Photo of the Week
China Search for Meaning 6-wk
Photo Title


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    [post_content] => We just received word that the group has safely landed in LAX. They are with their instructors and heading to the Custom Hotel for the night, except for those making connecting flights.

With care,

Dragons Administration
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China Language 6-week, China Search for Meaning 6-wk

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Group arrived to LAX

Tim Hare,China Language 6-week, China Search for Meaning 6-wk

Description

We just received word that the group has safely landed in LAX. They are with their instructors and heading to the Custom Hotel for the night, except for those making connecting flights. With care, Dragons Administration

Posted On

08/8/15

Author

Tim Hare

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    [post_content] => Six weeks of laughter, sunsets, la mian (pulled noodles), emotional highs and lows, and unforgettable memories. It has been a truly great six weeks.

The last several days of our course was spent reflecting on what we learned, processing how we have grown, and discussing how to make a successful transition back home. As we board our flight back to Los Angeles, we would again like to emphasize how grateful we are for having the opportunity to spend the last six weeks with your truly amazing child. We will be home very soon, full of stories and new perspectives.

Much love!

The Search for Meaning I-Team
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Boarding Flight to Los Angeles

Brendon Thomas,China Search for Meaning 6-wk

Description

Six weeks of laughter, sunsets, la mian (pulled noodles), emotional highs and lows, and unforgettable memories. It has been a truly great six weeks. The last several days of our course was spent reflecting on what we learned, processing how we have grown, and discussing how to make a successful transition back home. As we board […]

Posted On

08/8/15

Author

Brendon Thomas

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Sweet friends, fellow sojourners: Today is the day we part from each other, physically at least. However, I have no doubts that we will keep with us the more subtle parts of each other, long after we go our separate ways; the words of encouragement, the challenges, the whispered gratitudes in the candle light of our night ceremonies, the unstoppable laughter during group check-ins, the shared experiences, and the conversations which stretched our minds far across the landscapes which we were traversing. Farewell, and until next time, with love. To the families, We sent off the students today, and they are all ready to board their flights with Brendon, and head back to L.A.! Here are our last photos taken as a group: [post_title] => Saying Our Goodbyes [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => saying-our-goodbyes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-01-20 14:49:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-01-20 21:49:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=124028 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 84 [name] => China Search for Meaning 6-wk [slug] => china-search-for-meaning-6-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 84 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 255 [count] => 54 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5.1 [cat_ID] => 84 [category_count] => 54 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Search for Meaning 6-wk [category_nicename] => china-search-for-meaning-6-week [category_parent] => 255 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2015/china-search-for-meaning-6-week/ ) ) [category_links] => China Search for Meaning 6-wk )
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Saying Our Goodbyes

Sarah bolasevich,China Search for Meaning 6-wk

Description

Sweet friends, fellow sojourners: Today is the day we part from each other, physically at least. However, I have no doubts that we will keep with us the more subtle parts of each other, long after we go our separate ways; the words of encouragement, the challenges, the whispered gratitudes in the candle light of […]

Posted On

08/8/15

Author

Sarah bolasevich

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-04 11:17:50
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    [post_content] => Dear China Search for Meaning Students & Families,

This weekend marks the end of our China summer program and students will soon be boarding their planes to return home and 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:

August 8th, 2015
China Southern Airlines #3408
Depart: Kunming (KMG) 5:05pm
Arrive: Guangzhou (CAN) 7:30pm

August 8th, 2015
China Southern Airlines #327
Depart: Guangzhou (CAN) 9:30pm
Arrive: Los Angeles (LAX) 7:40pm

Should you need any assistance during student travel days, please call our Admin cell phone for assistance: 303-921-6078, or email: update@wheretherebedragons.com.

We wish all students a great trip home!

