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Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013


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Sus’day!

 

ISPs stand for independent study projects. Here, we will tell you what that means for us on our trip and will give you suggestions for what you can pursue.  

 

Students ISPs are one of the areas where students can delve deep into a topic, take ownership over interests, flex their independence and have a lot of fun! It is a chance to learn a new skill and explore a new aspect of our host countries.

 

Students should choose a topic that they are passionate about and that they will be able to successfully explore within our three months together.  One crucial aspect is that as much as possible, we ask that students choose a topic that makes sense given the context of our Mekong Semester trip. (So, Andean flute playing would not utilize the resources around us, for example.)

 

We leaders will be calling students in the coming weeks to talk to you about your ISP ideas and answer any other questions you may have before setting off. Please read through this text, choose a topic or two that interest you, and be prepared to talk about ISP ideas when we call. This way we can start working on making possible connections even before students arrive in Cambodia.

 

At the end of our semester, students will share with their group, experientially if possible, a taste of what they did for their ISP. This culmination of the project are our ISP Presentations.

 

To have a successful ISP, students must be active in the following things:

 

1) Selecting in the first week of the course their ISP topic;

 

2) Taking initiative with the project's creation and direction; and,

 

3) Committing to the project through all its challenges until its conclusion.

 

The ISP presentations are our favorite part of the curriculum, because students always shine in showing off where their passion and interest have led them over the 3 month course.

 

One way to think about the ISP is to consider: Head, Hands, Heart.

 

If you want, you can follow your Head, and choose a topic that is intellectually interesting, such as politics or corruption. You can utilize your Hands to do something skill-based such as learning meditation, learning cooking techniques, studying more deeply a language, or local handicrafts or a musical instrument. You can choose Heart and do something you are passionate about such as doing service work with an organization or teaching in a school.

 

We would love to incorporate “Hands” in some way into each ISP - it is after all an experiential project.

 

Lastly, one more thing to consider: Our itinerary is expansive - we will be visiting three countries in three months! We recommend choosing an ISP that is COMPARATIVE in scope. This means as we travel, students can pursue the same ISP topic in each of the three countries, providing a broad view of this issue in the region as a whole.

 

Looking at how one simple thing  - like a bowl of noodles - changes over the course of the river would be a fun, fascinating, and delicious ISP! 

 

Please take a look at the following list to get some juices flowing. It is not comprehensive! It’s OK if you aren’t completely sure what you want to study at this point. At the end of the 1st week on course we will help you draft your ISP proposal.

 

Economy / Development:

Telecommunications (mobile phones)

Prices of food – comparative study

What is rural development?

Visions of “the good life” – how development is portrayed in advertising.

Local benefits / drawbacks of major infrastructure projects

Gross Domestic Product and social well-being

Developed internet access

Role of the World Bank and/or Asia Development Bank

China’s influence in SE Asia

Comparison of local food markets

Public services (or lack thereof)

Trash collection

Public transportation

Utilities

Education (primary, secondary, development of, etc)

 

 

Politics:

Modern SE Asian politics – a survey

Pay for public servants

Corruption  

Legacy of colonialism – French, British, Japanese

Asian communism in theory and practice

Politics of tourism

China / Laos / Cambodia relations

Role and limitations of domestic and foreign NGOs

Censorship and taboo

Impressions of America and Americans

Political borders v. on the ground demographics

Ethnic minority issues

Mekong River Commission

Women in politics

Legacy of conflict

 

Religion:

Animism

Spirit houses

Islam

Daily monastic life

Comparison of Tibetan / Lao / Khmer Buddhism

Temple architecture and daily structure

Superstitions and taboo

Government repression

Individual meditation

Religion v. materialism

Ghosts/spirits

Folklore

 

Environment:

Rubber plantations

Deforestation

Slash and Burn

National Protected Areas

Ecotourism

Potential impacts of climate change

Tigers, bears, large predators

Wild animals in the local markets

 

Transportation:

Use of horns/headlights

Methods of transportation (especially a photo-essay)

Methods of transporting animals

People to wheel ratio in forms of transport

Gasoline/filling stations and their role in the community

Tourist vs local transportation

 

Tourism:

Mapping the tourist flow

Attitudes towards tourists

Economic impacts of tourism

Tourist space vs. Local space

Dangers of tourism

Effects of declaring a UNESCO site

 

Language:

Reading/writing/tones

Idioms

Songs – traditional / popular

Mapping linguistic zones

 

Trafficking:

Sex trafficking

Labor trafficking

 

Food:

Family cooking

Edible flora/fauna

Tea and Coffee

Food packaging

How rice is grown

Irrigation

Local food v. imports

 

We look forward to talking to you on the phone in the coming weeks about your ISP ideas!

