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    [post_date] => 2012-12-05 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2012-12-05 07:00:00
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Hello Friends and Parents! 
 
Our Yak Yak bulletin boards provide a wonderful place for students to post reflections, insights, and observations, and share their journey with those who are vicariously participating from home.  The boards also serve as a great “e-memoir” for students to return to post-course to observe their growth, revisit ideas, and renew their inspiration.  Of course, Yak Yak is equally valuable to potential Dragons students and families, who can dig in and gain honest insight into past field experiences.   

For these reasons, we prefer to reserve our bulletin boards for postings that are of interest to the entire viewing audience.  As most groups will have regular access to web-based email services, we request that personal notes to individual students be sent to students’ personal email accounts.  If you would like to share a message with the entire group, post an article that is relevant to the country your student is traveling in, or submit your own composed reflection that is relevant to the country and/or applicable to the viewing interest of all general observers of Yak Yak, we invite you to post! 

If there is anything that you would like to communicate to Dragons’ administrative staff, please email your question/comment directly to info@wheretherebedragons.com and we’ll respond as quickly as possible. In addition, you are always welcome to phone our office 800-982-9203

Thank you again for your active interest in the upcoming adventures!

Sincerely,

Dragons’ Admin.

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2013

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For Friends and Parents: A Note on Yakking

Dragons Administration,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Hello Friends and Parents!  Our Yak Yak bulletin boards provide a wonderful place for students to post reflections, insights, and observations, and share their journey with those who are vicariously participating from home.  The boards also serve as a great “e-memoir” for students to return to post-course to observe their growth, revisit ideas, and renew their […]

Posted On

12/5/12

Author

Dragons Administration

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    [post_date] => 2012-12-05 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Greetings Dragons!

 

Firstly, I would like to welcome students, parents, instructors, and friends to the 2013 Spring Semester Yak Yak board. This is a momentous time of year for us, charged with anticipation and preparation for another spring season. We hope that the Yak Yak forum encourages you to voice your excitement, anxieties, thoughts and questions. Additionally, it’s a great place to share a bit about yourself.  Shortly, instructors will post their own introductions and begin providing information about the journey ahead. From here, discussions will begin to build and your instructors will offer advice for course preparation regarding packing, recommended readings, the itinerary, and topics to consider for your Independent Study Projects (ISPs). As the Semester Director, I'll be your main point of contact in the Dragons office.  The yak board will serve as an excellent venue for pre-course questions as well.  As for "in-field," your families, your friends, and the Boulder office will live vicariously through your stories and reflections.


My own international journey began as a 6 yr-old when I lived abroad with my family in the Turks & Caicos Islands, and later Haiti. Since, I’ve been instilled with a sense of wanderlust that has yet to wane, whether it is a desire to travel to distant locales or simply seek adventures in my own backyard. I came to Dragons in 2009 as an instructor on the Cambodia course, having spent the previous four years in Japan and Southeast Asia. I later had the opportunity to instruct and help develop our Life Along the Mekong semester program and I now find myself happily ensconced in our home office in Boulder, supporting students, instructors, and courses as I can. I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of such a brilliant and inspiring group of seekers and I am happy to welcome all of you to the Dragons community.

 

So, as we begin to pack our bags for the upcoming adventure, keep in mind that you are now an intricate part of a much greater process; one that contains stories of past students and their feedback, of instructors who have brought their contacts, knowledge and passion, and the dedicated individuals working in country to facilitate a powerful cross-cultural experience. Lastly, but certainly not least, are your parents, who generously send you off in to the world to find your own path. 

The launching of the Yak Yak forum encourages YOU to become a participant in the process and the Dragons community. As you dig through your guidebooks and crack open a few of our suggested pre-course readings, we’d really like to hear what catches your attention. You are welcome to throw out contributions to the itinerary – whether there’s a particular monastery that piques your interest, a non-governmental organization that you would like to visit, or a trekking route that passes through beautiful terrain. Although our instructors have already defined most components of the course, we’d like to work to incorporate your ideas when and where possible. So join in, shout out, and partake in this forum!

The Yak board is the most appropriate place to address your pre-course questions and concerns. We hope that you will discover the magic of the Yak Yak forum, and learn to love it! It’s a powerful tool for communication and community building, and once you head into the field, it will undoubtedly become the default homepage of your parents and friends at home – all of those who WISH they could be out there with you!

Again, welcome to Dragons. I look forward to hearing from you all, and vicariously journeying alongside you this spring.

Warm Regards,

 

Michael Woodard

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Visions of India Semester, Spring 2013

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A Warm Welcome

Michael Woodard,Visions of India Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Greetings Dragons!   Firstly, I would like to welcome students, parents, instructors, and friends to the 2013 Spring Semester Yak Yak board. This is a momentous time of year for us, charged with anticipation and preparation for another spring season. We hope that the Yak Yak forum encourages you to voice your excitement, anxieties, thoughts […]

Posted On

12/5/12

Author

Michael Woodard

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    [post_content] => Welcome to your Where There Be Dragons Yak Yak bulletin board! As you’ll soon discover, this board is a valuable forum for self-introductions, for building community, and for addressing any and all questions that arise during the upcoming months.