Sincerely,

Boulder Admin
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China Search for Meaning 6-wk

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China Return Group Flight Information

Dragons Admin,China Search for Meaning 6-wk

Description

Dear China Search for Meaning Students & Families, This weekend marks the end of our China summer program and students will soon be boarding their planes to return home and 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

08/4/15

Author

Dragons Admin

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    [post_date] => 2015-07-31 09:33:45
    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-31 15:33:45
    [post_content] => 

Our journey recently found us  transitioning from the relative comforts of an agricultural Tibetan homestay to that of a nomadic Tibetan homestay. Reaching the nomad's summer encampment required a lung burning and air sucking hike to their location at close to 4,000 meters in elevation. The welcoming atmosphere, cheerful smilles, and caring warmth remained the same amongst the Tibetan nomads, however, the livelihoods that sustain nomadic people has little in common with the Tibetan families that comprised our village homestay. These differences provided a unique perspective with regards to human dependence on the environment and the uncertain future that these people face. 

I take pride in being an environmental steward and strive to limit my impact upon the environment. Whenever I travel to new places I always seek to understand the locals relationship with their environment and any problems that confront the region. Usually I am the one asking prying questions to determine whether issues of environmental degradation are being addressed, but before I could inquire into what these nomads are doing to preserve their environment, our guide pointed out a sign that displayed a local environmental protection organization's rules and regulations for traveling on the grasslands. 

Our guide discussed at length how in the Qinghai Lake region cimate change is already having a significant impact on the local environment. The number of rivers that feed into Qinghai Lake have decreased from 49 in 2012 to less than 40 in 2015, with many of the remaining rivers under stress from development and erratic water levels. In addition, climate change is degrading the quality of the grasslands. The guide commented that more land is now required to support the same amount or fewer yak and sheep because of the grasslands rapid degradation. 

Tibetan nomads are keenly aware of any changes in their environment. The nomad's dependence on their flocks of sheep and yak require them to be cognizant of grassland conditions, as the quality of these grasslands directly influences the amount of animals that each family can maintain. In order to ensure the sustainable use of the grasslands Tibetan environmental organizations are forming in an effort to protect their environment in the face of a changing climate. These organizations are comprised of members from the local area that are in charge of monitoring and evaluating environmental conditions, and when necesary, enforcing the agreed upon rules within the community. 

Sadly, the efforts of Tibetan nomadic communities and their environmental organizations to protect their grasslands and livelihoods is undermined by Chinese government policy. The Chinese government is in the final stages of a 15-year campaign to settle millions of pastoralists and nomads. This massive experiment in social engineering is based partly on the official view that grazing harms grasslands, yet most ecologists believe that the scientific foundations of nomad resettlement for the sake of grassland protection are dubious. I am of the opinion that this policy is a sad excuse to resettle and gain greater control over people that the communist party views as backwards barbarians and are enacting this policy with environmental protection as their means. The grazing of animals on the Tibetan plateau has been occuring sustainably for thousands of years, but now, according to the communist party this practice suddenly threatens the source off the Mekong, Yellow, and Yangtze rivers. This claim by the communist party, among many others, screams of hypocrisy.

If measured by the accumulation of material possessions, these resettled nomads could be considered better off, but when looked at in any other respect the reality is much different. Government-built relocation centers are notorious for their chronic unemployment/underemployment, alcoholism, and the fraying of acient traditions. Relocations are often accomplished through coercion, leaving former nomads stranded in grim, isolated locales. Protests by displaced herders occur almost weekly, which prompts increasingly harsh crackdowns by security forces that contribute to the rising number of Tibetans that find themselves unjustly incarcerated. 

Looking over the pristine beauty of Qinghai lake, I said gooodbye to my host father and found myself wondering for how many more years his family will maintain their nomadic lifestyle. I truly cherished the unique experience of being able to experience a way of life that may cease to exist within my life span. I will never forget my host father leading Parker, Sonjay, and myself out to our "sheep guarding" tent to protect the flock against wolves and then the laughter that ensued after our host father vigoriously tucked us in under a pile of blankets. The memory of my host father's smile while explaining the cancer healing benefits of tsampa (a combination of roasted barley flour, butter, dried cheese, and sugar) will forever hold a special place in my memory. 

What I struggle to imagine though, is the anger that my host father will one day feel as he reflects on the loss of his independence. I fear that the demands of a cash economy and the belief that his family was displaced with false assurances will be too much for him to cope with. For centuries Tibetan nomads have managed to avoid a tragedy of the commons scenario and live a life of minimal environmental impact because of their deep connection with and respect for the land. The current tragedy is not of the commons, but that the communist party is managing to wipe out entire indigenous populations within the span of a few years...

