Photo of the Week
Himalaya C
Photo Title


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    [post_date] => 2014-12-06 22:11:58
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-07 05:11:58
    [post_content] => (Sung to the tune of "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros)

Namobuddha, Baruwa
I love my homestay Amma-Ba
But not the way I love all of you

Meditating or on trek
All the people we have met
We have had Him C to see it through

P – E – N – X every day
CIWEC doctors on their way
Man, I don’t have any needs!

Give me dahi, give me kheer
Dal bhat for a thousand years
There ain’t nothing please me more than food

And now home,
We’re going home
But home is whenever I’m with you (x2)

La la la la going home
But now I have one more home

Followed you round Helambu
Walked back into Kathmandu
My Patan family’s like my own

Yaks and cats outside my house
Red pandas and ashram cows
Baby goats, maybe a yeti too

Swarmi ji’s my new best friend
Karma yoga to the end
Give me sand to carry all day long!

Find no grace in Lumbini
Found it throughout Him C
Practice like a bodhisattva to be!

And now home,
We’re going home
But home is wherever I’m with you (x2)

La la la la going home
But now I have one more home

And now home,
We’re going home
Home is whenever I’m with you (x2)
    [post_title] => The Himalaya C song
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Himalaya C

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The Himalaya C song

Claire Bennett,Himalaya C

Description

(Sung to the tune of “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros) Namobuddha, Baruwa I love my homestay Amma-Ba But not the way I love all of you Meditating or on trek All the people we have met We have had Him C to see it through P – E – N – X […]

Posted On

12/6/14

Author

Claire Bennett

Category

Himalaya C

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    [post_date] => 2014-12-05 12:46:57
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-05 19:46:57
    [post_content] => Hello Himalaya C Group Family and Friends!

All students have departed safely on their international flights. We wish everyone a safe return home, and onwards to new adventures!

Best regards,

Dragons Field Support
    [post_title] => All Students Safely Departed for Home and Beyond
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Himalaya C

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All Students Safely Departed for Home and Beyond

Dragons Field Support,Himalaya C

Description

Hello Himalaya C Group Family and Friends! All students have departed safely on their international flights. We wish everyone a safe return home, and onwards to new adventures! Best regards, Dragons Field Support

Posted On

12/5/14

Author

Dragons Field Support

Category

Himalaya C

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    [post_date] => 2014-12-04 09:16:38
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-04 16:16:38
    [post_content] => Dear Future Dragons Student,
Well you've officially decided to come to Nepal! But if you're anything like me none of it will feel real until you actually step out of the plane and into Kathmandu
Even then it will still feel dreamlike. Tons of new smells, architecture, people, everything is new and different
Look around you as much as possible, start absorbing in all the new sights and smells, you'll be shocked by how familiar and normal they will feel by the end of your trip
Connections will be made with people you never would've met otherwise- learn from them
Over the next 3 months you'll get to experience things you never have before- soak it all in
Mindfulness is key- stay present, don't worry about what you did last week or what's coming up next, enjoy the moment you are in
Explore!
Talk to as may locals as you can, they will be some of the kindest people you've ever met
Open-mindedness will get you far, don't judge anything before trying it
Never eat the street food, despite how delicious it may look
Ending up lost in the busy city is inevitable, don't panic, use the time to
Pooping will be a challenge throughout the trip, from low poop scales to having to use squat toilets, but don't worry you'll get used to laughing about it rather than crying
Always be willing to laugh at yourself
Love every minute of your trip, even the sad and hard ones, those are the most important ones
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Himalaya C

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Welcome to Nepal

Charlotte Verstraeten,Himalaya C

Description

Dear Future Dragons Student, Well you’ve officially decided to come to Nepal! But if you’re anything like me none of it will feel real until you actually step out of the plane and into Kathmandu Even then it will still feel dreamlike. Tons of new smells, architecture, people, everything is new and different Look around […]

Posted On

12/4/14

Author

Charlotte Verstraeten

Category

Himalaya C

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    [post_date] => 2014-12-04 09:15:14
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    [post_content] => Over the past three months, I've lived in Nepal. That has been a huge transition for me from living either on a campus or at home for the past eighteen years. I feel as though that transition has pushed me into overdrive: learning new things by the dozen, and embracing a whole new way of life.  In that time, I've learned a ton about myself and the world around me. Super personal stuff, probably wouldn't provide you guys with much insight pertaining to your lives. But in between has been an accumulation of more practical knowledge pertaining to Nepal.

Some of this may apply to other countries, but seeing as I haven't lived in those countries, I'm going to try to avoid any sweeping generalizations, because who knows, it may be a fine and dandy idea to not follow any of these in those  other places.