 

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Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

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Let’s talk ISPs!

Hillary Sites,Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Sus’day!   ISPs stand for independent study projects. Here, we will tell you what that means for us on our trip and will give you suggestions for what you can pursue.     Students ISPs are one of the areas where students can delve deep into a topic, take ownership over interests, flex their independence […]

Posted On

01/25/13

Author

Hillary Sites

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Hello the Mekong crew,

 

As you are preparing for the adventure ahead, I wanted to highlight to you something unique about our course. Like no other courses offered by Dragons, your colorful journey will be unified by the thread of one single element, water. You may know that water is the most abundant element on our planet; but did you know that water exhibit properties to hold memories? Did you know that it interact with our thoughts and intentions? Take a look at this video clip from the documentary, "What the Bleep Do We Know!?". 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfJxx0BNyFM

 

I've also included a link below to some of Dr. Masaru Emoto's work for your further investigation.

 

Water is the source of all life on earth and the science of today is just beginning to scratch the surface of its unfathomable depth. I look forward to discover and receive any other messages this mercurial element has to share with all of us as we make our way along the Mekong River.

 

In gratitude,

Jacky 

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Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

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The Hidden Message in Water

Jacky Li,Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Hello the Mekong crew,   As you are preparing for the adventure ahead, I wanted to highlight to you something unique about our course. Like no other courses offered by Dragons, your colorful journey will be unified by the thread of one single element, water. You may know that water is the most abundant element […]

Posted On

01/24/13

Author

Jacky Li

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Hellllllo everyone! 

 

I'm jane, I graduated high school last year and just did a semester at a college in Florida.

I've been thinking about doing a Dragons course since junior year but just recently found the courage to unearth my passion to explore the unknown. I was super unhappy in Florida, but am now (hopefully) on the right path!

 

I'm really looking forward to meeting you all, and especially for our adventure to begin. I can't wait to discover the many wonders the Mekong River has to offer.

 

 

-jane 

 

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Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

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HEY!

Jane Jordan,Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Hellllllo everyone!    I’m jane, I graduated high school last year and just did a semester at a college in Florida. I’ve been thinking about doing a Dragons course since junior year but just recently found the courage to unearth my passion to explore the unknown. I was super unhappy in Florida, but am now […]

Posted On

01/24/13

Author

Jane Jordan

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Hello Mekongers!

 

We are just two weeks away from the beginning of an amazing journey. The Instructor Team has been working hard to get everything in order and to ensure the best possible trip for you all and now its time for you to start thinking and learning about where we will all shortly be. Here are a few tasks we would like you to complete before we start our program.

 

Firstly, we would like to have you read the first two articles in your course reader before you arrive in Cambodia. The first is by Pico Iyer, titled "Why We Travel" and the second is the "Epilogue" of Milton Osborne's book about the Mekong River. This article will trace our trip up the river and give you more insight on the journey ahead. Also, please bring the materials that Dragons sent you like your course reader and Lonely Planet. We know that these materials are bulky and heavy but we plan to be using them often and you will benefit greatly from the articles within. 

 

Secondly, we would like you learn 5 Khmer phrases as best you can. On our program we will begin to learn at least 3 languagese and for you to get a headstart on our first language would be very beneficial. You introductory Khmer language class will begin shortly upon arrival, but lets see if you can impress us with a few phrases off the plane!

 

Finally, get up to date on current events in SE Asia and China! Find one article about Cambodian politics or social issues in the news and be ready to present it to the group when we all come together in Phnom Pehn. 

 

I can't begin to express how excited we are to meet you all so soon!

 

I'll leave you with a wonderful Ted Talk by National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis. http://www.ted.com/talks/wade_davis_on_endangered_cultures.html

 

Let the adventures begin! 

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Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

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The Weight of Knowledge

Jesse Millett,Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Hello Mekongers!   We are just two weeks away from the beginning of an amazing journey. The Instructor Team has been working hard to get everything in order and to ensure the best possible trip for you all and now its time for you to start thinking and learning about where we will all shortly […]

Posted On

01/24/13

Author

Jesse Millett

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    [post_date] => 2013-01-22 00:00:00
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First of all, as the title states, hi Hillary!