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Tibetan Home-stays

Brendon Thomas,China Search for Meaning 6-wk

Description

Our journey recently found us  transitioning from the relative comforts of an agricultural Tibetan homestay to that of a nomadic Tibetan homestay. Reaching the nomad’s summer encampment required a lung burning and air sucking hike to their location at close to 4,000 meters in elevation. The welcoming atmosphere, cheerful smilles, and caring warmth remained the […]

Posted On

07/31/15

Author

Brendon Thomas

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    [post_date] => 2015-07-30 16:08:26
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    [post_content] => 
The landscape of my home stay with Tibetan families in the mountains above Qinghai Lake is imprinted on the backs of my eyelids, green and blue boring through my active visual life, allowing me to feel the serenity I felt when I was there. It reminded me of Ireland, and of the solitude and simple beauty that I have gone there to seek in the past. Of course, the yaks and the appearance of the people are wildly different, but in many ways I felt that the souls of these shepherds were akin to their brothers and sisters on another continent. The Tibetan nomads are intensely connected with their animals, their land, but they are also wary, separate, and in control. Often, in cities or in the wilderness, I feel that I am under the thumb of nature or the world around me, that I am not in control. That lack of agency does not to appear in the Tibetan nomads, partially because it seems to me that they have ceased to struggle against nature in the same way I do; they have an indelible confidence in the natural world. With the changes in weather, extremes of the climate further polarizing, some of the former predictability of the conditions in there in the mountains is gone. How was my host family unable to flinch as we sat in our tent at 10 pm under the light of a single fluorescent bulb with hail pouring down, threatening to cut holes in the tent, and lightning flashing on all sides? Coming from a home of three people, I understand the bonds of an only child with their parents quite well. My parents and I, no matter our quarrels and our differences, are a tightly knit unit. The family I stayed with above Qinghai Lake reminded me immensely of that. They did not demonstrate affection in the same way I do with my parents, but every interaction showed love, support, and respect. The son, about 7 years old, was full of energy, but he did as he was told, even anticipating his parents needs. He was never disciplined; there was no need. This was in strong contrast to my previous home stay with a Tibetan family in Rebkong: the 4 year old girl was constantly in trouble with her parents for her bad behavior and disrespect. What allows for such a large difference in parenting styles and in a child's behavior? Does the life in the city have that large an effect on the personality of a child? The solitude, the independence, the wherewithal that is necessary in the nomadic lifestyle probably causes a child to learn how important obedience is rather early on. With taking care of livestock and living off the land there is no room for error. It is a life without walls, without Western ideas of comfort, but a life full of weathered hands, wind-beaten cheeks, whispered emotion, milk tea, hard work, and warm blankets inside tents that lie right beneath the starry sky. [post_title] => Reflections on a Nomadic Homestay [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => reflections-on-a-nomadic-homestay [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-07-30 16:08:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-30 22:08:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=123774 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Picture of the Week [slug] => picture-of-the-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 483 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 1 [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 483 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Picture of the Week [category_nicename] => picture-of-the-week [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/picture-of-the-week/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 84 [name] => China Search for Meaning 6-wk [slug] => china-search-for-meaning-6-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 84 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 255 [count] => 54 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5.1 [cat_ID] => 84 [category_count] => 54 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Search for Meaning 6-wk [category_nicename] => china-search-for-meaning-6-week [category_parent] => 255 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2015/china-search-for-meaning-6-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Picture of the Week, China Search for Meaning 6-wk )
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Reflections on a Nomadic Homestay

Zoe Gilbard,Picture of the Week, China Search for Meaning 6-wk

Description

The landscape of my home stay with Tibetan families in the mountains above Qinghai Lake is imprinted on the backs of my eyelids, green and blue boring through my active visual life, allowing me to feel the serenity I felt when I was there. It reminded me of Ireland, and of the solitude and simple […]

