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Indonesia 6-week
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    [post_content] => Hi Indonesia friends and family,

We have received word that the group has safely landed in LAX and students are on their way to their connecting flights. With care,

Dragons admin
    [post_title] => Safe arrival to LAX
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Indonesia 6-week

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Safe arrival to LAX

Dragons Administration,Indonesia 6-week

Description

Hi Indonesia friends and family, We have received word that the group has safely landed in LAX and students are on their way to their connecting flights. With care, Dragons admin

Posted On

08/8/15

Author

Dragons Administration

Category

Indonesia 6-week

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    [post_content] => Friends and Family,

We received a note from Jesse in Jakarta that the final two students, Jacob and Della, have boarded their flights home. And so the trip concludes. Thank you again for all your support and patience. We'll post another update once the students arrive back in the US.

Hope this finds you well,

Justin
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Indonesia 6-week

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Coming Home

Justin Kiersky,Indonesia 6-week

Description

Friends and Family, We received a note from Jesse in Jakarta that the final two students, Jacob and Della, have boarded their flights home. And so the trip concludes. Thank you again for all your support and patience. We’ll post another update once the students arrive back in the US. Hope this finds you well, […]

Posted On

08/8/15

Author

Justin Kiersky

Category

Indonesia 6-week

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    [post_content] => We received word that the Indo group has made their connection in Hong Kong and is set to board their flight to LAX.

Best regards,

Dragons Admin
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Indonesia 6-week

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Group in Hong Kong and connecting to LAX

Dragons Admin,Indonesia 6-week

Description

We received word that the Indo group has made their connection in Hong Kong and is set to board their flight to LAX. Best regards, Dragons Admin

Posted On

08/7/15

Author

Dragons Admin

Category

Indonesia 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-07 15:20:42
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    [post_content] => To family and friends of Indonesia students,

I'm thrilled to report that the students have departed Jakarta and are on their way to Hong Kong as we speak. They had a remarkable summer full of broad-based learning, personal growth and adventure. Soon enough, you'll be hearing all their tales of wonder for yourselves. But in the meantime, you can expect a long transference/reflection Yak once they arrive in Hong Kong later this afternoon.

Hope this finds you all well.

Best,

Justin Kiersky

 

 
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Indonesia 6-week

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Students in the Air

Justin Kiersky,Indonesia 6-week

Description

To family and friends of Indonesia students, I’m thrilled to report that the students have departed Jakarta and are on their way to Hong Kong as we speak. They had a remarkable summer full of broad-based learning, personal growth and adventure. Soon enough, you’ll be hearing all their tales of wonder for yourselves. But in the […]

Posted On

08/7/15

Author

Justin Kiersky

Category

Indonesia 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-04 17:06:23
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    [post_content] => Dear Indonesia Students & Families,

This weekend marks the end of our Indonesia 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
Cathay Pacific #798
Depart: Jakarta (CGK) 12:10am
Arrive: Hong Kong (HKG) 5:50am

August 8th, 2015
Cathay Pacific #898
Depart: Hong Kong (HKG) 9:30am
Arrive: Los Angeles (LAX) 7:55am

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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Indonesia 6-week

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Indonesia Return Group Flight Information

Dragons Admin,Indonesia 6-week

Description

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

Posted On

08/4/15

Author

Dragons Admin

Category

Indonesia 6-week

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    [post_content] => I’ve had a lot of really cool experiences on this trip. I can’t believe there’s only one more week left here in Indonesia. Something that has stood out to me from the past week here in the village of Langa would be the hike up Nari Wowo. It was a nice walk up and great cardio exercise, but the view from the top of the mountain was one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in my life. As we sat up at the very top, it was amazing just to be among the clouds. From our peaceful spot, we could see for miles.  With the village on one side and a lush green valley on the other, I think it was a much needed time for relaxation. It is a bittersweet feeling as we leave Langa and enter our “transference” phase but I am excited for what’s to come.
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Indonesia 6-week

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Yak 4

Sarah Flowers,Indonesia 6-week

Description

I’ve had a lot of really cool experiences on this trip. I can’t believe there’s only one more week left here in Indonesia. Something that has stood out to me from the past week here in the village of Langa would be the hike up Nari Wowo. It was a nice walk up and great […]

Posted On

08/4/15

Author

Sarah Flowers

Category

Indonesia 6-week

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    [post_content] => We live in a world that fears the unknown. We live in a world that fears mystery. What I have learned is: Questions are entirely more valuable than answers. Questions help us see the infinite value of things. (see, not understand) We can never understand that infinite value because if we could it would not be infinite. Answers box in that value and do not allow it to spread beyond them. Here in Flores we have climbed up mountains and looked in awe at the beauty of the mountains, trees and volcanoes around us, but we forgot the beauty of the mountain we were already on. We appreciate those other things because those things are “undiscovered” and far away from us. The mountain we are on has the same value but we take it away be deciding it no longer needs attention and instead looking past it. Answering questions does the same thing. We should be living as questioners constantly accepting that we don’t know and be filled with the beauty of that knowledge.

