Photo of the Week
Photo Title

« Back to Yak Board Archive Site

China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009


WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 51306
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-06-30 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Dear China Parents and Friends,

I just wanted to let you know that all of our China summer program students have arrived safely in China. All group flights went smoothly and instructors have already picked up all of the students who were not on the group flights and met the groups in China. Everyone made it through customs and immigration and no one was quarantined for swine flu. Groups will be posting Yaks soon but I just wanted to let you know that we're off to a good start here in China.

Be Well,
Katie

[post_title] => In China! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => in-china-5 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2009-06-30 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=51306 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 423 [name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [slug] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 423 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 249 [count] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 25.1 [cat_ID] => 423 [category_count] => 53 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [category_nicename] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [category_parent] => 249 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2009/china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009/ ) ) [category_links] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 )

China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

View post

In China!

Katie Hagel,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Dear China Parents and Friends, I just wanted to let you know that all of our China summer program students have arrived safely in China. All group flights went smoothly and instructors have already picked up all of the students who were not on the group flights and met the groups in China. Everyone made […]

Posted On

06/30/09

Author

Katie Hagel

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 51388
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-06-27 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Ni hao China Comprehensive participants!

Only a few short hours before we meet up in LA. We are really looking forward to meeting you all, and hope your final packing preparations are going well.

We were looking at the three resources that all travelers are bringing (the China Lonely Planet, the Development Reader, and the China Reader). They are all quite large, bulky and heavy. If any of you are struggling to fit these in your pack, or would like to lighten your load, do know that the instructors will have one copy of each resource, which you are welcome to share.

Good luck and see you soon!

Your instructors

[post_title] => Sharing Books [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => sharing-books [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2009-06-27 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=51388 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 423 [name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [slug] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 423 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 249 [count] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 25.1 [cat_ID] => 423 [category_count] => 53 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [category_nicename] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [category_parent] => 249 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2009/china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009/ ) ) [category_links] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 )

China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

View post

Sharing Books

Emma, Stewart, Sheila, and Matt,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Ni hao China Comprehensive participants! Only a few short hours before we meet up in LA. We are really looking forward to meeting you all, and hope your final packing preparations are going well. We were looking at the three resources that all travelers are bringing (the China Lonely Planet, the Development Reader, and the […]

Posted On

06/27/09

Author

Emma, Stewart, Sheila, and Matt

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 51397
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-06-26 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Dear China Comprehensive Students, Parents and Friends,


I wanted to let you all know that we have decided to bring in a fourth instructor to work with Emma, Sheila and Matt this summer. His name is Stewart Motta, and he's great. Stewart lives in Kunming, where he works for an environmental NGO. He speaks Chinese, is a certified Wilderness First Responder and has solid experience facilitating youth programs and wilderness trips. Stewart had already been contracted to instruct our fall Mekong Semester program when we asked him to step in to support Matt, Sheila and Emma. Since there are so many boys on this program, and since Matt couldn’t get to training in time to get re-certified in First Aid, we thought it would be a good idea to bring on a second male instructor with advanced First Aid skills. Stewart is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Emma, Matt, Sheila and the China Comprehensive program students this summer. We’ll post Stewarts’s bio on our website very soon and he is in the process of writing an instructor intro letter for me to post on the Yak Yak board. Having four instructors on the team should make it easier for us to ensure a safe and rewarding China Comprehensive program for all participants.

Sincerely,

Katie Hagel

China Program Director

[post_title] => Fourth Instructor! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => fourth-instructor [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2009-06-26 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=51397 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 423 [name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [slug] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 423 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 249 [count] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 25.1 [cat_ID] => 423 [category_count] => 53 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [category_nicename] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [category_parent] => 249 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2009/china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009/ ) ) [category_links] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 )

China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

View post

Fourth Instructor!

Katie Hagel,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Dear China Comprehensive Students, Parents and Friends, I wanted to let you all know that we have decided to bring in a fourth instructor to work with Emma, Sheila and Matt this summer. His name is Stewart Motta, and he’s great. Stewart lives in Kunming, where he works for an environmental NGO. He speaks Chinese, […]

Posted On

06/26/09

Author

Katie Hagel

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 51407
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-06-26 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => Hey my names alec and i go to Olympic Heights High in boca raton, FL. i play the bass, play tennis and golf and some other sports. last year i went to costa rica for a month and it was great, hopefully this is even better. see you guys soon
    [post_title] => Hey
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => hey-38
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2009-06-26 00:00:00
    [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=51407
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 423
                    [name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009
                    [slug] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 423
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 249
                    [count] => 53
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 25.1
                    [cat_ID] => 423
                    [category_count] => 53
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009
                    [category_nicename] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009
                    [category_parent] => 249
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2009/china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009
)

