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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010


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Hi again,

I have two questions for the instructors:

1. Gifts- Do you guys have suggestions for appropriate/popular good-will gifts for our homestays? And will we be encountering many children in these households?

2.) More of a passing thought: My hair is quite short at the moment- as short as a boy's. I've heard this is not entirely acceptable and can be troublesome for travelers in India. How is the culture in Nepal and should I plan on bringing any extra hats or scarves?

Thanks!

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Questions

Deva Steketee,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Hi again, I have two questions for the instructors: 1. Gifts- Do you guys have suggestions for appropriate/popular good-will gifts for our homestays? And will we be encountering many children in these households? 2.) More of a passing thought: My hair is quite short at the moment- as short as a boy’s. I’ve heard this […]

Posted On

01/16/10

Author

Deva Steketee

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Namaste Friends,

You should have all received a packing list as part of your Himalayan Studies Semester Course Preparation Manual. This list should be viewed as a guide to what you bring with you to Nepal. We have received a lot of feedback on the packing list and realize that it will never be perfect for each student. We would like to emphasize a few points that may be helpful as you begin to organize your belongings and think about what you can squeeze in to your backpack.

As the list mentions and we want to reiterate, think light and think layers. When you first arrive in Kathmandu, the morning and evening temperatures will be quite chilly – most nights getting close to freezing. Daytime temperatures are in the high 60’s low 70’s. These temperatures will steadily climb throughout the semester. You will be able to buy clothes in Kathmandu and we will even encourage you to buy some more traditional outfits, especially the girls.

If you review the posted tentative itinerary, you will see that we will be spending around seven weeks in urban areas and so you will be happy to bring along “city” clothes and a pair of city shoes (this may be a pair of light weight sneakers that you can put on and off easily). Students in the past have been happy to have something to wear other than their trekking gear. Again, you can buy clothes in Kathmandu, but if you have a comfortable pair of jeans that you like you may want to bring them along. Also note that if the ladies have trekking pants that zip off, the zip must be below the knee.

There will be opportunities to do laundry, but mostly by hand. Don’t worry – we will teach you some helpful techniques! There are laundry services in Kathmandu, but none are conveniently located near our program house. You should be prepared to expand your definition of “clean!”

Please post any questions that you may have about packing. We recognize that it is hard to know what to bring for 3 months. Rest assured that if you forget anything, you will most likely be able to find it in Kathmandu.

We hope that you are all well.

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Packing Thoughts

Instructors,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Namaste Friends, You should have all received a packing list as part of your Himalayan Studies Semester Course Preparation Manual. This list should be viewed as a guide to what you bring with you to Nepal. We have received a lot of feedback on the packing list and realize that it will never be perfect […]

Posted On

01/16/10

Author

Instructors

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Hey everyone. My name is Montana and I actually also live in San Francisco, just like Sarah. I recently turned 18 and graduated from high school this past may. Just like a lot of you, I am taking a gap year before heading to Brown University in the fall of 2010. This past semester I was living in Florence, Italy and studying Industrial and Interior design at a design academy. I really enjoy learning about new cultures and I have lived in England, Switzerland, Boston and San Francisco, but I have never in my residences or travels been to Asia, so I am very excited to see what it is like. I am a runner, and a tennis player, and have done lots of backpacking and hiking in Colorado, California, and Switzerland. Because I live in San Francisco, it is pretty much inevitable that I regularly do yoga and consider myself to be a pretty big environmentalist.

Can't wait to meet everyone,

Montana

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Intro

Montana Feiger,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Hey everyone. My name is Montana and I actually also live in San Francisco, just like Sarah. I recently turned 18 and graduated from high school this past may. Just like a lot of you, I am taking a gap year before heading to Brown University in the fall of 2010. This past semester I […]

Posted On

01/16/10

Author

Montana Feiger

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Staying Healthy!

Hello Students and Parents,



We would like to provide you with some thoughts on staying healthy this spring in Nepal. We are sure you are well aware that staying healthy in Nepal will require more vigilance than in the US. We will be sharing all that we know with you when you arrive in Nepal (before you inadvertently go to drink water from the tap- or even brush your teeth with it) but there are a few preventative medicines/supplements you may want to consider bringing with you to give your system a boost and to reduce the chances of getting sick. In saying that, we want to emphasize that you know your body best and your body’s needs. Please note that these are only suggestions and you are not required to bring any of this with you. We do provide a diet over the course of the semester that we think is well-rounded and ample. This diet consists mostly of dal bhaat, the traditional meal of rice, lentils, a vegetable dish and a pickle dish. There will occasionally be meat served, but not on a daily basis. The diet is predominately vegetarian, completely vegetarian for the 10 day Buddhist retreat at Kopan monastery.

