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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010


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    [post_date] => 2010-02-12 00:00:00
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Hi Everyone,

Here is a picture of our whole group, fresh from a night's rest at the Bhaktapur Guest House.

Everyone was up for optional tea time before breakfast! We have begun or orientation and are about to eat our first Nepali meal with our hands. The weather is on the colder side, but we'll keep warm by the bonfire tonight which will be lit in honor of today, Shivaratri, the night of Shiva. Everyone's health is "thumbs up," and the energy is gentle, curious and comforting.

All the best,

Instructor team.

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Orientation in Nepal

Instructors,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Hi Everyone, Here is a picture of our whole group, fresh from a night’s rest at the Bhaktapur Guest House. Everyone was up for optional tea time before breakfast! We have begun or orientation and are about to eat our first Nepali meal with our hands. The weather is on the colder side, but we’ll […]

Posted On

02/12/10

Author

Instructors

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    [post_date] => 2010-02-09 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Dear Himalaya Semester Family and Friends,

The Himalaya students all arrived safely to Los Angeles today. They spent the afternoon getting to know one another and resting up for their long flight. They are healthy and fully prepared for their upcoming travels. We checked them onto their international flights and said goodbye at the security check point. They are on their way to Kathmandu and will be with their instructors before long!

Here is a photo of the Himalaya students with their Himalayan Studies Semester banner. Not included in the photo is Dougie, who will meet up with the group in Hong Kong.

It was a pleasure getting to know the Himalaya students this afternoon. Thank you, again, to all the family and friends who are supporting these students in their new adventure. We can't wait to hear all about thier experiences along the way!

Best,

Kylie Manson and the Boulder Admin

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Himalaya Students on their Way!

Boulder Admin,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Dear Himalaya Semester Family and Friends, The Himalaya students all arrived safely to Los Angeles today. They spent the afternoon getting to know one another and resting up for their long flight. They are healthy and fully prepared for their upcoming travels. We checked them onto their international flights and said goodbye at the security […]

Posted On

02/9/10

Author

Boulder Admin

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2010-02-09 00:00:00
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Dear Students, Parents and Friends,

In preparation for students’ arrival, we have been in-country for a week, conducting our own leader orientation. As part of this process we have developed our instructor team mission for our Himalayan Studies Semester Spring 2010.

Our intention, first and foremost, is to create a container of safety and trust within which students will be encouraged to push their own limitations and boundaries and in doing so deepen their self-awareness. We anticipate that through this process students will be empowered to be responsible global citizens and to travel with respect and humility. We hope that students will gain not only a deeper understanding of Nepal and our host communities, but also a deeper insight into their own capacity for curiosity, gratitude, wisdom and compassion. As a team, our goal is to facilitate this by conscious role modeling and empowering students to take on challenging experiences with transformative potential.

In preparation for this journey, we ask students to please think about your goals and aspirations for this trip. Please be prepared to share with the group during our orientation in Kathmandu. Be sure to consider what you want to nurture and cultivate within yourself and what you want to leave behind for the next three months.

We look forward to seeing you in a couple of days!

Safe travels!

The Instructor Team.

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Instructor Team Mission Statement

I-Team,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Dear Students, Parents and Friends, In preparation for students’ arrival, we have been in-country for a week, conducting our own leader orientation. As part of this process we have developed our instructor team mission for our Himalayan Studies Semester Spring 2010. Our intention, first and foremost, is to create a container of safety and trust […]

Posted On

02/9/10

Author

I-Team

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    [post_date] => 2010-02-08 00:00:00
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Sarah McKenzie

Cultural Anthropology

February 8, 2010

Quality of Life

Quality of life is a difficult things to assess, as it depends on what is considered valuable to an individual. Most people can agree that good health is essential to a quality life, and that most other things come after that. A healthy body is something that we often take for granted, and it is a blessing to be able to run jump and play as one desires. It is often when our health is disrupted that we notice how valuable it is to our overall quality of life. Health contributes to quality in other areas of life, as it allows us to work, exercise our body, interact with others, and is one less things for our minds to worry about.

