Photo of the Week
Photo Title


WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39294
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-12-11 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Most Americans can probably say that at some point or another in their usually busy lives they have wanted to be alone--if for nothing more than just the taste of peace and quiet. Between the hustle and bustle of American cities and the percieved notion that in America the only difference between being labed productive or lazy, is doing something or doing nothing, Americans are usually in perpetual need of a little R&R. We as a society generally view alone time not only as luxury but as a necessity, a critical tool in the development of the individual. However, that individual has never been me. In the 18 years before I left home I can not, even once, recall having the desire to be left alone. Indeed being left alone was more a trial of boredom and preoccupation than anything else. I do not mean to suggest that I had a deep fear of loneliness brought on by some traumatic childhood experience, but rather I was just really really bad at entertaining myself. In short I was a people person, entertained by other people, comforted by other people, distracted by other people. As a person alone in this world I didn't function very well, but as a person with relationships and outlets I thrived.

To be honest, it didn't really occur to me before coming to Jordan that there was anything wrong with this, or maybe not wrong per say, but lacking. I didn't realize that by constantly relying on others and avoiding processing events internally, I had left my sense of self underdeveloped. Not only that but I had limited my independence, by not becoming self reliant. So when, in Jordan, self reliance was suddenly a necessary skill that I so clearly lacked I was, as you might say, shit out of luck--except for one fact: I had decided to travel to Jordan with none other than the fabulous company called Where There Be Dragons who just so happened to specialize in the department of personal development. And this I guess is the story of my personal development. From standing in horror at large plates of lamb eaten with your fingers to hours spent reflecting atop a sand dune, this is how I learned how to be alone.
My story starts in sickness, as sickness tends to be an experience that tests people’s resilience, especially when your mom isn’t there to sit unwavering by your side until you are nursed back to health. So when I found myself in the rural village of Diseh, tossing and turning in bed from a bad stomach ache next my three host sisters and puking into a squat toilet, you can imagine my discontent. On a side note, I must give credit to my host mom, who, being one of the most loving and caring people I have ever met, was on the phone with my teacher all the next day saying “Doctor! Doctor!,” (he has a PHD…not an MD just to be clear) “What to do?! She will not eat!!”. But even her love is only so comforting when she tells me that I’m sick because I went outside with wet hair in 90 degree weather. But back to the point, laying there in sick in bed I felt unusually vulnerable. Basic care I was able to provide myself, like getting up to go to the bathroom or kicking my blanket off my feverish body. But beyond the basics, I was pretty much helpless. And so I laid there unable to take care of myself whimpering my instructors names into the darkness to no avail. Eventually though, like most digestive illness in this region of the world, my stomach ache came to pass without the help of modern medicine. I would be lying if I said that upon my waking I had an epiphany and realized that indeed I had reached the pinnacle of independence. In truth, the most I made of the situation until much much later was that I had survived. I had survived without my mom and without my instructors rushing to my side and dabbing my forehead with a warm towel. Indeed I had survived without much human contact at all minus the pleading of my host mom to eat something. It was only later that I realized survival is the first essential step towards independence. I had, by no choice of my own, learned the first lesson, and in many ways one of the hardest, of how to be alone--how to be alone in sickness and how to remind myself that even in the most trying of situations my body and my spirit can prevail owing to no one but myself.
Still, no one can really learn how to be alone by being forced to be alone. Being alone requires a resilience and confidence that can only the individual can will.I learned this the hard way. I was sitting on my host mom's couch in Aqaba after returning from a weekend away with the group in Amman. With a cup of sweet tea in one hand and an argeelah pipe in the other she scrutinized me with her eyes. "you got fat" she concludes. So yeah, let's take a step back from this for a moment because there are two things you should know first: one, I'm not fat--I'm 5'9 and weigh 130 pounds (I weighed 125 before I left and I attribute the five extra to my host mom frying all of my meals in fatty oils!)--and two, appearance/weight is not a taboo subject in arab culture so she was not trying to offend she was simply stating an opinion. This fact put me in a tricky position because it meant she really did think I "got fat", which meant her opinion was based on some sort of observation, which, in turn, meant I couldn't get it out of my head. And after a while of replaying the comment in my head again and again, I really felt fat. Up until that point in my life I had never had body image issues. I had literally never been so disgusted with my body as I stared in horror at my stomach, butt, thighs, hips...you name it. Everything to me seemed to have swelled to the point that I was a giant fat balloon. Of course that wasn't the reality, but the important point is thats how it felt. And it was that feeling that drove to the gym the next day and made me power through an hour on the step-up machine. As I pushed through the burn in my thighs, a sense of satisfaction grew on me. The burn could only mean one thing: little by little the fat was disappearing and soon I could recover my body. The realization that I was in control of my body, and that I had all the tools necessary to make my body feel and look the way I wanted made me feel confident. Suddenly, I was in control of the way I felt. It didn't matter what she thought because either she was right, and I could do something about it, or she was wrong, and it didn't matter in the first place. Either way, I was in control. This made me think: perhaps most of our