Photo of the Week
Photo Title


WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 107429
    [post_author] => 26
    [post_date] => 2014-07-31 15:46:11
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-07-31 21:46:11
    [post_content] => Sublime are my powers of observation when intense feelings of sadness and solidarity overwhelm me. I am sitting, waiting for my connecting flight back to Denver, back “home”. I see and hear everything that happens around me from the shallow gazes of passersby who care nothing for real communication to the piercing cries of a nearby child. Sure, I heard plenty of loud screams from my little host brother in rural Cambodia, but he worried about escaping hunger as he drifted off to bed, while this child felt an obligation to be holding her mother’s cellphone. It’s a little different. But I did not only observe the bad, or what I perceived to be selfish actions of hurried passengers. I also heard the blissful laughs of airport workers who had evidently formed a tight community between themselves; a community founded upon love and protection. The type of community I had recently been familiarized with.

And my mind soon drifted to the powers of probability. How ten students and three instructors from all over the country, all over the world, came to spend an entire month with each other in an obscure nation that I couldn’t even point to on a map before this summer. What are the chances? Seriously, I want to know. It seems like everyone wanted something different this summer: a break, a different program, a different travel company. And yet we all ended up in Cambodia for four weeks. All thirteen of us, all probability against us from the start. Of course, I’d like to thing God doesn’t play with dice, but if chance can create something as amazing as the trip I just experienced, then I don’t care what the hell God (or Siddhartha) was doing up there. Because we formed a community, built upon compassion and love. Sure, the many 5 to 9 hour, tightly packed, van rides played a vital role in literally bringing us together. But that was purely physical. It was the deep, thought-provoking talks from the rooms in Koh Kong that brought us together emotionally. And the “Who are you?” activity on Rabbit Island. And the jungle trek in Mondulkiri. And exploring the temples in Siem Reap. And the tuk-tuk rides in Phnom Penh. And the development discussions in Kratie. And the party in Prek Pdao. We did so much together and forgot for a short time the idea of loneliness.

So back at LAX, I am surrounded by hundreds of busy, seemingly self-possessed people and a powerful loneliness slowly creeps upon me. They have no idea the transformation that has occurred within me in the past month… And why should they? I am merely another person in the crowd. Yes, there’s a possibility that my headband, I <3 Cambodia t-shirt, and ridiculous short-shorts differentiate me slightly, but that is neither here nor there. The point is that the group I came to love so much and hold so dearly is out of my life, possibly forever, though I will never forget them. And now I am back “home”. Where it is hard for me to be understood by my family. Where I feel unable to communicate myself in a satisfactory way. Where my eyes are glossy and I fear breaking into tears that do not stop for days. We talked a lot about “home” during our time abroad. And I found a home in Cambodia. This country, and this trip, and this group are all a part of a small chapter in my life story. But it is the most vital chapter that has been written.
    [post_title] => Home
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => home-9
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2014-07-31 15:46:11
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-07-31 21:46:11
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=107429
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 164
                    [name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [slug] => cambodia-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 164
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 254
                    [count] => 45
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 8.1
                    [cat_ID] => 164
                    [category_count] => 45
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => cambodia-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 254
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/cambodia-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Cambodia 4-week
)

Cambodia 4-week

View post

Home

Jeffrey Landes ,Cambodia 4-week

Description

Sublime are my powers of observation when intense feelings of sadness and solidarity overwhelm me. I am sitting, waiting for my connecting flight back to Denver, back “home”. I see and hear everything that happens around me from the shallow gazes of passersby who care nothing for real communication to the piercing cries of a […]

Posted On

07/31/14

Author

Jeffrey Landes

Category

Cambodia 4-week

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 107413
    [post_author] => 26
    [post_date] => 2014-07-30 09:31:01
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-07-30 15:31:01
    [post_content] => It’s hard to know where to begin writing sometimes. My fall back is to start with physical descriptions of things around you and work from there. It’s easier somehow to say that the seatback in front of me is the color of wine stains with a pattern of splotches that look like everything from puckered lips to toadstools to the glyphs of some lost language and just see where it will lead. Ale Chavez is sitting in that seat, her dark hair braided from the left temple back to just below her right ear from last night when Kia helped everyone get gussied up for our last meal. The world outside our little ovular windows is all Italian Renaissance heaven. Cabin service is rolling up and down the aisles now, asking me to move my knobby knee out of the way and filling the air with that dull, yeasty smell we’ve all come to associate with the creekstone-sized pills of bread that are the one thing that airline food service the world over seems to be able to agree upon.