After health the hierarchy of needs for a quality life gets complicated as people value different things. In psychology, Maslow created a hierarchy of needs that he believed everyone sought to fulfill. His hierarchy is often represented in pyramid form with the most basic needs at the bottom and the more advanced needs at the top. His theory was based on the notion that one could not experience the higher levels of the pyramid until they had fulfilled the lower levels. The most basic needs were physiological needs including breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, and excretion. These are all concerned with the health of the body. Once you are physically well, you can move on to the next level of needs.

The next level is called safety, and includes security of: body, employment, resources, morality, the family, health, and property. Once you have a healthy body, you can move on to secure for yourself a reliable job, income, place to live, values for behavior, and support a family. Next on the pyramid is love or belonging. This is where one seeks friendship, family, and sexual intimacy. Second to the top is Esteem, self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others and respect by others. These things all come easier with the support of loved ones. The top of the pyramid is self-actualization, which includes morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, and acceptance of facts.

While this hierarchy is only one interpretation of the things needed for a quality life, I think that the general categories and the order in which they arise are applicable to many people including myself, even though we might use slightly different words. The thing is that some people are unable to move up past the first or second tier of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs because the countries they live in do not support or provide for the basic physiological or safety needs a person needs to fulfill before moving on to deeper meanings in life. This is unfortunate because everyone deserves a chance at reaching the top of the pyramid.

I feel that I have been given the resources and support to climb the pyramid of needs quite quickly. I feel that with this gift comes the responsibility to help others to achieve these basic and deeper needs. So in a way, for me to lead a high quality life entails helping others to do the same.

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Pre-Trip Assignment: Quality of Life

Sarah McKenzie,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Sarah McKenzie Cultural Anthropology February 8, 2010 Quality of Life Quality of life is a difficult things to assess, as it depends on what is considered valuable to an individual. Most people can agree that good health is essential to a quality life, and that most other things come after that. A healthy body is […]

Posted On

02/8/10

Author

Sarah McKenzie

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    [post_date] => 2010-02-06 00:00:00
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Dear Himalayan Studies Semester Student,

For the long journey ahead your Instructor Team has prepared some activities that will prime you for stepping off the plane in Nepal!! We hope you are excited to begin your profound experience… now!

Task #1

Please read “Why We Travel,” by Pico Iyer (this will be provided to you when you arrive at the Hacienda in LA). Pico is a phenomenal writer, traveler, philosopher and human being. As you read, please highlight 3 quotes that resonate with you. We will have a group discussion when you settle down in the Kathmandu Valley.

Task #2

As you fly in the air, feel yourself rising up into your higher self and from this elevated vantage point write a letter to your future self, seal it up in the provided envelope, and give it to your I-Team upon arrival. This will remain confidential, and will be sent back to you at the end of the program. We encourage you to write about your aspirations for the semester: what do you hope to learn and to take away from the experience at the end of 3 months?

Task #3

You all have a long lay over in the Hong Kong airport. Move your legs, stretch out, and also take the time to meet as a group…

As a group, please discuss and make a list of…

1) What you know about Nepal?

2) What you want to learn about Nepal?

See you all soon!!!

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Plane Task

Instructors,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Dear Himalayan Studies Semester Student, For the long journey ahead your Instructor Team has prepared some activities that will prime you for stepping off the plane in Nepal!! We hope you are excited to begin your profound experience… now! Task #1 Please read “Why We Travel,” by Pico Iyer (this will be provided to you […]

Posted On

02/6/10

Author

Instructors

WP_Post Object
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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-02-06 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Hello Everyone!

In addition to our yak post on clothing bank, we wanted to send out another option of donating children's book to the village school library in Nepal. Chaukati is a beautiful village north of Kathmandu where we have been bringing student groups for the past few semesters. The community has been wonderfully supportive to us and has opened their whole village to us. We want to be of help to them and during our last visit, we were requested by the school teachers from the village local school for the donation of children' book for their library. Hence, if you all could bring fun learning books subjected to grade 1 to 5 that will be great!