Until the start of yourcourse, this will be THE place to find important notices related to your course’s development and itinerary design. It’ll also be the place to learn about your fellow students and instructors. So please, post a personal introduction! It may reflect any number of things about you, like your interests, reasons for choosing Dragons, independent study considerations, or any other thought or inspiration. Please also consider posting your packing and prep-related questions here. Don’t be shy - if you have a question, it’s likely that someone else in your group has been wondering the same thing! Your instructors have a lot of experience and many, many tips that they’re excited to share with you. So please, ask away.

Setting up the Yak board, in many ways, marks the start of your course. It’s the first step in establishing the community that will support you throughout the journey that lies ahead. Together, you will learn to walk, dress, eat, talk and think in an entirely new way. You will see landscapes that will cause your jaw to drop, and meet people that will touch, change and inspire your life forever. Although your course’s official start date is months away, we would like to remind you that your adventure actually began the day you made the choice to join Dragons. Choosing to make your dream a reality took immense amounts of courage, and all of us congratulate you on taking that first, and most important, step.

Welcome to Dragons. We’re excited to share in your adventure!

Sincerely,

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Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2013

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Welcome to your Yak Board!

admin,Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Welcome to your Where There Be Dragons Yak Yak bulletin board! As you’ll soon discover, this board is a valuable forum for self-introductions, for building community, and for addressing any and all questions that arise during the upcoming months. Until the start of yourcourse, this will be THE place to find important notices related to […]

Posted On

12/4/12

Author

admin

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2012-12-02 13:07:27
    [post_date_gmt] => 2012-12-02 20:07:27
    [post_content] => 
Three months ago, I arrived to Bolivia and wrote this letter to myself. I sit here perched above a high, Andean canyon. My weight, borne by the Pachamama and my emotions supported by the collective strength of the group. Yet, that’s not quite honest; my inner peace, excitement, and focus still come from within. Although, I’m sure I will come to depend on them in the days ahead. This moment’s task asks me to write a letter to myself, addressing my hopes and fears for what lays ahead during the three to come. I have many goals. The first two that come to mind are Spanish fluency, a goal towards which I’ve been working for the last two years, and to attain very rapidly an arsenal of trekking skills while hiking through some of the most amazing places on the planet. I also want to improve my ability to work in groups. After four years in the American high school system, I’ve found that I have grown competitive with others in a way that I see fruitless. I would still like to retain my competitiveness, yet instead focus it more directly on myself. I believe that in order to reduce my competitiveness with others, I will need to find humility. That is something I can learn here while working alongside many intelligent, fellow Dragons and from life spent immersed in the many, unique and rich cultures of Bolivia and Perú. When it comes to interacting with others, I’ve become quite adept at identifying what I perceive to be flaws. During this trip, I wish to adjust that ability, using it instead to find the best in others and concentrate on those strengths in a way that pushes a team to be all that it can, leaving “flaws” b by the wayside. For the second, I’m not criticizing myself; I think I’ve come a long way in that regard. I just wish to continue progressing in that direction. I look to my instructors for inspiration as I work towards these goals. They, weathered travellers of the world and exceptional leaders and team-members, are blazers of a trail that I hope one day to take. I fear that my eagerness to practice my language skills, to dive into adventure, and potential leadership positions may alienate me from some of my group members by coming off as arrogant or flashy. To improve in this manner, I hope to pare down my words, making them fewer and more meaningful. I will take the adage, “A wise man speaks when he has something to say; a fool speaks when he has to say something” as my guide. I don’t think homesickness and events at home that will call my early return will be my biggest obstacle, but time will tell. When times are bad, I will look to my instructors and my friends for support. It really is beautiful here. Buena suerte, David Last night, I opened this letter for the first time since its creation atop an isolated ridge outside of La Paz. By the light of the fire (and a borrowed headlamp), I read the words written by the person I was when I stepped off the plane three months ago. My hands shook. My eyes teared. How long it’s been... how far I’ve come... Now I would like to write a letter back To the person I used to be, You probably wouldn’t recognize yourself. You’ve shaved once in three months. Your attire now consists of a blend Bolivian woven artesanía and vintage American clothing sold at black markets. You´ve had only one hot shower in the last three months, and probably fewer than fifteen in total. You’ve been sicker than you’ve ever been. You’ve cried for reasons you wouldn’t have understood. Yet, you couldn’t be happier, because you became the person you set out to be and so much more. You’ve climbed mountains over 16,000 feet. You’ve jumped through waterfalls in the Amazon. You’ve played country music with some of the most inspiring musicians you’ve ever met. You’ve touched families and they’ve touched you. Your Spanish is fluent. You’ve trekked through some of the most amazing landscapes you’ve ever seen in your life. Your group became your family and you care for them more deeply than you ever could have imagined. You’re a leader who brings out the best in everyone around you. You’re so proud of yourself. You love your life. And, you can’t wait for what comes next. 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How Long It’s Been; How far I’ve come

David Fuchs,Best Notes From The Field, Andes & Amazon Semester, Spring 2013

Description

Three months ago, I arrived to Bolivia and wrote this letter to myself. I sit here perched above a high, Andean canyon. My weight, borne by the Pachamama and my emotions supported by the collective strength of the group. Yet, that’s not quite honest; my inner peace, excitement, and focus still come from within. Although, […]

Posted On

12/2/12

Author

David Fuchs

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