We’ve just left Phnom Penh. I’ve been sitting here trying to remember how many times I’ve flown from this place elsewhere, and I can’t come up with a number. It’s at least 15, I think. But every time it feels a little difficult in a way I can’t quite explain. I remember the first time so well. It was the summer of 2003, and I’d just spent six weeks in Cambodia after having never previously left North America. I think I cried upon takeoff. I didn’t know quite what had happened to me, but I knew that I felt different about everything, and somewhere deep down I knew that my life would never quite be the same.

We talk a lot about place in our Dragons community: the power of place, teaching through place, letting place teach, et cetera. It’s not uncommon to have people talk about places, especially cities, in a way that more or less personifies them (Sandburg’s Chicago being maybe the poster child), and it occurred to me on the ride to the airport this morning that this makes more sense than I’d ever recognized. Something about taking in Phnom Penh from the level offered by a tuk-tuk is especially intimate. So much of what’s happening in the city is happening right there on the street: badminton volleying, noodle frying, welding, coffee drinking, alms-giving, shop-opening, stoop sweeping, jackhammering, laughing. The big boulevards the French angled through town teemed with motorbike-intensive traffic that weaves together and flows through intersections like nothing if not water. We passed the street where they sell metal boxes with a hasp for padlocks, the street where they sell elaborate foiled-wrapped gift baskets, the street where they sell candles four feet tall, the street where you can buy the front half of truck’s cab, the street with sidewalks full of durian, the street where they take engines apart for scrap. This is the point at which it became evident that we come to love cities much the same way we love people: for their quirks, for the little things about them that remain the same, the little continuities that reassure us about their nature and character and identity. But also for their changes, for the ways in which they morph and are fluid and the result of so many separate influences and stimuli that it’s impossible to describe exactly what makes them what or who they are without just hanging around long enough to find out.

Avoiding cliché becomes pretty tricky when trying to describe just what an honor it is to bring students to Cambodia. What I tried to tell our students a couple of nights ago is that when I’m here I’m really just paying forward a great service that was done for me by a man named Mickey Sampson so many years ago. He was a mentor and close friend that opened the world to me and taught me so much, and the difficult truth is that he’s been gone from this particular arrangement of time and space for more than 5 years now. This country and its people were just as influential in opening my mind to life’s many possibilities, and so showing them around this place feels more or less equivalent to paying toward some debt I know can never quite be made square but demands regular payments anyhow.

What unalloyed joy there is when the fog of our own egos and insecurities and preoccupations clears away long enough to see our lives as they really are. The poet Ellen Bass said that we are “soaked in honey, reckless, pinned against time.” What I feel right now is bone-deep gratitude for everything: the people of Cambodia, my talented co-instructors, our exceptional group of students, and this opportunity to maybe, just maybe, pay a little of all the beauty and goodness I’ve known forward. Many thanks to everyone that made this summer possible.
    [post_title] => Leaving Phnom Penh.
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => leaving-phnom-penh
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2014-07-30 09:31:01
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-07-30 15:31:01
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=107413
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 164
                    [name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [slug] => cambodia-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 164
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 254
                    [count] => 45
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 8.1
                    [cat_ID] => 164
                    [category_count] => 45
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => cambodia-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 254
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/cambodia-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Cambodia 4-week
)

Cambodia 4-week

View post

Leaving Phnom Penh.

Caleb Brooks,Cambodia 4-week

Description

It’s hard to know where to begin writing sometimes. My fall back is to start with physical descriptions of things around you and work from there. It’s easier somehow to say that the seatback in front of me is the color of wine stains with a pattern of splotches that look like everything from puckered […]

Posted On

07/30/14

Author

Caleb Brooks

Category

Cambodia 4-week

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 107369
    [post_author] => 26
    [post_date] => 2014-07-28 22:03:59
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-07-29 04:03:59
    [post_content] => Hi all!