First off, don't be rushed to buy things. Almost everything you see, you will see again. And again. Buying things on the spot is how you end up with a mini chess set you never touched although were sure it would be super helpful on trek. Secondly, always be ready to practice Nepali. Almost everyone I've met has been really happy to talk to me in Nepali. So many people are just happy to find someone who isn't talking through a tour guide or translator that you can make friends left and right. Third, and somewhat connected, is join a band. This is self explanatory. You get to meet cool people, hear local music, and probably become famous and never move back to the states. It's a fun way to pass the time, and worked really well for me now that I'm going to be renting an apartment for the next month from my bandmate's friend.  Fourth, and this is one that definitely applies to my experiences, is don't eat street food. It will be delicious, and more likely than not, your body will hate you. Lastly, understand your needs. Needing to buy more pashminas is not a need of your body. I'm talking about listening to yourself, regulating your activity and intake, and understanding what you need from the group emotionally. It's a practice that doesn't always come easy, especially when there's fried bitter gourd or sweet and sour tofu involved, but trust me, things will be infinitely easier. Now go forth and have a life changing experience.

Signing off,

Owen
    [post_title] => To Dear Future Himalaya Students
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Himalaya C

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To Dear Future Himalaya Students

Owen,Himalaya C

Description

Over the past three months, I’ve lived in Nepal. That has been a huge transition for me from living either on a campus or at home for the past eighteen years. I feel as though that transition has pushed me into overdrive: learning new things by the dozen, and embracing a whole new way of […]

Posted On

12/4/14

Author

Owen

Category

Himalaya C

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    [post_date] => 2014-12-04 09:12:45
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-04 16:12:45
    [post_content] => Dear future Dragons student,
Relax. You signed up for this trip so you could get out of your comfort zone, so it's inevitable that you are going to feel uncomfortable, nervous and scared at first. Instead of fantasizing about magical moments in the future where you feel more confident in the environment and comfortable with the people around you, stay present with your current feelings. Lean a little farther into the discomfort and then stay there, learn from it, soak it in. There is no point in predicting the future because you really have no idea what is there. The fear will pass, but let it pass naturally. The beginning, middle and end of a Dragons course are equally as beautiful and meaningful. Trust yourself that you made the perfect decision to sign up for this tip, trust that you are growing even if it doesn't feel like it and trust that the learning process is never over unless you turn your senses off. Remember how lucky you are to be where you are, so try to stay as present as possible and be proud of your self for trying. Enjoy.
Love,
Lily
    [post_title] => Soak it in, future Dragons student
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Himalaya C

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Soak it in, future Dragons student

Lily Mojdehi,Himalaya C

Description

Dear future Dragons student, Relax. You signed up for this trip so you could get out of your comfort zone, so it’s inevitable that you are going to feel uncomfortable, nervous and scared at first. Instead of fantasizing about magical moments in the future where you feel more confident in the environment and comfortable with […]

Posted On

12/4/14

Author

Lily Mojdehi

Category

Himalaya C

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    [post_date] => 2014-12-04 09:11:04
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    [post_content] => Dear future Dragons student,

You are about to embark on an amazing journey and I am guessing you are super excited, and you should be.
It is natural to have expectations and worries about all the different aspects of the trip but I suggest coming to Nepal with as little expectations as possible. I love the metaphor that our mind is like a cup, if our cup is full of water there is no room for any new water. So empty your mind cup, and get ready to fill it with new ideas, information, views on the world, opinions, and experiences.

So much of the quality of your experience depends on the attitude you have about everything. Maybe in the village home-stay you will get terrible diarrhea, bed bugs in your clothes, and have no clue how to communicate with your family. It is easy to feel like everything sucks, and all you want is to at least diarrhea in a sitting toilet but that does not get you anywhere.Be happy you have the opportunity to diarrhea in Nepal among all places! Take each experience as a chance to learn about yourself and everyone and everything surrounding you.

Another piece of advice is to completely embrace the food, the culture, the people, and integrate yourself as much as possible. Enjoy eating dhaal bhaat for almost ever meal, you will probably miss it when you go back home. Eat with your hands, like the locals do, its fun and makes the food taste better. Learn the language to the bet of your ability, people are always pleasantly surprised to hear you speak Nepali, even if you cannot speak it very well. Don't be a tourist a just take photos of people, really try to get to know the people, they might be some of the nicest people you will ever meet.

This trip has gone by so fast, I honestly feel like yesterday I was getting on a plane to come to Nepal. Just cherish the moments (as cheeseballs as it sounds) because I have come to realize 3 months is not a very long time, I could live in Nepal for years and not feel like I have had enough.

