Photo of the Week
Photo Title


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It's hard to believe today is December 8th and our time together is behind us. We have shared vulnerably, experienced deeply, and lived fully these past three months. It will be difficult to communicate all that has transpired for each of us, but this past week we have envisioned transferring our experience to our lives back home. Here is a sound bite of each student's voice answering what they want their family and friends to know about them when they return.

Chase: I've learned so much about myself and I can't wait to experience my new view on life with you guys.

Charlotte Platt: I've learned that lactose and my body don't mix well together. No but really I feel stronger than ever. I've taken the driver seat in my life.

Joe: I've learned more about myself in 3 months than in 18 years.

Paul: I'm so content with my life and looking forward to what lies ahead. I've learned that dumplings and fruit shakes are the best soul food.

Addison: I want everyone to know that this trip blew my mind wide open, and I don't know if I'll ever be the same.

Chris: Observing foreign cultures, familiarizing myself with new souls and absorbing all that I could, I've become aware. I've learned that there are so many lifestyles out there that I can't only soak in one. Also, Platt can't handle dairy.

Kiri: Although I am excited to be coming back, I am really going to miss all the places I have called home in this part of the world. I have learned how small the world can be and learned that people can always surprise you. I will also be learning lessons from this trip for the rest of my years.

Emary: I want my family and friends to know that for the past three months I have not had the best hygiene and I definitely added a few pounds, but that's all okay cause I had a grand ol' time! Also I've become a master squatter. ps I haven't really thought about college still..sorry.

Emilie: I took an entire year off of school to grow up and discover who I really am and who I want to be. With the help of an amazing group of people, I have done all the above in 3 short months. I have discovered a strength inside me that I had all along and that has and will help me to stand strong against my fears and give me the endurance to finish what I start, as is evidenced by my completion of this course. I have made amazing friends and seen amazing places. I have been pushed out of my comfort zone and faced difficult treks. I have had smiles that span the length of my face and had tears roll down my cheeks, but I guess that's life, and the best you can hope for is that the times you smiles greatly outnumber the times you don't. This trip has taught me that that's okay. But these are only the changes I have already seen. I can't wait to see how I've grown. New York City here I come.

Charlotte Jamar: I'm happier and more confident and more. I've learned how to travel effectively and adventurously. I've satisfied my character.

Emmie:  I want my family and friends to know how much I've grown into myself these past three months. This experience was filled with ups and downs, a tremendous amount of love, and I can't remember a day where I wasn't surprised by something, questioning and exploring. To me that's the best way to learn and live. These 3 months have been such a gift. Family- thanks for letting me follow my intuition and go on this adventure. I missed you so much these past three months. I'm so excited to show you all the pictures.
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Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

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For our family and friends

Team Mekong,Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

Description

It’s hard to believe today is December 8th and our time together is behind us. We have shared vulnerably, experienced deeply, and lived fully these past three months. It will be difficult to communicate all that has transpired for each of us, but this past week we have envisioned transferring our experience to our lives […]

Posted On

12/8/13

Author

Team Mekong

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    [post_date] => 2013-12-03 17:05:34
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    [post_content] => Dear Mekong Semester Students & Families,

It is hard to believe that 3 months have passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long and students will be boarding their planes back home. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!

Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for eagerly awaiting families:

December 8th, 2013
China Southern Airlines #6060
Depart: Phnom Penh (PNH) 2:30pm
Arrive: Guangzhou (CAN) 5:55pm

December 8th, 2013
China Southern Airlines #327
Depart: Guangzhou (CAN) 9:30pm
Arrive: Los Angeles (LAX) 6:00pm

We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day. Starting on Friday, 12/6, should you need any assistance after regular office hours, please call our “on-call” number at 760-709-0848.

We wish all students a great trip home!

Sincerely,

Boulder Admin
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Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

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Return Group Flight Information

Dragons Admin,Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

Description

Dear Mekong Semester Students & Families, It is hard to believe that 3 months have passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long and students will be boarding their planes back home. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival! Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for […]

Posted On

12/3/13

Author

Dragons Admin

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Attached Documents

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Photos from Big Top Bash

Emilie Welles (writing) and Emmie Hoffman (photos),Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

Description

Attached Documents Click the link to download http://wheretherebedragons.com/wp-content/uploads/formidable/DSC04543-100×100.jpg

Posted On

11/27/13

Author

Emilie Welles (writing) and Emmie Hoffman (photos)

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With less than 2 weeks left in our adventure, we thought we had seen it all. We are all feeling tired and a few days ago the I-team decided that we needed a mood booster, and boy did they give us one.