Just a quick note to say that we are all safe and sound and checked-in for our Hong Kong bound flight. We will be boarding shortly and hope to touch down in Los Angeles before any of us realize it!

The last couple of days have been busy and sad and reflective, but we're all coming home in good health and spirits. Look forward to seeing/communicating with all of you more very soon!

Gratefully,

Team Cambo
    [post_title] => Checked-in at Phnom Penh International Airport!
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => checked-phnom-penh-international-airport
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2014-07-28 22:03:59
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-07-29 04:03:59
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=107369
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 164
                    [name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [slug] => cambodia-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 164
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 254
                    [count] => 45
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 8.1
                    [cat_ID] => 164
                    [category_count] => 45
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => cambodia-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 254
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/cambodia-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Cambodia 4-week
)

Cambodia 4-week

View post

Checked-in at Phnom Penh International Airport!

Team Cambo,Cambodia 4-week

Description

Hi all! Just a quick note to say that we are all safe and sound and checked-in for our Hong Kong bound flight. We will be boarding shortly and hope to touch down in Los Angeles before any of us realize it! The last couple of days have been busy and sad and reflective, but […]

Posted On

07/28/14

Author

Team Cambo

Category

Cambodia 4-week

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 107370
    [post_author] => 14
    [post_date] => 2014-07-28 22:03:07
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-07-29 04:03:07
    [post_content] => Hello Family and Friends - The Cambodia group is all checked-in for flight KA 207 to Hong Kong and waiting to board. Wishing everyone a safe trip home! Best regards from Boulder.
    [post_title] => Safe and sound at Pochentong International!
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => safe-sound-pochentong-international
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2014-07-28 22:03:07
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-07-29 04:03:07
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=107370
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 164
                    [name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [slug] => cambodia-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 164
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 254
                    [count] => 45
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 8.1
                    [cat_ID] => 164
                    [category_count] => 45
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => cambodia-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 254
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/cambodia-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Cambodia 4-week
)

Cambodia 4-week

View post

Safe and sound at Pochentong International!

Jody Segar,Cambodia 4-week

Description

Hello Family and Friends – The Cambodia group is all checked-in for flight KA 207 to Hong Kong and waiting to board. Wishing everyone a safe trip home! Best regards from Boulder.

Posted On

07/28/14

Author

Jody Segar

Category

Cambodia 4-week

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 107105
    [post_author] => 26
    [post_date] => 2014-07-27 12:13:04
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-07-27 18:13:04
    [post_content] => 

Group photos from our trip :) [post_title] => Group Photos [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => group-photos-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-02 11:36:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-02 18:36:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=107105 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 164 [name] => Cambodia 4-week [slug] => cambodia-4-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 164 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 45 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 164 [category_count] => 45 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia 4-week [category_nicename] => cambodia-4-week [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/cambodia-4-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia 4-week )
View post

Group Photos

Shivani Dayal,Cambodia 4-week

Description

Group photos from our trip 🙂

Posted On

07/27/14

Author

Shivani Dayal

Category

Cambodia 4-week

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 107117
    [post_author] => 26
    [post_date] => 2014-07-27 12:12:40
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-07-27 18:12:40
    [post_content] => Wow, it's been a month. Back in Phenom Phen, it feels like we are back at day one, meeting everyone for the first time and experiencing that delightful nervous excitement that means you are about to go on an adventure. Well, an adventure has certainly been had. One that is so expansive and deep that I have filled 200 pages of my journal with the details, discoveries, and disappointments that have happened throughout our journey. And now I roam through those 200 pages and search for meaning, trying to see the bigger picture. I was told that this trip would change me. But honestly, that is a lot of pressure to change. So in these last few days I have watched myself...waiting to see a noticeable change but I was greeted with disappointment when I couldn't see anything. But sometimes change takes time. A seed has been planted and its roots have begun to grasp onto ideas, but the tree within is still figuring out which way to grow. I don't know the exact position of the sun right now, but there are some things I have grown to be certain of:

1) Independent decision making is a skill that can be learned
2) Going with the flow can be as hard as making a plan
3) Personalities are complicated creatures that take time to understand
4) There is a difference between words and intentions
5) I need more time alone than I originally thought
6) I am not scared easily
7) Discomfort is temporary and builds everlasting strength
8) Happiness can come from anywhere
9) Doing good is complicated
10) America is not perfect, but it is pretty darn great!