Seriously, this trip you are about to go on will be crazy amazing. You are going on a Dragons trip with amazing students, amazing instructors in an amazing place...so get excited.
That is all.

Love,

another Dragons student
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Himalaya C

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Dear Future Student

Sage Bennett,Himalaya C

Description

Dear future Dragons student, You are about to embark on an amazing journey and I am guessing you are super excited, and you should be. It is natural to have expectations and worries about all the different aspects of the trip but I suggest coming to Nepal with as little expectations as possible. I love […]

Posted On

12/4/14

Author

Sage Bennett

Category

Himalaya C

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    [post_date] => 2014-12-04 09:09:16
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    [post_content] => Hello future dragons student; here's some tips and junk. First off you don't need that many quick dry shirts, alright? Time passes slowly some days and some days it moves by pretty quickly, take some good time to look at the mountains and touch the flowers and pet goats and smile at the stray dogs. Lose your expectations and let go of yourself. Post yaks even though you don't want to-it's just easier that way. Don't eat too much rock honey and throw up outside of an Ashram. Get lost alone in the city, don't ask for directions just wander about. Start watching the phases of the moon for fun, look at all of the stars that there are beyond the city- it's neat.

P.S. Don't think you're being smart and buy duty free cigarettes; they're cheaper in Nepal.
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Himalaya C

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Hello

George,Himalaya C

Description

Hello future dragons student; here’s some tips and junk. First off you don’t need that many quick dry shirts, alright? Time passes slowly some days and some days it moves by pretty quickly, take some good time to look at the mountains and touch the flowers and pet goats and smile at the stray dogs. […]

Posted On

12/4/14

Author

George

Category

Himalaya C

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    [post_date] => 2014-12-04 09:07:01
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-04 16:07:01
    [post_content] => Dear Future Dragons Student,

Get excited for the adventure of a lifetime! So cheesy, sorry, but true. Soon you'll meet your unique 3-month family of similarly interested students and your brilliant instructor team of super humans.

When I left the USA, I was so confident in my independence, my ability to be far from home, etc. The idea of culture shock had never even entered my mind. I actually landed in Kathmandu thinking the same way, but about two days in I began to feel it. I didn't know it at the time, but I was in serious culture shock; it's a real thing. Also, it's not just something that hits for a day or so, in fact, I didn't even know what to call it until the term came up in a discussion almost a month and a half into the course. I had called it homesickness, I had called it anxiety, etc. I was exceptionally tired and emotional at times...all potential symptoms.

Once I knew I wasn't sick or simply crazy, it wasn't so scary anymore. I knew that what I was experiencing was totally normal and even slightly expected. I started to enjoy my time more and was able to push my thoughts of home aside while I had fun and experienced the present.

I guess what i'm trying to say is that, yes, you're probably a very competent traveler and comfortable being on your own. However, from my experience, the beginning can be scary and can be tough. Don't let it take away from the incredible experiences and interactions and everything else that this trip will provide you. I've found that I've learned the most from the more difficult situations I've found myself in, so my advice is to stay confidant and to stay patient.

Have a wonderful trip,

AG
    [post_title] => Not to worry
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Himalaya C

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Not to worry

Anna Glass,Himalaya C

Description

Dear Future Dragons Student, Get excited for the adventure of a lifetime! So cheesy, sorry, but true. Soon you’ll meet your unique 3-month family of similarly interested students and your brilliant instructor team of super humans. When I left the USA, I was so confident in my independence, my ability to be far from home, […]

Posted On

12/4/14

Author

Anna Glass

Category

Himalaya C

WP_Post Object
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    [post_author] => 24
    [post_date] => 2014-12-04 09:05:15
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-04 16:05:15
    [post_content] => Dear Future Dragons Student,

I am supposed to be writing you a letter to advise you on your upcoming Dragons trip, but I don't even know what to say--  I don't even think I've processed the past three months enough for myself, let alone enough to be able to give advice to someone else on how to go through this experience. I leave on Friday  but I know that even just in the next four days I will continue to learn new things, experience new ideas, and be challenged. Honestly, writing this right now is a challenge because I am currently sitting fewer than 20 feet away from where Buddha was born and a group of school boys is trying to read this over my shoulder even though I keep telling them "Jannus, jannus!!!" "Go away, go away!!!" (They won't.)