Books can be hard and heavy to transport and esp. if they are in hard covers. So, if you are interested in making a contribution, please limit your number of books to 5 - 10 (depending upon the thickness) and go for paperbacks if possible. Please note that you are not obligated to bring clothes for the clothing bank or books for the library if you already have too much of your personal stuff to bring. However, if you are looking for ways to fill those empty corners of your backpacks we hope these options would help :)

Your I-Team

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Children’s Books for donation

I-Team,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Hello Everyone! In addition to our yak post on clothing bank, we wanted to send out another option of donating children’s book to the village school library in Nepal. Chaukati is a beautiful village north of Kathmandu where we have been bringing student groups for the past few semesters. The community has been wonderfully supportive […]

Posted On

02/6/10

Author

I-Team

WP_Post Object
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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-02-04 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Deva & Susanna,

I am writing to assure you two that your short hair is going to be not a problem at all in Nepal. Generally it is true that most women in Nepal prefer to keep their hair long. However, sporting short hair is not frowned upon either. It really is a personal choice here too just like anywhere else. I (Sweta), myself have had a short hair for long and now it has grown out just to become more of a bob!

Check out few of these Indian (Hindu and Muslim) women on your google image: Arundhati Roy, Kiran Bedi and Shabana Azmi. They are one of the most influential women in India and them sporting short hair has been of least controversial in comparison to their work. Shabana Azmi had once gone bald for Deepa Mehta's movie "Water". So, people are used to it.

I hope this answers your question. You are going to love your short hair on a trek when we will be days away from shower. And do not worry about your home-stay families. They will love you nonetheless, and I love the look of a chunky silver jewelry with short hair :)

As for the gifts - They surely can be overwhelming, right? Pictures of your family and friends are always a great ice-breaker and makes for a nice gift that you can leave behind for your home-stay family. I love when people share with me their favorite books. A culture of leisure reading is not highly encouraged in Nepal. Thus, perhaps if you have a stack of old books that you enjoyed reading growing up you can bring them as a gift too. Even if they are a simple to read books....people of all age love stories. Other than that - crayons, stickers, coloring books and small State mementos will do the trick too.

I am in Singapore airport right now. Waiting to board my plane in three hours. I am almost in Nepal now and will be seeing Shannon and Nate soon :) Hope your packing is coming along well! Enjoy your next few days at home. We will see you all soon.

Your I-Team


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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Dilemma of a short-haired girl/s

I-Team,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Deva & Susanna, I am writing to assure you two that your short hair is going to be not a problem at all in Nepal. Generally it is true that most women in Nepal prefer to keep their hair long. However, sporting short hair is not frowned upon either. It really is a personal choice […]

Posted On

02/4/10

Author

I-Team

WP_Post Object
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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-02-04 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Hi Friends,

We have gathered in Kathmandu and are preparing for your arrival. It is exciting to be together as an instructor team and we look forward to greeting you all soon at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu in a week's time.

We wanted to put out a request to you all and emphasize that this is totally optional. For 5 semesters we have been cultivating a wonderful relationship with a rural community that is situated about 5 hours northeast of Kathmandu valley in the Sindhupalchowk District of Nepal. This is where we will spend about 2 weeks of our time in mid-April involved in a community share project and village ethnography study. In the spring of 09, in conjunction with an NGO known as ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness), we helped to establish an environmental club at the secondary school. In order to raise money for the club, we have been asking students to bring with them any old clothes that they are no longer using. We do ask that the clothes are in "fair" condition. The members of the club have been selling the clothes for whatever price locals can afford to pay. It has been an empowering project for the students and something that we would like to continue supporting.