The thought of leaving pulls my heart apart, with one side excited to go Home to all that I love and with the other half in tears at having to say goodbye to the people who were brave enough to adventure with me and to the place which became home to the greatest adventure story of my life so far.
Goodbye Cambodia, you will have half of my heart forever.

    [post_title] => An Adventure
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => adventure-2
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2014-07-27 12:12:40
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-07-27 18:12:40
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=107117
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 164
                    [name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [slug] => cambodia-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 164
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 254
                    [count] => 45
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 8.1
                    [cat_ID] => 164
                    [category_count] => 45
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => cambodia-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 254
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/cambodia-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Cambodia 4-week
)

Cambodia 4-week

View post

An Adventure

Shivani Dayal,Cambodia 4-week

Description

Wow, it’s been a month. Back in Phenom Phen, it feels like we are back at day one, meeting everyone for the first time and experiencing that delightful nervous excitement that means you are about to go on an adventure. Well, an adventure has certainly been had. One that is so expansive and deep that […]

Posted On

07/27/14

Author

Shivani Dayal

Category

Cambodia 4-week

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 106914
    [post_author] => 26
    [post_date] => 2014-07-25 15:06:39
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-07-25 21:06:39
    [post_content] => Our last few days in this magical Kingdom of Wonder is being spent is a virtually untouched and uninhabited island of the southeast coast of Cambodia, Rabbit Island. It is a true tropical paradise, where we are living in thatch huts on the beach and spending our days swimming, lounging in hammocks and drinking coconuts. These last few days of the trip are what we call 'transference', and this is the most meaningful and important section of the trip, as we look forward towards the future and how we can apply what we have learned to the very different context of our lives back at home.

The mood here is one of both reflection and celebration. The discussions have been going deep, our journals are filling rapidly with thoughts and sketches, and and we have had a chance for every student to present what they have learned in their independent study projects to the rest of the group.

This evening, some of us stayed up late in order to go on a nighttime swim, as we had heard that there was bioluminescence in the ocean. We already knew that Rabbit Island is where magic happens, but nothing could prepare us for the beauty of the sparkling trails we created when we moved through the water at night, akin to fairy dust. Couple that with the clear night sky and the wisps of the Milky Way that were visible between the stars, we got one stunning and unreal panorama of twinkling lights, above and below.

    [post_title] => There are no rabbits on Rabbit Island (but there is magic!)
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => rabbits-rabbit-island-magic
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2014-07-25 15:06:39
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-07-25 21:06:39
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=106914
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 164
                    [name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [slug] => cambodia-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 164
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 254
                    [count] => 45
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 8.1
                    [cat_ID] => 164
                    [category_count] => 45
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => cambodia-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 254
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/cambodia-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Cambodia 4-week
)

Cambodia 4-week

View post

There are no rabbits on Rabbit Island (but there is magic!)

Claire, Caleb and Cho,Cambodia 4-week

Description

Our last few days in this magical Kingdom of Wonder is being spent is a virtually untouched and uninhabited island of the southeast coast of Cambodia, Rabbit Island. It is a true tropical paradise, where we are living in thatch huts on the beach and spending our days swimming, lounging in hammocks and drinking coconuts. These […]

Posted On

07/25/14

Author

Claire, Caleb and Cho

Category

Cambodia 4-week

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 106930
    [post_author] => 19
    [post_date] => 2014-07-25 14:24:04
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-07-25 20:24:04
    [post_content] => Dear Cambodia Students & Families,

 

This weekend marks the end of our Cambodia summer program and students will soon be boarding their planes and return home to share their tales of adventure with each of you.  We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!

 

Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for your reference.  Starting on Saturday, 7/26, should you need any assistance during student travel days (outside of normal office hours), please call our Admin cell phone for assistance: 303-921-6078, or email: update@wheretherebedragons.com. During office hours (M-F, 9:00am-5:00pm M.S.T.) please continue to use our parent line at:800-982-9203 ext. 130.