self esteem issues originate from the belief that other people determine our view of ourselves and in turn our self worth. If, in order to feel good about ourselves, we need constant validation from others that we are indeed behaving or appearing good, than our control over our own lives is very little. If we are to truly learn self confidence than we need to have definitive control over our own self worth. Now this feeling is, in my experience, particularly difficult to come by. But in confronting my fear and shock over my host mothers obtrusively blunt statement I got a taste of what that control feels like. And as it turns out this feeling of control is a vital ingredient in learning how to be alone, because when alone there is no one there to tell you that you're fat or skinny, mean or nice, obnoxious or charming. There is only you. Only you to remind yourself of your achievements and your shortcomings. And in this weird outtake of my life, I began the process of learning how to acknowledge my achievements, while accept my shortcomings--something I've always struggled with--and in turn continued the process of learning how to be alone.
I took mynext step in this process during my stay in Aqaba. However, before I go into detail, you should know some things about my host family. First and foremost being, the family is huge. I mean really huge. There are 42 first cousins in my generation alone. I met 5 generations of this family who are still alive and attending family gatherings. In my immediate family, I had six home stay siblings ages 5-15. We all shared one bedroom, although most people in my family rarely slept. Anyway, all of these factors made for very little personal space or really time for being alone. But then again I had never been a person who needed personal space, so what good was the opportunity for personal space to me anyway? Well, it turns out a great deal of good. Never before in my life had I felt so overwhelmed. I was constantly around masses of people, constantly being asked questions I didn't understand in Arabic, and constantly being made fun of for misunderstanding. I felt as if I was in a way being over exposed; I had so little time or space to process and reflect on the difference in thought, behavior, and culture around me, that I began to go stir crazy. All my senses were in a traffic jam of sorts, too clogged up with so many different inputs to absorb any new experiences or information. To fix that, what I needed at that very moment, what I so desperately longed for was to be alone. And so one morning, I left the house and walked away. I kept walking by myself until I found a park in which to sit. I remember counting my breaths as a sense of long awaited calm settled inside me. After admiring the row of blossoming trees along the edge of the park, I left my seat and walked again along the street until I came to a falafel shop. I purchased a falafel sandwich, sat down at a table outside, opened my book, and at the falafel sandwich in peace. I was alone but not lonely, I realized, as I walked home many hours after I had left the house that morning. I think for many years I didn't understand the distinction. For me at least, to feel alone is to be without companions, but with the desire to be so. To feel lonely is to be without companions, but with the desire for companionship. For the first time in my life I felt alone but not lonely. Personal time was no longer attached to the feeling of loneliness, longing, but to the desire to gain a greater sense of self while exciting in a collective. For the first time in my life, Iwantedto be alone. And that I believe was the magic key. In order to learn how to be alone, I needed to want to be alone. I needed to need to be alone. And with that need, with that desire, I was able to feel a sense of self reliance. I felt as if the world could do its best to overwhelm me, but ultimately I could trust myself to process and move forward. I found this sentiment liberating. I no longer needed to rely on others to help me sift through my ideas and experiences. All I needed was some time, a little space, and the knowledge of how to be alone.
If you ever need a place to be alone I highly recommend a sand dune, preferably in the wadi rum desert if available. A sand dune provides a comfortable cushion upon which to ponder and an exception vantage point from which to view the sunset. A sand dune is where I like to do a lot of my thinking these days as I moved from desert to desert to desert. Right now the desert which I currently call home is the Negev in the south of Israel. While I miss the Wadi Rum in many ways the Negev offers me an abundance of new opportunities for self reflection and growth. I hope that with my new found independence and sense of self, I will be able to take advantage of those opportunities. I would like to end, as my tribe ended so many of our long days, with my gratitude to everyone who made my journey in Jordan both possible and spectacular. You all will forever remain in my heart and wherever I go in this life I will take you with me. Although I have learned how to be alone, that doesn't mean I have forgotten the value in relationships and the meaning of tribe and family. That, I will always remember.
[post_title] => How to be alone [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => how-to-be-alone [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-08 16:17:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-08 23:17:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39294 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 36 [name] => Best Notes From The Field [slug] => best-notes-from-the-field [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 36 [taxonomy] => category [description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course. [parent] => 0 [count] => 504 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0 [cat_ID] => 36 [category_count] => 504 [category_description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course. [cat_name] => Best Notes From The Field [category_nicename] => best-notes-from-the-field [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/best-notes-from-the-field/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 281 [name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 281 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 64 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 281 [category_count] => 64 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/middle-east-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Best Notes From The Field, Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 )