Posted On

07/30/15

Author

Zoe Gilbard

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    [post_date] => 2015-07-30 16:04:19
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    [post_content] => 
I have always lived with the subconscious belief (that bubbles to the surface daily) that my body's purpose was basic: to carry my mind and maybe to be aesthetically pleasing. I believed that my body held no strength, no real power or control – those attributes belonged to my mind, and they did not reside in my tangible world. My body is merely a vehicle. I discredited my body over and over, despite achieving a first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, being on the varsity rowing team in high school, and generally being healthy and strong. I convinced myself that my body had no business calling itself athletic or even capable. I shied away from shows of physical activity as much as possible, afraid of putting myself in danger of failure in front of others, further compounding my embarrassment and convincing myself of my lack of ability. That first hike that we completed as a group – climbing up to the Great Wall of China to spend an incredible evening watching the best sunset of my life, basking under the full moon, and seeing a gorgeous shooting star – began to break down an internal wall that I had built as a defense against failure. I broke down that lack of belief in myself and my ability. I cried in uncontrollable bursts of sobs full of anxiety and embarrassment, my legs shook, and I went slowly, sometimes pushing myself along on my backside. I breathed, I spoke to myself quietly of my ability in order to inspire perseverance, and I held on to the words and company of Parker and Sarah to get me up and down the mountain. My body was slightly weakened by a cold, but that wasn't it; my mind had allowed thoughts of inadequacy to creep in, telling me that my body was not made for this, that I should not be here. Step by step, encouragement by encouragement, I went along, and I finished. In the immediate aftermath of the hike, my mind was reeling and I could not reflect or find any serious growth in the experience. I could not take serious pride in the accomplishment. With a few weeks between me and the hike, with other physical experiences under my belt since then, I can say I have grown, I have begun to chip away at my mental block. Over this trip, being okay with being dirty, sweaty, unwashed, exhausted, have made me understand my body so much better, to know that for all my fears of inadequacy and shortcoming, below my facade of make up and clothes and words, underneath my germophobia and need to feel clean, there lies a strong, capable body. A beautifully powerful body, that hurts and aches and sometimes smells a bit weird. But most importantly, a body that does not define its limits without testing them, and never ever gives up without a fight. I still have challenges to go, and I write this with the hope that it will inspire me to push myself to overcome an unfounded fear. [post_title] => A Mental Block [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => a-mental-block [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-08 16:17:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-08 23:17:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=123767 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 36 [name] => Best Notes From The Field [slug] => best-notes-from-the-field [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 36 [taxonomy] => category [description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course. [parent] => 0 [count] => 504 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0 [cat_ID] => 36 [category_count] => 504 [category_description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course. 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A Mental Block

Zoe Gilbard,Best Notes From The Field, Picture of the Week, China Search for Meaning 6-wk

Description

I have always lived with the subconscious belief (that bubbles to the surface daily) that my body’s purpose was basic: to carry my mind and maybe to be aesthetically pleasing. I believed that my body held no strength, no real power or control – those attributes belonged to my mind, and they did not reside […]

Posted On

07/30/15

Author

Zoe Gilbard

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    [post_content] => I didn't want to leave my nomadic homestay. I knew it wasn't because I had simply grown that attached to the nomadic way of life. At first, I just wanted to maximize on the unprecedented opportunity a nomadic homestay gave me to displace my mind from the cultural and circumstantial factors that brought it up. I wanted to learn why I believe what I do by recognizing which unthinkingly inherited aspects of Western culture were suddenly in a fight to survive. Then, I thought that in the act of voluntarily withholding material comfort, I could, in some way, prove I was better than the upper income household I was born into. Now, in Chengdu, I think I couldn't bring myself to go because I couldn't deal with the fact I had a choice. It felt wrong and uncomfortable to exercise that privilege of choice in weighing the logistical pros and cons of staying in that nomadic village for three days versus four. The only solution I saw was not having to decide and not having to leave.

 

During my homestay, I remember feeling not unbelievably happy, but unbelievably moved. I sat and watched my family with an obsessively consumptive energy, trying to ink every expression, gesture, and interaction permanently into my mind. I remember the way snot always ran down the faces of the children and how they never bothered to remove it because of the unceasing wind. I remember the tireless hands of the mother and how her eyes never showed bitterness over the fact she always ate last and the least. I remember the silence that always punctuated my interactions with the two young boys – their hesitation when I convinced them to play instead of completing their chores and their quiet, abashed shuffle when they approached me with English language books. I remember being enthralled by the constant motion and meaningful way of their world. I remember feeling moved by the codependency and efficiency of the well-oiled machine the family ran day after day.

