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    [post_date] => 2009-06-16 00:00:00
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1. I like the weirdest, most horrible music! Everybody tells me that. My favorites right now are The Mars Volta, Andrew Bird, and The Decemberists.

2. I don't really watch many movies D: I know it makes me lame or whatever. The one that stands out now is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

3. Books! My favorite books have always been Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series. I met him once! I was so star-struck. After that is anything by Haruki Murakami.

I'm curious to know what books everyone is bringing, since we have limited space in our bags and are urged to trade. Bring something good!

Also- If any of us girls are still stumped on where to get long, sleeved, and generally modest dresses, I'dtry gigantic thrift stores like Value Village, Salvation Army, or Unique. Even though their dresses and skirts are a bit outdated, it's all really cheap. Can't wait to read your answers.

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Sikkim, Summer 2009

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Answers for Ooolivia

Cecilia D'Anastasio,Sikkim, Summer 2009

Description

1. I like the weirdest, most horrible music! Everybody tells me that. My favorites right now are The Mars Volta, Andrew Bird, and The Decemberists. 2. I don’t really watch many movies D: I know it makes me lame or whatever. The one that stands out now is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. 3. Books! My […]

Posted On

06/16/09

Author

Cecilia D'Anastasio

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2009-06-15 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Great idea Brigette! (and great questions might I add)

So here are my answers:

-So my favorite chapstick, by far, would be cherry chapstick...by Chapstick.

-I don't think I really have a preference between boxers or briefs, but I guess if I had to choose, boxers.

-I hate that my dentist talks to me while he's working inside of my mouth. I mean, how does he expect me to answer him with his hands practically down my throat?

-I am so excited for the trek! In fact, I have been training

-I got everything (literally everything) at Adventure 16

-As far as internships go, I have no idea! I know I want to do something artistic, but there are so many appealing options.

Now I want to know:

What are a few of your favorite bands (I know it's impossible to choose just one) Movies? Books?

Can't wait to actually meet you guys!


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Sikkim, Summer 2009

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My Answers

Olivia Marder,Sikkim, Summer 2009

Description

Great idea Brigette! (and great questions might I add) So here are my answers: -So my favorite chapstick, by far, would be cherry chapstick…by Chapstick. -I don’t think I really have a preference between boxers or briefs, but I guess if I had to choose, boxers. -I hate that my dentist talks to me while […]

Posted On

06/15/09

Author

Olivia Marder

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2009-06-14 00:00:00
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Hello Everbody!

Great questions! Here are some answers for you.

1. Money- I (Germaine) bring a combination of US Dollar Bills (not too much), Travelers Checks, and an ATM card. It is always nice having a variety of options in this regard. We will go over changing money once we arrive in India.

2. Clothing in Sikkim- It is hot and rainy. We will not be experiening very cold temperatures but having a warm layer is nice in the evening. It is not necessary to buy a very expensive fleece, but something that will keep you warm and dry is key (even something you can leave behind in India if you want to donate it.)

3. Running is a great idea, especially if it keeps you happy and healthy! It is not very common in India and you may get some funny looks but not to worry. As far as clothing goes, shorts are generally not acceptable in India, however knee length running shorts for the guys are ok. Girls should not wear shorts. Loose running pants are best for everybody.

4. Gifts- It is always a nice gesture to bring gifts for your home-stay families. These do not have be expensive (and shouldn't be) but something thoughtful or representative of where you are from. Souvineer type things, t-shirts, books, photos, etc.

Hope that helps!

A note from the instructors:

In a couple of days we will be headed into the Sierras for our 10 day Dragons orientation/preparation and will have limited e-mail and internet access. So, if you have questions or concerns from June 16th-24th please feel free to call Germaine 575.613.0264 or Dan 773.963.9612. I hope packing is going well and you are getting excited for our upcoming journey. We will see you in 3 weeks!

