Photo of the Week
North India 4-week
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    [post_content] => Morning friends!

I thought you all might find this video interesting.  While we did not dive heavily into the topic of climate change and its effects on Ladakh, we were able to see firsthand some of the ripple effects throughout the land (villages up and moving elsewhere due to lack of water, the constant chatter about lack of snow, and the fear of what the future will hold).

Check out this video and stay tuned as I plan to get some more information from my friend Carey who is studying this exact topic for her Fulbright Scholarship.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xvDIIBi9Es
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North India 4-week

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Climate Change in Ladakh

Kate Koons,North India 4-week

Description

Morning friends! I thought you all might find this video interesting.  While we did not dive heavily into the topic of climate change and its effects on Ladakh, we were able to see firsthand some of the ripple effects throughout the land (villages up and moving elsewhere due to lack of water, the constant chatter […]

Posted On

07/31/14

Author

Kate Koons

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-30 08:57:53
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    [post_content] => Jullay friends!

Here is the Morgan Hite reading I was talking about at the end of our trek.  While he wrote it about a NOLS course, these all ring true for us after our time spent together in India.  I'll be sure to send on the other readings, but in the meantime, here you go:

People always talk about what you can't take home with you after a NOLS course. You can't take home the backpack, or at least it has no place in your daily life. You can't take home the rations, and if you did, your friends wouldn't eat them. You can't take home the mountains. We seem to have to get rid of all of our connections to this place and our experiences here. It's frustrating and can be depressing.

This essay is about what you can take home. What you can take home, and what, if you work at it, can be more important than any of those things you have to leave behind.

Let's look at what we've really been doing out here. We've been organized. We lived out of backpacks the whole time, and mostly we knew where everything was. We've been thorough: we counted every contour line on the map and put every little bit of trash in a bag. We've been prepared: at this moment, every one of us knows where his or her raingear is. We've taken care of ourselves. We've been in touch with basic survival tasks. We've taken chances with other people, entrusted them with our lives and seen no reason not to grow close to them. We've persevered and put our minds to things that never seemed to end. We've learned to use new tools and new techniques. We've taken care of the things we have with us. We've lived simply.

These are the things you can really take home. Together they comprise the set I call "mental hygiene," as if we needed to take care of our minds the way we take care of our bodies. Here they are again, one by one.

1. Organization. The mountains are harsh, so you need to be organized. But that other world is much more complex, and even harsher in ways that aren't always as tangible as cold, wind and rain. Being organized can help you weather its storms. 2. Thoroughness. Here it is easy to see the consequences of leaving things only half done. That other world has so many interruptions, distractions and stimuli that it is easy to leave things half done, until you find yourself buried under a pile of on-going projects with no direction. 3. Preparedness. Out here you've only had to be prepared for every eventuality of weather; but in that other world you have to be prepared for every eventuality - period. There are no rules, shit happens, and only the prepared are not caught off balance. 4. Take care of yourself, and do it even more aggressively than you do it out here. The environmental hazards are even greater: crowding, noise, schedules. Take time to be alone and think. Never underestimate the healing power of being near beauty, be it a flower, music, a person, or just dinner well-prepared. 5. Stay in touch with basics. Continue to cook your own food and consciously select the place where you sleep at night. Take care of your own minor injuries and those of your friends. Learn about how the complex vehicles and tools you use work. The other world is far more distracting and seeks to draw you away from the basics. 6. Keep taking risks with people. Your own aliveness is measured by the aliveness of your relationships with others. There are so many more people to choose from in that other world, and yet somehow we get less close. Remember that the dangers are still present; any time that you get in a car with someone you are entrusting that person with your life. Any reasons that seem to crop up not to get close examine very carefully. 7. Remember you can let go and do without seemingly critical things. Here it has only been hot showers, forks and a roof overhead. But anything can be done without; eventually for us all it is a person that we have to do without, and then especially it is important to remember that having to do without does not rule out joy. 8. Persevere at difficult things. It may not be as concrete as a mountain or as immediately rewarding as cinnamon rolls, but the world is given to those who persevere. Often you will receive no support for your perseverance because everyone else is too busy being confused. 9. Continue to learn to use new tools and techniques. Whether it is a computer or an ice cream maker, you know now that simply because you haven't seen it before doesn't mean you can't soon be a pro. Remember that the only truly old people are the ones who've stopped learning. 10. Take care of things. In that other world it's easy to replace anything that wears out or breaks, and the seemingly endless supply suggests that individual objects have little value. Be what the philosopher Wendell Berry calls "a true materialist." Build things of quality, mend what you have and throw away as little as possible. 11. Live simply. There is no substitute for sanity. These eleven things are the skills you've really learned out here, and they will serve you in good stead in any environment in the world. They are habits to live by. If anyone asks what your course was like, you can tell them. "We were organized, thorough and prepared. We took care of ourselves in basic ways. We entrusted people with our lives, learned to do without and persevered at difficult things. We learned to use new tools and we took care of what we had with us. We lived simply." 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Best Notes From The Field, North India 4-week