 

I remember feeling guilt over my privilege of choice. I had the choice to play with the children when I wished and seek solitude when I tired. I chose to churn the yak butter, knowing I could stare at my watch and count down the seconds until I would never have to turn that crank again. I could choose to wash the dishes when I felt helpful and lay in my warm sleeping bag when I felt cold and hungry. I had the choice to sleep into 8:30 in the morning – at least two hours after the rest of the family rose to complete their morning duties – even though I suspected their overly polite treatment of guests kept them from consuming breakfast before I did. I felt guilty about being served first, knowing it was only because their guest policy took precedence over their gender one. But if I ate less so that the family could eat more, I could make that choice knowing that I would have a delicious, hot meal I didn't even have to think about affording by the week's end. Even if I stayed there long enough, to the point when I would lose track of the countdown of days until I return to comfort and convenience, I'd still be exercising my privilege of choice.

 

How is it fair that I can choose to endure temporary hardship when that is the only life those children will know? It's such a gift to be able to experience a life different from one's own. It's such a privilege to experience temporary discomfort, knowing reprieve is not far away. It's so wrong to view these people's lives as a vacation, as a way to get a taste of the authentic, but only enough to brag about it to friends and appreciate indoor plumbing and memory foam mattresses for about a week after arriving home. It's so selfish to peep into these families' lives and use them to augment my sense of self, to convince myself that I'm one of the good ones. I, at least, am brave enough, curious enough, and caring enough to voluntarily succumb to a more difficult lifestyle. By succumb, I mean to take on the role of a guest whose responsibilities are none or as much as I decide to put on myself. And even when I decide to help, I slow down the well-oiled machine with my soft, clumsy hands and inability to squat for long periods of time. I can't help but think that if they had the means, money, and education that I did, they would capitalize on every resource instead of wasting it on a superficial understanding of a different life to feed their fragile ego.

 

I feel guilt. And then I feel guilt about feeling guilt. And then I don't know how to feel. Luck, privilege, guilt all seem to be appropriate words, but they too reflect the patronizing judgment that is so difficult to resist. To recognize one's privilege is to buy into Western assumptions of hierarchies and standards of living that are not universal, yet are unconditionally accepted. However, to blindly idealize a culture – to praise the sacrifices of the mother, to extol the work ethic and positivity of the young boys – is equally limiting in its mere rebellion to Western norms.

 

So then, how can I feel towards this culture? How can I give it the well-roundedness it deserves if my mind still strains to qualify that life against my own? How can I strike the balance between judgment and a black-and-white idealization? I wish there was a way of seeing in between. I wish I had the imagination to allow me to see other worlds without using templates that were never meant to be applied to them. I wish I didn't instinctively try to fit a new experience into a carefully constructed image of myself and the world and instead, let cultures exist as they are.

 

I wanted to help them. I could have given them money to buy more textbooks or modes of transport without financial strain. When the mother's shovel snapped in half from overuse, I could have paid for a new one without my parents ever questioning the missing money. But I didn't. I hesitated. I couldn't make a difference without imputing my own values on a society that was never meant to carry them.

 

All I could do were small things that carried little to no meaning, but at least did no harm. All I could do was hesitate. Offer to wash the dishes without confidence – not knowing how to scrub bowls clean with a limited amount of waste water. Waver back and forth between showing the boys pictures on my camera – unsure if it would satisfy a curiosity or produce the beginnings of an intense dissatisfaction. Pause before teaching the children some English – uncertain if my assumption that they wanted to learn was misguided.

