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Central America Semester, Fall 2012


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Coming to you LIVE from Esteli!

We are now embarking on a scavenger hunt throughout this chaotic and charming Nicaraguan city. All group members have managed to survive thus far, which is great news. We eat rice and beans daily. Hay muchos perros y caballos aqui. It downpours most everyday around 3 pm. This yak is a part of our scavenger hunt. In the interest of our upcoming victory, we are keeping this post brief. Hey mom...

Hasta luego!

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Central America Semester, Fall 2012

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sup (hella informational)

Jackie y Ross,Central America Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Coming to you LIVE from Esteli! We are now embarking on a scavenger hunt throughout this chaotic and charming Nicaraguan city. All group members have managed to survive thus far, which is great news. We eat rice and beans daily. Hay muchos perros y caballos aqui. It downpours most everyday around 3 pm. This yak […]

Posted On

09/13/12

Author

Jackie y Ross

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Hola queridos padres y amigos,

Our group has just returned to the town of Esteli after an amazing five days in the small rurual community of La Garnacha. We spent our days in La Garnacha sharing our goals and expectations and orienting ourselves to the customs and traditions of Central America. Students were schooled in cultural sensitivity and safety and are now prepared to really immerse themselves in the experience. We also managed to have a lot of fun, including hiking to a cave, touring the community agriculture project, getting up early to milk cows and watching the sunset over an incredible view. In the far distance we could see the San Cristobal volcano erupting, we have seen in the news that families living around the base of the volcano have been evacuated, we hope that they are able to return soon to their homes. The volcano's activity will not however affect our itinereary at this point and we are keeping an eye on it to make sure we all stay safe. Please stay tuned to the Yak board as reports of our orientation adventures will begin rolling in today. Gracias,

Ariel, Dhyana and Luis

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Central America Semester, Fall 2012

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Voyages and Volcanoes

Instructors,Central America Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Hola queridos padres y amigos, Our group has just returned to the town of Esteli after an amazing five days in the small rurual community of La Garnacha. We spent our days in La Garnacha sharing our goals and expectations and orienting ourselves to the customs and traditions of Central America. Students were schooled in […]

Posted On

09/13/12

Author

Instructors

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Ukulele strumsand thunder roars

Political banter and broken doors

This is how I will remember orientation,

meeting people for the first time in a new nations

The nightsmay bedark but our spirits are light

Dyllan´s voice reading the hobbit feels just right

It´s only been three days and I feel like I´ve known them forever

although its early I can´t imagine forgetting them´, or this, never

The goats bleet, vacas mu, and the cocks a doddle do us awake

we take giddy showers in the rain, for no reason but the sake

With each breaking day we push ourselves more and grow

from the hike, oli´s animals, michael letting go, it shows.

And then when it rains- not a rat-a-tat but an attack on the tin panroof

we sit huddled- during permaculture and communication lessons no one is aloof

We will expole the world as well as ourselves- dragons puts us to the test

guided byaudenticity, humility, curiosity and interconectedness

As we step into ourfuture, none of us can be sure what it may hold

but what I am sure: cherishedincredible experiences will betold

I hope you enjoy them along our journey

Somos Dragones

Hasta Luego

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Central America Semester, Fall 2012

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Our Beginnings

Claire Bostock,Central America Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Ukulele strumsand thunder roars Political banter and broken doors This is how I will remember orientation, meeting people for the first time in a new nations The nightsmay bedark but our spirits are light Dyllan´s voice reading the hobbit feels just right It´s only been three days and I feel like I´ve known them forever […]

Posted On

09/13/12

Author

Claire Bostock

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Dear friends and family of the Andes & Amazon Semester students,

All the Andes & Amazon students have arrived safely in Miami, checked-in, at the gate, and will be boarding their international flight in about an hour! When I spoke to the students a few moments ago, there was much excitement in the air as they were enjoying getting to know each other!

