Photo of the Week
Photo Title


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    [post_date] => 2014-03-17 11:17:50
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-03-17 17:17:50
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Namaste to Family and Friends.... The journey home has begun. We said our goodbyes to Matt at Varanasi airport and flew to Delhi late this afternoon. A brief one hour-ish flight later, through the early haze marking the start of the hot season, the Himalaya shrouded in high clouds, I then bid farewell to the group. Everyone is excited to head home and share the reflections of all we managed to squeeze in these last 9 days. Outside of some minor fleeting belly discomforts I am happy to report zero cases of "Delhi belly", or "Benaras belly"!! Quite a remarkable feat and testament to both the group's fortitude as well as their attentiveness to staying hydrated and healthy. We hope this brief introduction and immersion into India stimulates the group to explore, expand and transcend ideas of difference and boundaries. And that each may return to India to delve deeper in all that India offers. The heading photo is the group departing at Varanasi airport. The second photo captures the reflections shared yesterday by the students in the grove at Sarnath where the Buddha gave his first teaching. Phir milenge (we'll meet again!) Lawrenceville students! Keith [post_title] => Departed Varanasi | At New Delhi Airport [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => departed-varanasi-new-delhi-airport [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-03 11:33:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-03 18:33:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=98877 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 195 [name] => India Lawrenceville - 2 week [slug] => india-lawrenceville-2week-spring-2014 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 195 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 238 [count] => 31 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9.1 [cat_ID] => 195 [category_count] => 31 [category_description] => [cat_name] => India Lawrenceville - 2 week [category_nicename] => india-lawrenceville-2week-spring-2014 [category_parent] => 238 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2014/india-lawrenceville-2week-spring-2014/ ) ) [category_links] => India Lawrenceville - 2 week )
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Departed Varanasi | At New Delhi Airport

Keith Goyden,India Lawrenceville - 2 week

Description

Namaste to Family and Friends…. The journey home has begun. We said our goodbyes to Matt at Varanasi airport and flew to Delhi late this afternoon. A brief one hour-ish flight later, through the early haze marking the start of the hot season, the Himalaya shrouded in high clouds, I then bid farewell to the […]

Posted On

03/17/14

Author

Keith Goyden

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    [post_date] => 2014-03-16 18:57:18
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Dear Family and Friends, It has been a very full, rich week in Varanasi. The silence on the board is over as the students have finally had time to take some time to write and reflect. We've kept them busy and they have admirably responded to the immersion into Banarsi life in all its stimulating glory. We know each of you have been wondering how the program and the students are faring. Our times of day for posting yaks has, frustratingly, coincided with electricity load shedding hours. Soon, however, you will be enjoying the stories of your loved ones in real time. Enjoy reading their reflections... Here are some photos celebrating the festival Holi. We "played" Holi a bit early (it is actually on Monday 17 March) with the children at the Guria after school program last Wednesday. Great fun was had by all in this celebration of the arrival of spring! [post_title] => Holi [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => holi-4 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-03-16 18:57:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-03-17 00:57:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=98853 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 195 [name] => India Lawrenceville - 2 week [slug] => india-lawrenceville-2week-spring-2014 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 195 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 238 [count] => 31 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9.1 [cat_ID] => 195 [category_count] => 31 [category_description] => [cat_name] => India Lawrenceville - 2 week [category_nicename] => india-lawrenceville-2week-spring-2014 [category_parent] => 238 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2014/india-lawrenceville-2week-spring-2014/ ) ) [category_links] => India Lawrenceville - 2 week )
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Holi

Keith Goyden,India Lawrenceville - 2 week

Description

Dear Family and Friends, It has been a very full, rich week in Varanasi. The silence on the board is over as the students have finally had time to take some time to write and reflect. We’ve kept them busy and they have admirably responded to the immersion into Banarsi life in all its stimulating […]

Posted On

03/16/14

Author

Keith Goyden

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    [post_date] => 2014-03-16 06:47:06
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    [post_content] => In Sarnath so far, we have sung the First Noble Truth, next to the stupa that marks the place of the Buddha's first teaching, we've drawn and journal-ed our reflections about how we have been affected by India. There is a lot more green and quiet here in Sarnath, giving us the opportunity to take in what we've experienced, and even talk about how we are going to take this back home. The phrase "take this experience back home:, has been a daunting concept for me, but now I know that it doesn't have to be a huge public mission to bring India to Lawrenceville and my community, A big part of how I will bring this home is in what I will say when I get asked about the trip, which I'm sure I will be. 10 days, in a completely different world and spending time with amazing people, is very hard to condense, so I hope when I talk about India I will choose my words carefully and do my best to express how it feels to be in India, even right now, laying under a tree and breathing in the sent of my well worn dupatta. Personally many experiences like talking Manju-ji at Guria and leaving my home stay aunt, who had become a close friend despite a significant language barrier, have been very emotional ones. Sometimes I've had to go numb or else feel so many overwhelming feelings at once. Then I go back and reflect. So, throughout this day of visiting places of calm and Buddhist tradition, I hope the group will have enough time to reflect so that when we come home and explain our experience, you all hear more than an excited but incoherent rush of words tumbling our of our mouths. ˉ
    [post_title] => Reflecting in Sarnath
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India Lawrenceville - 2 week

