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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010


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Hi everyone,

My name is Taylor Horn. I'm so amazed and excited to finally be meeting all of you (in some facet) and off to Jordan in a matter of weeks! I just got my preparation packet today!

I'm currently a freshman at Bard College at Simon's Rock, which I'm going to guess most of you have never heard of so here is the website if your interested...

http://www.simons-rock.edu/

Here I'm most likely concentrating in Economics and Political Studies. I'm applying as a transfer to Georgetown University next year (fingers crossed). I speak fluent Mandarin Chinese, a little French, and a semester's worth of Arabic. I'd be interested in working for either the American government, United Nations, or any number of international negotiating broker organizations when I get out of here. Outside of class, I spend a lot of time doing Model United Nations and debating. Complete aside from academic stuff, I dance way too much for my own good, write novels, and play soccer and volleyball.

I picked Dragons half because of the focus in international and political issues, and half because of the trekking and general outdoorsy nature of the program. I'm from rural Vermont originally, and have a lot of experience with backpacking, trekking, camping and mountain biking. I can't wait to spend my entire summer doing this.

That's me! I look forward to seeing you all in a matter of weeks.

Sincerely,

~Taylor Horn

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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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Introduction

Taylor Horn,Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

Description

Hi everyone, My name is Taylor Horn. I’m so amazed and excited to finally be meeting all of you (in some facet) and off to Jordan in a matter of weeks! I just got my preparation packet today! I’m currently a freshman at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, which I’m going to guess most of […]

Posted On

05/5/10

Author

Taylor Horn

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    [post_date] => 2010-05-04 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Hello Everyone,

My name is Mark Lumley and I am the Course Director and Instructor for the Where There Be Dragons, China 4 week Language Intensive Summer Program, this coming summer. This will be my sixth Dragons trip, having previously led three China Language summer programs and two China semester programs. As Course Director I am responsible for overseeing the logistics and planning of the program and making sure this program meets your every need. For the last few months my co-instructors and I have been meticulously planning the greatest program that Where There Be Dragons has ever had the good fortune to witness! In less than two short months we will make history together!

Let me start by saying you’ve made the right (best!) choice! I am absolutely delighted that you have chosen the 4-week language intensive program and we have a wonderful adventure ahead of us. In no time at all you will be dusting off your backpacks, bidding farewell to family, friends and western toilets (!), and setting off on the adventure of a lifetime.

During our intrepid journey we will have the opportunity to bask in some of the many, vastly differing landscapes that China has to offer. We will trail the streets of some of the world's fastest growing cities, explore the agrarian hinterlands and play in the mountains of Yunnan. Most of all we will have the opportunity to fully ensconce ourselves in one of the oldest cultures known to man.

I am sure you are all filled with an abundance of differing emotions at the moment ranging from slight trepidation and anticipation to excitement of the unknown. This is, of course, normal and I can assure you that we have a wonderful program lined up that will challenge and meet your every need.

I am sure you already know, China is the fastest moving country in the whole world at the moment and her meteoric rise to the top sees little chance of abate; her economy continues to explode and grow at an unprecedented rate and we’ve recently seen the largest peaceful migration of humans in the history of the world, as Chinese millions of migrant workers help transform metropolises into megalopolises.

That said, China is a world of unique and mesmerizing contradictions. Old values and traditions do battle with Chinese new world ranking, five star hotels stand shoulder to shoulder with hole-in-the-wall noodle joints, top of the range Mercedes Benz cars vie for road space with $20 bicycles and Chinese nouveau riche find unique and more extravagant ways to spend their new found wealth, while the rural masses still scrimp and save for every Jiao. These are the things that make China such an amazing place to live and why after nearly six years I am still in love. These are the types of issues we will be discussing on our journey through China and it is my hope that you too will fall in love with this amazing country.

I currently live, work and play in Kunming (where we will be spending two weeks of our program) and although I am English by descent, China has been my home for the last five and a half years. Since moving to China I have been heavily involved in education and this is a big passion of mine. I am also very interested in development issues and I have worked with numerous charities and NGOs helping to raise money and awareness about a multitude of differing issues, here in China.

I am really looking forward to teaching you all about Chinese culture and what it is like to live in this amazing country, and I am very keen and eager to converse with you all on every aspect of China. I have travelled to many places here in the 'Motherland', though I love returning to La Shi Hai where we will be spending two weeks of our program. I am so excited about treading unfamiliar paths, discovering new places, meeting new people, making new friends and feasting on sumptuous Chinese dishes until our distended bellies swell and groan with satisfaction. I am really excited for us to get out there and experience the real side of China. I love rural China and I can assure you that the warmth of the Chinese people extends to all.

