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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-06-01 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Hi,

I guess with a little under a month until our departure, I might as well break the ice. My name is Armaan; I'm sixteen; I'm from New York City but I go to boarding school in Connecticut. I enjoy reading, writing, traveling, and playing sports. I've studied Spanish for a few years now in school, and my conversational Spanish is okay, but I can't wait to practice and improve it in Bolivia.

Last summer, I went on a Dragons trip to the Indian Himalayas and it was honestly one of the most meaningful and fun experiences of my life. I'm not coming into our trip with any expectations, but I'm confident that we're in for an amazing journey.

I'm looking forward to meeting you all in a couple weeks. I can't wait for the trip to begin!

See you guys soon,

Armaan

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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Hi!

Armaan Pai,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

Hi, I guess with a little under a month until our departure, I might as well break the ice. My name is Armaan; I’m sixteen; I’m from New York City but I go to boarding school in Connecticut. I enjoy reading, writing, traveling, and playing sports. I’ve studied Spanish for a few years now in […]

Posted On

06/1/09

Author

Armaan Pai

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2009-05-28 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

One month from today we will be going wheels up from Miami's sea-level international airport. We will bid farewell to the balmy weather, and prepare to touch down at what is arguably the world's most breathtaking airport: El Alto/La Paz, Bolivia.

We will be met by snow capped peaks rising up from the vast altiplano. We will be humbled by the thinness of the air and the warmth of the people.

We, your instructor team, are busy making plans and nailing down the itinerary. We are excited to have the opportunity to get to know you all a little bit before we meet in Miami. We would like to extend an invitation to you guys to get the ball rolling with your own personal introductions so we can hit the ground running in June!

Feel free to post here any relevant questions, comments, ideas, hopes, dreams, jokes or pictures that you may have throughout the next month as we prepare for our journey together.

Tinkunakama masisniy,

Helen

helen.rortvedt@gmail.com

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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Imagine…

Helen Rortvedt,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

One month from today we will be going wheels up from Miami’s sea-level international airport. We will bid farewell to the balmy weather, and prepare to touch down at what is arguably the world’s most breathtaking airport: El Alto/La Paz, Bolivia. We will be met by snow capped peaks rising up from the vast altiplano. […]

Posted On

05/28/09

Author

Helen Rortvedt

WP_Post Object
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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-05-21 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

I’m sitting at a beautiful park enjoying the sun and taking some time for myself on the NW cost. From where I’m right now I can see colorful trees, there are some birds flying up in the sky, children playing around and students reading in their time down time from college. I can see now that the spring is almost gone and everybody is ready to welcome the summer.

And here I am thinking of you and our time together during the summer. Maybe you are wondering who I am, so before start talking about the summer program, let me introduce myself.

As you might know by now I’m Marolyn, you can call me Maro, as my friends and family do. I was born in La Paz Bolivia where I have lived most of my life. Two years ago I met a friend who was a Dragons instructor and he invited me to be part of the Dragons family. At the very beginning I didn’t know what to expect, but with time I fell in love with the philosophy of Dragons. And that is why after a year and a half, here I am, ready to start a new program.

Maybe you have some questions about the program in Bolivia, as I used to have when I first started, but let me tell you that the only thing that you will need for an amazing new adventure in your life and unforgettable experience is to have an open mind.

We, the Dragons family, Helen, Andy, and myself are working together to create a spectacular program for you. From me you will have not only my trust but also my friendship. I cannot wait to share with all of you my home, Bolivia. I will be happy to show you the culture, the environment, the biodiversity of my country. At the same time, I will be at your side to help you along the way.

By the time we’ll arrive to Bolivia, the rain season will be gone, and the dry season will be waiting for us. It means that in the Andes it will be cold but with a beautiful blue sky and in the Amazon area will be warm or even better, it will be hot!!

You will be able to see and enjoy the beauty of the High Andean glaciers, hiking from high mountains to lowland rain forest and the Amazon. You’ll have the chance to observe many levels of Bolivian society and share the experience with diverse Bolivian cultures and the natural world.

Get ready!!! and contact us for any question here!!!

love

Maro

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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Introducion

Marolyn,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

I’m sitting at a beautiful park enjoying the sun and taking some time for myself on the NW cost. From where I’m right now I can see colorful trees, there are some birds flying up in the sky, children playing around and students reading in their time down time from college. I can see now […]

Posted On

05/21/09

Author

Marolyn

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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-05-10 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => Greetings!

I am thrilled to introduce myself as one of your instructors for this summer’s course in Bolivia. My name is Helen Rortvedt and I originally hail from Virginia. There are many places I have had the privilege to call “home” throughout my life, and I dare to say that Bolivia is one such “home” that has challenged and affected me in mind, body and spirit. They say that “home is where the heart is”, and I think that it is safe to say that a piece of mine is in Bolivia.

They also say that time is relative. Time passes ever so slowly in anticipation of something big, all too quickly while it’s actually happening, and becomes almost imperceptible in remembrance as our memories dance from one postcard-like image to the next, one warm recollection to another.

We are about to embark upon something big. Bolivia is big—her mountains, her vast altiplano, her lake, her rivers, her jungle, and the hearts of her people. I think that you will find that there is a tangible energy in Bolivia unlike anywhere else. It is an ancient land, and yet it is caught up in a struggle to exist in a rapidly modernizing world. It is a vast, open land, and yet a journey through this place is neither fast, nor easy. Bolivia is a place that has the power to challenge your worldview, your notion of personal space, and your perception of yourself. All it asks, in return, is respect for the Pachamama (Mother Earth) and an open heart and mind.

