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    [post_date] => 2017-04-30 13:51:36
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    [post_content] => 

NAMASTE FRIENDS AND FAMILIES!!

During our transference in Bhaktapur, we talked about going home – what it means, what to expect, how to make sense of this semester in Nepal. We want to thank you to all families and friends for your support in making this semester a great success! The following is a collection of responses from all students, for what they need YOU to know

As I leave Nepal, I want you to know….

-How thankful I am for the love and support I have received throughout this journey from both leaders and all of the other students.

-My life is changed now. I am changed, and I make no apologies.

-How much I’ve loved, Nepal. You’ve become a mother, a mentor, and a lifelong friend for me. I’ve explored your chaotic cities, your tranquil simple villages, and your awe-inspiring mountains. The love and positivity that runs rooted in the very ground of country pervades every person here- visitors, refugees people who live here for centuries and those who just pass through. Nepal, you’ve given me adventures, sorrows, thrills and chills, boisterous, laughs and quite smiles, visions of the past and a glimpse of the future of humanity, but mostly just love-given so freely and taken so sweetly in the bowing of the head, in feeding someone a sweet, even in the heckoning calls that bellow across the house! “Oi! Siddhartha!”

As I leave you Nepal, as a lover leaves a beloved, I will keep and feel walk in my knees as my heart breaks amidst the sunrise of incense. But I will take solace in memories of the sweet sunlight breaking through golden clouds, of iridescent greens contrasting with the red clay mud in the lower Himalayas. I will rejoice in the memories of circles of people laughing and sharing, passing around Chia, biscuits and stories. I will continue to nurture the emotions you chat in me- the happiness, peace, and love. I want you to know how humbled I am to call you a home, Nepal.

-I am good. I am more good. I am more consistently better than I have been before.

-That piece of my soul will remain here forever and I am so grateful for my time here. I have been shaped by colors of Nepal.

- How grateful I am for this experience, and how much my time here has meant to me. I can already tell that these past months have changed my life, and as it goes on, this experience will continue to inform my perspective. The ability to travel so far away with such wise, fascinating teachers and study so many different subjects I love has been a precious gift, and I cannot thank you all enough for allowing me to pursue this opportunity. I have learned so much and although I am sad that many new things that I am excited to share with you and implement into my life in America.

In travelling, my concept of what is possible in life has completely shifted, and I look forward to what I can create with this knowledge in the future. Thank you so much!

-Mom and Dad, how grateful I am that you allowed me to go to this trip and for always inspiring to follow my dreams. A yak will never communicate how this trip changed me. I can’t wait to share my experience with you.

- The person who lands at JFK terminal isn’t the same person you dropped off. The flicker of pixalated screens and the sleek weight of a pocketed i-phone will feel foreign tome. My mannerism will be slower, my gaze in conversation will pierce deeper. But most importantly my patience infinitely vaster.

Once I am back home, I will keep on finding meaning by

-Trying to live more sustainably, continuing my travels, and attempting to learn more from people with possibly different opinions.

-Recognizing the inherent beauty in every moment.

-Expanding on the things that I learned during the trip and taking action on the projects I came up with while here.  I’m going to rely a lot on my 11 other travel partners in order to keep being reminded of what I learned and what I plan to do with it.

-Finding a community of like-minded people who are inspired by the world and I will plant so many vegetables, fruits and trees and flowers.

- Traveling is one of those few times when the meaning of life really seems like it is just to live, just to look deeply and speak to people and appreciate it all. There isn't this need to be productive that I often feel in my normal life. So, once I am back home, I will keep on finding meaning in the ways I usually have, but in new found ways as well. I will still find purpose in doing what I am passionate about, in standing up for what I believe in, and living intentionally. But I will also take time to simply exist, to view the world as the intricate and wonderful art work it is and appreciate its beauty. I will find purpose in working towards what I feel is important and valuable , but I will also remember to sing songs and dance in the rain and give compliments to strangers and surprise my loved ones with random gifts and wake up to watch the sunrise more often and take the scenic way to work and make myself nice breakfasts in stead of instant oatmeal and wash my clothes by hand every once in a while so I don't take technology for granted and to try new things and do things that scare me everyday. In traveling, I think I've realized that although careers and goals and hard work are important, these are just the shapes and outlines in our lives. Feeling alive colors our world in, and no pursuit is worth a colorless life.