 

The past three months have been some of the wildest, most challenging, happiest, difficult times of my life and I only hope you can have the same intensity and passion and growth in your own course. Try to relish every experience and take advantage of this incredible time. When I got on the plane from the Hacienda, three months seemed daunting, almost insurmountable. Now, it barely feels like a blip in the screen. Before you know it, there will be no retreat times left, your homestays will have finished, trek will have come and gone, and you'll be boarding the plane back to LA-- or at least, that's how it feels for me.

There are going to be scary times. There are going to be overwhelming times-- times when you get lost in a dark, unfamiliar city.  Times when you go into a rural village and no one can understand you and you are expected to live in a house with complete strangers who are all calling you daughter. There will be times when you get so violently sick and have to sit outside the Ashram bathroom puking all night with your instructor sitting next to you. There will be times when you are paralyzed with fear. That's okay. Take a deep breath, collect yourself, and remember that this-- all of this-- is temporary. Change is hard and growth is hard but soon you will be on the other side. Also, CIWAC Clinic rocks and has this really funny Nepali women's magazine so even getting sick isn't the worst thing that could happen.

Your instructors are your biggest supporters, mentors, teachers, and friends if you let them be. Don't be embarrassed to share how you are feeling with them; don't be afraid to open up to them. Sometimes we joke that they're great because they are contractually obligated to love us, but the level of support and kindness and love we all have received from them goes far beyond anything stipulated in some verbose contract. And do they know so much about everything. Finding yourself on trek walking with an instructor was like hitting the jackpot because the hours would melt away listening to them talk about the Guatemalan revolution and gender binaries and the avant-garde Communist play they produced in  high school and female genital cutting and everything in between. Their experience and knowledge is so vast-- take advantage of it.

Sometimes group dynamics will be hard. Sometimes you'll just want to yell at a groupmate rather than hear one more word out of their mouth. But Dragons will give you the skills you need to address these issues, and soon, your group members will be the absolute homies. And just as there is so much to learn from your instructors, I think there might be even more you can learn from your group.

I don't know what else to tell you except that these three months have the potential to take you to new heights, new levels if you let them. Cherish the opportunity (corny, I know.) Look for the best in people. Be open-minded. and curious. Talk to everyone. Learn how to use a squat toilet. Eat with your hands. Be grateful. Befriend animals (except dogs because then your instructors will get pissed). Spend time with your homestay family. Practice your Nepali. Buy Himalaya Herbals. Eat a ton of Coconut Crunchees. And don't complain  TOO much when your instructors inevitably make you write this yak in three months.

Good luck!!!!

Julia

ps. Sorry for being so didactic I hate myself for it too

 

 
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Himalaya C

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To a Future Dragons Student

Julia,Himalaya C

Description

Dear Future Dragons Student, I am supposed to be writing you a letter to advise you on your upcoming Dragons trip, but I don’t even know what to say–  I don’t even think I’ve processed the past three months enough for myself, let alone enough to be able to give advice to someone else on […]

Posted On

12/4/14

Author

Julia

Category

Himalaya C

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    [post_date] => 2014-12-04 08:39:12
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    [post_content] => Dear Future Dragons Student,

When I arrived at La Hacienda on September 5th, the idea of three months in Nepal terrified me. 90 days out of my comfort zone was naturally nerve wracking. But as the weeks began to pass, my problem with time changed. I began to worry that three months wasn't actually enough time. One week in the ashram went by in a second - even a month in Patan seemed too short. Time was weird and inconsistent, sometimes too fast or too slow. I constantly dragged my mind from the past and the future to what was happening in the current moment.

For instance, a few moments ago I was thinking about everything I needed to do in the remaining three days of the program: only 3 days to spend with some of the most wonderful people I have ever met, only 72 hours to buy twenty packs of "coconut crunchees" (a Nepali delicacy), only 4,320 minutes to ask my instructors as many questions as I can possibly think of. All of these thoughts crossed my mind until I realized I was sitting under dozens of prayer flags, with a sunset to my left, and the Maya Devi Temple to my right. 

In other words, I have always found it challenging to calm my mind. I don't blame myself for letting my thoughts wander occasionally when I linger on the past or worry about the future. However, if I was doing my dragons trip over again, I would try to stay mindful from the first moment. Because today is the 87th day I have been in Nepal, and I have no idea where all of the time has gone.

Love,

Morgan
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Himalaya C

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Day 87

Morgan ,Himalaya C

Description

Dear Future Dragons Student, When I arrived at La Hacienda on September 5th, the idea of three months in Nepal terrified me. 90 days out of my comfort zone was naturally nerve wracking. But as the weeks began to pass, my problem with time changed. I began to worry that three months wasn’t actually enough time. One […]

Posted On

12/4/14

Author

Morgan

Category

Himalaya C

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