China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

View post

Hey

Alec Greene,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Hey my names alec and i go to Olympic Heights High in boca raton, FL. i play the bass, play tennis and golf and some other sports. last year i went to costa rica for a month and it was great, hopefully this is even better. see you guys soon

Posted On

06/26/09

Author

Alec Greene

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 51444
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-06-23 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => Hey I am Oliver Taubman I live in New York City and am going into 10th grade next year at Poly Prep Country Day School. Some things I am interested in are traveling to hard to go to places, wrestling, and hanging out with friends. I have traveled to China before and have been to Cuba, Bhutan, India (for a day), Russia, and some places in Europe. I am very excited to meet all you guys and travel around having an amazing time.
    [post_title] => Hey
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => hey-39
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2009-06-23 00:00:00
    [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=51444
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 423
                    [name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009
                    [slug] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 423
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 249
                    [count] => 53
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 25.1
                    [cat_ID] => 423
                    [category_count] => 53
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009
                    [category_nicename] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009
                    [category_parent] => 249
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2009/china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009
)

China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

View post

Hey

Oliver Taubman,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Hey I am Oliver Taubman I live in New York City and am going into 10th grade next year at Poly Prep Country Day School. Some things I am interested in are traveling to hard to go to places, wrestling, and hanging out with friends. I have traveled to China before and have been to […]

Posted On

06/23/09

Author

Oliver Taubman

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 51460
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-06-20 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Sturdy and supportive footwear is always safest. That said, for our moderate trekking this summer, you should be fine with a midweight hiking shoe. A shoe with ankle support will serve you better than one without! I'd go for waterproof over quick dry. For myself, I am also bringing along a pair of lightweight sneakers; these can be very comfortable to change into at the end of the day.

As for backpacks, you might take a look at the recommendations (brands, size) in the Course Preparation Manual. I suggest you get a real camping pack, one that is sturdy (it will get tossed on trains and under buses, rained on, hauled about, and generally abused) and comfortably fitted to your body. Make sure you can fit all your belongings inside! I am carrying a venerable Eagle Creek pack with a detachable daypack.

You are welcome to bring over-the-counter medicines on the trip; be aware, though, that instructors will collect all medications at orientation in L.A.


See you soon!

Emma

[post_title] => Re: Some Prep Questions [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => re-some-prep-questions [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2009-06-20 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=51460 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 423 [name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [slug] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 423 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 249 [count] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 25.1 [cat_ID] => 423 [category_count] => 53 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [category_nicename] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [category_parent] => 249 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2009/china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009/ ) ) [category_links] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 )

China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

View post

Re: Some Prep Questions

Emma Kaplan,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Sturdy and supportive footwear is always safest. That said, for our moderate trekking this summer, you should be fine with a midweight hiking shoe. A shoe with ankle support will serve you better than one without! I’d go for waterproof over quick dry. For myself, I am also bringing along a pair of lightweight sneakers; […]

Posted On

06/20/09

Author

Emma Kaplan

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 51490
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-06-18 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Hey everyone!

I'm Sofie! I'm 16 and a rising junior at Westlake High School in Austin, TX. In school I'm most involved with art and sciences, as well as journalism. I'm an editor of our school's newsmagazine! Outside of school, i like swimming, biking, hanging out with my friends, among many other things.

I love to see new places! I've traveled around Europe, but I know that this trip will be completely different from anything I've ever done. I don't have any experience with the language, but after reading through everyone else's yaks, I see that I'm not the only one!

I'm so excited for this trip and can't wait to meet everyone on the 28th!!!

-Sofie Seiden

[post_title] => Hey!!! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => hey-41 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2009-06-18 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=51490 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 423 [name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [slug] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 423 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 249 [count] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 25.1 [cat_ID] => 423 [category_count] => 53 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [category_nicename] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [category_parent] => 249 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2009/china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009/ ) ) [category_links] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 )

China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

View post

Hey!!!

