Photo of the Week
Silk Road 6-week
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    [post_date] => 2014-08-20 10:06:18
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    [post_content] => Throughout our wanderings in China we have encountered travelers from all over the globe. I have met several Americans, people from all parts of China, five French men, two Germans, a Pole, a Brit, and a couple Israelis. The group of French folks have caught up with us at every stop along the way since we reached Turpan, and we've met the same German and Israeli fellow several times since way back in Zhangye. I had several good natured conversations with that particular German guy and during our last meeting in the Old Youth Hostel in Kashgar I learned a valuable insight into the life that I think world travelers know better than anyone else. You see, when I ran into him for the fourth and final time in Kashgar, I said goodbye and expressed my lamentations that this would be our last meeting, but what he said in response was not wholly what I expected and echoed back to what another acquaintance I had made in Nicaragua told me at our parting; he told me not to worry and not to say goodbye, we might well meet again on the road in some other place some other day.

From these isolated events, I have come to the conclusion that, for some reason, travelers, or people who have had considerable encounters with them, have this seemingly unfounded and irrational confidence that "fate," or what have you, will reunite them with people and places they have known at some point in their lives. Being just 18 and having traveled only a little, thus far I have had a very different outlook on things. For me, experiences and acquaintances begin and they end: fleeting things do not lead to lasting bonds, but travelers know that people are more like spiders casting strands in their webs with each new adventure, not clerks in a warehouse checking items off an inventory list. Eventually, inevitably, they know that events at the edges of their web, where they cast threads long ago, will ripple back and call them to revisit old ties.

I have cast a great deal of thread on this trip, I now have connections to 15 amazing people from all parts of the US and Xinjiang China, as well as to Germany, Israel, and France, to Tibet, Beijing, Xi'an, Urumqi, and Kashgar, and to a plethora of other places and people as well. In the Spanish language we use the word "conocer" for having "met" both places and people, and I think they have it right, at least where experiences are concerned. You can't unmeet a person, or a place, or even a culture, those connections last forever. It doesn't matter for how long I've known these people or been to these places, the silk has been spun and they are part of my web now. I was greatly disappointed that we had to leave Kashgar early, and I am sad now as we are spending our final day together as a Dragons group in China, but no longer will I omit the possibility that I could return to Kashgar or that I could unexpectedly meet a familiar face from this summer on the streets of some faraway place.

I think this lesson also applies well to the idea of Global Citizenship:

Ever since my first service learning trip outside the US it has been a goal of mine to become a global citizen (conveniently enough, this is also a goal of Dragons for its students), and I thought that the way to go about that was to live, truly live, in and be apart of as many world cultures as I could. This wasn't a bad plan, but global citizenship isn't about checking nations off a list, it is a philosophy to be learned and understood. It is a dismissal of all rational boundaries except those which form the edges of our maps in the places where we have cast no threads. In those places, though, there is something of equal value. We leave the comforts of our homes and go beyond the trailing ends of the furthest strands of our webs seeking adventure, to slay the dragons that we imagine to dwell in there, but what we find in actuality turns out not to be so different from home, and, instead, the truly unfamiliar territory lies within ourselves.
    [post_title] => Storybook Endings
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Silk Road 6-week

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Storybook Endings

Melanie Thompson,Silk Road 6-week

Description

Throughout our wanderings in China we have encountered travelers from all over the globe. I have met several Americans, people from all parts of China, five French men, two Germans, a Pole, a Brit, and a couple Israelis. The group of French folks have caught up with us at every stop along the way since […]

Posted On

08/20/14

Author

Melanie Thompson

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_content] => The group landed safely in LA and are on their own last legs of the journey home! Wishing everyone a safe arrival. Best regards, Jody
    [post_title] => Landed in LA!
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Silk Road 6-week

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Landed in LA!

Jody Segar,Silk Road 6-week

Description

The group landed safely in LA and are on their own last legs of the journey home! Wishing everyone a safe arrival. Best regards, Jody

Posted On

08/8/14

Author

Jody Segar

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_content] => Hello Silk Road Families and Friends,

Some of you have contacted our office concerned because the groups original flight from Beijing to Hong Kong was delayed. Fear not! The group was switched to another flight, which left Beijing about 20 minuted before their originally scheduled flight. So, the group made it to Hong Kong in time and is now en route to LA as originally scheduled. Happy reunions!
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Silk Road 6-week

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Silk Road Group is on their flight to LA