Here are a few suggestions... 



Anti-bacterial gel to keep your hands clean



Vitamin C and D,

Echinacea or Airborne to fight off colds



Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)- acts like a natural anti biotic (nutribiotic)



Charcoal acts to absorb bacteria and toxins in the intestines





As mentioned above, we do our best to provide the healthiest food possible but in some areas the nutritional content can be low and so we would recommend bringing some of the following... 



Multi-vitamins



Vit B complex



Pro-Biotics



Perfect Food (a super food powder)


Spirulina



These are some of the supplements we travel with and have found beneficial. There is a huge range of options available and we encourage you to learn more about what might make most sense for you. Anything which promotes a healthy immune system or works as a dietary supplement is great. 



We also recommend that you do your best to get in great shape over the next 3 weeks. Hopefully the weather is wonderful wherever you are so that you can get out and play. You will notice when reviewing the itinerary that we will be heading off on our trek towards the end of the semester. The entire group will benefit from all of us being fit and ready to spend a few hours each day walking on trail carrying our packs. We also recommend taking some walks in your hiking shoes with a weighted pack just to get a feel for what is to come! 




We look forward to speaking with you on the phone and seeing you soon!



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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Staying Healthy In Nepal!!

Instructors,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Staying Healthy! Hello Students and Parents,

 We would like to provide you with some thoughts on staying healthy this spring in Nepal. We are sure you are well aware that staying healthy in Nepal will require more vigilance than in the US. We will be sharing all that we know with you when you arrive […]

Posted On

01/16/10

Author

Instructors

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    [post_date] => 2010-01-15 00:00:00
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Namaste Friends,



The winter days are rolling by. We have about 1 month left before we all meet and begin our adventure in Nepal. As instructors, we hope that you are enjoying this time at home with friends and family and that you are able to use this time to tie up loose ends before embarking on the journey ahead. In preparation for our trip, we do request that you complete a few assignments for us. This pre-course work is designed to not only get you thinking about Nepal and issues that we will be addressing during the course, but to encourage you to observe and question who you are, what you believe and what it means to be an American citizen.





When you arrive in-country, we will revisit and explore Dragon’s Core Curriculum of Self Awareness, Global Citizenship and Leadership Skill Building.
 This is the foundation of our course and what we will be building on for the 3 months we spend together. Laid upon the foundation of the Core Curriculum is our accredited curriculum of 4 interdisciplinary subjects. You will receive hardcopies of the course syllabi for these subjects of Cultural Anthropology/Development, Comparative Religion, Nepali Language and Independent Study Project (ISP) when you arrive in country. We recognize that not all students are taking these courses for credit, but regardless, you will all be involved in the curriculum for each as it unfolds over the course of the semester. Accredited students are held to a higher standard and have different expectations for what is formally handed in to the instructors, but all participants on any Dragon’s course are required to take part in the courses. This includes attending and actively participating in fieldtrips, lectures and facilitated discussions, writing reflective journal entries, researching a topic for your independent study project, giving oral presentations, attending all Nepali language classes, posting yak yaks weekly, and in general sharing your enthusiasm, struggles and insights with the group as you settle deeper into the culture and the presence that is available. 



As part of the course material, you should have all received copies of the “Himalayan Studies Semester Reader.” This is an amazing resource and we ask that you take some time to explore the articles included. Please come to Nepal prepared to share some of your thoughts on the articles that were of particular interest to you. 



Additionally, please complete the following assignments as outlined below:



Cultural Anthropology/Development:



1. All students please read the article from Section III – “Culture and Identity” in the Himalayan Studies Reader entitled “What is Culture Anyway?” Accredited students please write a 500 word essay that explores your ideas about ‘culture’ and perhaps some of the other terms that the article defines.