-Waking up in the morning and reminding myself of the beauty and light that can be created as simply, by smiling, by mindful remembering and acting, by moving forward, by living in the present.

-Finding meaning in myself and my daily life, I’m scared that going back to a comfortable environment will make me fall back into routines. However, by focusing on finding meaning in the small parts of life- cup of tea, the flowers that will be bloom in my backyard, the cute sighs of my sister as she takes nap, the smile I share with a …… stranger. I want to find meaning in the seconds I spend …….for a pot of water to boil, driving to the post office, practicing patience. I will live my life more intentionally- looking at what I do and why I do it and putting conscious mental energy in my actions. I will find meaning by reconnecting with my family, perhaps gang on picnics and taking time to observe the change of the sunlight on the green grass. There is meaning in the first hug of my old friends, our bright eyes meeting with unshed tears and luminuos love. I will find meaning in….to our save earth, one small contribution at a time, putting my sweat in soul into the work I do. I will trust in myself and find in every corner of the world. And that’s how I will find meaning.

-Practicing mindfulness every day, actively seeking out opportunities to learn new things, and slowing down my pace of life in order to be more present.

 

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Best Notes From The Field, SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

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AS I LEAVE NEPAL, I WANT YOU TO KNOW….

INSTRUCTOR TEAM,Best Notes From The Field, SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

Description

NAMASTE FRIENDS AND FAMILIES!! During our transference in Bhaktapur, we talked about going home – what it means, what to expect, how to make sense of this semester in Nepal. We want to thank you to all families and friends for your support in making this semester a great success! The following is a collection […]

Posted On

04/30/17

Author

INSTRUCTOR TEAM

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    [post_date] => 2017-04-30 06:52:10
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    [post_content] => Dear friends and family of the Himalaya B semester,

 

After a wonderful 3 months in Nepal, our semester has parted ways at the international airport in Kathmandu. Those students who are flying home on the group Etihad flight have cleared the first layer of security and will be arriving in New York in the morning of May 1 (local time). Those who are continuing their travels in Asia have taken taxis from the airport to Patan. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Where There Be Dragons office.

 

These three months together have been a transformative time for all of us. As you prepare to welcome returning students, we ask for your patience and understanding as they work through the immediate challenge of jet lag and the slower process of integrating into a home culture that may now seem foreign through the lens of travels and learning on the other side of the world.

 

We hope that in the days following your student's arrival, you can slowly find the time to ask them about their values, beliefs, and huge variety of experiences. If there's one thing that characterizes our lovely and lively student community on this semester, it is the sense of aliveness, joy, and steady groundedness that each student embodies at the end of this experience. Parting ways in Kathmandu feels like the breaking of a community of lifelong friends who will be tied together for the rest of their lives not just by this experience but by their shared values, by their care and compassion for the broader global community, and by their newfound or newly solidified sense of purpose in life moving forward.

 

Each of your students carries with them a plan they wrote for them self for their immediate integration (dealing with jet lag, culture shock, and a life apart from their supportive community) and also their goals for the next few weeks and few months. We know you will be supportive as they move forward in the effort of fully integrating their learning into a meaningful life moving forward.

 

With love and care,

The Himalaya B instructors:

Sharon, Shanti, Rebecca, and Jeff
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Farewell to Him B: Students have departed

Jeff Wagner,SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

Description

Dear friends and family of the Himalaya B semester,   After a wonderful 3 months in Nepal, our semester has parted ways at the international airport in Kathmandu. Those students who are flying home on the group Etihad flight have cleared the first layer of security and will be arriving in New York in the […]

Posted On

04/30/17

Author

Jeff Wagner

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    [post_content] => Please enjoy some photos taken by Jeff Wagner.   
    [post_title] => Images from Rowaling Trek
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SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

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Images from Rowaling Trek

Shannon Harriman,SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

Description

Please enjoy some photos taken by Jeff Wagner.