You'll hear more from them after they land in La Paz. Thanks again for supporting them on this adventure, and we look forward to hearing their updates and reflections as their journey continues to unfold over the next few months!

All the best,

Dragons Administration

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Central America Semester, Fall 2012

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Students are on their way!

Dragons Admin ,Central America Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Dear friends and family of the Andes & Amazon Semester students, All the Andes & Amazon students have arrived safely in Miami, checked-in, at the gate, and will be boarding their international flight in about an hour! When I spoke to the students a few moments ago, there was much excitement in the air as […]

Posted On

09/6/12

Author

Dragons Admin

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Hola a todos,

I'm Rock. This is normally when someone would ask "is that your real name?" Yes, it is. The problem with that kind of name is that sometimes people take you for granite.

On a scale of pun to 10, that scored pretty low. I'm sorry.

Puns regarding my name aside, I'm a bit of a theater nerd and I'm getting more and more into film as I learn more about the filmmaking process, but I've been a mathematical mind for quite a while. I've played violin, trumpet, (a bit of) guitar and most recently Bass Guitar. I've been accepted to (and deferred a year at) Hampshire College. I'm rather experienced with outdoors hiking trips. I'm also good at swimming, you don't meet too many Rocks that float.

...And with that, I've exhausted all the crappy jokes I have about my name. See you all soon. I'm out.

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Central America Semester, Fall 2012

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Student Introduction

Rock Pulak,Central America Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Hola a todos, I’m Rock. This is normally when someone would ask "is that your real name?" Yes, it is. The problem with that kind of name is that sometimes people take you for granite. On a scale of pun to 10, that scored pretty low. I’m sorry. Puns regarding my name aside, I’m a […]

Posted On

09/4/12

Author

Rock Pulak

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Hola estudiantes!

As the time draws nearer to our meeting at the Managua airport, we just wanted to share some final details with you that will help you prepare for our upcoming trip. One piece that we feel is very important and that we want to stress while you’re packing is our request regarding technology and personal electronic devices. We know that today there are a number of devices that make up a large and important part of everyday life, from cell phones to ipads, video game systems and many others. These machines add a lot to our lives and help us in many ways. What we want to highlight now is that the world you will be traveling to one week from now is very different. Our request to you is that you leave these items at home, if this sounds unfair or challenging please allow us to explain our reasoning.

We will be spending time in very remote areas of Central America, in fact our first homestay is in a community where electricity was installed less than a year ago. While the people of these communities are familiar with the products used in technological cultures like our own, it’s still extremely important for us to exercise sensitivity and respect at all times as guests in a foreign culture. It’s very different for a homestay family to know what an ipod is conceptually then for them to have a person in their home using one, for example. Through the use of our technology we can unconsciously create a divide between ourselves and the very people we have traveled so far to get to know. This can happen not only at the level of the homestay family but at the larger social level as well. As a group of fourteen extranjeros,or foreigners, traveling in Central America, we already tend to stand out. Anything we can do to reduce our group’s impact is important, this includes not using the electronics that are so closely associated with our culture.

We realize that this may seem very difficult at first. In today’s society when we are feeling bored, stressed or upset, we often turn to our technology to help us get our minds off of our conditions. Many of our past students have literally felt like they were being asked to give up a part of themselves by handing over their iphones. Nonetheless, these same students quickly see the benefits of unplugging temporarily from their machines. Please read this Yak posted by a student from this last summer’s course in Bolivia: /The-Language-of-Papas_Y16538AAKcategory.htm

This student and many others have in the end appreciated the chance to unplug temporarily. We really value fun and interaction, when we no longer have our phones to call others, we will talk to those who are around us, when we no longer have our Mp3 players to listen to music by ourselves, we will find out about local music (or make our own music!), this is the idea.