Give me the unknown. Give me wonder. Give me questions. Mountains of questions. Give me a long dark road that turns off towards viewless dusk. Give me the clouds covering the sky, the mists hiding the trees, a dimly lit room. Give me a shadow in the door, let me ask whose and not walk beyond.

(From Flores).
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Indonesia 6-week

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The Shadow in the Door

Nick Wren,Indonesia 6-week

Description

We live in a world that fears the unknown. We live in a world that fears mystery. What I have learned is: Questions are entirely more valuable than answers. Questions help us see the infinite value of things. (see, not understand) We can never understand that infinite value because if we could it would not […]

Posted On

08/4/15

Author

Nick Wren

Category

Indonesia 6-week

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2015-08-04 17:04:51
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    [post_content] => (Context: this was written in response to a Ted Talk we watched during the first week of the course. Although it seems pessimistic, that is not how I usually think about these things. Next week I will post about the same topic but in a more positive manner.)

Connection: The Evaporating Fuel of Human Longevity

We are the only beings on Earth that might be headed for a non-existent future because of our own actions. Everything else is positively evolving or positively evolving and getting destroyed by humans. It is hard to think in this mindset but it might be necessary to view things in a negative way in order to change them. Maybe our biggest strength is our biggest weakness: intelligence. Our brains, even though we only use a fraction of them, are what set us apart from everything that has lived, is living, or ever will live on this beautiful, ever-exhausted planet. The worrisome thing is, we are only getting smarter.

According to the theory of evolution, animals subconsciously adapt and improve themselves in order to be fully fit to survive. This raises a significant question: is there a point when a species can positively evolve no longer?

To find an answer to this question, we must define what it means to be fully fit to survive. Basically, once you have time to stop worrying about subsistence, the authentic stress in life vanishes. Any other stress is self-created. At this point, technology develops rapidly and it becomes effortless to acquire to three necessities of life: food water, and shelter. Now, we start to take things for granted and it seems as though the only thing left to improve is technology. Technology is furthered by the human brain. So, as the brain gets sharper and more advanced, so does technology. But, as technology inevitably advances, does our civilization advance along with it?

There is no longer a need to have a conversation with someone to get food or water. This can be done without saying a word to someone. What we are starting to lose is a connection to our community. So, as technology advances, our mental well-being as humans actually declines. Our real happiness, whether or not we realize it, is actually inversely proportional to our over-developing intelligence.

The reason for this is basic; we need connection in our lives and we need to feel a sense of belonging to a community. It’s just how the brain works. In reality, the only pure joy and satisfaction we receive is from making connections and working with others to achieve a common goal. Without this, there simply isn’t a reason to live.

We have been around for thousands of years because of the basic idea of connection and belonging. As long as we feel attached, we will continue to grow in a positive manner. Unfortunately, technology is replacing genuine human interactions with superficial ones at the speed of light. There is something that happens in the brain, a phenomenon, when we have a face-to-face conversation that can’t ever be replaced. Even though it is much easier to send a text message to someone, the only way for us to stay connected is real-time conversation. Building bonds can only be done by sending and receiving non-verbal gestures, such as a laugh. No matter how mind-boggling the iPhone will be in a decade, it will not come close to replacing a smile. It is actually impossible.

The more we invest in and overuse the types of technology that eliminates genuine interactions, the more we assure the epic collapse of our society as we know it. If nothing changes, true happiness will be unachievable and we will not have a reason to live, even if we never go extinct.

Ask yourself, what’s the difference?

Second Yak

Langa, and Flores in general, has been just as amazing as Sampela, but in a different way. It could possibly be the most naturally beautiful place I have ever been because of its relatively untouched nature. Other than one main tourist town on the island, everything else is still raw. Not many places in this world have that characteristic. From the first time we landed in Flores, I tried to figure out what other place in the world I could compare it to, but I couldn’t. I would say that in terms of landscape, it is a combination of Hawaii, Australia, and California, with some Asian influence. In terms of people and culture, it is completely unique. I haven’t experienced the people and culture fully because it is coffee harvesting time, but I have gotten a good sense.

Something that has surprised me is how smart the village is overall. A lot of people know English and attend school in Bajawa. They seem to have a genuine sense for gaining any kind of knowledge. Also, I expected to be isolated in the mountains, but the town of Bajawa sprawls all the way into Langa.

The two best things we have done here so far are the hot springs and epic hike up a ridge. The hot springs were the perfect temperature and an amazing place to relax all afternoon. As for the hike, it was the first time I got to see the beauty of Flores, which is something I can only explain in pictures.