2. All students please read the following definitions and ponder the questions asked. Accredited students please choose one definition and write a 500 word essay addressing the questions included.





a. Quality of Life – the degree of well-being felt by an individual or group of people. Quality of life is note a tangible concept and therefore cannot be measured directly. Furthermore, quality of life consists of two components. The first is a physical aspect which includes such things as health, diet, as well as protection against pain and disease. The second component is psychological (or spiritual) in nature. This aspect includes such things as stress, worry, pleasure and other positive or negative emotional states. What does quality of life mean to you? What are the things that you have identified as necessary for living a high quality life? Do you feel that you have a high quality of life? Why or why not?



b. Globalization – in its literal sense is the process of globalizing, transformation of some things or phenomena into global ones. It can be described as a process by which the people of the work are unified into a single society and function together,. This process is a combination of economic, technological, sociocultural and political forces. How recent is globalization? Do you think it is good or bad? Why? What are the pros and cons? What are the forces driving globalization? What are the forces resisting?

Please post one of these essays as a yak yak by the 30th of January. Please bring the other typed essay with you to Kathmandu. 




Comparative Religion:



1. All students - Please take the time to read through the Section VI “Religion and Spirituality” Part B “Hinduism” in the Himalayan Studies Reader.

2. All students -Please write a reflective journal entry that explores your ideas surrounding religion versus spirituality. We encourage you to try to define these terms for yourself. This can be hand written and of any length. Be prepared to share your thoughts with the group when we arrive in country. 



3. All students - Below you will find your assigned Hindu Deity. We ask that you find an image of your deity and prepare a 5-7 minute presentation to be given during week 2 of the course. In your presentation be prepared to:



a. Explain how your deity can be recognized and the meaning of ritual objects associated with your Hindu deity





b. Share a story or myth associated with your deity

c. Explain why your deity is worshipped



Brahma – Amy S.

Vishnu - Kathleen

Shiva - Janet

Laxmi - Deva

Saraswati - Sydney

Durga - Montana

Hanuman - Nick

Krishna – Amy F.

Ram - Dugald

Ganesh - Alexandra

Kali - Hannah

Indra – Susanna

Nepali Language: This course will officially begin in Nepal during our first week of orientation. 



Independent Study Project (ISP): We ask that you look through the list of poss ible ISP options and start narrowing down your interests to two. We will be meeting with all of you one-on-one during orientation week to hear your ideas and give some guidance and direction. 



We recognize that this is a long yak to get through. We appreciate the time you have taken to read this and the time you will invest in completing the above tasks. We hope that the process of each is enjoyable and enriching – that is our intention. 

We look forward to reading your introductions and speaking to you on the phone sometime during the third week of January. Please do post a yak with any questions you may have.



Be Well,



The Instructor Team 





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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Pre-trip Assignments

Instructors,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Namaste Friends,

 The winter days are rolling by. We have about 1 month left before we all meet and begin our adventure in Nepal. As instructors, we hope that you are enjoying this time at home with friends and family and that you are able to use this time to tie up loose ends before […]

Posted On

01/15/10

Author

Instructors

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Hey guys, I'm Amy (one of two, I suppose), I'm 18 and I live in Fairfield, Connecticut, though I grew up in Arizona. I graduated high school last year and was supposed to attend Dalhousie University in the fall, but I decided over the summer I wanted to do something other than go straight to college, and going to Nepal seemed like as good an idea as any. I've been getting a little tired of living at home and working all day, so I can't wait to meet you all and get this thing off the ground.

I live for live music, and like the other Amy said, I'll often drive for hours to see a favorite band or go to a festival in the summer. Aside from that, I love reading, traveling, meeting new people, seeing new places...all that jazz. Languages fascinate me, especially the linguistics aspect of them, so I'm really looking forward to (trying) to learn Nepali. I'm scared it's going to be really hard because there's no base in Romance/Germanic languages like French or English..but I guess it'll work out fine. I'm pretty bad at writing "about me" sort of things, so excuse me if this is short - I'm sure we'll all figure each other out once we get to LA.

Can't wait to see you guys there!

Amy

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Hi!

Amy Franquet,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Hey guys, I’m Amy (one of two, I suppose), I’m 18 and I live in Fairfield, Connecticut, though I grew up in Arizona. I graduated high school last year and was supposed to attend Dalhousie University in the fall, but I decided over the summer I wanted to do something other than go straight to […]

Posted On

01/15/10

Author

Amy Franquet

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    [post_content] => Hey there! I'm Amy, I'm 19 years old and I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico (although I just returned from spending a year in Gainesville, Florida.) I've decided to take time off school since last fall and therefore I'm still indefinitely doing so. Naturally, a program like this seems to fit well during times like these. Well, I don't know what to say about myself. Music is my favorite thing ever, along with photography and traveling. I go to shows all of the time and will drive hours upon hours to see bands. (And now I photograph a lot of shows, which is super sweet.) I love to read, so hopefully some of you guys will be down to share your books with me. I also love the outdoors and spend a ton of time hiking. Hm. Well, I'm pretty much psyched on life right now so I feel as if I can do no wrong. Nepal! Oh yeah, I tend to think a lot and therefore I can be really weird (it might be a long three months) and am generally always struggling to try hard in a culture where trying hard is not the norm. (I'm also writing this at 4 in the morning... bear with me...) 
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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Greetings!