We ask you to consider the fact that in today’s world we are constantly increasing our dependence on personal technology. From our business lives to our personal lives, at every level there is an increasing amount of technology that regulates and assists us daily. This trend shows no signs of slowing down, which is great for those of us who benefit from this communication. That being said, please consider that this may be one of the only times in your life when you can unplug and simply be where you are, a unique opportunity that we invite you to embrace.

We want to make clear that not bringing personal electronic devices, unplugging, so to speak, in no way means that you will be cut off from communication. We instructors have local cell phones that are always available to call the office, we carry a small computer for posting Yaks and keeping your families updated on our activities and there are many international call centers and internet cafes all over Central America, even in very remote areas. It’s very important to us that you have communication with your families, and we have with us all the resources to make it happen.

Finally, we are also aware that today many devices have multiple functions, a phone doubles as a camera and an MP3 player for example. We want to be very clear that we want you to bring cameras, pictures are a great way to remember and celebrate our experience, however we would like to avoid having them attached to other devices. So please bring your camera but leave behind your phones, ipods, and other devices. It is our hope that this will be an empowering and liberating experience that will offer you more perspective, if you are feeling at all nervous about this please don’t hesitate to write us at centralamericasemester@gmail.com, we will happily discuss this topic further with you. Thank you so much and we can’t wait to meet you soon!

All our best from Nicaragua,

Ariel, Dhyana and Luis

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Central America Semester, Fall 2012

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A note on technology

The instructors,Central America Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Hola estudiantes! As the time draws nearer to our meeting at the Managua airport, we just wanted to share some final details with you that will help you prepare for our upcoming trip. One piece that we feel is very important and that we want to stress while you’re packing is our request regarding technology […]

Posted On

08/31/12

Author

The instructors

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Hi! As we are all starting to get ready and pack for our journey, I would like to bring to your attention the subject of menstration! Yay!

As you may have seen, the course reader reccommends that we bring with us as many tampons as we will be needing to last us the entire course.

I would like to bring up an alternative- the Diva Cup.

The Diva Cup is a reusable menestrul cup.

You can read all about it here:http://divacup.com/products/the-divacup/

It's a one-time purchase and it pretty much will last you a lifetime.

I promise it isn't uncomfortable at ALL if you are using it right.

It will save you tons of space on the trip, and for times when we are trekking or moving around a lot you won't have to worry about taking your used tampons with you.

It's also a much more ecologically friendly option than either tampons or pads. Have you ever stopped to think about how much waste just one woman creates in her life because of all the tampons and pads she's used? It's a bit astounding.

There are, of course other options for menstral cups as well, but I would recommend this one.

Thanks for your time and I hope you consider it!!
Can't wait to meet you all!

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Central America Semester, Fall 2012

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Hey Ladies! Girl Talk

Anonymous Student,Central America Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Hi! As we are all starting to get ready and pack for our journey, I would like to bring to your attention the subject of menstration! Yay! As you may have seen, the course reader reccommends that we bring with us as many tampons as we will be needing to last us the entire course. […]

Posted On

08/29/12

Author

Anonymous Student

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Hello All!

My name is Emma, and I wanted to start off by expressing how excited I am to embark on this amazing journey! I have grown up in Oregon, and I just finished my senior year at the Portland Waldorf School. After searching in vain for a college that called to me, I heard about Where There Be Dragons and was immediately hooked. I hope to learn about myself, the culture and people of the countries we visit, of course a lot of spanish, and perhaps something about what I want my future to look like. A few things about me: I love to sing, draw, read, dance, act, connect with friends, and learn new languages, (even if I don't do all of those things especially well!).

Looking foreward to sharing this adventure with every one of you!

Emma

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Central America Semester, Fall 2012

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Student Introduction

Emma Rain,Central America Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Hello All! My name is Emma, and I wanted to start off by expressing how excited I am to embark on this amazing journey! I have grown up in Oregon, and I just finished my senior year at the Portland Waldorf School. After searching in vain for a college that called to me, I heard […]

Posted On

08/27/12

Author

Emma Rain

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Hey Guys.