Peace,

Instructor Team

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Sikkim, Summer 2009

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We’ve Got Answers

Instructor Team,Sikkim, Summer 2009

Description

Hello Everbody! Great questions! Here are some answers for you. 1. Money- I (Germaine) bring a combination of US Dollar Bills (not too much), Travelers Checks, and an ATM card. It is always nice having a variety of options in this regard. We will go over changing money once we arrive in India. 2. Clothing […]

Posted On

06/14/09

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_date] => 2009-06-11 00:00:00
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1. in what form should our money be? american dollars? travelers check?

2. what's a typical every day outfit for a sikkim traveler? (i know it is monsoon season, but im tryin to figure out whether, for example, that Pile jacket that they tell us to bring in the course prep manual will be something that I will make use of almost everyday, or if we are gonna be in t-shirts for most of our travels.... cuz i dont wanna buy something expensive and 'durable' if im not going to use it that often)

3. and I have the same questions that Aaron has about running

oh, and by the way....

~ dr. pepper chapstick

~ boxers

~ the toothpaste....o god the toothpaste

~ ill probably do the trek...there are homestays along the way right?

~ REI for the important stuff....goodwill for everything else

~ for my ISP...hmm..something creative....music? jewelry? painting?

or maybe religion.

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Sikkim, Summer 2009

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some questions…

Sarah Randolph,Sikkim, Summer 2009

Description

1. in what form should our money be? american dollars? travelers check? 2. what’s a typical every day outfit for a sikkim traveler? (i know it is monsoon season, but im tryin to figure out whether, for example, that Pile jacket that they tell us to bring in the course prep manual will be something […]

Posted On

06/11/09

Author

Sarah Randolph

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    [post_date] => 2009-06-10 00:00:00
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Hi,

Just some general questions.

1. In regards to running shorts, how short is too short to be culturally acceptable?

2. What is the Indian cultural attitude towards running?

3. Is there anything else that I should be aware of in terms of running in India?

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Sikkim, Summer 2009

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Some Questions

Aaron Guggenheim,Sikkim, Summer 2009

Description

Hi, Just some general questions. 1. In regards to running shorts, how short is too short to be culturally acceptable? 2. What is the Indian cultural attitude towards running? 3. Is there anything else that I should be aware of in terms of running in India?

Posted On

06/10/09

Author

Aaron Guggenheim

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Hello Team Sikkim!

Are you all getting as pysched for our up coming trip as I am? I have begun the packing process myself and thought I would throw out a few packing suggestions for you all.

As noted in your packing list, the lighter the better. From your pack to everything in it, you will appreciate it later if you are able to pack as light as possible. Almost everything you need for our month journey through India can be purchased in India.

Secondly, it will be rainy in Sikkim and West Bengal this time of year because it is monsoon season. Here are some suggestions to keep you and your stuff happy and dry.

Specific things that are highly recommended/required:

1. Water bottle- Steel or plastic is recommended. Make sure it is durable and can hold hot water.

2. Lightweight travel cup/mug (that can hold 6-8 oz of liquid)- We will be drinking a lot of chiyaa (tea) while in India. Traditionally tea was served in ceramic disposable cups but these have now been replaced with plastic ones. To decrease the amount of waste our group generates, we ask that everyone bring a travel cup/mug.

3. Heavy Duty Trash Bag to line your pack with. This will keep everything in your pack dry, therefore keeping you dry and happy.

4. Rain gear tops and bottoms. They should be lightweight, breathable and durable. I do not recommend rain ponchos as they tend to not hold up as well. Umbrellas are available once we arrive in India, which I recommend purchasing when you arrive.

5. Headlamp- Light weight with LED bulbs are recommended. Headlamps are great not only while trekking, but also come in handy in the case of power outages (which happen frequently in India).

6. Sleeping bag- We will not encounter very cold temperatures on our program so a 20 degree sleeping bag is sufficient.

7. Hiking shoes- Good hiking shoes are necessary not only for the trekking portion of our program but for daily wear. Water proof hiking shoes are recommended. We will be doing a lot of walking and it is important that you have comfortable, well broken in hiking shoes. If you are buying new ones make sure you have a couple of weeks to break them in, where them around town and make sure they are comfortable to prevent blisters and discomfort.