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Briefing for Entry into a More Harsh World by Morgan Hite

Kate Koons,Best Notes From The Field, North India 4-week

Description

Jullay friends! Here is the Morgan Hite reading I was talking about at the end of our trek.  While he wrote it about a NOLS course, these all ring true for us after our time spent together in India.  I’ll be sure to send on the other readings, but in the meantime, here you go: […]

Posted On

07/30/14

Author

Kate Koons

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    [post_content] => Hello friends and family of Dragons' North India 4-week,

We wanted to let you know that we have heard from the instructors as they boarded their plane in Delhi and that they are safely on their way, currently on their short layover in Paris. We wish them all a wonderful homecoming after their 4 weeks in the Himalayas. Kindly,

Dragons Administration
    [post_title] => Smooth travels thus far
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North India 4-week

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Smooth travels thus far

Dragons Admin,North India 4-week

Description

Hello friends and family of Dragons’ North India 4-week, We wanted to let you know that we have heard from the instructors as they boarded their plane in Delhi and that they are safely on their way, currently on their short layover in Paris. We wish them all a wonderful homecoming after their 4 weeks […]

Posted On

07/27/14

Author

Dragons Admin

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-27 21:18:15
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    [post_content] => At home, i think of myself as being a rather open and vibrant personality -someone who is always open to a new experience no matter how unorthodox. A teacher at my school once described a picture to me, it was a circle that was labelled "comfort zone" and then outside of the circle it said "where the magic happens". What i did not really realize previous to this trip is just how mundane many of the things that i used to think were outside my comfort zone are, and just how far i can push my self into "where the magic happens". My instructor and friend, Kate, old me about the concept of HALT (hungry, angry, lonely & tired), it is what many people often go through and in especially resonated with Hungry and Tired at many points on this trip. While many view these four adjectives as negatives, i have learned to see these as not things to just grit your teeth and bare through, but actually times when you are most out of your comfort zone, and when some of the most learning can occur. HALT can go two ways, you can either close off your mind and go into a little cocoon and close yourself from the experience, or, in the words of Kate, you can open yourself up to India and let it due to you what it wants. "...because India always has its own agenda for you. and you can either fight it and try to stick to your own mold, or you can relax and let it toss you about which ever way it wants". Throughout the trip we often pretended as if we were playing a game, India was one team and we were the other. sometimes we got a point (like when a car showed up on time or if everyone did well on a trek), and sometimes India got a point (every time someone threw up or got sick or struggled immensely). Not to say that there is much to learn in getting sick, but when India scored, it was almost a win for us as well. India had given us an experience that pushed us out of our comfort zone, and into where the magic happens.
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North India 4-week

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opening up

Andrew otto gordon,North India 4-week

Description

At home, i think of myself as being a rather open and vibrant personality -someone who is always open to a new experience no matter how unorthodox. A teacher at my school once described a picture to me, it was a circle that was labelled “comfort zone” and then outside of the circle it said […]

Posted On

07/27/14

Author

Andrew otto gordon

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-26 21:59:56
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    [post_content] => For many years I have known this....mountains change people.  I believe that this is a healthy change and it is what has driven me to work in the mountains for the last 20 years.  Over the last month, we have traveled among the world's most majestic mountains and they have taught us many things.  We have seen everyone on this course grow in ways that are hard to ever anticipate.  When signing up for a Dragons trip, we get sucked in by the beautiful pictures, stories of travelers before us and the mystique of far away lands.  What we often don't realize is that we are headed on a journey with strangers, who quickly become family and transform in ways we never knew possible.

During our last trek through Zanskar, we were able to see people at their most raw.  We lived a simple life by waking each day to a hearty breakfast, walking through natural beauty, eating once again and then resting our heads snuggled in our bags each night.  This "simple" life afforded us time to work together, take care of one another and trust each other with our lives.  Turning around on the trail to give a hand became second nature, not even something we gave thought to.  Carrying some extra weight for a group member when needed took all of a minute to do.  Looking out for each other in every aspect of the day became a part of our ritual.  The term expedition behavior rings true on any trip into the mountains.  We could not have accomplished what we did on our own, and by venturing into the mountains together we have all gained some more patience, perspective, acceptance, trust and love for each other.  And we're all a little more tough because of it!