Best Notes From The Field, Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

View post

How to be alone

Elianna Boswell,Best Notes From The Field, Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Most Americans can probably say that at some point or another in their usually busy lives they have wanted to be alone–if for nothing more than just the taste of peace and quiet. Between the hustle and bustle of American cities and the percieved notion that in America the only difference between being labed productive […]

Posted On

12/11/12

Author

Elianna Boswell

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 129529
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-12-07 00:00:43
    [post_date_gmt] => 2012-12-07 00:00:43
    [post_content] => 
To families and friends,

Some students have boarded a plane homeward bound, while other students have stayed on to further explore the Middle East following their Dragons semester.

We feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel with, mentor and learn from these students. Our three months here have exposed all of us for who we really are, and we were able to grow incredibly close as a group as a result.

Our students have expressed the gratitude they feel for their support back at home and for their experiences. Here are some of the things students have said:

I am grateful for the freedom to make my own choices, and for the ability to travel.

I am grateful to the teachers who have inspired me to come here.

I am thankful for my family and friends for the support and love they've shown me and the opportunities they've given me to get to place I am now.

I am thankful for the privilege of traveling here and having the opportunity to see/experience this part of the world.

I am thankful for my amazing high school and for the lessons it has imparted on me.

I am grateful for the support my parents have given me, and for telling me to see it through even when things got tough.

I am grateful for the opportunity to live in Jordan!

I am grateful to all the people here who welcomed me into their lives with the utmosthospitalityand care. I am grateful for my friends and family who have provided me with unconditional love and support over the past 18 years.


It is important to remember that three months in such a different environment can result in profound changes. Some might be immediately welcome; others puzzling. Then there are the changes students can't quite see until they return home. Please understand that students are not the same as when they left. While is easy to think of one's home environment as a comfort zone, students find that they step off the plane and back into a learning zone, making sense of the changes and who they now are.

Here are some thoughts that students have shared about their evolution on this course:

I feel much more appreciative of what I have at home.

I feel a much stronger desire to be closer with my family.

I have a new-found independence and self-reliance.

More than ever I feel prepared to traverse through the world and through my life by myself, without relying on others to define my worldview and my goals.

I have really become more self-aware throughout this course.

I have learned to address my needs while supporting others.

I have become more aware of my place in both my immediate and my extended community.


Thank you, friends and family, for all of your support for our students and for our program.


With love,

The Middle East Semester I-Team

[post_title] => A note for families and friends [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => a-note-for-families-and-friends [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-08 16:17:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-08 23:17:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://dragons.site.moxiesozo.net/blog/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 36 [name] => Best Notes From The Field [slug] => best-notes-from-the-field [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 36 [taxonomy] => category [description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course. [parent] => 0 [count] => 504 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0 [cat_ID] => 36 [category_count] => 504 [category_description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course. [cat_name] => Best Notes From The Field [category_nicename] => best-notes-from-the-field [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/best-notes-from-the-field/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 281 [name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 281 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 64 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 281 [category_count] => 64 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/middle-east-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Best Notes From The Field, Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 )

Best Notes From The Field, Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

View post

A note for families and friends

admin,Best Notes From The Field, Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

Description

To families and friends, Some students have boarded a plane homeward bound, while other students have stayed on to further explore the Middle East following their Dragons semester. We feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel with, mentor and learn from these students. Our three months here have exposed all of us […]