Handstands 20 feet in the air, crazy flips, balancing on a stack of five round tubes, contortionists, and men dancing in diapers, the Phare Ponleu Selpak Circus has it all. We spent two of our three nights in Battambang, Cambodia, in the small audience for two different circus performances. I am not sure what we were expecting when we first arrived, but I certainly wasn’t expecting anything as funny or entertaining as what we saw. Who knew that a small circus could leave its audience with a sense of community as well as a sharp pain in your side from laughing too hard?

The circus features local boys and girls who study at the Phare Ponleu Selpak Circus School, founded in 1998. The school opened in Anch Chanh village which, at the time, was known for its large population of street children. It has become a school that gives children a safe and caring environment to overcome social and emotional issues. The circus gives these children a chance to display their talents in Battambang, the capitol city of Phnom Penh, and tour across the continents of Asia, Australia, Europe, and Africa.

Many of the performers were teenagers with incredible balance and flexibility. Based on a story line anyone can follow without speaking Khmer, the students completed crazy acrobatic routines that involved throwing and catching younger students, one-handed handstands on top of a tall pole, and forming human pyramids, all without a safety net. Because of that, being an audience member was no less adrenaline inducing. The circus was still in rehearsal phase so mistakes happened and people were dropped. But watching them pick each other up off the ground and giving them the courage and help to try again, made us feel closer as a group. That, and the fact we were huddled together in fear that someone was going to get hurt.

It was so great, we went back for a second show!

 

 
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Big Top Bash

Emilie Welles (writing) and Emmie Hoffman (photos),Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

Description

Big Top Bash: With less than 2 weeks left in our adventure, we thought we had seen it all. We are all feeling tired and a few days ago the I-team decided that we needed a mood booster, and boy did they give us one. Handstands 20 feet in the air, crazy flips, balancing on […]

Posted On

11/27/13

Author

Emilie Welles (writing) and Emmie Hoffman (photos)

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Angkor Wat

Kiri, Charlotte Jamar, and Chase,Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

Description

Posted On

11/27/13

Author

Kiri, Charlotte Jamar, and Chase

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    [post_content] => Happy birthday to Charlotte  and many kisses from grand parents
    [post_title] => Birthday
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Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

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Birthday

Charlotte jamar,Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

Description

Happy birthday to Charlotte  and many kisses from grand parents

Posted On

11/20/13

Author

Charlotte jamar

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    [post_date] => 2013-11-18 08:29:03
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    [post_content] => As I spend my last day of our last homestay reflecting I can not help but laugh. It seems to me that our three unique experiences were at once enlightening and wonderfully concrete. We have lived with families from three unique countries. Stepped into the shoes of the people living in three different cultures, and lived the simple lives of locals. We were as much observers as we were observed. We were reminded of the unconditional love of children and taught the generosity of those who have so little. We accepted gifts of wonderful ethnic clothing in bright colors and gave our own small gifts in return.

In many ways these experiences were impossible to predict. The worry of not being able to communicate, or having to use a terrifying squatter always preceded us but we found out soon enough that there was nothing to fear. Although it takes much more time and more effort to connect with someone with whom you do not share a language, it is easy to learn that making a fool of yourself a little and playing over-animated charades can bring anyone closer together. Many of us also met homestay family members who were interested in learning English and already spoke a small amount making our stays a little easier and giving us an opportunity to share our language.