8. Sports sandals- It is always nice to let your feet breathe. Bringing a comfortable pair of sandals is key! We recommend Chacos or Keens or something similar (no flip flops).

9. Cotton Pants- The Course Preparation Manual discourages bringing cotton anything, and for good reason. For our program however, we recommend bringing a comfortable pair of cotton pants or jeans in addition to the synthetic trekking pants that are recommended. Cotton pants/jeans take longer to dry but are often more comfortable for traveling and daily wear. Bring something you are comfortable in and looks nice (i.e. not torn, stained, excessively baggy).

10. Dress Shirt (for the gentlemen) Button up and collared. Dress or long skirt (for the ladies). It is important to have a nicer outfit to wear to temples and celebrations. This does not have to be fancy, just look nice.

11. Note on Toiletries- Most toiletries you need can be found India. Therefore it is not necessary to bring big bottles of shampoo, toothpaste, etc. This can all be found in the bazaar (marketplace) pretty much where ever we are.

Important note: If you wear contacts, please bring enough contacts and contact solution for the duration of the trip.

If there is anything you cannot live without or are unsure of its availabilty in India, feel free to ask myself, Sid or Dan.

Remember the lighter the better!!!

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck in your packing process. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Peace,

Germaine

Special note for the ladies:

1. I recommend bringing enough feminine hygiene products to suit your needs for the duration of the program as many brands are not available in India.

2. Please make sure that pants are not too tight (such as tight yoga pants). Skirts, pants and dresses should fall below the calf or ankle. No tank tops, sleeveless or low cut tops please.

We will address culturally appropriate dress and behavior in great depth throughout out our program, but a very basic way to show our respect for the local culture is to dress modestly.

There is power in modesty.

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Sikkim, Summer 2009

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Packing & Gear Suggestions

Germaine Bartlett-Graff,Sikkim, Summer 2009

Description

Hello Team Sikkim! Are you all getting as pysched for our up coming trip as I am? I have begun the packing process myself and thought I would throw out a few packing suggestions for you all. As noted in your packing list, the lighter the better. From your pack to everything in it, you […]

Posted On

06/9/09

Author

Germaine Bartlett-Graff

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    [post_content] => Hi everyone! I am 17 from Greenwich, CT. I am going to be a Senior at suffield academy, i have never been to India so it should be a fun experience. I dont know how many of you have a facebook, but maybe we could set up a message chat thing and get to know each other. See you all soon.
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Sikkim, Summer 2009

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Hello from Greenwich

Annie Salzman,Sikkim, Summer 2009

Description

Hi everyone! I am 17 from Greenwich, CT. I am going to be a Senior at suffield academy, i have never been to India so it should be a fun experience. I dont know how many of you have a facebook, but maybe we could set up a message chat thing and get to know […]

Posted On

06/9/09

Author

Annie Salzman

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Sikkim, Summer 2009

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Hello

Annie Salzman,Sikkim, Summer 2009

Description

Hey everyone i am excited for the trip it should be a blast.

Posted On

06/9/09

Author

Annie Salzman

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Hello All!

Wow... I can't believe that we will be leaving for India in less than 3 weeks! I have always been drawn to Indian culture, whether it be the people, the colors, the religion, the landscape, or even the food! On top of that, I love leaving the shelter of my familiar abode in order to take risks and step into the unknown. These are a few of the many reasons why I chose to go on this journey to Sikkim. I am so excited to experience a different way of living and all that comes along with that.

