I guess it's time that we get to know eachother. I'm an 18 year old from Forest Grove, Oregon. Last semester I was at New York University but decided I was miserable and took the current spring semester off. Now, back at home, I work at SakéOne as a production assistant brewing Saké. Next September I'll be starting up college again at the University of Oregon, this time trying it a little closer to home, friends, and my girlfriend.
I can't wait for this trip.
That's probably enough of a cursory look at me, email me if you have any questions or would like to become my first pen-pal since grade school.
I guess it’s time that we get to know eachother. I’m an 18 year old from Forest Grove, Oregon. Last semester I was at New York University but decided I was miserable and took the current spring semester off. Now, back at home, I work at SakéOne as a production assistant brewing Saké. Next September […]
Hi my name is Catarina but everyone calls me Cat. I am a social person and love talking with new people. I am looking forward to reconnecting to my homeland which if you couldn't guess is Brazil. I am studying at the Putney school in vermont. You've probably never heard of it, but it's a progressive boarding school that basically sums up what vermont is all about. I love the people at my school especially my two roommates. Ones from Japan and the Other from Senegal. I am 17 years old with a love for traveling and seeing new places. I haven't seen much of the world but I am looking forward to learning about all your different backgrounds. I live in Woodstock new york and in manhattan. I have a wide array of friends from all over the world and I love diversity. I've studied dance and voice since i was five years old and i love sports. Can't wait to meet all of you and get you know all about you.
Hi my name is Catarina but everyone calls me Cat. I am a social person and love talking with new people. I am looking forward to reconnecting to my homeland which if you couldn’t guess is Brazil. I am studying at the Putney school in vermont. You’ve probably never heard of it, but it’s a […]
I am so excited for this summer. Where do I begin! My name is Ava and I live in Philly I play three varsity sports lacrosse, basketball, and cross country, i love the outdoors, i love travelling and I have a twin. My twin is also doing a program. She is going to India. I have never really been anywhere too far, all the places I have been have generally been close to the U.S. Last summer I went on a canoe trip on the sturgeon river in Canada and that really tought me how to endure living in the wild, but because we were isolated for 2 weeks I really did not get a feel for the land and culture.
P.S. does anyone know if I should bring hiking boots along with my teva keens or are my keens ok? because they did say they could be used for hiking and whatever else I needed them for.
Hello everyone! I am so excited for this summer. Where do I begin! My name is Ava and I live in Philly I play three varsity sports lacrosse, basketball, and cross country, i love the outdoors, i love travelling and I have a twin. My twin is also doing a program. She is going to […]
Dear Adventurists, Discoverers, and Life Magicians,
Greetings from Salvador da Bahia—the black Rome of Brazil. As I write this letter, thousands of miles from where you now sit, a tropical rain is pouring outside of my window. It is the rainy season here in northeast Brazil, a time for the city to rejuvenate its greenery, where an occasional downpour can catch you off guard. From the street below, car alarms are wailing excitedly as people yell and scramble for shelter. While a downpour is to be expected at this time of the year, it sounds as if a river is carving a path on the street below, and I pray to the African deities that my house remains safe and isn’t carried out to sea.
Despite the rain, I hope this letter finds you well as you begin to prepare for your journey. Soon, the colors and sounds of your home will fade away, the smiles of family and friends distanced by a thousand new steps. All that is rhythmic, that feels comfortable and predictable will pass on—replaced by a new world of samba, palm trees, and the roar of the South Atlantic. Are your bags properly packed, your shoes tightly fastened? Are you starting to get excited?
For me personally, Brazil is a very special place, and I greatly look forward to sharing experiences there with you. My first journey to the “Land of the Southern Cross” occurred in December of 2003, a short trip into the rural backlands of the state of São Paulo. Having made my rounds through Europe – through multiple countries abroad – I thought that I was prepared for the “third world”, and all that Brazil had to offer. With family from Brazil, I thought that perhaps their collective consciousness would somehow seep into mine—that I could fake a samba, or pull out a Portuguese word like a rabbit from a wizard’s hat. How little I knew of the universe that lay ahead.
From the first minute outside of the São Paulo airport, my jaw hung open. How green everything was! How noisy, hot, and chaotic it all seemed. Motorcyclists raced at full throttle in between cars. Horns blared. As a farm boy who grew up in rural Michigan, it was all so much. From the warmth of the people that I met, to the culinary delicacies of fried bananas, churrasco, and frozen açai—I became addicted. In the years that followed, I finished up my degree in Anthropology, edited books on the Amazon, and eventually found my way to Salvador da Bahia, where I lived in a favela – a Brazilian slum – working as an English teacher and on a Masters degree in Education. For me, Brazil became a place where I could challenge my assumptions about the world, where I could develop my self, my language, and my empathy for those around me.