Jody Segar,Silk Road 6-week

Description

Hello Silk Road Families and Friends, Some of you have contacted our office concerned because the groups original flight from Beijing to Hong Kong was delayed. Fear not! The group was switched to another flight, which left Beijing about 20 minuted before their originally scheduled flight. So, the group made it to Hong Kong in […]

Posted On

08/8/14

Author

Jody Segar

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_content] => Hello Silk Road Families and Friends,

The group is checked-in, through security, and ready to board their flight from Beijing to Hong Kong, and then onward to Los Angeles! Thanks again to our wonderful students, families, host families, guides, guest speakers, and to our amazing team of instructors, George, Anne, and Tim! Wishing the group a safe and smooth trip back home after an epic six-week journey across China. Very best regards from Boulder, Jody
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Silk Road 6-week

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Silk Road Group is ready to fly in Beijing!

Jody Segar,Silk Road 6-week

Description

Hello Silk Road Families and Friends, The group is checked-in, through security, and ready to board their flight from Beijing to Hong Kong, and then onward to Los Angeles! Thanks again to our wonderful students, families, host families, guides, guest speakers, and to our amazing team of instructors, George, Anne, and Tim! Wishing the group […]

Posted On

08/7/14

Author

Jody Segar

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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image364-300x224image362-300x224image361-300x224 image363-300x224
Hi again, The past few days have been wild!  Here are a few photos from our closing ceremony. Silk Road, Over and Out [post_title] => Last Bit in Beijing [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => last-bit-beijing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-08-07 17:39:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-08-07 23:39:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=107878 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 154 [name] => Silk Road 6-week [slug] => silk-road [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 154 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 81 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 154 [category_count] => 81 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Silk Road 6-week [category_nicename] => silk-road [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/silk-road/ ) ) [category_links] => Silk Road 6-week )
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Last Bit in Beijing

Silk,Silk Road 6-week

Description

Hi again, The past few days have been wild!  Here are a few photos from our closing ceremony. Silk Road, Over and Out

Posted On

08/7/14

Author

Silk

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_title] => We decided to change our passport photos
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We decided to change our passport photos

Beijing Silk,Picture of the Week, Silk Road 6-week

Description

Posted On

08/7/14

Author

Beijing Silk

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    [post_date] => 2014-08-05 12:23:12
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Check it. [post_title] => Coolest of the Cool: Beijingers [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => coolest-cool-beijingers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-02 09:57:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-02 16:57:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=107793 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 154 [name] => Silk Road 6-week [slug] => silk-road [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 154 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 81 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 154 [category_count] => 81 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Silk Road 6-week [category_nicename] => silk-road [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/silk-road/ ) ) [category_links] => Silk Road 6-week )
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Coolest of the Cool: Beijingers

Silk,Silk Road 6-week

Description

Check it.

Posted On

08/5/14

Author

Silk

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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image353-300x224
Hi again! We took a photo of students' backs because they're running the show here in Beijing.  Yesterday we visited the Silk Market and ate a ton of hearty 东北 (dongbei) food in the country's capital.  Today we visited Tiananmen, Mao Zedong's preserved dead body and students are currently out competing in an end of trip Dragons Amazing Race. Sadly, John McHugh left us early due to academic commitments (he won a fantastic award and will be presenting a paper at Stanford U to the ambasador to Japan), so we had to bid him farewell last evening. More to come as we wrap up. The I-team [post_title] => Students in Beijing! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => students-beijing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-02 10:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-02 17:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=107770 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 154 [name] => Silk Road 6-week [slug] => silk-road [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 154 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 81 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 154 [category_count] => 81 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Silk Road 6-week [category_nicename] => silk-road [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/silk-road/ ) ) [category_links] => Silk Road 6-week )
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Students in Beijing!

I-Team,Silk Road 6-week

Description

Hi again! We took a photo of students’ backs because they’re running the show here in Beijing.  Yesterday we visited the Silk Market and ate a ton of hearty 东北 (dongbei) food in the country’s capital.  Today we visited Tiananmen, Mao Zedong’s preserved dead body and students are currently out competing in an end of […]

Posted On

08/5/14

Author

I-Team

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2014-08-04 11:19:42
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-08-04 17:19:42
    [post_content] => Dear Silk Road Students & Families,

 

This weekend marks the end of our Silk Road 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: 