Sofie Seiden,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Hey everyone! I’m Sofie! I’m 16 and a rising junior at Westlake High School in Austin, TX. In school I’m most involved with art and sciences, as well as journalism. I’m an editor of our school’s newsmagazine! Outside of school, i like swimming, biking, hanging out with my friends, among many other things. I love […]

Posted On

06/18/09

Author

Sofie Seiden

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 51497
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-06-17 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

hey everybody,

my names mitchell bowman I'm a sophomore at the Harvey school in NY i live in a town called rye witch is about 30 minutes fromnyc. Some of my interests are playing drums, lacrosse and hanging out with my friends. I also really love is travel, i lived in london for three year and while i was there i went to some of the greatest places of my life, all over europe, south africa, Morocco, Egypt. i really cant wait to go to china with you all and I am sure we are going to have an amazing time

[post_title] => Hey [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => hey-42 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2009-06-17 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=51497 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 423 [name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [slug] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 423 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 249 [count] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 25.1 [cat_ID] => 423 [category_count] => 53 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [category_nicename] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [category_parent] => 249 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2009/china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009/ ) ) [category_links] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 )

China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

View post

Hey

mitchell bowman,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

hey everybody, my names mitchell bowman I’m a sophomore at the Harvey school in NY i live in a town called rye witch is about 30 minutes fromnyc. Some of my interests are playing drums, lacrosse and hanging out with my friends. I also really love is travel, i lived in london for three year […]

Posted On

06/17/09

Author

mitchell bowman

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 51503
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-06-16 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Hey,

I have a few, quick questions come up while I was shopping for supplies. (I have found it’s rather disheartening to be asked a question by the sales clerks and not have a legitimate answer.) My first round of questions is regarding hiking shoes. (I had no idea there were so many types!) Is a sturdier hiking boot or midweight hiking shoe more desirable? Ankle support vs. no ankle support? Also, in addition to our hiking boot should we have tennis shoes? And, is it better to have waterproof or quick dry?

My next round of questions deals with our backpacks. Are they supposed to be (according to REI) “travel packs” or more rugged camping backpacks? What brand and type do the instructors have? What kind does anyone have that’s already purchased a pack?

Lastly, I was wondering about non-prescribed medication. Would medications such as Dramamine or Ibuprofen be acceptable to bring on the trip if we have no personal reaction or side effects? Let me know, thanks!!

Erica

[post_title] => Some Prep Questions! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => some-prep-questions [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2009-06-16 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=51503 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 423 [name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [slug] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 423 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 249 [count] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 25.1 [cat_ID] => 423 [category_count] => 53 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [category_nicename] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [category_parent] => 249 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2009/china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009/ ) ) [category_links] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 )

China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

View post

Some Prep Questions!

Erica Haybron,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Hey, I have a few, quick questions come up while I was shopping for supplies. (I have found it’s rather disheartening to be asked a question by the sales clerks and not have a legitimate answer.) My first round of questions is regarding hiking shoes. (I had no idea there were so many types!) Is […]

Posted On

06/16/09

Author

Erica Haybron

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 51511
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-06-16 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Dear Travelers,

Greetings from Manhattan! I’m writing to you from my graduate school apartment overlooking the Hudson, watching storm clouds clear away and preparing myself for a six week adventure. It’s been a little more than two years since I left western China, where I worked for several years helping plan and implement community development programs in rural Tibetan communities across the plateau. Building on this experience, I recently completed a Master’s Degree in International Affairs, focusing on economic development and policy analysis. I’m now deeply involved in capacity-building and aid-effectiveness programs in the heart of Africa, but before I embark on the next phase of my career I’m eager to return to my old haunts, talk with good friends, and share my love ofChina, travel, learning, and critical thinking about development issues with you.

Although you and I are at different stages of our lives, I'm sure our thoughts are now both wandering down similar paths. What new experiences will our trip bring? What new faces will we meet? There are countless villages, rivers, mountains, and cities; where will we go first? And maybe most importantly, how are we ever going to make our way through the encyclopedia of Chinese dishes that await us?

Sitting here after a day of working, I try to untangle my emotions. Nervousness hides in excitement, a touch of sadness on leaving my life in New York mingles with the happy thought of new friends to come. As I do every day, I put my questions and feelings on hold and concentrate on what I believe the most essential skill in my travel/life toolbox: pausing. I wouldn't know what questions or feelings I had if I wasn't willing to take a deep breath and keep my ears, eyes, and mind open for clues about the hows and whys of my train of thought. This is a skill as that is requires honesty as much as it does patience.