 Returning Flight: 

July 29th, 2014 

Dragon Air #207

Depart: Phnom Penh (PNH) 11:45am

Arrive: Hong Kong (HKG) 3:25pm

July 29th, 2014 

Cathay Pacific #882

Depart: Hong Kong (HKG) 4:25pm

Arrive: Los Angeles (LAX) 2:35pm

  We wish all students a great trip home!   Sincerely, Boulder Admin   [post_title] => Cambodia Return Flight Reminder [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => cambodia-return-flight-reminder [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-07-25 14:24:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-07-25 20:24:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=106930 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 164 [name] => Cambodia 4-week [slug] => cambodia-4-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 164 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 45 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 164 [category_count] => 45 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia 4-week [category_nicename] => cambodia-4-week [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/cambodia-4-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia 4-week )

Cambodia 4-week

View post

Cambodia Return Flight Reminder

Eva Vanek,Cambodia 4-week

Description

Dear Cambodia Students & Families,   This weekend marks the end of our Cambodia summer program and students will soon be boarding their planes and return home to share their tales of adventure with each of you.  We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!   Below is a reminder of the return group flight information […]

Posted On

07/25/14

Author

Eva Vanek

Category

Cambodia 4-week

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 106701
    [post_author] => 26
    [post_date] => 2014-07-24 17:08:42
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-07-24 23:08:42
    [post_content] => Student Led was a great success! Despite some dreary weather, we managed to get in two full days of activities. Yesterday, we went to a mangrove sanctuary and took a walk through the trees on an elevated concrete trail. We crossed a suspension bridge and climbed to the top of an observation tower. Then we took a boat ride through the bay and jumped in to the water. Today we spent the morning hiding from the rain, and then half of us went to a waterfall 40 minutes from the city. We ended the day with dinner at Koh Kong's nicest restaurant, Cafe Laurent, which is on the water. Tomorrow is the start of Transference, which we will spend on Rabbit Island. We're all very excited.

    [post_title] => Student Led
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => student-led-2
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2014-07-24 17:08:42
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-07-24 23:08:42
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=106701
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 164
                    [name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [slug] => cambodia-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 164
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 254
                    [count] => 45
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 8.1
                    [cat_ID] => 164
                    [category_count] => 45
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => cambodia-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 254
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/cambodia-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Cambodia 4-week
)

Cambodia 4-week

View post

Student Led

Ale Chavez,Cambodia 4-week

Description

Student Led was a great success! Despite some dreary weather, we managed to get in two full days of activities. Yesterday, we went to a mangrove sanctuary and took a walk through the trees on an elevated concrete trail. We crossed a suspension bridge and climbed to the top of an observation tower. Then we […]

Posted On

07/24/14

Author

Ale Chavez

Category

Cambodia 4-week

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 106646
    [post_author] => 26
    [post_date] => 2014-07-22 21:36:59
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-07-23 03:36:59
    [post_content] => I’ve been thinking about routines lately. Now that I’ve been on the road more or less non-stop for the last couple of years the very idea of having a routine has taken on the mystique of the exotic.  A mirror I brush my teeth in every morning, a gym to procrastinate going to, the same man or woman at the corner shop to make small talk with, my own bicycle as trusted steed…these are the trappings of what we tend to call “daily life” that at times possess an allure once reserved for foreign lands.

Which is not to say that my life is without routine altogether. Take this, for example: For the past 3 consecutive years I’ve slept in a tent in Holiday Campground of Tom’s Place, California from June 13-25, spent four additional nights at the Hacienda Hotel of LA’s El Segundo area (may the vultures of Fairfield by Marriott treat her dignity and a sense of history), and flown with students in the wee hours of June 30 to Phnom Penh via Hong Kong. Even the Cambodia course itself has a had a loose routine to it: moving from northeast to central to northwest to central to southwest to central and so on, making swooping parabola-ish loops over Cambodia’s hills and floodplains with Phnom Penh as nexus.  What’s become obvious is that my life very much has its routines, but they are routines on a macro scale, routine on the scale of seasons and solstices. 