Posted On

04/28/17

Author

Shannon Harriman

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    [post_date] => 2017-04-21 19:32:56
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-22 01:32:56
    [post_content] => Namaste Himalaya Semester B followers,

We received a wonderful satellite phone update from the instructors as the group headed high into the Rolwaling Valley. They are currently in the village of Na. From there they had a hike up to their high point near the spectacular Tso Rolpa lake beneath the 7000 meter Gauri Shankar peak. Students are feeling healthy and exhilarated being so high in the Himalayas. We will keep you updated as any other updates come in, but now the group will begin their descent back down the valley and return to Bhaktapur on the 24th to begin their course end and transference.

With care,

Dragons' Administration
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SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

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Update from Rolwaling

Dragons' Admin,SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

Description

Namaste Himalaya Semester B followers, We received a wonderful satellite phone update from the instructors as the group headed high into the Rolwaling Valley. They are currently in the village of Na. From there they had a hike up to their high point near the spectacular Tso Rolpa lake beneath the 7000 meter Gauri Shankar […]

Posted On

04/21/17

Author

Dragons' Admin

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    [post_date] => 2017-04-19 16:24:40
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-19 22:24:40
    [post_content] => Dear Spring 2017 Nepal Semester Students & Families,

It is hard to believe that 3 months have passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long and students will be boarding their planes back home. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!

Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for eagerly awaiting families (all times are in local time zones):

Monday, May 1st

Etihad Airways #103

Depart: Abu-Dhabi (AUH) 3:35 am

Arrive: New York (JFK) 9:35am

We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day. Should you need any assistance after regular office hours, please call our “on-call” number at 303-921-6078. We wish all students a great trip home! Sincerely, Boulder Admin [post_title] => Return Flight Information [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => return-flight-information-55 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-19 16:31:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-19 22:31:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 600 [name] => SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES A [slug] => himalayas-spring-2017-a [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 600 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 595 [count] => 58 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0.1 [cat_ID] => 600 [category_count] => 58 [category_description] => [cat_name] => SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES A [category_nicename] => himalayas-spring-2017-a [category_parent] => 595 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2017/himalayas-spring-2017-a/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 601 [name] => SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B [slug] => himalayas-spring-2017-b [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 601 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 595 [count] => 77 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0.1 [cat_ID] => 601 [category_count] => 77 [category_description] => [cat_name] => SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B [category_nicename] => himalayas-spring-2017-b [category_parent] => 595 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2017/himalayas-spring-2017-b/ ) ) [category_links] => SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES A, SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B )

SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES A, SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

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Return Flight Information

Hilary LeBlanc,SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES A, SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

Description

Dear Spring 2017 Nepal Semester Students & Families, It is hard to believe that 3 months have passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long and students will be boarding their planes back home. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival! Below is a reminder of the return group flight […]

Posted On

04/19/17

Author

Hilary LeBlanc

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    [post_date] => 2017-04-14 07:55:09
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Chicken coop in the bedroom. Chicken poop on the floor. Eight of our goats just right next door.Chokoti in the “hills.” Lots of rocks. No frills. Thami people all throughout. Tough, friendly people without a doubt. Thick skin, leather feet, wooden toenails and thin sheets. Way up here, discreet in a different beat.

KTM. Seems so soft. People there live lives aloft. America-maa just seems so laughable. Strange to believe that life can be so map-able.

Things we go with. We can also go without. “No” we say or scream or shout, but I think slowly we’ll figure it out. That the destination won’t change, only the route.

Last time I ate, I ate with my hand. It’s customary here in this fine land. At first it’s quite hot, so you’d be wise to wait. For this amount of time, your food is fly bait. In this way, food holds all your attention. As it should, for food inspires life-retention. Simple enough, yet simple to complicate. Today, our attention is easy to confiscate.