Following these tracks, I go back to the start of my journey. I was lucky enough to grow up on the shores of Lake Champlain, in that green haven of the northeast, Vermont. My parents would take my brothers and I on trips from the crystal clear Adirondack lakes to thin Wyoming air, and for this I am forever grateful. Leaving high school, I found that loving the outdoors conflicted with my desire to understand how people and nature worked together- so I traveled to Chicago, eager for the completely new experience of living in a city. I did not want a natural life, I wanted to fill out my view of the world, learn how to adapt to a new environment.

It was, and continues to be, important to me to seek connections, to look for the overlap between our desires as a community of people, and our needs as members of a much larger community of living creatures. For me, the culture of a place is as important as it's resources. From how people tell their stories to how they eat their food, every aspect comes together to make a distinctive shape. Changing my routine on a regular basis, and pausing to observe; these things enrich my life.

I studied Public Policy and Environmental Studies as an undergraduate, cultivating the skills I thought would be most useful for making our world a better place. A simple goal, right? It's a big challenge, changing the world is. I loved my time in Chicago, meeting for the first time students from all over the world, while tackling the big ideas of ancient but nimble thinkers. Despite uncovering obstacle after obstacle, my idealism only deepened and widened. I did as much as I could, taking advantage of every opportunity that presented itself. I learned the skill of peer mediation, taught children in local schools, studied the art of pie-making, worked in a hospital, a church, a library; I rowed crew, joined and captained the ultimate frisbee team, edited a campus newspaper, researched and published an article on environmental policy's effect on culture. I bit off far more than I could chew.

After graduating, I took my search for the pieces of the world-changing puzzle to the Chicago Stock Exchange, taking on yet another complete life change. I designed software for trading stocks and options, balancing out my knowledge of the natural and social worlds with finance, technology, and the red taped maze of a giant company. A strange choice, maybe, but ultimately an incredible opportunity to learn more about that faceless character we hear so much about, The Corporation.

But the world beckoned. After two years, I decided another big change was in order. I first traveled to Thailand with my youngest brother, helping him celebrate his high school graduation. He taught me to climb rocks, a change of roles after twenty odd years of me telling him what to do. After roaming the Thai countryside, we arrived in China to visit our other brother. Oh...... China; China was not what we expected. I expected to visit for a month, then return to continue my original path, seeking out practical solutions to big problems.

It was a humbling experience. I had never imagined that I could be utterly helpless to understand another human being. Every conversation, every purchase was huge effort. And even though I felt that somehow I'd *lost*; a strange thing began to happen. I found I liked it! It made me start from scratch, listen and examine my skills and thoughts with clarity. I decided to stay, and began to study the language.

After three and half years, I had visited almost every major city in China, traveling by myself at times, sometimes with classmates and friends from Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, and many more. I keep seeing connections, so I keep traveling. I spent most of my time in China living in Beijing, Kunming, Chengdu, and Xining while working for international development organizations on microfinance, capacity-building and poverty alleviation projects. The recent history of the country can sometimes lead to overwhelming experiences. Sometimes in the middle of a conversation, in which I delicately probe my older teachers for opinions on leaders like Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, I will literally jump after realizing that the person in front of me has *lived* this history. Other times, I understand how lucky I am to be mobile and capable of speaking the language. One winter, my friend and I explored the south of Yunnan, traveling by bike over the Mekong and Salween rivers. Our path took us through villages that had never seen the likes of our skin, and features. We became unexpected ambassadors for our culture, every day finding new and perplexing questions.

I'll pause here, there is too much I want to share with you. We'll have time to make our own adventures, and shape our stories. I'm eager to hear how you have arrived on this path, and what you’d like to do now that you’re (almost) on it. And of course, I'm also looking forward to sharing the exploration of this wonderful country with you.

Good luck with your preparation, and see you in Los Angeles.

Yours,

Matt

[post_title] => Matt Flynn's Instructor Into Letter [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => matt-flynns-instructor-into-letter [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2009-06-16 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=51511 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 423 [name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [slug] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 423 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 249 [count] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 25.1 [cat_ID] => 423 [category_count] => 53 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 [category_nicename] => china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009 [category_parent] => 249 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2009/china-comprehensive-survey-summer-2009/ ) ) [category_links] => China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009 )

China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

View post

Matt Flynn’s Instructor Into Letter

Matt Flynn,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Dear Travelers, Greetings from Manhattan! I’m writing to you from my graduate school apartment overlooking the Hudson, watching storm clouds clear away and preparing myself for a six week adventure. It’s been a little more than two years since I left western China, where I worked for several years helping plan and implement community development […]

Posted On

06/16/09

Author

Matt Flynn

1 2 3 4 5 6