I should make it clear right away that none of this is meant as a lament.  I enjoy my life, and feel very lucky to have it, and cannot think of another way of being that appeals to me more or that I’d be willing to trade it for. The really banal thing I’m taking too long to point out here is that just about everything in life involves a trade off, and it just so happens that the life of a Dragons instructor often involves one of the micro-for-macro routine variety.    

I woke up yesterday morning in an Annie Dillard kind of mood (some of you will know what I mean), so I fired up the old Kindle and picked up where I last left off in Pilgrim At Tinker Creek. Just a few pages in I came across her description of the biologist J. Henri Fabre’s observations of caterpillars following their own silken tracks in an unbroken circle that reminded me of some punishment in Greek mythology. Dillard, in response, has this to say: “It is the fixed that horrifies us, the fixed that assails us with the tremendous force of its mindlessness…The fixed is the world without fire—dead flint, dead tender, and nowhere a spark. It is motion without direction, force without power, the aimless procession of caterpillars round the rim of a vase, and I hate it because at any moment I myself might step to that charmed and glistening thread.”

One of the reasons travel is most commonly recommended is that it breaks up our routines. One of my favorite moments each summer is the first tuk-tuk ride from the airport into the city (a tuk-tuk is essentially a carriage pulled by a motorbike and is a staple of SE Asian local transportation).  The students’ faces are priceless as they feel the heat for the first time, hear the noise, get those first few whiffs of something strange.  It’s written all over their faces that “none of this is familiar” and “I am in someplace completely other”.

Our homestay in Prek Pdao is another important part of this season for me, and definitely my favorite. What’s funny about village life in Cambodia is that basically everything is a routine but none of it feels like drudgery. It’s my fifth time spending a week here with Mara’s family, and none of it feels the least bit old. The jingle-belling of the horsecarts in the just after dawn, iced coffee and noodle soup for breakfast, long, hot afternoons in hammocks of woven water hyacinth beneath the house, the pensive ache of night falling in a place with so little electricity the darkness feels more or less existential…these things have been our routine. 

But what’s also part of it (and probably in large part because of how markedly different life is in Prek Pdao) is a feeling of real peace and meaning in the midst of daily life. There’s the river out front and banana leaves aglow with sunlight, there’s the breeze from the fields in the back and buzz of motorbikes down the laterite path and children walking home from school. On the beams of the home under which we meet as a group are still visible the hand-scrawled sayings of Angka, or Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime.  They speak of conformity and commitment to a greater cause: inhumane routine on such a scale that it devoured the lives of millions before it was stopped. Caterpillars forced to follow a thread into oblivion.  But mostly there’s just beauty here: the slow lope of Brahma cattle, curtains of rain drawn as if to close the day, frogs chanting of wonder from the bog all night. 

All of this is normal too, of course, at least around here.  It’s as normal as our grocery store runs and morning commutes and evening TV programming. It feels good to be reminded of this, to be told again by the world that every moment, every circumstance brims with the same possibility, another chance to, as David Foster Wallace put it, recognize that it is within our power to see everything, even the boring and banal, “as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.” It’s all a matter of what we choose to see, and how.

I think the same idea applies to routines.  All of us will be returning to more familiar environs in less than a week now, but it’s our hope that these places will have been transformed in the meantime, not because they’re any different, but because we are, changed enough by the last month to see nothing as just mere routine

    [post_title] => Transforming the Routine.
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => transforming-routine
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2014-07-22 21:36:59
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-07-23 03:36:59
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=106646
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 164
                    [name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [slug] => cambodia-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 164
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 254
                    [count] => 45
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 8.1
                    [cat_ID] => 164
                    [category_count] => 45
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Cambodia 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => cambodia-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 254
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/cambodia-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Cambodia 4-week
)

Cambodia 4-week

View post

Transforming the Routine.

Caleb Brooks,Cambodia 4-week

Description

I’ve been thinking about routines lately. Now that I’ve been on the road more or less non-stop for the last couple of years the very idea of having a routine has taken on the mystique of the exotic. A mirror I brush my teeth in every morning, a gym to procrastinate going to, the same […]

Posted On

07/22/14

Author

Caleb Brooks

Category

Cambodia 4-week

1 2 3 5