If we can’t watch our food, just what can we watch? We know we’re good at watching our watch, ticking down it’s every last notch. Funny how we call it “keeping the time.” Funnier, still, that I continue this rhyme. But how can anyone keep what’s never at rest? Phrase this riddle to me, and I’ll try my best. You just can’t keep what does not remain; the best you can do is flow in its vein. Present to present. Moment to moment. Now until now. The ancient Chinese would’ve called it the Tao.

Is this a yak or a lecture? It reads like the latter, but these rhymes of mine reach the heart of my matter. The roads of life move too fast, but here they are slown. The bridge of life is just too narrow, but here it has grown.The possibilities I find, I continue to find. I can finally see what limits I have, exist only in mind. This village has taught me, if nothing else more, your life is what you make it. A game or a chore.

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SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

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Chicken Coop

Nathaniel Matlock,SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

Description

Chicken coop in the bedroom. Chicken poop on the floor. Eight of our goats just right next door.Chokoti in the “hills.” Lots of rocks. No frills. Thami people all throughout. Tough, friendly people without a doubt. Thick skin, leather feet, wooden toenails and thin sheets. Way up here, discreet in a different beat. KTM. Seems […]

Posted On

04/14/17

Author

Nathaniel Matlock

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    [post_date] => 2017-04-14 07:49:42
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    [post_content] => Hello, Namaste!

We received a call and update this evening from the group.  They have completed day 6 of their trek and tomorrow will make it to a bazaar for resupply before heading up the Rowaling Valley.  The students are doing well - enjoying the terrain, giving classes to one another and learning a lot about rural Nepal.

We expect to hear from them in another few days and will keep everyone posted.
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SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

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6 days into trek

Shannon Harriman,SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

Description

Hello, Namaste! We received a call and update this evening from the group.  They have completed day 6 of their trek and tomorrow will make it to a bazaar for resupply before heading up the Rowaling Valley.  The students are doing well – enjoying the terrain, giving classes to one another and learning a lot […]

Posted On

04/14/17

Author

Shannon Harriman

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    [post_content] => After the three hour strut up the mountain, we are greeted by warm smiles and large gatherings of multi-generational Thami people. Because of our fair complexions and funny hiking attire, we receive long looks from groups of children, holding our gaze without the slightest of motion. Staring is not considered rude in Nepali culture as it is in America. At this point in the night, we need headlamps and flashlights to navigate the uneven terrain downward. I am greeted by my Aama, who is holding a two-year old boy with chubby cheeks and a forever runny nose. She is standing by two children, and leads me into a hut like home with hanging dry corn and meat and a fire pit in the center of the floor. This fire is used to cook daal bhat, dhero made from corn, spicy aachar, the seasonal vegetable and the occasional locally sacrificed goat, chicken, or buffalo. My pronunciation could use work as I have to continually repeat "Ma massu khadina" (I don't eat meat) and "ma saakaahari ho" (I am vegetarian). The language barrier is strong, but we survive upon the little Nepali we know, lots of smiling and nodding and attempts to act things out with emphasised hand signals. Thami people are some of the warmest, most generous people you will ever meet, despite the devastation that they faced post earthquake. My Aama always shares her deliciously cooked veggies with her closest neighbour, who happens to be housing Amelia. Amelia's family also returns the favour and the communal meal makes for all the very delicious variety. There are many closely- knit friendships in this community and each and every passer by is welcomed with fresh, warm milk from the goats outside and a seat by the fire. The elderly people are taken care of and always fed by other villagers. Women and children carry hand-woven baskets by their heads to assist the community in rebuilding efforts. Since we are high up the mountain, we are far from ground level society, which makes some resources very scarce. I am learning to be content with few possessions. It is particularly inspiring how a giving community can grow into a flourishing one. I love eating the locally foraged vegetables grown outside our doors. In particular, I enjoy the spirally fern 'ningro' that tastes like saag, but better. Above all, I most appreciate my Aama with her cheerful grin and her mad cooking skills, and the bird-squeezing, wild little boy that reminds me of my dear baby brother, Romeo.Chokati is a land of simplicity: Laughs and time judged by the sun, placed in contrast with diligence and hard work.
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SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