We recognize and support that you all want to pack as lightly as possible. With that said, we want you to know that if you do choose to bring along some clothes to donate, you will not be required to carry them once you have arrived in country. We offer storage at our program house, not only for donations, but for clothes and personal items that you do not want to carry to your urban or rural home-stay, to the retreat at Kopan monastery or on the trek. Each of you will have a "cubby" here at the program house where you can safely store your things.

We hope that your packing is going well and that you enjoy your last week at home with friends and family. We look forward to meeting you all soon!

Safe Travels. .

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Clothing Bank

Instructors,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

Hi Friends, We have gathered in Kathmandu and are preparing for your arrival. It is exciting to be together as an instructor team and we look forward to greeting you all soon at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu in a week’s time. We wanted to put out a request to you all and emphasize […]

Posted On

02/4/10

Author

Instructors

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2010-02-04 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Hi Janet,

We wanted to let you know that whatever jacket you will get the most use out of beyond this course is the jacket that would be the best to purchase. We will be bringing down jackets with us for the trek at the end of the semester. It will definitely be cold enough in the mountains to make the most out of your new down jacket. With that said, you may also find opportunities to wear you jacket in the mornings and evenings during our time here in Kathmandu where temperatures are still quite low. We hope that is helpful.

Happy packing!

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Janet’s ?

Instructors,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Hi Janet, We wanted to let you know that whatever jacket you will get the most use out of beyond this course is the jacket that would be the best to purchase. We will be bringing down jackets with us for the trek at the end of the semester. It will definitely be cold enough […]

Posted On

02/4/10

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Instructors

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What Is Culture?

My understanding of culture has developed throughout my youth, being shaped by the places I have visited and the people I have met. While many times I felt, especially when traveling internationally, that I was on the sidelines looking in, a tourist simply taking notes of what I saw instead of participating, I noticed that I always took something away from the world I had visited. Whether it was the wave from a young Amish girl while biking through Amish Country in Pennsylvania or watching a young orphan enjoy my sunglasses in the Dominican Republic, I have become fascinated with the cultural scripts that shape communities, while still recognizing the similarities that create our connectedness as humans.

Culture, in my perspective, can only be loosely defined, its identity being made up of a number of different characteristics. It can be what we see, smell, hear, touch or taste in a given place. It can be the customs and traditions of a group of people that are engrained in the past or newly born in the present. It can also be the thoughts and ideologies, hopes and fears, or questions and answers that a group has in common.

The looseness of this definition is what makes it both fascinating and timeless. A culture’s ability to grow and change at it’s own pace adds to its uniqueness and is what makes each inherently different. American culture, for instance, has been constantly remodeling itself since the day it was born, donning a new look every few years. For others, such as the Mbuti pygmies in Africa, culture has remained very similar to how it did thousands of years ago. Whether it changes rapidly or remains static, however, the true essence of a culture remains constant.

Perhaps the most fascinating is the effects of when two cultures merge. Whether it is a forced encounter or a friendly greeting, this sharing of ideas, traditions and values, or acculturation, remains important for various reasons. First, it causes us to widen our perspective of world and allows us to see our own background in a different light. Second, it opens up a wealth of knowledge about people, places and things that cannot be gained from any textbook or movie. Thirdly, and most importantly, it may teach us the importance of the act of acceptance and patience needed to interact with and understand those who are different from us. The amount of time that these two cultures are exposed to one another and the means of interaction can tend to determine what and how much is shared, however, as I mentioned before, both parties are likely to take something valuable away.

As mentioned in the article “What Is Culture Anyway,” learning about another culture, as well as merging two different cultures together can be an exciting experience. I look forward to continuing to gain new perspectives from my encounters with new cultures and recognizing the similarities and differences that make all of us truly unique.

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

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Katey Parker,Himalayan Studies Semester, Spring 2010

Description

What Is Culture? My understanding of culture has developed throughout my youth, being shaped by the places I have visited and the people I have met. While many times I felt, especially when traveling internationally, that I was on the sidelines looking in, a tourist simply taking notes of what I saw instead of participating, […]

Posted On

02/1/10

Author

Katey Parker

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