Posted On

12/7/12

Author

admin

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 16392
    [post_author] => 30
    [post_date] => 2012-12-07 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2012-12-07 07:00:00
    [post_content] => 
To families and friends,
Some students have boarded a plane homeward bound, while other students have stayed on to further explore the Middle East following their Dragons semester. 
We feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel with, mentor and learn from these students. Our three months here have exposed all of us for who we really are, and we were able to grow incredibly close as a group as a result. 
Our students have expressed the gratitude they feel for their support back at home and for their experiences. Here are some of the things students have said:
I am grateful for the freedom to make my own choices, and for the ability to travel.

I am grateful to the teachers who have inspired me to come here. 

I am thankful for my family and friends for the support and love they've shown me and the opportunities they've given me to get to place I am now. 

I am thankful for the privilege of traveling here and having the opportunity to see/experience this part of the world. 

I am thankful for my amazing high school and for the lessons it has imparted on me. 

I am grateful for the support my parents have given me, and for telling me to see it through even when things got tough. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to live in Jordan!
I am grateful to all the people here who welcomed me into their lives with the utmost hospitality and care. I am grateful for my friends and family who have provided me with unconditional love and support over the past 18 years. 
It is important to remember that three months in such a different environment can result in profound changes. Some might be immediately welcome; others puzzling. Then there are the changes students can't quite see until they return home. Please understand that students are not the same as when they left. While is easy to think of one's home environment as a comfort zone, students find that they step off the plane and back into a learning zone, making sense of the changes and who they now are. 
Here are some thoughts that students have shared about their evolution on this course:
I feel much more appreciative of what I have at home.

I feel a much stronger desire to be closer with my family. 

I have a new-found independence and self-reliance. 

More than ever I feel prepared to traverse through the world and through my life by myself, without relying on others to define my worldview and my goals. 

I have really become more self-aware throughout this course. 

I have learned to address my needs while supporting others. 

I have become more aware of my place in both my immediate and my extended community.


Thank you, friends and family, for all of your support for our students and for our program. 
With love, 
The Middle East Semester I-Team
[post_title] => A note for families and friends [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => a-note-for-families-and-friends-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-08 16:17:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-08 23:17:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://my.wheretherebedragons.com/wp/?p=16392 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 36 [name] => Best Notes From The Field [slug] => best-notes-from-the-field [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 36 [taxonomy] => category [description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course. [parent] => 0 [count] => 504 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0 [cat_ID] => 36 [category_count] => 504 [category_description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course. [cat_name] => Best Notes From The Field [category_nicename] => best-notes-from-the-field [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/best-notes-from-the-field/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 281 [name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 281 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 64 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 281 [category_count] => 64 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/middle-east-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Best Notes From The Field, Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 )

Best Notes From The Field, Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

View post

A note for families and friends

I-team,Best Notes From The Field, Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

Description

To families and friends, Some students have boarded a plane homeward bound, while other students have stayed on to further explore the Middle East following their Dragons semester.  We feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel with, mentor and learn from these students. Our three months here have exposed all of us […]

Posted On

12/7/12

Author

I-team

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39307
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-12-07 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 
This is a journal entry that I wrote two weeks ago about the political situations in surrounding countries.
------

Living in Jordan for the past two months has been both a blessing and a curse. I'm beginning to learn a very real lesson about what life in the Middle East is actually like - unfortunately, at a very real cost. For years, teachers and adults have told me that this region is full of instability and lawlessness, but living in places like Aqaba and Disi (or visiting cities like Karak and Maan) - I can't imagine a more peaceful place. Random strangers invite us into their homes for tea and offer to show us around their beautiful country. But in less than a day, violent riots broke out across the country and Israel began its military campaign in Gaza. Now let me explicitly state, I FEEL PERFECTLY SAFE, but these recent turn of events have left me puzzled, paralyzed, and intrigued.

Earlier this week - as if simultaneously - Israel began its raids in Gaza and Jordanians began protesting for political reform. Small skirmishes broke out in cities we had visited weeks ago and suddenly our travel was restricted within Aqaba. Coupled with the Syrian civil war and the ongoing situation in Iraq, I feel an increasing sense of claustrophobia. Jordan, a traditionally stable country, has often been described as "between Iraq and a hard place" - living here now I'm beginning to grasp the gravity of these words. Reading and watching the news, I feel as though chaos has enveloped the surrounding regions.To the north: the Syrian conflict spills into Lebanon and Turkey. To the east: the ongoing situation in Iraq. And in Jordan itself: violent protests demanding political reform. Our exit strategy (Israel) has recently been declared unsafe for travel.