Today is my birthday and I am having such a great time. We hiked another ridge this morning to a volcanic crater and we are leaving for the hot springs again soon. Tomorrow is our last day here and the trip is really starting to wind down. The moments here have passed slowly enough to enjoy, but the days and weeks have flown by.
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Indonesia 6-week

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Longevity I and II

Ben Simon,Indonesia 6-week

Description

(Context: this was written in response to a Ted Talk we watched during the first week of the course. Although it seems pessimistic, that is not how I usually think about these things. Next week I will post about the same topic but in a more positive manner.) Connection: The Evaporating Fuel of Human Longevity […]

Posted On

08/4/15

Author

Ben Simon

Category

Indonesia 6-week

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2015-08-04 17:04:26
    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-08-04 23:04:26
    [post_content] => I like to plan things.  I don’t know how it happened, but over the last couple of years I have transformed into a (semi) organized person, one who takes pleasure in typing out any upcoming engagements of mine into a calendar app, quickly proceeded by pressing “save” then zooming out to an overview of what the next couple of weeks have in store for me. Plans set my mind at ease.

I came to the Flores home-stay with little to no expectations accompanied by an unknown plan, and despite my past beliefs, I think if I were ever to write one of those “How to Live” books I would include a chapter on why going into situations like that can be so important and fulfilling.

We stepped off the bus in Langa, and it felt immediate that my host-sister was linking her arm with mine as we made our way to my new week long home where I was invited in with the best (and possibly sweetest) cup of coffee I have ever had waiting for me.  The events which followed that first day in Langa have felt just as sudden, yet completely relaxed—a mixture of two things I didn’t know could be felt so strongly.  Whether it was squeezing into a packed taxi to go explore the bustling market or going on a miniature journey to pick coffee berries in a garden completely aestheticized in shades of red and green, I have allowed myself to take on various opportunities not only here in Flores, but over the span of these last five weeks while leaving behind so much of the over-thinking and worrying my time gets taken up by back home.

I usually like to know exactly what I’m walking into, but if this trip has made one thing clear to me it is that the walking part is what’s key.
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Indonesia 6-week

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Into the Unknown

Sadie Caulfield,Indonesia 6-week

Description

I like to plan things.  I don’t know how it happened, but over the last couple of years I have transformed into a (semi) organized person, one who takes pleasure in typing out any upcoming engagements of mine into a calendar app, quickly proceeded by pressing “save” then zooming out to an overview of what the […]

Posted On

08/4/15

Author

Sadie Caulfield

Category

Indonesia 6-week

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    [post_content] => This trip can best be described as transformative. The travel itself is not what leads to the transformative experience however. I have traveled frequently throughout my life, but going to China to watch the Olympics, or going to Thailand to party in its touristy clubs does not lead to a transformation. Experience defines one’s education and character; and, therefore, in order to master one’s education it needs to be full of experience.

America is a nation that has an evident exposure problem. Other countries constantly criticize our citizens for their lack of travel experience and their lack of geographic knowledge. Exposure to experiences that are outside of our comfort zones opposes our culture, which has come to value are close minded approach of idolizing the American dream and refusing to contemplate that America is subsiding as a role model to other nations. Racism is still present in our culture and the media consistently does not expose us to truth. As a nation – we need truth; as individuals – we need exposure.

At first I didn’t understand why this program didn’t include a visit to the coveted travel hub, Bali. In between traveling from the Bajau community in Sampela to the Bajawa community in Flores, we had a short layover in the Bali airport. The airport was engulfed with touristy shops trying to appeal to a western audience. These tourist appeals are almost identical in other places, such as Cancun, or Punta Cana. Seeing similar attractions in places so different from eachother does give us authentic exposure, rather it simplifies travel in a way that diminishes a location’s uniqueness and distinct personality. However, once in Flores we are now exposing ourselves to a unique culture. On the first day, I witnessed a pig sacrifice, that made me re-think my views of eating meat. I have witnessed the way a village solely lives off the land and doesn’t rely on materialistic imports as a supplement for happiness. I have exposed myself to the beauty behind communal living and love of thy neighbor; and, magnificently, in my exposure I have been astounded by the similarities in our character’s and have been able to connect. An Indonesia village is no longer a mystified thought or a simplistic stereotype, for now I have been exposed, and that is the backbone of my education and character.

America has long glorified an utter lie that we are global leaders in education. How can we possibly even contemplate superiority in our education system when are citizens are deprived of exposure? Some of us search for exposure, but our cultural methods of exposure fail to truly educate us. Turning on the television and watching the news simply manipulates our beliefs in effort to shift our values. We read the newspaper and though we absorb the knowledge, we lack the education that experience leads to. We must take a day trip to the pre-conceived “bad” neighborhoods, or visit a farm where our food supply is produced. Some may laugh at these adventures, but in authentic exposure, we find truth, and that is where the most essential education lies.
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Best Notes From The Field, Indonesia 6-week

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Exposure

Jacob Barach,Best Notes From The Field, Indonesia 6-week

Description

This trip can best be described as transformative. The travel itself is not what leads to the transformative experience however. I have traveled frequently throughout my life, but going to China to watch the Olympics, or going to Thailand to party in its touristy clubs does not lead to a transformation. Experience defines one’s education […]

Posted On

08/4/15

Author

Jacob Barach

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