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Reflecting in Sarnath

Paola Del Toro,India Lawrenceville - 2 week

Description

In Sarnath so far, we have sung the First Noble Truth, next to the stupa that marks the place of the Buddha’s first teaching, we’ve drawn and journal-ed our reflections about how we have been affected by India. There is a lot more green and quiet here in Sarnath, giving us the opportunity to take […]

Posted On

03/16/14

Author

Paola Del Toro

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2014-03-16 06:44:35
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    [post_content] => We are approaching the last two days here in India, and we have started reflecting on our complete experience through an activity called transference: we reflect on what we have learned and how we can apply it to our lives when we head back to Lawrenceville. Honestly, I have been so overwhelmed up to this point that I am loving the chance to calm down, sit back, and consider the lessons we have been taught. Just yesterday, we had the unique experience of visiting a small village where Keith gave us the task of making a map, using the assistance of people in the village. This action proved nearly impossible for my small group: we asked multitudes of people, but all of them declined the offer, claiming that they were too uneducated to draw a map of the village. As a result, we ended up with an empty sheet of paper for most of the journey (we eventually convinced a young woman to draw her house, instead). I discussed this lack of help to Matt, and how we could interpret such behavior - did this reflect the nature and lives of the people living there? We came to the conclusion that the blank piece of paper represented that they did not need a map, when they already had a "map in their heads" of the place they would be likely staying for the rest of their lives. Moreover, their unwillingness to do such an act also reflected their low level of general education.
Today, I encountered a similar situation when Matt and Keith asked us to draw a poster reflecting on our personal experiences. I realized that I had no idea what to draw, just as the people in the village did, and found myself confused on a level of whether or not I should interpret the journey literally (for instance, day by day) or figuratively (a picture/drawing). After some time, I had nothing, and stared at the blank poster, clueless. Suddenly, I remembered that time at the village: a blank poster could be interpreted just as much as a picture could. Immediately, I began to consider that possibility: the initial vision of the poster would serve as our initial start in India: the poster is white, lacks any mixing of colors, and is easily impressioned, just as our minds were at the beginning of the trip. However, as time progresses, we see the particulate matter settling on the poster, which serves as the constant stream of information entering our brains. Moreover, we realize that we are seeing this poster as the reflection of white light on our retinas, which, unlike the white color of the poster, is composed of every color in the rainbow. In concrete terms, our vision "expands" to be able to see more throughout the trip, and when we do, we see that the knowledge that we know (the particulate matter) is insignificant compared to the visible, larger picture. In fact, there is even more that we cannot see on that poster: the visible light spectrum is incredibly small compared to the huge EM wave spectrum. Ultimately, we pick up knowledge throughout the trip, expand our vision, but realize that there is much more that we do not know by doing so. We realize the insignificant scale of what we have experienced here in India, and know that we do not know, echoing ideas we learned from the Krishnamurti foundation.
After learning so much about India, I have realized this lack of knowledge: I could stay in India for the rest of my life, and still not comprehend the immense amount of topics throughout the country, let alone the rest of the world. Nevertheless, the 10 days here have been incredibly great and eye opening, despite the unceasing amount of questions I still have about everything here, and I'd love to come back, hopefully for a much longer time.
    [post_title] => A Reflection on the Indian Experience
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India Lawrenceville - 2 week

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A Reflection on the Indian Experience

Richard Wang,India Lawrenceville - 2 week

Description

We are approaching the last two days here in India, and we have started reflecting on our complete experience through an activity called transference: we reflect on what we have learned and how we can apply it to our lives when we head back to Lawrenceville. Honestly, I have been so overwhelmed up to this […]

Posted On

03/16/14

Author

Richard Wang

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    [post_date] => 2014-03-16 06:41:13
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-03-16 12:41:13
    [post_content] => Yesterday was full  of "lasts"s: Our last morning yoga session, last day at Guria, and our last night with our home stay families. At Guria we painted sand and danced before the children arrived, and after playing and spending time with them for three days , we said final, sad good byes and were sent off with some extra color powder from Holi, as the children's arms wrapped around our legs. In the evening we had dinner with the students from the Princeton Bridge Year, who have been here since September and have about a month left here in Banaras. During our conversations most of us 10 day trip students concluded that we wished we could stay longer. My home stay uncle told us that even though we had walked along the Ganga and the ghats, and spent time in Assi Ghat, we did "compete" Varanasi,; we got "only little little piece". I will miss this little piece.    
    [post_title] => (March 14th: Last Normal Schedule Day)
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India Lawrenceville - 2 week