August 8th, 2014 

Dragon Air #905

Depart: Beijing (PEK) 8:00am

Arrive: Hong Kong (HKG) 11:40am

August 8th, 2014 

Cathay Pacific #884

Depart: Hong Kong (HKG) 12:55pm

Arrive: Los Angeles (LAX) 11:10am

Sincerely,We wish all students a great trip home! Boulder Admin   [post_title] => Silk Road Return Flight Reminder [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => silk-road-return-flight-reminder [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-08-04 11:19:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-08-04 17:19:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=107736 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 154 [name] => Silk Road 6-week [slug] => silk-road [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 154 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 81 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 154 [category_count] => 81 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Silk Road 6-week [category_nicename] => silk-road [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/silk-road/ ) ) [category_links] => Silk Road 6-week )

Silk Road 6-week

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Silk Road Return Flight Reminder

Eva Vanek,Silk Road 6-week

Description

Dear Silk Road Students & Families,   This weekend marks the end of our Silk Road 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 […]

Posted On

08/4/14

Author

Eva Vanek

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2014-08-04 09:22:40
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    [post_content] => Be Spongy

That's what it says in large letters on The Silk Road: Rules of the Road poster, drawn up on the second day of our journey. Students came up with several stipulations of their own, besides the Dragons Red Rule policy, to guide them safely, happily and in unision for our six weeks along the (Silk) road.

Be Spongy

It sounds pretty silly. It really does. Say it four or five times to yourself and you're thinking, "What the hell am I saying that to myself for?" But, it is a good mantra for anyone, anywhere, and after the tenth time repeating it to yourself, maybe you'll laugh. Maybe not, that's fine too. Little did we know, so long ago, how far we would come with those words in mind, and just how appropriate these words would be for the final leg of our journey:

Be Spongy

Students meant it to mean something along the lines of "be absorbant," or "sop up every little detail and tidbit of knowledge possible," or "be open to new experiences," or "keep the good experiences in the sponge, squeeze the bad out." (Some of these were direct quotes when I asked them yesterday.) One student also said that it means, simply, "be resilient."

Be Spongy

All of those definitions are great. I like the last one best. You get older (so I've read at least, I ain't sayin' it's happened yet to me!) and you become less pliable, less supple, less able to be Jack Be Nimble Jack Be Quick Jack Jump Over the Candle Stick.

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While on our hike, walking between two of the tallest, most impressive and awestriking peaks in the region, Muztagh Ata and Kongur Tagh, both soaring well over 7000 m, we received word of events that transpired in a world that seemed far far away from Kyrgyz families, fields, sheep, yaks, lakes and mountains... So far from the more pleasant things of life. We were dumbstruck. How is it that in a place so beautiful, so peaceful and so full of wonder, a person can be knifed until dead walking out of his most holy place during one of the sacred times for reasons still unclear? Why is it that the Chinese government must ruthlessly pursue and exterminate "terrorists" by any means? Events, such as those of late, inspire far more questions than there are answers, and it is difficult to look students in the eyes and respond simply, "I don't know." More important than knowing answers is being present to experience first hand. Traveling inspires both learning and understanding of a kind difficult to obtain elsewhere, impossible to read or to imagine or to fabricate. Traveling allows us to gather the truth in situ, to be as a sponge and soak it all up for later revision and insight that may not come for months or years. Traveling also forces us to remember how to be spongy in the second sense of the students' definition. We the instructors were extraordinarily impressed with the students' ability to go with it, to be resilient, to not be dissappointed with a big change in plans and to jump right in to a new situation, to make new plans. It is a privilege to have been able to spend the time in the city of Kashgar, with its kind and intruguing people and its surrounding mountains, and it pains us to leave early for happenings we did not belive would occur during our time here. It is also a privilege to have allowed students to safely view and learn of these events and to leave room for processing, analysis and interpretation thereof that will hopefully follow them (with their sponges) into the future. Traveling, no, living, as I see it, is a constant interpretation and revision of decisions and goals based on new information and stimuli, which incessently alter. And so, travel plans likewise change. It is a Dragons Journey, after all. Remember Be Spongy From first to last. [post_title] => Be Spongy [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => spongy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-02 10:04:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-02 17:04:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=107722 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 154 [name] => Silk Road 6-week [slug] => silk-road [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 154 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 81 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 154 [category_count] => 81 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Silk Road 6-week [category_nicename] => silk-road [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/silk-road/ ) ) [category_links] => Silk Road 6-week )
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Be Spongy

George McGinniss,Silk Road 6-week

Description

Be Spongy That’s what it says in large letters on The Silk Road: Rules of the Road poster, drawn up on the second day of our journey. Students came up with several stipulations of their own, besides the Dragons Red Rule policy, to guide them safely, happily and in unision for our six weeks along […]

Posted On

08/4/14

Author

George McGinniss

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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