Regardless, my experience here has allowed me to gain insight into the region in ways I could not have foreseen. Though I do not worry for my personal safety, I do worry what the future will hold. In my hyper conscious state, I feel as though the surrounding countries are teetering on the edge of disarray.I may have studied political and military conflicts throughout my high school career, but living in a country surrounded by them is so much more real.

These recent events have really allowed me to glimpse the actuality - and fragility - of the region. Right now we are living day to day, staying updated as news comes out of the current situations in Aqaba and other Jordanian cities. Though frustrating and disappointing, the reality of the situation remains: we are living in a region that is very muchalive and, because of this, I have never been so fascinated in my life.

[post_title] => Regional Conflict [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => regional-conflict [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-12-07 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39307 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 281 [name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 281 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 64 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 281 [category_count] => 64 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/middle-east-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 )

Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

View post

Regional Conflict

Christopher Yih,Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

Description

This is a journal entry that I wrote two weeks ago about the political situations in surrounding countries. —— Living in Jordan for the past two months has been both a blessing and a curse. I’m beginning to learn a very real lesson about what life in the Middle East is actually like – unfortunately, […]

Posted On

12/7/12

Author

Christopher Yih

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39322
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-12-05 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

I cannot explain how much i have grown from this course. I have a much clearer sense of what I want. In the begining I thought what I missed most was the U.S lifestyle but now i realize that it's my family and friends that I miss. I have realized how important family is. And I also know what I will miss the most about Jordan, it's not the exotic food or lifestyle, it's the people I have to say goodbye to.

I'm starting a new chapter in my life and I hope that I bring with me the lesson, of how important the people in my life are to me, back home with me.

[post_title] => The End [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-end [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-12-05 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39322 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 281 [name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 281 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 64 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 281 [category_count] => 64 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/middle-east-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 )

Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

View post

The End

Megan Cort,Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

Description

I cannot explain how much i have grown from this course. I have a much clearer sense of what I want. In the begining I thought what I missed most was the U.S lifestyle but now i realize that it’s my family and friends that I miss. I have realized how important family is. And […]

Posted On

12/5/12

Author

Megan Cort

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39357
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-12-01 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Dear Parents and Friends,

Today marks the end of our student-led expedition phase, during which time students took complete ownership over their course. Taking on leadership roles, students mapped out several itinerary options, procured transportation, made arrangements for accommodation, and researched sites. Students were solely responsible for holding meetings, continuing the framework of a Dragons course, self-teaching lessons including Arabic language, and working within the confines of a travelers’ budget.

Given the strong emphasis on safety on our course, our Middle East Semester students had the additional responsibility of researching risk management assessments for each location before a visit. Students got the opportunity to learn how to create meaningful safety briefings to present to the I-team and the office and learned to think for themselves about safety precautions while travelling throughout the region.

The students crafted an itinerary that involved some students visiting biblical sites such as Lot’s Cave and Bethany Beyond the Jordan, Jesus’ baptism site. As a group we rejoined the Wadi Rum desert where we celebrated Thanksgiving with a bountiful feast. Bursting with gratitude and tasty turkey, students led instructors, who were actively “leading from behind”, to Kerak and then to Madaba. From Madaba some students visited the Hammamat Ma’in hot springs. The next day was a packed travel day which took us to Pella, a site of Roman Ruins; Ajloun castle, a beautiful fortress with mountaintop views; and Jerash, a Roman city in the Decapolis with sprawling wide streets and two amphitheatres. From Jerash we came to Amman, where students set up guest speakers from Darat al Fanun, a special contemporary Jordanian art gallery; a Jordanian healer; and a representative from a local charity NGO supporting poor families. Students took a morning trip to Salt to explore the city’s museum and enjoyed the famous 5-course Friday brunch at Books@Cafe on Rainbow Street.

We applaud our students for their thoughtful itinerary and for staying flexible throughout, thinking on their feet every morning as new information streamed in. Students have learned skills that empower them as independent travellers, and these skills will be useful when travelling anywhere in the world.