 

I think hesitant is the only way to be when one is outside of something. We shouldn't try to understand completely or integrate ourselves fully and we definitely shouldn't interpret a culture with our own systems of expectations. In hesitation, we demonstrate answers we'll never have, a belonging we'll never feel, and respect for a life we'll never know. All we can do, all we have the right to do is consume and reflect endlessly, wanting to be close, but knowing some things will always be closed.
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China Search for Meaning 6-wk

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Hesitation

Jenna Peng,China Search for Meaning 6-wk

Description

I didn’t want to leave my nomadic homestay. I knew it wasn’t because I had simply grown that attached to the nomadic way of life. At first, I just wanted to maximize on the unprecedented opportunity a nomadic homestay gave me to displace my mind from the cultural and circumstantial factors that brought it up. […]

Posted On

07/30/15

Author

Jenna Peng

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    [post_date] => 2015-07-30 11:23:37
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    [post_content] => Stuck at home

Its about 6 pm, all of us have already split up into our individual homestay families, and
im sitting here attempting to have dinner with mine.
That had to be for sure the longest half hour of my life, between the mom asking if I wanted
something, the 3 year old girl grabbing food of my plate, and the 7 year old boy mixing
foods together, I was trying to feed my self with what was surprisinly good food.
At that specific moment, all I was thinking about was my self and my own state of
discomfort.
But after that incredibly uncomfortable afternoon, I took a different approach to the my
homestay. I integrated my self mindfully, asking my self questions like, Why do they do
this? Why do they like this? And most importantly, why don't I do these things?
But I was more interested in the consequences of their, daily lives and habits.
Due to Chinese abilities (or lack of thereof) I was unable to learn the names of my brothers
and sisters, so I just named the 7 year old boy Pang, and the 3 year old girl Ping.
But anyway, I was interested in what are the consequences of their lifestyles on Ping and
Pang, and after some reflection I arrived at a very sad conclusion, they are going to repeat
what they parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on and so forth have done.
Although I see the value in keeping this tradition alive I am also very saddened of the
consequences this will have for them.
Of course they might live a happy and full life and this might just be me playing devil's
advocate, but it really fills my heart with grief to know that Pang and Ping will never
travel outside China or even their own village, they probably won't even come this far to
Dali where I am writing this from.
It's not up to me to define happiness or what is good or bad for them, but I really wish that
they could see more of the world than just mud houses and half paved roads.
I might be wrong and this entire yak might just be BS, in fact I hope it is. But still it's a
very hard and harsh reality they live from this side of the mirror.
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China Search for Meaning 6-wk

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Stuck at Home

Bernardo Bicalho Hauer Santos,China Search for Meaning 6-wk

Description

Stuck at home Its about 6 pm, all of us have already split up into our individual homestay families, and im sitting here attempting to have dinner with mine. That had to be for sure the longest half hour of my life, between the mom asking if I wanted something, the 3 year old girl […]

Posted On

07/30/15

Author

Bernardo Bicalho Hauer Santos

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    [post_date] => 2015-07-29 16:58:51
    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-29 22:58:51
    [post_content] => We are currently on the final stretches of an 18-hour train from Chongqing to Kunming. We finished our Monastary stay at Er Fo Si and are heading South of the Clouds. Chongqing was very very hot and sweaty and the cicadas were so loud that my hearing was affected. We learned about Buddhism and did meditation. In fact here is a picture of us doing a walking meditation. We had tea and talks with the abbot of the temple, who has had a very interesting life, and we practiced silence and ate vegetarian food with the monks in the canteen.

Today we will transfer to a train to Dali. Dali is a beautiful old town with Bai and Naxi ethnicity architecture and is a hotspot for young Chinese travelers. A lot of musicians, artists and Chinese hippies travel there and decide to stay there.

After a couple days at Dali the student expedition will begin. We think the students are planning a multi day trek through Tiger Leaping Gorge in northwest Yunnan. It's an unbelievable hike and the students will plan the logistics, keep up curriculum and support each other. That last one is the main challenge for this group because our group has a large range of trekking abilities and trekking speeds.

Finally we will likely be retreating to a Daoist temple at Wei mountain and will stay there a couple days to do transference and to say goodbye to China and the group.

More soon!
    [post_title] => Adios to Sichuan and Chongqing, Hello Yunnan
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Adios to Sichuan and Chongqing, Hello Yunnan

Parker,China Search for Meaning 6-wk

Description

We are currently on the final stretches of an 18-hour train from Chongqing to Kunming. We finished our Monastary stay at Er Fo Si and are heading South of the Clouds. Chongqing was very very hot and sweaty and the cicadas were so loud that my hearing was affected. We learned about Buddhism and did […]

Posted On

07/29/15

Author

Parker

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