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Chokati

Amaya Jade,SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

Description

After the three hour strut up the mountain, we are greeted by warm smiles and large gatherings of multi-generational Thami people. Because of our fair complexions and funny hiking attire, we receive long looks from groups of children, holding our gaze without the slightest of motion. Staring is not considered rude in Nepali culture as […]

Posted On

04/12/17

Author

Amaya Jade

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    [post_content] => Oh how we are slacking
At this task we call yakking
It seems- for us all - a pain.
Yet we do not realize,
That from this exercise
Both sides stand much to gain.
For the ones we hold dear
It's just lovely to hear
The adventures of days.
And for us we have found
That our stories abound.
It's our privilege to amaze,
To recount all the tales,
Like the drums and the wails
Of the horns at the monastery.
Meandering through Patan,
Oh how lost we have gotten!
And we've all had large quantities of tea.
I've grown to love dal-bhat-
Life's hard if you cannot-
Gotten all rangi-changi on Holi
In stunning temples I've played,
A new instrument I play:
The darling Nepali sarangi.
Assan market totes spices,
Durbar square entices,
Kathmandu is truly majestic.
A Royal conspiracy
The end to a monarchy
It's all been too fantastic.
I'll surely be inviting
My new family to my wedding-
All my aunties made me promise so!
Many I've befriended,
Though our journey hasn't yet ended
I know I'll be sad to go.
But all stories live on
Through books, plays, and songs,
And perhaps the whimsical poem?
And so that's why we yak-
So we can look back
On our stories and forever know them!
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SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

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Slacking on Yakking

Ishanya Anthapur,SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

Description

Oh how we are slacking At this task we call yakking It seems- for us all – a pain. Yet we do not realize, That from this exercise Both sides stand much to gain. For the ones we hold dear It’s just lovely to hear The adventures of days. And for us we have found […]

Posted On

04/12/17

Author

Ishanya Anthapur

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    [post_content] => When I look into a cup of tea, reflections of Chokati emerge, shifting amongst black leaves and sugar granules.The wooden bench outside my home has held court to jangled Nepali phrases, commiserating women who hold society together with gentle hands, and most importantly, a sense of calm.Tea is the adhesive that holds scattered moments together. Like a friend it quietly burns it's wooden embers waiting for me and my sister to finish milking the yaks. It's syrupy taste reviving me from the soporific atmosphere of mornings begun at the crack of dawn. Tea is a catalyst for community, it's almost blasphemy for someone to refuse a tin cup of it when passing by. Tea can be a trap, making a neighbor slowly simmer and soften in conversation, as water bubbles start to boil across the surface of a pan soon I become close to a stranger.Their feelings, their hopes steeping in their cups.Tea is a leveler joining mothers, the proudly unmarried, and even an inept tourist together with their backs facing sun soaked terraced fields. As evening draws near, daalbhat will soon be simmering on every villagers wood fire, but tea is a reviver after long hours of foraging, stone lugging, grass cutting, and cholo sewing. Soaking us in luxury, smiles reflected on metal plates grandly used as saucers. Tea will always take me back. But every time I listen, sip, and just be, tea becomes a continuity.
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SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

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“Aunus Aunus, Chiya Piunus”

Amelia Margolis,SPRING: HIMALAYAN STUDIES B

Description

When I look into a cup of tea, reflections of Chokati emerge, shifting amongst black leaves and sugar granules.The wooden bench outside my home has held court to jangled Nepali phrases, commiserating women who hold society together with gentle hands, and most importantly, a sense of calm.Tea is the adhesive that holds scattered moments together. […]

Posted On

04/12/17

Author

Amelia Margolis

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