big emphasis is on how the interlinked areas of health, education and livelihoods interact to reinforce or break the cycle of poverty. In terms of our work in education, much of it centred on the tricky questions around access - how to remove barriers and stigmas to empower families and communities. This is a topic that I can’t wait to have more discussions with you all about!

I spent the last year working as the Country Representative for PHASE in Kathmandu, which was both enriching and fulfilling, but true to myself I desired to once again walk my own path and I left my job at the end of last year. My unswerving belief in the transformative power of education coupled with the inspiration I draw from working with young people drew in me back to working with Dragons (although admittedly I didn’t need much drawing) and my last year has been spent working in experiential education all across Asia. My journeying has unbelievably not yet taken me back across the border to my beloved India so you can imagine how excited I am to have a chance to go back and remake that first journey I took eleven years ago! Especially as I get to learn from such an inspiring group of young people in the process.

I want to thank you for making the choice to come on this program. Whatever your motivations, you have already won my deepest admiration for simply making that choice. This trip will challenge you to step outside your comfort zone in a way that few ever have, and if you embrace it, you are likely to have some profound learning encounters.

I can’t wait to meet you in a few short weeks, to discuss our hopes and goals and views of the world over a hot cup of chai (something that the British and the Indians have in common – the cultural significance of TEA!)

With my sincerest Namaste,

Claire

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Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

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Instructor Introduction from Claire

Claire Bennett ,Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

Description

Dear Intrepid Student Adventurer, I am so excited to introduce myself as it brings our incredible impending journey a little closer to mind. I am also so excited for all of us to embark on this voyage together. My relationship with India started when I was a teenager, when I learned about Hindu philosophy in […]

Posted On

10/3/12

Author

Claire Bennett

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    [post_content] => Welcome to your Where There Be Dragons Yak Yak bulletin board! As you’ll soon discover, this board is a valuable forum for self-introductions, for building community, and for addressing any and all questions that arise during the upcoming months. 

Until the start of your course, this will be THE place to find important notices related to your course’s development and itinerary design. It’ll also be the place to learn about your course and instructors. Please also consider posting your packing and prep-related questions here. Don’t be shy - if you have a question, it’s likely that someone else in your group has been wondering the same thing! Your instructors have a lot of experience and many, many tips that they’re excited to share with you. So please, ask away.

Setting up the Yak board, in many ways, marks the start of your course. It’s the first step in establishing the community that will support you throughout the journey that lies ahead. Together, you will learn to walk, dress, eat, talk and think in an entirely new way. You will see landscapes that will cause your jaw to drop, and meet people that will touch, change and inspire your life forever. Although your course’s official start date is months away, we would like to remind you that your adventure actually began the day you made the choice to join Dragons. Choosing to make your dream a reality took immense amounts of courage, and all of us congratulate you on taking that first, and most important, step.

Welcome to Dragons. We’re excited to share in your adventure!

Sincerely,

Dragons’ Administrative Staff
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Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

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Welcome to Your Yak Board!

Dragons Administration,Archer School: Service in UP, India, Fall 2012

Description

Welcome to your Where There Be Dragons Yak Yak bulletin board! As you’ll soon discover, this board is a valuable forum for self-introductions, for building community, and for addressing any and all questions that arise during the upcoming months. Until the start of your course, this will be THE place to find important notices related […]

Posted On

09/27/12

Author

Dragons Administration

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