As we sit here in hot, sweaty and chaotic Delhi, the mountains almost feel like a dream, yet the confidence, positivity and care with which our group has handled everything this trip makes me know that it was indeed a month of transformative experiences in many shapes and forms which will flow into life at home.
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North India 4-week

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Mountains change people

Kate Koons,North India 4-week

Description

For many years I have known this….mountains change people.  I believe that this is a healthy change and it is what has driven me to work in the mountains for the last 20 years.  Over the last month, we have traveled among the world’s most majestic mountains and they have taught us many things.  We […]

Posted On

07/26/14

Author

Kate Koons

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-25 14:07:19
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    [post_content] => Dear India Students & Families,

 

This weekend marks the end of our North India 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 28th, 2014 

Air France #225

Depart: Delhi (DEL) 12:25am

Arrive: Paris (CDG) 6:00am

July 28th, 2014 

Air France #022

Depart: Paris (CDG) 8:20am

Arrive: New York (JFK) 10:30am

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North India 4-week

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North India 4 Return Flight Info

Eva Vanek,North India 4-week

Description

Dear India Students & Families,   This weekend marks the end of our North India 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 […]

Posted On

07/25/14

Author

Eva Vanek

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-25 09:33:05
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[post_title] => A Few Photos from Zanskar [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => photos-zanskar [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-02 11:58:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-02 18:58:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=106901 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 163 [name] => North India 4-week [slug] => north-india-4-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 163 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 65 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 163 [category_count] => 65 [category_description] => [cat_name] => North India 4-week [category_nicename] => north-india-4-week [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/north-india-4-week/ ) ) [category_links] => North India 4-week )
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A Few Photos from Zanskar

Instructor Team,North India 4-week

Description

Posted On

07/25/14

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-25 09:10:17
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    [post_content] => Trekking was both a beautiful and eye opening experience. I have gained insight into a world that will soon change forever due to the influences of the modern and western world. This has made me both question and appreciate my way of life. Dragons has helped me orient my goals in a way that feels both challenging and realistic. Bittersweet is easily the operative word for my feelings at this point of the trip. At one end I am so excited to return to my friends and family with a brand new wealth of knowledge, insight, and perspective. On the other hand, I am leaving part of myself here. A part that has grown and developed in this very rare part of the world.

-Jacob Sheck
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North India 4-week

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Zanskar

Jacob Sheck,North India 4-week

Description

Trekking was both a beautiful and eye opening experience. I have gained insight into a world that will soon change forever due to the influences of the modern and western world. This has made me both question and appreciate my way of life. Dragons has helped me orient my goals in a way that feels […]

Posted On

07/25/14

Author

Jacob Sheck

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2014-07-25 09:09:54
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    [post_content] => We finally made it to Leh after a beautiful 10 day trek through the Zanskar region. We were so lucky to make that trek before the completion of a road through the area that will allow access to education, medical care, etc. for the small villages in Zanskar but also change the environment of the land forever. India gave us a few surprises as always and at the highest campsite we stayed at we were hit with a small snow storm that kept us bundled up in our tents for an extra day. The delay was a blessing in disguise... snow in the summer is a treat you don't get very often. On one of our last days of the trek we camped in Purne for two days and took a day hike to a monastery in the mountains about a two to three hour hike away. The ancient monastery, still in use today, was breathtaking. The buildings looked as if they were growing strait out of the stone into small white rooms lining the side of a mountain. At the top was a gold ro0m and we climbed stone staircase after staircase to it. At the top the view was breathtaking. You could see all the way down hundreds of feet to the river at the bottom of the cliff below as well as the distant mountains miles around us. At the monastery our guide brought me to a small prayer room where I was able to light a yak butter candle for the anniversary of my mother's death. along with the three candles he lit for the recent death of his friends. The experience was beautiful and I'm so glad that the timing worked so well.

Somehow the trip is over in just three more days... I can't believe how time has flown by. We leave for Delhi tomorrow. See you all soon!

-Lily
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North India 4-week

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Back in Leh

Lily Abrahams,North India 4-week

Description

We finally made it to Leh after a beautiful 10 day trek through the Zanskar region. We were so lucky to make that trek before the completion of a road through the area that will allow access to education, medical care, etc. for the small villages in Zanskar but also change the environment of the […]

Posted On

07/25/14

Author

Lily Abrahams

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    [post_content] => We have just arrived in Leh after a 10 day trek through Zanskar followed by two straight days of bus travel. The trek was absolutely gorgeous, we had magnificent days with snow and rain where we got to see some of the most amazing views in this world. Soon there will be a road going through this area removing a lot of possible trekking but will give the people of Zanskar connection to education, medical care and more, so luckily we were able to explore the region before the area loses some culture and its more basic lifestyle. We also witnessed the most incredible monastery known as the Phugtal Monastery that was built into a cave inside of a mountain. This monastery was easily one of the most beautiful works of man I have ever seen. 

 

We  leave for Delhi tomorrow and will spend a our last days together there. I've had the greatest time of my life here so far but am still excited to see you all soon.

 
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North India 4-week

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After a beautiful trek we are beginning our final days together

Jackson Hermelee,North India 4-week

Description

We have just arrived in Leh after a 10 day trek through Zanskar followed by two straight days of bus travel. The trek was absolutely gorgeous, we had magnificent days with snow and rain where we got to see some of the most amazing views in this world. Soon there will be a road going through this area removing a […]

Posted On

07/25/14

Author

Jackson Hermelee

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