With all of our previous practice this last homestay was the easiest to fit in to for many. We quickly learned eating habits and what time to wake up (for many of us a shockingly early 6 to 7am) and were a part of the family in no time. We were also given ample opportunity to teach English in the numerous private English schools in Prek Pdao. It will be sad to bring this enriching part of our trip to a close, sadder still that we have only three weeks left together. But we leave with fond memories and valuable lessons to take with us and live by in our lives to come.
    [post_title] => Program Assistant Update
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Mekong Fall 2013 Semester, Homestay

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Program Assistant Update

Kiri Maasen,Mekong Fall 2013 Semester, Homestay

Description

As I spend my last day of our last homestay reflecting I can not help but laugh. It seems to me that our three unique experiences were at once enlightening and wonderfully concrete. We have lived with families from three unique countries. Stepped into the shoes of the people living in three different cultures, and […]

Posted On

11/18/13

Author

Kiri Maasen

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2013-11-13 07:35:27
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    [post_content] => Hello All! Greetings from the banks of the Mama Kong in the village of Prek Pdao!

As we're sure you know, we've been here for nearly a week now participating in a group-wide solo homestay. Prek Pdao is the home community of our Cambodian colleague Mara Pho, and his friends and neighbors have been gracious hosts and willing Dragons collaborators for many years now. This particular student group has accepted the challenges that homestays pose with exceptional poise and readiness, and each of them are already flourishing as they experience life with their individual families. We're very proud of how they've approached all three homestay experiences: Lashihai, China, Ban Don Dohn, Laos, and now Prek Pdao, Cambodia. You should be too!

Now, for a few update thingies: 1) We have fortunately not been affected by Typhoon Haiyan AT ALL here in central Cambodia. Aside from a pretty big thunderstorm that woke us all up a couple nights back, it's been nothing but clear skies (and sweltering days) here where we are. We have been able to track the devastation in the Philippines a bit, and our hearts are going out those affected by the storm there as much as we're sure yours are.

2) We have a rough itinerary for the rest of our trip that we'd like to share, and it goes like this: Prek Pdao: Now through Nov. 18, Siem Reap: Nov. 19 through Nov. 22, Battambang: Nov. 23 and 24, Phnom Penh: Nov. 25 through Nov. 28, Kampot (or somewhere close to it in the south): Nov. 29 through Dec. 5, Phnom Penh: Dec. 6 through departure on Dec. 8!!!!

So there you have it! Time is picking up speed and our time together is rapidly drawing to a close. If our Yak board is silent for the next few days, it's only because we're all pretty immersed in the pace of life in our homestays and trying to squeeze every bit we can out of them!

We'll be in touch soon!

The Whole Mekong Crew
    [post_title] => An update from Prek Pdao.
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Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

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An update from Prek Pdao.

Instructor Team,Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

Description

Hello All! Greetings from the banks of the Mama Kong in the village of Prek Pdao! As we’re sure you know, we’ve been here for nearly a week now participating in a group-wide solo homestay. Prek Pdao is the home community of our Cambodian colleague Mara Pho, and his friends and neighbors have been gracious […]

Posted On

11/13/13

Author

Instructor Team

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2013-11-11 20:59:46
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    [post_content] => Dear Mekong friends and family,
We have been monitoring the devastating typhoon Haiyan over the past week as it has moved through the Philippines and on to mainland southeast Asia. Our Mekong semester has been significantly south of the typhoon (now tropical storm) path, and we are relieved to see it touch land far north of the group in their home-stays just north of Phnom Penh. We are continuing to monitor the storm's path and impact and will be sure to keep you updated as news comes in from the field. Kind regards,

Dragons Administration
    [post_title] => Tropical Storm Haiyan touches land north of our Mekong group
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Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

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Tropical Storm Haiyan touches land north of our Mekong group

Dragons' Administration,Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

Description

Dear Mekong friends and family, We have been monitoring the devastating typhoon Haiyan over the past week as it has moved through the Philippines and on to mainland southeast Asia. Our Mekong semester has been significantly south of the typhoon (now tropical storm) path, and we are relieved to see it touch land far north […]

Posted On

11/11/13

Author

Dragons' Administration

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    [post_date] => 2013-11-07 13:56:18
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    [post_content] => Rice harvest and swims

A cowbell lulls me to sleep

While I reminesce
    [post_title] => Homestay Haiku (a week late)
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Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

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Homestay Haiku (a week late)

Chris Stern,Mekong Fall 2013 Semester

Description

Rice harvest and swims A cowbell lulls me to sleep While I reminesce

Posted On

11/7/13

Author

Chris Stern

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