Thanks Ian and Alexandra for starting the student introductions! I'm Michael (never Mike) and I'm super pumped to be spending the next couple of months in central america. My two triplet sisters and I all decided to take a year before college to travel, they will be going for 9 months each to Tel Aviv (Israel) and Dakar (Senegal). My goal is to stay down in central america for 8-9 months straight as well. I'm really into music - I've studiedd classical piano since I was four but my heart is more in composition and jazz. I also attempt to sing as a singer-songwriter. I'm hoping to learn the marimba, the national instrument of Guatemala, while I'm abroad because I want to start transitioning to percussion. I also love theater (both acting and writing) and I comined these interest this summer creating original musicals with kids with a New York City non-profit. It would be awesome to continue this kind of thing in central america. I'm also very much a city kid, but I'm hoping to learn a lot about construction/agriculture/farming and, as cliche as it sounds, reconnect with nature. I also enjoy playing soccer (badly) and running.

See you all soon!

~Michael

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Central America Semester, Fall 2012

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Student Introduction

Michael Gellman,Central America Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Hey Guys. Thanks Ian and Alexandra for starting the student introductions! I’m Michael (never Mike) and I’m super pumped to be spending the next couple of months in central america. My two triplet sisters and I all decided to take a year before college to travel, they will be going for 9 months each to […]

Posted On

08/26/12

Author

Michael Gellman

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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-08-24 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

DearMiddle EastSemester Students,

Regarding Arrival inNew York

If you haven’t done so already, please submit your connecting flight itinerary.

My Dragons:my.wheretherebedragons.com/my.php/Fax: 303-413-0857 e-mail:info@wheretherebedragons.com. It is important that we know students’ airline, flight number, arrival date and arrival time. If unable to fax or e-mail a copy of the itinerary, please phone in this information.

Please review these instructions and ensure that they are packed along with you.For your convenience we have printed this same information on wallet-sized cards (that are included in your final mailer) and we recommend that you carry them with you.

IMPORTANT NOTE: No Dragons’ staff will be present inNew York.We consider you to be a mature group of semester students who have already shown a great deal of independence and maturity in our communication. We trust you to be able to travel safely fromNew Yorkto greet your instructors, who will be awaiting your touchdown in country.For your travel day please be sure to wear your Dragons t-shirt to easily identify each other.

Dragons staff has been in communication with one student from your group to assign special student leadership tasks.Please respect your student leaderas this role will rotate through the course of the program and every student will have opportunities to take on group leadership.

Students Flying toNew Yorkon September 6th (day of departure):
Upon landing inNew York, proceed to baggage claim and gather your bags. Go directly to the international check-in counter of Royal Jordanian (Terminal 4). You will meet your group there.


Students Driving toNew Yorkon September 6th
(day of departure):
Please meet your group at the Royal Jordanian international check-in counter (Terminal 4) by 5:00pm

·If there are any problems on the day of travel- delays, missed flights, etc., pleasecallour office 800-982-9203.Dragons admin will be on-call and will help with any complications.If you get our voicemail, please leave a message on ext. 30

·Wear your Dragons shirtfor easy identification!Dragons staff can also be identified by their Dragons t-shirts.

Regarding Arriving in Country:

JORDAN:The only thing you will need for yourJordanvisa is your passport – DO NOT SEND YOURPASSPORT TO US.Please also bring about $100 for yourJordanvisa (you will need to pay$50 when you arrive inJordanand then another $50 for your second entry intoJordan).

EGYPT:A Sinai travel permit will be issued upon entry toU.S.citizens

ISRAEL:You will need to pay $40 exit tax when leavingIsrael.