Amy Stafford,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Hey there! I’m Amy, I’m 19 years old and I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico (although I just returned from spending a year in Gainesville, Florida.) I’ve decided to take time off school since last fall and therefore I’m still indefinitely doing so. Naturally, a program like this seems to fit well during times […]

Posted On

01/15/10

Author

Amy Stafford

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Hi everyone,

My name is Sarah and i'm from San Francisco, CA. I'm 20 years old and a sophomore in college. I spent my freshman year at Lewis and Clark college in Portland, OR, but decided i wanted to take a year away from being enrolled in school to visit and apply to another school called Naropa University in Boulder Co. I've been living back in SF since May, spending time with my friends and family, doing yoga, nannying, and taking classes online through UC Berkeley extension. I knew i wanted to go abroad somewhere unique and Nepal seemed to fulfill that desire. I'm so excited to be going on a program that really gets into the heart of a culture and people.

I love to read, bake, do yoga, meditate, play music (piano, drums, marimba), and generally chill and have a good time. I'm looking forward to meeting all of you and going through this experience together. I hope you are all having as much fun as i am preparing for this trip! See you all in Feb.

Sarah

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Intro by Sarah

Sarah McKenzie,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Hi everyone, My name is Sarah and i’m from San Francisco, CA. I’m 20 years old and a sophomore in college. I spent my freshman year at Lewis and Clark college in Portland, OR, but decided i wanted to take a year away from being enrolled in school to visit and apply to another school […]

Posted On

01/13/10

Author

Sarah McKenzie

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In response to Hannah's question about long skirts, a favorite of many Dragons female instructors is Patagonia's Morning Glory skirt http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/product/womens-morning-glory-skirt?p=20505-0-770. It doesn't wrinkle, travels well, dries fast and is quite durable. A skirt that falls just above the ankles will be fine (and yes, you can always wear pants under it if it is deemed too short). Keep posting questions!

-Dragons Boulder Admin

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Long Skirts for the Ladies!

Dragons Admin,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

In response to Hannah’s question about long skirts, a favorite of many Dragons female instructors is Patagonia’s Morning Glory skirt http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/product/womens-morning-glory-skirt?p=20505-0-770. It doesn’t wrinkle, travels well, dries fast and is quite durable. A skirt that falls just above the ankles will be fine (and yes, you can always wear pants under it if it is […]

Posted On

01/13/10

Author

Dragons Admin

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Hi all!

I saw Hannah's post and I thought I'd follow suit since I'm also quite curious about everybody in the group.

My name is Deva (pronounced day-va from the sanscrit language). I'm 18 years old, turning 19 during the trip, and I live in the tiny rural town of Orford, NH. I graduated from high school last year and decided to take a gap-year before starting undergrad at Harvard. I think it might have been the best decision I've ever made (although hopefully a close second to my decision to go with Dragons!). This year, I've been filling up my time working for a local stonemason, coaching kids basketball, reading all the books I never had time for in high school, and hiking in the White Mountains. When I found that things were starting to stagnate a bit in October, I took off for Central America and spent two months learning spanish and volunteering in Guatemala. Now I'm back in NH and getting completely psyched up for this trip!

I've basically covered my interests. Most relevant, I love traveling, learning languages, hiking and meeting new people- all of which I hope to do a lot of on this trip. Otherwise, greetings to all, and Happy New Year. And post your bios folks- I'm too impatient to wait until February!

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Intro Deva

Deva Steketee,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Hi all! I saw Hannah’s post and I thought I’d follow suit since I’m also quite curious about everybody in the group. My name is Deva (pronounced day-va from the sanscrit language). I’m 18 years old, turning 19 during the trip, and I live in the tiny rural town of Orford, NH. I graduated from […]

Posted On

01/11/10

Author

Deva Steketee

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