 

I just got back to my dorm, and decided to flip through my Mekong Semester pictures from last year and stumbled across the most beautiful images of some sweet memories, and breathtaking views of the peak of Meili. It really all comes down to this. I had some trouble adjusting into my dragons semester, and I had some trouble adjusting out of it too. My time in Southeast Asia was at a very pivotal point in my life, I didn't know who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to go. I just knew that I wanted to get away. During our expedition phase in Vientiane, Laos, I stumbled over to an internet cafe axiously awaiting a notifcation from the University of Miami that would determine the next four years of my life. Lo and behold, I saw my mom had emailed me saying that I was accepted to the Frost School of Music. I could not believe my eyes. I remember coming back to the jankity youth hostel we were staying in (in which we crammed 12 guys in one room) and being unable to keep my voice down with excitement.

 

You're probably thinking, what does this have to do with the Mekong Semester at all? It has a lot to do with it. Throughout my life journey, I took a small detour before college and took a trip of a lifetime and met one of my dearest friends, Hillary Sites (who you all have such a huge pleasure of traveling with; she is my hero), and in my struggles figured out a lot about myself. I don't know who you guys are or why you decided to do Dragons this semester, but I can tell you that now looking back a year, it changed my life for the better. I will always remember the experiences that I had in Cambodia, Laos, and China, they will stay with me like a tattoo. That don't come off. I never want that to go away.

 

I know y'all are leaving soon, and I wanted to send you guys off with a bit of hope. Wherever you're at, whether you're rolling hot or bumming around, remember, for the next three months, nothing matters. Let loose, let go, and take everything in. For what it's worth, you'll never have this experience again. In some ways, I regret spending as much time in my head as I did, though I can't go back and change it, I sure can learn from it, and we all never stop learning.

 

I am currently a freshman at the University of Miami studying Music Business and Creative American Music. In two weeks, I'll turn 20. I have the best friends I can ask for, the most incredible life. I am a pledging brother at Sigma Chi Fraternity and I believe I have found my family. And though my semester abroad is far behind me, whenever the Universe walks in to my room and asks me if I want to relive it, I say "Absolutely", and I try as hard as I can to. I would not be the man I am today if it was not for that experience and for the instructors who ran it. They were my guides, my friends, and my partners in living life, and I have an incredible amount of respect for this program and what it taught me.

 

And so, I send you guys off with a little piece of me hoping it'll make a difference, make your own journies something a little sweeter, a little more peaceful and full of joy. Though I don't know any of you I wish you the best and I have an overwhelming amount of respect for all y'all for your courage to take part in the unknown (I call Laos the "Heart of Darkness", you'll know what I mean when you get there). Take care and be safe.

 

Your Friend,

P.S. Get to know Hillary really well and admire her ink. You won't regret it. 

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Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

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Hi Hillary

Russell Pollack,Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

Description

First of all, as the title states, hi Hillary!   I just got back to my dorm, and decided to flip through my Mekong Semester pictures from last year and stumbled across the most beautiful images of some sweet memories, and breathtaking views of the peak of Meili. It really all comes down to this. […]

Posted On

01/22/13

Author

Russell Pollack

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    [post_content] => 

Hello,

 

It is great to begin hearing from everyone!   Let's keep those introductions coming.  Our yak yak board is about to get busier so be sure to keep checking it on regular basis.

 

Jacky, Jesse, and I are hard at work making plans for our incredible journey.  We will be reaching out to all of you individually in the next coming weeks to say hi and see if you have any questions.  Also, please post them here because if one person has a question I imagine that many people will!  

 

Margueite, in response to your query about Cambodia Living Arts we have worked with them many times in the past so let's try to make that happen!  They are an incredible organization.

 

Have a lovely day Mekong crew!

 

-Hillary 

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Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

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Introductions and Questions

Hillary Sites,Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

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Hello,   It is great to begin hearing from everyone!   Let’s keep those introductions coming.  Our yak yak board is about to get busier so be sure to keep checking it on regular basis.   Jacky, Jesse, and I are hard at work making plans for our incredible journey.  We will be reaching out […]

Posted On

01/21/13

Author

Hillary Sites

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Hello everyone!  This list below was sent to you but we wanted to highlight a few things.  Please read it carefully and let us know if you have any questions.  -Mekong Sages 

 

Mekong Clothing & Equipment List

 

THINK LIGHT! You will have to put whatever you bring onto the tops of buses and into the backs of trucks, and you may have to carry your bag for long distances. The lighter you pack, the happier you (and the rest of the group) will be! Pack your bag and then walk around the block three times.