Regarding Communication with Students:

Throughout the course of the program, each group will continue to post notes on their “Yak Yak” bulletin board located on our website. Often communication can be tough because of travel days, time trekking, and the fickle nature of the developing world’s tele-communication infrastructure.Instructors and Boulder Administration will work to post yaks as often as possible.To read group updates, click the “Yak Yak” icon on our web page:

/yakyak.php

During different parts of their course, Dragons students at times will have fairly regular access to telephones and to e-mail. Per the notes in yourCourse Preparation ManualandParent Support Kit, we remind students that Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail accounts can be among the most easily accessed accounts while traveling overseas.

Parents:Please read theParent Support Kitsent to you with earlier material as it has many more detailed notes on the nature of communication while your student is traveling abroad, your role and relationship to Dragons, and an overview of your child’s experience as well as advice from past parents and answers to parents’ mostpopular questions.

Regarding Itinerary:

A basic part of Dragons pedagogy is to maintain flexible and dynamic itineraries so that students and instructors can take advantage of special opportunities that come along, and when necessary, respond to varying levels of group fitness and health.Program itineraries, though fairly well mapped out, will changethroughout the course of the program.Course instructors communicate changes in the itinerary with our office.Instructors on all programs will contact us if there is an emergency, which the office admin will, in turn, promptly report to you.

Regarding Parent Vacation Details:

If parents intend to travelduring the program, please email or fax us a copy of the itinerarywith phone numbers for emergency contact. Our fax # is 303-413-0857. Please also note that if you are overseas you will not be able to use our #800. From overseas call 001-303-413-0822.

Regarding Emergency Response Protocol:

Over the course of the program, Dragons Administrative staff will be on-call 24/7 to respond to emergencies or evacuation needs and will be available to respond to any parent’s emergency need to communicate with a student. Field staff will be able to contact Dragons US staff at all hours. Parents needing any emergency assistance are asked to contact our office. If no one is available when parents call our office, please leave a message at extension 30, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

To Call Dragons Office: 303-413-0822 / 800-982-9203 x 30

To E-mail Dragons Office:info@wheretherebedragons.com

Regarding Packing:

· BRING YOUR PASSPORT WITH YOU & All THE VISA REQUIREMENTS!

· Please pack your Lonely Planet guide book, Phrase Book and Program Reader (unless otherwise directed by your instructors).

·As listed in the equipment list, we generally recommend students $50-$75 of spending money a week.Travelers’ checks are not recommended. For more details on the specifics of your program packing list, please refer to yourCourse Preparation Manual.

·Be sure to visit your Yak Yak board where instructors have posted introduction letters and will use this message board to post additional advice regarding clothing and equipment.

·All students are reminded to bring some photos from home to share with home-stay families and friends they make along the way.

Regarding Dragons Red Rules and the use of Alcohol and Drugs:

The use of alcohol and drugs is strictly prohibited on all Dragons programs. Dragons’ insurance policies, including our evacuation and medical coverage, will not honor claims if drugs and/or alcohol are involved. We cannot accept risks presented by students’ consumption of drugs and/or alcohol.Taking part in these activities are grounds for dismissal from the program if drugs and/or alcohol are consumed at any time during the program, from arrival to JKF through the return to JFK at the end of the program.If a student is asked to return home under these circumstances, the student and his/her family will absorb all costs of early departurewhich will likely include a new plane ticket and all costs incurred by the instructor team in safely returning the student home.

Parents: Thank you for the support you've given your child in making this opportunity available.

Students: Thank you for stepping out and joining us; we’re so excited to meet you in person!

Best Wishes,

DragonsBoulderAdmin



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Central America Semester, Fall 2012

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Final Airport Arrival Information

Dragons Administration,Central America Semester, Fall 2012

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DearMiddle EastSemester Students, Regarding Arrival inNew York If you haven’t done so already, please submit your connecting flight itinerary. My Dragons:my.wheretherebedragons.com/my.php/Fax: 303-413-0857 e-mail:info@wheretherebedragons.com. It is important that we know students’ airline, flight number, arrival date and arrival time. If unable to fax or e-mail a copy of the itinerary, please phone in this information. Please […]

Posted On

08/24/12

Author

Dragons Administration

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