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(March 14th: Last Normal Schedule Day)

Paola Del Toro,India Lawrenceville - 2 week

Description

Yesterday was full  of “lasts”s: Our last morning yoga session, last day at Guria, and our last night with our home stay families. At Guria we painted sand and danced before the children arrived, and after playing and spending time with them for three days , we said final, sad good byes and were sent […]

Posted On

03/16/14

Author

Paola Del Toro

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    [post_date] => 2014-03-16 06:39:55
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    [post_content] => This expierence as a whole has been one that cannot be simply explained. Through my time in India, even though it may have been very brief, I have learned so much and come to appreciate different cultures more. Living as a "typical" American I never really identified myself with any specific culture. I never saw my life as an interesting one. I saw my life as boring or unoriginal, but as I have navigated India I have come to realize just how extraordinary my life is. In this country the term "middle class" does not exist. The gap between extreme wealth and disparity is huge, not to mention the hundreds of millions of people who live off of only about three thousand Rupees a month. That's only about 30 USD and yet these people live normal lives. They live their lives through each other. Each and every person in Banares is connected to each other in some way that helps to better the community as a whole. People like Ajit-ji are some of the huge movers and shakers of the society. Ajit-ji and Gurea display some off the best characteristics of what a small group of people can have on a society. Ajit-ji's work to fight against an almost completely corrupt political machine and an equally corrupt law enforcement system is incredible. If someone were to just explain what he has done only using words I may not believe them, but I have seen his work in the red light district and met many of the kids living there and I know just how much of an impact he has had on the community. I think the biggest thing I am going to bring back with me however is the kids and their smiles. These kids that are attending the Guria school are absolutely incredible. Each and everyone of them has more courage than any other person I have ever met, any celebrity, any athlete. These kids come to school excited to learn because they know just how important education is, they know that their education is a privilege not a right. That's something I can most defiantly strive for. I hope that I can be just as strong and outgoing as those children. It is hard to explain the change I am going through and the emotions I feel at the moment but I know that they are for the better. This is a very special place and traveling abroad has opened me up to realize just how different countries are and how it is impossible to understand a culture through a text book - you need to interact, observe and ask questions.
    [post_title] => Goodbye
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Goodbye

Connor Astemborski,India Lawrenceville - 2 week

Description

This expierence as a whole has been one that cannot be simply explained. Through my time in India, even though it may have been very brief, I have learned so much and come to appreciate different cultures more. Living as a “typical” American I never really identified myself with any specific culture. I never saw […]

Posted On

03/16/14

Author

Connor Astemborski

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2014-03-16 06:35:52
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-03-16 12:35:52
    [post_content] => Today marks our last day in India. I have mixed feelings right now - sadness, excitement, happiness, and a sense of fulfillment. As I'm looking back at the past few days I'm still in the process of trying to grasp everything I've experienced and witnessed. However our last day at Guria was definitely one of the moments that sticks out for me. While I was there, playing with the children, I couldn't help feeling sad because I knew that this would be the last time seeing these strong, beautiful children at Guria. Their unguardedness and their power to stay strong even in such terrible conditions made me have faith in the community and the capability of Ajit-ji and the organization. I really hope that the paintings and the mural we helped create will remain at Guria for many years and will somehow brighten a child's day.
This trip to India will be unforgettable. Months and years from now I will definitely be reflecting on the days we spent in Varanasi and all the other things we did/saw. I'd like to thank everyone that helped me get through this crazy journey and a special thank you to the Dragons instructors and our Lawrenceville chaperones for letting us have this wonderful experience. Thank you!
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India Lawrenceville - 2 week

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Last day in India

Kanna Atarashi,India Lawrenceville - 2 week

Description

Today marks our last day in India. I have mixed feelings right now – sadness, excitement, happiness, and a sense of fulfillment. As I’m looking back at the past few days I’m still in the process of trying to grasp everything I’ve experienced and witnessed. However our last day at Guria was definitely one of […]