 

Anything you can live without? And although there will be many opportunities to do your laundry by hand, you’ll be happiest with light, wrinkle-free, fast drying clothing that doesn’t easily show dirt.

 

We recommend that you bring what's listed here, and not much more. It is very important that you can fit all of your belongings into one backpack (and a day pack) that you are comfortable carrying on your own!

 

1-A BACKPACK between 30 and 45 liters--45 is almost too big. If your stuff doesn’t fit into this size pack, you are packing too much!

2-A BACKPACK COVER: Waterproof slip to fit over backpack is important for the group will be traveling during a rain and mud season. HEFTY trash bags (to layer both the inside and outside of your bag) can also work equally well. Just bring a few, you don’t need a whole box.

3-CAMERA and memory cards or film.

4-Small (less than 20 liters) DAY PACK or hip pack.

5-Small MOSQUITO REPELLENT (smaller than 3 oz) you can buy more there.

One pair of walking OR hiking SHOES (you don’t need both). The best option is a light, low top, hiker or mountain running shoe that can double as a street shoe. (These must be able to fit inside your pack).

6-One pair of walking SANDALS like Chacos, Tevas, Keens, etc. (again, these must fit inside your pack). A pair of inexpensive FLIP FLOPS is convenient and appropriate for homestays and time in rural communities, but they are not appropriate for trekking/wilderness exploration, NGO visits or travel days.

7-Small travel size SHAMPOO and conditioner that will last about one week. You can buy more in there when you run out.

8-TOOTHBRUSH and small tube of toothpaste. These are also available in Asia.

9-Small travel size SOAP. We recommend liquid form as it is much easier to deal with. You can buy more when you run out.

10-Small hand TOWEL or lightweight quick dry towel. When you arrive, there will be opportunities to buy the traditional sarongs and bathing clothing that is used by most people in SE Asia.

11-Small ALBUM of pictures of family and friends including pictures of your house and school.  Pictures are great for starting conversations, using in English lessons, or just to ward off homesickness.

12-**Lightweight or midweight RAIN JACKET (should be breathable material).

13-**FLEECE JACKET or WOOL SWEATER Fleece is great because it is light, doesn’t

hold odors, dries fast and keeps you warm even if it’s wet. This coat is an essential

element of the layering system, and a wool sweater will serve the same purpose. We

recommend that students do NOT bring cotton sweaters and sweatshirts, as they are heavy, take a long time to dry and will only make you colder if they get wet

14-**LONG UNDERWEAR* Top & bottom – light to mid-weight capilene,

polypropylene: basically some type of synthetic or wool. No cotton, please.

15-**WARM JACKET* for hiking in China. Depending on the rain-jacket and other warm layers you bring, this item may be superfluous.  Think layering!

16-WOOL or SYNTHETIC SOCKS* 2-3 pairs. Some wool socks are blended with nylon to make them more comfy and to help them last longer.

17-**Warm hat and mittens/gloves

18-Small, lightweight HEADLAMP.  Crucial to all travel!

19-A diary or JOURNAL and pens.

 

20-NECESSARY MEDICATIONS, prescription or over the counter, with instructions on its use and dosage (by your doctor if by prescription). The Instructor Team will carry a comprehensive medical kit with first aid supplies, OTC medications, and broad spectrum antibiotics.

21-Security Wallet or MONEY BELT: You’ll want to keep your passport, traveler’s checks and other valuables in a secure wallet or belt that’s well attached to your body. Eagle Creek makes good products.

22-SUNSCREEN, 30+, preferable a small bottle (can buy a refill, if needed, in Asia). 23-Lip balm with sunscreen (hard to find in the countries we are visiting).

24-GLASSES. If you wear glasses or contacts, please bring an extra pair.

25-ALARM CLOCK Preferable a watch with an alarm, but a small travel alarm clock will work as well.

26-WATER BOTTLE 1-Quart Plastic Water Bottle

 

A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT ELECTRONICS.

DO NOT BRING COMPUTERS, IPHONES, OR IPADS, OR ANY OTHER SUPER FANCY ELECTRONICS.  A CAMERA WILL SUFFICE AND IPODS ARE ACCEPTABLE FOR LONG BUS RIDES, PLUS THERE ARE INTERNET CAFES ALONG THE WAY.

 

Note about the **asterisk** items above. Warm clothing will only be necessary during the Yunnan portion of the trip when we are at elevation. While we are in Laos and Cambodia, you will not require more than one warm top layer. 