It is my love of all things China, travel and working with young people that I believe makes this my ideal job and that’s where YOU come into the equation. As instructors we can only lay down the details of the program, but this course is YOUR course and it is YOU that will make this the experience of a lifetime.

This summer we are lucky enough to have some of the most amazing and unique instructors and teachers in the history of Dragons on our program, and within the next week my esteemed co-instructors will be posting their letters of introduction on the Yak board. I urge you to read through them and get to know us all before the start of the summer.

More than that, I urge you to say a big hearty, welcome to the Yak board and learn to embrace and love the Yak. It’s all about the Yak love, people! Posting Yaks goes hand in hand with the Dragons experience. Yaks are a way of letting the world share our unique experiences (and believe me your parents, even my parents want to know what we are up to), an amazing reflection tool and a documentation of our unique journey.

Your first assignment for this program will be to take some time, reflect upon your reasons for joining this course and let us all know, who you are, where you are at and what excites you most about our forthcoming adventure. I look forward to reading your thoughts!

If anyone has any questions about our imminent adventure then please don’t hesitate to contact me at marklumley@gmail.com. If you feel it is a question or query that the whole group would be interested in then please post a yak! I wanna see those yaks! Become one with the Yak!

Please check out these very cool links to further whet your appetite for China -

http://archive.ryanpyle.com/c/ryanpyle

Amazing photojournalist in China Excellent documentary pics on every aspect of China

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/china

Excellent British newspaper with really balanced take on China

http://chinesepod.com/

This site is amazing for improving your Chinese, one of the best as they teach colloquial Chinese. It’s free to sign up for one week (and you can download as many podcasts as you like in that time), but if you’d like to sign up for the full deal, pay and get all the added extras then Dragons students can get 40% off the yearly fee.

Please contact our program director Matt Burton first at matt@wheretherebedragons.com if you would like to sign up.

So, I will leave you all for now and I can't wait to meet you all in LA and embark on our adventure. I will be calling all of you individually in the next few weeks to touch base and ask you a few questions to get to know you better.

I can’t wait to finally meet you all.

Mark Lumley

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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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Course Director Introduction Letter

Mark Lumley,Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

Description

Hello Everyone, My name is Mark Lumley and I am the Course Director and Instructor for the Where There Be Dragons, China 4 week Language Intensive Summer Program, this coming summer. This will be my sixth Dragons trip, having previously led three China Language summer programs and two China semester programs. As Course Director I […]

Posted On

05/4/10

Author

Mark Lumley

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Hi everyone!

I have a question but I figured I'd introduce myself first. My name is Christina and I'm studying Sociology with a focus on Global and International Studies and minoring in Spanish and Cognitive Neuroscience- thinking of going to law school but I really don't have a clue. I'm from Chicago, but I'm going UPenn, which is in Philly.For fun I dance... A lot. I'm in a latin dance troupe (Onda Latina) and a hip-hop fusion dance troupe (Hype) on my campus. To cut it short and keep it sweet I'll just put 5 random facts about myself:

1. My favorite fruit is the rasberry (any type of berry really)

2. I love to lay down in the grass and walk barefoot

3. The last book I read was a mystery novel called "The Skull Mantra"

4. I watched "The Time Traveler's Wife" and, I must shamefully admit, cried!

5. One of my fears (getting lost) is also one of my favorite things to do (I don't make a habit of it for obvious reasons)

Now for my question:

Clothes wise- I'm thinking I want to just take two shirts and one pair of pants and buy the other two shirts, pair of pants, and skirt when over there. Should I bring more clothes? Is this idea okay? More importantly, will there be time in the beginning to do this?

I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of summer. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone!

Christina (you can also call me Christy if you prefer)

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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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Question and Introduction

Christina Torres,Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

Description

Hi everyone! I have a question but I figured I’d introduce myself first. My name is Christina and I’m studying Sociology with a focus on Global and International Studies and minoring in Spanish and Cognitive Neuroscience- thinking of going to law school but I really don’t have a clue. I’m from Chicago, but I’m going […]

Posted On

05/3/10

Author

Christina Torres

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    [post_content] => 

Good day to you all

My name is Peter Wade, I'm currently a seinor at Proctor Academy in New Hampshire and going to be a freshmen at Drew University. This is my second Dragons program and I look forward to meeting you all in New York. I dont speak arabic so loooking forward to learning it.

See you all soon

-Peter G Wade

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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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Hello

Peter Wade,Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

Description

Good day to you all My name is Peter Wade, I’m currently a seinor at Proctor Academy in New Hampshire and going to be a freshmen at Drew University. This is my second Dragons program and I look forward to meeting you all in New York. I dont speak arabic so loooking forward to learning […]

Posted On

05/1/10

Author

Peter Wade

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