Next we will head back one final time to the mystical Wadi Rum desert (where our journey began) to kick off the final phase of a Dragons trip which we call transference. This is a time when we slow down and review our journey. Students will reflect on their experiences and evaluate their performance on the course. Students will learn how to reintegrate their multifaceted experiences into their lives back home, and lastly will recognize the support from their home community and in Jordan that made their trip possible.

We will send you a yak with their lessons they’ve learned. We look forward to hearing them!

Best from Amman,

Middle East Team

[post_title] => Ode to Expedition Phase [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => ode-to-expedition-phase [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-12-01 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39357 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 281 [name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 281 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 64 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 281 [category_count] => 64 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/middle-east-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 )

Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

View post

Ode to Expedition Phase

I-team,Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Dear Parents and Friends, Today marks the end of our student-led expedition phase, during which time students took complete ownership over their course. Taking on leadership roles, students mapped out several itinerary options, procured transportation, made arrangements for accommodation, and researched sites. Students were solely responsible for holding meetings, continuing the framework of a Dragons […]

Posted On

12/1/12

Author

I-team

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39365
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-11-29 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

(stri)-ct beliefs (Kkke...!)

D

O

W

N

2 PEople-s meeting heA(rt)d to hea(rt)d (and) PEA

both pppuuushhh

CarEfully towards CE

[post_title] => Strike! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => strike [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-11-29 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39365 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 281 [name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 281 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 64 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 281 [category_count] => 64 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/middle-east-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 )

Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

View post

Strike!

Elianna Boswell,Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

Description

(stri)-ct beliefs (Kkke…!) D O W N 2 PEople-s meeting heA(rt)d to hea(rt)d (and) PEA both pppuuushhh CarEfully towards CE

Posted On

11/29/12

Author

Elianna Boswell

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39384
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-11-28 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

A wise arab proverb said, "قليلا وقليلا، جمعت معا، ويصبح على قدر كبير؛ كومة في الحظيرة تتكون من الحبوب واحد، وإسقاط وشرطة عمان السلطانية يجعل غمر." Which translates to, "A little and a little, collected together, becomes a great deal; the heap in the barn consists of single grains, and drop and drop makes an inundation."This is an important lesson I learned that applies to our everyday lives especially in a group. I guess you can say lately we have been in our "storming phase." And this is due to mainly many different small issues building up, until it all explodes. So instead of letting things build up, I, as well as the ancient arab proverb, recomend that you tackle the small things before they accumulate and become to big.

[post_title] => Arab Proverb #1 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => arab-proverb-1 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-11-28 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39384 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 281 [name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 281 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 64 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 281 [category_count] => 64 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/middle-east-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 )

Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

View post

Arab Proverb #1

Jocelyn Donahue,Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

Description

A wise arab proverb said, "قليلا وقليلا، جمعت معا، ويصبح على قدر كبير؛ كومة في الحظيرة تتكون من الحبوب واحد، وإسقاط وشرطة عمان السلطانية يجعل غمر." Which translates to, "A little and a little, collected together, becomes a great deal; the heap in the barn consists of single grains, and drop and drop makes an […]

Posted On

11/28/12

Author

Jocelyn Donahue

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39412
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-11-26 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

resending the link to our student video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JEm7-KfJF0

[post_title] => Sending Love from Jordan, Redux [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => sending-love-from-jordan-redux [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-11-26 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39412 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 281 [name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 281 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 64 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 281 [category_count] => 64 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/middle-east-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012 )

Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

View post

Sending Love from Jordan, Redux

Instructor Team,Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

Description

resending the link to our student video!

Posted On

11/26/12

Author

Instructor Team

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39439
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-11-22 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 
    [post_title] => Happy Thanksgiving!
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => happy-thanksgiving
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2012-11-22 00:00:00
    [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39439
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 281
                    [name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012
                    [slug] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 281
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 243
                    [count] => 64
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 14.1
                    [cat_ID] => 281
                    [category_count] => 64
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012
                    [category_nicename] => middle-east-semester-fall-2012
                    [category_parent] => 243
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/middle-east-semester-fall-2012/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Middle East Semester, Fall 2012
)

Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

View post

Happy Thanksgiving!

Middle East Instructors and Students,Middle East Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Posted On

11/22/12

Author

Middle East Instructors and Students

1 2 3 7