 

For the Spring semester, please consider shipping your warm clothing to the Dragons’ program house in Kunming, as this course begins in Cambodia and you will not require warm gear for the first 9-10 weeks of the trip. Please contact info@wheretherebedragons.com for the address of the program house.

If you choose this option, you may elect to keep one lightweight warm top for the occasional cool night and on air-conditioned buses.

 

If you have any questions about the packing list, please post a message to the Yak Yak board and your instructor team will address it.

 

Clothing Specifics for Men:

1-One presentable and polite T-SHIRT (you will get a Dragon’s t-shirt and this can serve as your t-shirt). More t-shirts can be purchased inexpensively along the way if necessary.

2-One EXTRA T-SHIRT for sleeping in home-stays and villages

3- Five changes of UNDERWEAR (should not be visible in any cases).

4-SOCKS: 3 – 5 pairs.

5-Three presentable COLLARED SHIRTS (these can be short sleeved as it will be hot. Bring light colors, but try to avoid white entirely as it gets dirty easily.)

6-One pair of NICE PANTS (lightweight like Dockers).

7-Two pairs of lightweight QUICK-DRY PANTS.  These do not have to be the super fancy REI quick dry pants, but something light weight that will dry fast.

8-One pair of board SHORTS or swimsuit shorts which can double as shorts worn in home-stays or villages.

9-One pair of lightweight shorts that can be worn for sleeping in home-stays and villages.

10-A RAZOR that you like and a few extra blades. Small bottle or tube of shaving cream. Cleanly shaven is the norm for men in Cambodia and Laos. If you have facial hair, it’s appropriate to keep it well trimmed.

11-One DEODORANT that you prefer, there is a limited selection here.

 

Clothing Specifics for Women:

1-One presentable and polite T-SHIRT (you will get a Dragon’s t-shirt and this can serve as your t-shirt). More t-shirts can be purchased in country if necessary.

2-Three polite shirts or BLOUSES (Bring light colors and try to avoid white entirely as it gets dirty easily)

3-One EXTRA T-SHIRT for sleeping in home-stays and villages. (NO TANK TOPS—girls’ shoulders should be covered.)

4-***TEN*** changes of UNDERWEAR (should not be visible in any cases).

5- SOCKS: 3-5 pairs.

6-One presentable and modest lightweight SKIRT, which should be between knee and ankle length.   Nothing above the knees.  It should not be possible to see underclothing through the skirt. In Cambodia and Laos, traditional full-length silk skirts can be purchased if you want to dress like locals. Upon arrival in Laos/Cambodia, female participants are encouraged to purchase one or two cotton sarongs (a few dollars each) for bathing, swimming, or wear during homestays.  They are super lovely and very comfortable!

7-Two pairs of lightweight QUICK-DRY PANTS.  These do not have to be the super fancy REI quick dry pants, but something light weight that will dry fast. 

8-One pair of board shorts or swimsuit SHORTS which can double as shorts (must extend BELOW THE KNEE).

9-You can buy tampons and pads in URBAN centers but in rural areas they are hard to find.  Look into Diva/Moon Cup.  Recommend you bring some to start with.

10-One DEODORANT that you prefer, there is a limited selection here.

 

A note for the ladies from Hillary:  Women in Asia dress pretty modestly but nicely (no grubby travel clothes that are stained or ripped).  We don’t wear tank tops or anything that shows exposes the shoulders or is way above the knee.  I am very comfortable in blouses and skirts so that is what I wear most of the time.  I also like long trousers, they look nice and are comfortable.  There are lots of lovely t-shirts and skirts to be found in country so bring the minimum and if you need something else then it is easy to find.  I also find that a good pair of leggings is always useful!  You don’t need to go out and spend lots of $$ getting all new clothes.  Just wear what you normally wear as long as it meets the above requirements.  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email me!  Xxx

 

 

The following items are optional because we think you should have no problem finding them in China, Laos or Cambodia once you have arrived. It’s your choice if you would like to carry them from home.  One advantage of waiting is that it will help you learn what you really need and what’s totally unnecessary. It will also support the local economy if you buy them once in-country.

 

SUNGLASSES

HAT

SLEEPING SHEET – should be cotton and lightweight; it may be difficult to find this in the countries we visit (most sheets are fitted), but you can bring any old sheet from home and then go on an adventure to find a seamstress in China, Laos or Cambodia to sew a sheet for you.

Small, lightweight, collapsible PILLOW (this may not be available there)—some people just use clothes for pillows.