As you shall soon discover, Brazil is also a place that will challenge and engage you. It is a land governed by extreme dualities, by wealth, poverty, affection, division, smiles and sadness. You may see things that horrify you—street children begging for food, trash filled streets, a poverty endemic and passed through generations. You may find things that inspire you—a game of Capoeira, a waterfall, a steaming hot plate of beans and rice. You may feel things, simple though they may be, that bring you awe.
In the end, I only have a few recommendations. First, be open to things that challenge your sense of “how things should be”. Confronting a new reality is never an easy thing and it requires a strong sense of confidence, maturity, and flexibility. I’m sure you will find it. Second, try and leave the United States where it belongs—at home. It is all too easy to start comparing what you SEE in Brazil with what you HAVE in the U.S. But this is a mistake. Brazil and the U.S. are two different worlds, and though we can never forget where we are from, we must strive to embrace (and be thankful for) things as they are (this is been the hardest lesson for me to learn).
Lastly, I would like you to keep in mind a quote by 17th century British author Thomas Fuller, who once wrote, “The fool wanders, a wise man travels”. In this great experience to come, let us be wise men and women, with eyes and hearts open, feet pointed toward the great beyond. Your fellow Dragons students are your companions, your instructors your guides. Stick with them and travel wisely. Adelaide, Isabela, and I will be calling you soon, to chat about the trip and discuss any loose ends. Feel free to call or email me any time with questions or concerns. Until then, dream of our journey, and I will see you in L.A.
Leo Robadey Instructor – Brazil: Sustainable Future 55-71-9175-5840 email@example.com
P.S. Extra credit assignment (or really just for fun)! Take a picture of yourself in a familiar location (your home, bedroom, yard) just before your departure. After returning from the Brazil program, take another picture in that same spot. Compare the two. Do you look different in the second photo? Do you feel different? What are the changes you see and feel. Discuss on Yak Yak! ;- )
Dear Adventurists, Discoverers, and Life Magicians, Greetings from Salvador da Bahia—the black Rome of Brazil. As I write this letter, thousands of miles from where you now sit, a tropical rain is pouring outside of my window. It is the rainy season here in northeast Brazil, a time for the city to rejuvenate its greenery, […]
Hey everybody and Sara with no "h". I'm Hudson and I have lived in New York city my whole life and loving it though I'm ready to move somewhere far away for college(I'm a junior so that is looming on the horizon). I've actually done a Dragons trip before in Guatemala (the 6-week trip), and I loved it so much I couldn't stay away. When Dragons says they are committed to authenticity, they truly mean it and I can't emphasize enough the fact that, at least for my trip, and the trips of some of the people I've met, Dragons runs their trips the right way. I'm just saying this to get everybody excited, because, as somebody strongly opposed to cliches Dragons isn't that.
My trip was at times very uncomfortable, both phyiscally and emotionally but deeply rewarding. It was nerve racking, but safe, extremely long in the beginning and way too short by the end. I know all of you have read stuff like this but this is just my 2 cents.
Anyways I love to travel but speaking foreign languages is not, though i try my best. I play varsity basketball for my school and act in the school plays and I love to read, espiecally non-fiction though I certainly get my classics in as well. I'm bogged down by school right now (but home sick today) so I might not be able to check yak yak until we clear AP week. Looking forward to meeting you guys!
Hey everybody and Sara with no "h". I’m Hudson and I have lived in New York city my whole life and loving it though I’m ready to move somewhere far away for college(I’m a junior so that is looming on the horizon). I’ve actually done a Dragons trip before in Guatemala (the 6-week trip), and […]
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[post_content] => Hey everyone! My name is Sara. I live in the Bay Area, California. I'm 17 and currently a Junior. Im really excited to meet all you guys and head to Brazil! So a little bit about me... I love music, especially Jason Mraz. I spend my free time hanging out with friends. I'm not a very experienced traveler, but I've always wanted to go on a trip like this so I'm super excited. Can't wait to hear from everyone else!
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Sara Okholm,Brazil, Summer 2009
Hey everyone! My name is Sara. I live in the Bay Area, California. I’m 17 and currently a Junior. Im really excited to meet all you guys and head to Brazil! So a little bit about me… I love music, especially Jason Mraz. I spend my free time hanging out with friends. I’m not a […]