These weeks—in anticipation of all the adventures, trials, laughs, salteñas, mind-blowing sunsets and inspiring communities—are, at times, hard to get through. If you find yourself already daydreaming about llamas and alpacas, know this: you are not alone. But have faith—our adventure really is just around the corner! I encourage you to savor these anticipatory weeks. Take note of how you feel and what you hope for. Paint a picture of the Bolivia you imagine. Whistle a tune that speaks to you from the Andes, or the Amazon. Live each day.

This exercise is often one of the hardest to have discipline for. However, if you come to Bolivia with a strong conviction for living each day, she will sweep you off your feet and into a new world.

I am so wholly excited for this journey with you all this summer. As a warm weather lover, it takes a very special place to coax me out into the cold. Bolivia is that place for me. Timeless. Breathtaking. Raw.

I very much look forward to communicating with you all throughout the next few weeks as we prepare our minds, our bodies and our spirits.

I’ll sign off now with this quote:

“Each morning I arise torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world.
--E.B. White

Think on it as spring rolls into summer.

Wajkutikama masisniy,
Until next time my friends,

Helen
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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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Greetings!

Helen Rortvedt,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

Greetings! I am thrilled to introduce myself as one of your instructors for this summer’s course in Bolivia. My name is Helen Rortvedt and I originally hail from Virginia. There are many places I have had the privilege to call “home” throughout my life, and I dare to say that Bolivia is one such “home” […]

Posted On

05/10/09

Author

Helen Rortvedt

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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-05-04 00:00:00
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    [post_content] =>     

Dear Summer 2009 students and families,

Hello, and welcome to Dragons!

Dragons is a conscientious community of educators, students and travelers committed to actively minimizing our environmental and cultural impact. As an organization, our actions are guided by a dedication to presence, authenticity, and intention in everything that we do, from our printed materials to the courses we run. Though we may not have the answers to the complex goal of sustainability, we are dedicated to the process, and working to foster values that can keep us on the right path. We invite you to join us in this exciting journey.

This summer Where There Be Dragons is reaching out to empower participants on our programs to support grassroots environmental organizations who have taken on the task of ecological conservation and restoration. The privilege of flying to faraway places to experience a foreign cultural reality also has significant environmental impact. While international air travel is central to Dragons programming, we are working diligently to balance our equation with a “carbon offset” program. Carbon offsetting is the act of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions – most often by planting trees, but also by supporting the development alternative energy sources and environmental conservation. Depending on the distance of your flight, your aircraft will deposit from 1.5 to 5 tons of carbon into the upper atmosphere! On average, an adult tree will sequester approximately 13 lbs of carbon annually. Still, planting trees remains the most efficient strategy for sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and trees serve many other essential human needs as well.

While some courses may have the opportunity to work directly with local reforestation efforts, Dragons would like to make available to you the option of supporting grass-roots environmental organizations that our courses have interacted with over the years. This summer, we are featuring two community-based organizations:

El Proyecto Chico Mendes; Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Chico Mendes is a community-based effort to reforest and maintain water supplies in the municipality of Cantel, in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. It is an indigenous organization based on traditional values and worldview, employing communal management of resources and integrating international volunteers who come to learn Spanish and immerse in the resilience and beauty of Q’iche’ Maya Culture. Over the years, students have volunteered and shared in the communal life of this noble organization. Dragons alumni have also organized fundraisers in the U.S. and supported the construction of a greenhouse and planting efforts. If you’re interested in learning more about Chico Mendes, we encourage you to visit the following Spotlight posting on the Dragons bulletin board: my.wheretherebedragons.com/yakyak.php?source=admin_category&action=display&blogID=3272&year=2008&month=11.

Yunnan Eco-Network; Yunnan, China:

Yunnan Eco-Network is one of a small, but growing number of local Chinese environmental NGOs. They focus onenvironmental education, reforestation and renewable energy projects. They are based inKunming andLijiang andhave projects in Lashihai, whereour China Language Intensive program is based. We have collaborated with YEN on anumber of service projects and thedirectors,Chen Yongsong and Liu Libo have beenhelpful mentors for studentsworking on environmentalISPs. Learn more at: http://www.yunnaneconetwork.net.cn/english/.

If you would like to support grassroots organizations working for environmental justice and sustainable management of natural resources, please send us a small donation (10-20$) indicating “Carbon Offset” on the check. Your contribution will be presented on behalf of Where There Be Dragons by the Guatemala and China student groups this summer.

We hope that you will join us in making our travel a sustainable practice. We thank you for your participation!

Sincerely,

The Staff of Where There Be Dragons

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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Offsetting Our Carbon Footprint

Dragons Administration,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

Dear Summer 2009 students and families, Hello, and welcome to Dragons! Dragons is a conscientious community of educators, students and travelers committed to actively minimizing our environmental and cultural impact. As an organization, our actions are guided by a dedication to presence, authenticity, and intention in everything that we do, from our printed materials to […]

Posted On

05/4/09

Author

Dragons Administration

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    [post_date] => 2009-05-04 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

The intellectual quest is exquisite like pearls and coral,

But it is not the same as the spiritial quest.

The spiritual quest is on another level altogether,

Spiritual wine has a sublter taste.

The intellect and the sense investigate cause and effect.

The spiritual seeker surrenders to the wonder.

-Rumi

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Bolivia, Summer 2009

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Dream Big

Simon Hart,Bolivia, Summer 2009

Description

The intellectual quest is exquisite like pearls and coral, But it is not the same as the spiritial quest. The spiritual quest is on another level altogether, Spiritual wine has a sublter taste. The intellect and the sense investigate cause and effect. The spiritual seeker surrenders to the wonder. –Rumi

Posted On

05/4/09

Author

Simon Hart

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