GIFTS A few simple things to present to home-stay families and to give away to people who help make our course special. Postcards of home, small calendars, buttons/pins, and inflatable globes are great, as well photos of yourself. (Students can discuss other appropriate gifts when their instructors call to introduce themselves in early June.)

 

*One other thing that is essential equipment: A HEALTHY BODY! Your experience will be so much more enjoyable if you come with a body that is fully prepared for the journey. We recommend an exercise regimen that gets your heart rate above 120 beats per minute, for thirty minutes at a stretch, four times a week. If you can’t do this much, do what you can - the more the better! There will be several opportunities on the course to go for long walks or ride bikes from one village to another. The better your condition, the greater the number of opportunities you’ll be able to seize.

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Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

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Packing List: UPDATES!

Hillary Sites,Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Hello everyone!  This list below was sent to you but we wanted to highlight a few things.  Please read it carefully and let us know if you have any questions.  -Mekong Sages    Mekong Clothing & Equipment List   THINK LIGHT! You will have to put whatever you bring onto the tops of buses and […]

Posted On

01/21/13

Author

Hillary Sites

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    [post_date] => 2013-01-16 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-01-16 07:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Hey Everyone!

 

I am currently at home in Maine, enjoying a little snowstorm and the return of winter! (it's been way too warm here lately!) I'm also trying to imagine the climate of Southeast Asia with little success. 

 

So far I've been loving my gap year experience, I spent the late summer and early fall WWOOFing on farms in Eastern Canada, and just finished playing in the White Mountains while working as a housekeeper at the Appalachian Mountain Club in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire. I am really interested in sustainable agriculture and environmental issues and would love to explore these concepts in Cambodia, Laos, and China.

 

I had a question for the I-Team about our time in Phnom Penh,- I have a connection through my high school advisor with Arn Chorn-Pond, the founder of Cambodian Living Arts and was wondering if it would be possible to connect with him during our time there? 

 

 I can't wait to head to SE Asia and to meet everyone! 

 

 Hope everyone has an awesome few weeks before the adventure officially begins!

 

-Marguerite 

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Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

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Hey Everyone!

Marguerite Wiser ,Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Hey Everyone!   I am currently at home in Maine, enjoying a little snowstorm and the return of winter! (it’s been way too warm here lately!) I’m also trying to imagine the climate of Southeast Asia with little success.    So far I’ve been loving my gap year experience, I spent the late summer and […]

Posted On

01/16/13

Author

Marguerite Wiser

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    [post_date] => 2013-01-14 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Hey Y’all,

 To everyone taking time off from school or life right now, my hat is off to you for defying normal and making your own path, I can’t wait to meet such interesting people that also like shaking things up a bit to make their life different from the day before. I graduated last year and spent most of the fall by cutting trees down in West Virginia, I realized there it actually snows in places farther north of fort worth Texas as I was watched my house consumed by this terrible white stuff. Slumbering in a 20 degree bag and huddling around a group of candles to stay warm because I had no power wasn’t my idea of a good time, it was actually kind of miserable, but I won’t ever forget it which is why I can’t wait to leave and do somewhere else. Not saying we’re going to have a miserable time but I think the things we remember the most are the things most difficult and dissimilar from what we have already achieved and experienced.  See y’all in Cambodia                     

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Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

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Hey Y’all

Henry Manning,Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Hey Y’all,  To everyone taking time off from school or life right now, my hat is off to you for defying normal and making your own path, I can’t wait to meet such interesting people that also like shaking things up a bit to make their life different from the day before. I graduated last […]

Posted On

01/14/13

Author

Henry Manning

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    [post_date] => 2013-01-09 00:00:42
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    [post_content] => Hi Everyone!

I'm so pumped to meet all of you. Only one more month!

I'm from Washington, DC, and just graduated from a huge public high school. In the fall, I moved down to southern VA to work on a campaign, and after the election I returned to DC to work at a toy store and do some volunteering. I'm so glad I decided to take a year off, its been refreshing to step back and do things simply just because I enjoy doing them.

It seems appropriate to take a quote from my high school's website, since I never quite understood its value until after I graduated. Hopefully we will be able to live by this quote and remember every moment while we embark on this incredibly adventure.

All the best,

Elise

"In days to come, it will please us to remember this"
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Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

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Greetings!

Elise Emil,Life Along the Mekong Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Hi Everyone! I’m so pumped to meet all of you. Only one more month! I’m from Washington, DC, and just graduated from a huge public high school. In the fall, I moved down to southern VA to work on a campaign, and after the election I returned to DC to work at a toy store […]

Posted On

01/9/13

Author

Elise Emil

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