Posted On

03/16/14

Author

Kanna Atarashi

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    [post_date] => 2014-03-16 06:34:47
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    [post_content] => At our morning circle we each shared what we would bring home with us. It is difficult to quantify what we have experienced, but to me one thought I will bring home is about the choices all of us make as humans. Ajit and Manju made the choice to dedicate their lives to helping the girls who are victims of child trafficking, and persevere despite threats against them and the actions (or inaction) of the corrupt Indian government. The untouchable family living in a small two room home right on the street  and working incredibly hard each day doing laundry on the street stones (literally) also make choices, but their choices are constrained in so many ways we can only imagine. Matt told of a conversation had with the son of the launderer, how the son wished to be educated and create a new life for himself, but he knew that was not possible. In the village we saw the lives of the farmers and laborers, their limited options for water and sanitation, must less education past age 11, and I wondered about the choices they faced. Especially for the women and girls, their lives are so constrained by cultural and gender values on top of poverty and all that is associated with poverty. It is easy to see why getting married (even if arranged among men of the same caste) and having children would be such a huge deal for these women in the midst of the constrained lives they lead. So one thing I bring home is to think about the choices that I will make in the coming years and the choices the students will make. What constraints face each of us, and what do we do in the face of these constraints or perhaps to get around the constraints as best we can? Do we have the courage to make the hard choices like Ajit and Manju ? What are the hard choices facing each of us? Ajit and Manju came at their choices from a reservoir of spirituality. What do we do if we do not have that same faith? What is the source of our courage? I hope that this trip will will lead to many interesting conversations with these 8 students as well as my family, friends and colleagues over the next years of our lives.
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India Lawrenceville - 2 week

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Ms.

Kris Schulte,India Lawrenceville - 2 week

Description

At our morning circle we each shared what we would bring home with us. It is difficult to quantify what we have experienced, but to me one thought I will bring home is about the choices all of us make as humans. Ajit and Manju made the choice to dedicate their lives to helping the […]

Posted On

03/16/14

Author

Kris Schulte

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    [post_content] => As our trip comes to a close, we took a lot of time today to reflect on our time here both by ourselves and as a group. We were asked to make a visual representation of our trip. For that task, I drew a pathway from the departure from JFK to the departure from Dehli. I am a very empathetic person, so I tend to throw myself and my emotions into everything I do, this trip included. On my path, I made my most emotional experiences evident. One of the low points was on the first day in Dehli. We went to buy Dupattas at a store called Fab India, an obvious tourist spot. This store, which was making tons of money per day, was next to a group of beggers. For me, seeing that contrast was shocking. It was also the first of many close encounters with the extensive poverty of India. From the experience of seeing such poverty all troughout India, I have been able to reflect on my own life. 700 million people in India live under the poverty line, which is living under $3 a day. For those people, education is a privilege, not a right. I'm so lucky to be able to go to such an amazing school that has given me such amazing opportunities, such as going to India. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the amount of work that I have at Lawrenceville. But the next time I get overwhelmed, I just have to think back to my time at India, where so many people would give anything to be able to go to my school and do all that work. I can't promise that the next time I take exams I am going to be happy; but I can promise that I will appreciate the fact that I get the opportunity to take those exams.
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My Reflection

Claire Stout,India Lawrenceville - 2 week

Description

As our trip comes to a close, we took a lot of time today to reflect on our time here both by ourselves and as a group. We were asked to make a visual representation of our trip. For that task, I drew a pathway from the departure from JFK to the departure from Dehli. […]

Posted On

03/16/14

Author

Claire Stout

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Hi readers, I haven't posted any yaks recently due to my laziness, and I apologize for that. However, today has been an eventful day for me because we are at Sarnath where the Buddha gave his first teaching. Being a Buddhist myself, I found this trip to be very spiritual and calming. I'm grateful for dragons to provide this trip and allow me to pray and pay respects to the Buddha. I'm sure my family would be excited to hear about this. For now I would prefer to not describe how I feel right now because I don't have the appropriate words to describe it, and I'm still filtering all the stimulation that I felt today. So this would be the end of my yak and I'll just let it be. [post_title] => Pilgrimage [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => pilgrimage-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-03-16 06:30:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-03-16 12:30:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=98807 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 195 [name] => India Lawrenceville - 2 week [slug] => india-lawrenceville-2week-spring-2014 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 195 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 238 [count] => 31 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9.1 [cat_ID] => 195 [category_count] => 31 [category_description] => [cat_name] => India Lawrenceville - 2 week [category_nicename] => india-lawrenceville-2week-spring-2014 [category_parent] => 238 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2014/india-lawrenceville-2week-spring-2014/ ) ) [category_links] => India Lawrenceville - 2 week )

India Lawrenceville - 2 week

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Pilgrimage

Jared Ho,India Lawrenceville - 2 week

Description

Hi readers, I haven’t posted any yaks recently due to my laziness, and I apologize for that. However, today has been an eventful day for me because we are at Sarnath where the Buddha gave his first teaching. Being a Buddhist myself, I found this trip to be very spiritual and calming. I’m grateful for […]

Posted On

03/16/14

Author

Jared Ho

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