A little about me...I going into my senior year at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, CA. I have two older brothers, an older sister, and a step-brother. I love music, and I suppose if I had to choose a favorite band, it would be Radiohead (whom I was lucky enough to see in concert 3 times last summer!) I love photography, reading, writing and science (especially chemistry). I am very passionate about helping our planet and keeping it sustainable. In the past two years, I have been involved in the polystyrene (non-recyclable plastic) ban in Santa Monica, and now all of the restaurants in my city use only recyclable or compostable containers! My favorite place in the world is the Coachella music festival--any one been? I am not religious, yet I am very open, and find myself drawn to the beliefs, traditions, and customs of buddhism. I can't wait to learn more about the religion this summer!

Well I cannot express how lucky I feel to have this opportunity! I'll see you all in LA very soon.

Olivia

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Sikkim, Summer 2009

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Hi Guys!

Olivia Marder,Sikkim, Summer 2009

Description

Hello All! Wow… I can’t believe that we will be leaving for India in less than 3 weeks! I have always been drawn to Indian culture, whether it be the people, the colors, the religion, the landscape, or even the food! On top of that, I love leaving the shelter of my familiar abode in […]

Posted On

06/8/09

Author

Olivia Marder

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Welcome Team Sikkim! Let thegames begin!

Here is our tentative itinerary for our summer journey through Sikkim and West Bengal. Please keep in mind that this is subject to change, but it is exciting to see our course taking shape (and what a beautiful shape it is!) Please look through your Lonely Planet as well as your Sikkim reader and begin exploring those areas yourself. There is more to come in the upcoming weeks so please keep checking in with the Yak Yak for the latest and greatest.

Week 1: Meet Team Sikkim in Los Angeles where we will begin our group orientation and introductions. Fly to Bangkok, spend the day there,and continue on to Kolkata, India(!!!) where we will explore the city, including the famous Kali temple and Naya Bazar (New Market) and of course eat delicious Indian food in the process! In the evening we board an overnight train to Siliguri, West Bengal (about 10 hours) where we head to Kalimpong via Jeep. Kalimpong rests on a ridge overlooking the Teesta River Valley, with a thriving market and city center. And you never know when the mists will clear and we will catch a glimspe of Mount Kachendzonga, the world's third largest peak. Here we will continue our orientation and meet our homestay families, begin our language study, explore local temples and visit with local guest lecturers.

Week 2: From Kalimpong, we will travel to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. There we willvisit Enchey Gompa (monastery) and the Namgyal Institute of Tibetan Cultural Studies, Rumtek, the seat of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa in exile, and delve into Buddhism and the history of Sikkim.

From Gangtok we will head to the village of Tashiding in Western SIkkim, home to one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim. Here we will begin our rural home-stays, continue language, expolation of religious and spiritualtraditions,and delve into the cultures of the area.

Week 3: Depending upon group interest and weather conditions, we then travel to our trek starting point in Western Sikkim for a3-5 day trek.Exploring remote parts of Sikkim, we will trek along the Singlalila Ridgeand delve into the ecology and sacred geography of the region. If our trek is foiled, we can choose to extend our rural homestays, explore other remote regions, delve further into the spiritual traditions and institituions,or many other possibilities depending upon group interest.


Week 4: We will spend our last week in Darjeeling, an urban hill station in West Bengal with a strong colonial influence in architecture as well as beautiful Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples and thriving markets full of color, fresh vegetables, clothes and pretty much anything else imaginable. It is here that we begin our final home-stays and focus on Independent Study Projects (ISPs), visit the surrounding tea plantations and learn about the current political situation and Gorkhaland movement. From Darjeeling we will head back to Kolkata via overnight train, spend a day there together celebrating our month together, and begin our journey back home.

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Sikkim, Summer 2009

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Tentative Itinerary!!!!

Instructor Team,Sikkim, Summer 2009

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Welcome Team Sikkim! Let thegames begin! Here is our tentative itinerary for our summer journey through Sikkim and West Bengal. Please keep in mind that this is subject to change, but it is exciting to see our course taking shape (and what a beautiful shape it is!) Please look through your Lonely Planet as well […]

Posted On

06/8/09

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Instructor Team

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