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    [post_content] => There is a famous quote from Sevillan poet Antonio Machado that reads "caminante, no hay camino, se hace el camino al andar"(see below for full poem), which has been roughly translated to mean, "wayfarer, there is no way, the way is made by going further".

My name is Simon Hart,  and as Director of School Partnerships at Dragons, I welcome you to this incredible experience. I've been involved in the design of this experience since its inception. Literally hundreds of hours have gone into preparing this journey, and I sincerely hope that you'll notice the attention to detail, the special care, and depth of relationships that go into your time abroad. I also hope that you'll notice the threads left untied, the opportunity for spaciousness and ambiguity along the way.

I've been involved in experiential education in various forms my whole life, as a wilderness guide, agro-ecology teacher, anthropologist, language teacher, Dragons Instructor and development worker. Through the years I have seen nothing more inspiring than the transformative potential of well guided cultural immersion programming in places radically different from what we consider 'home'. This program is not going to be easy all the time, and it's not going to be fun all the time. Rather, we hope that it will open your eyes, invite you to question your identity, and allow for you to come away with a more authentic version of 'self' to share with the world.

As you prepare for the imminent departure into a world unknown to you, I wanted to share three points of reflection to carry with you on the journey,

1) Celebrate Your One and Beautiful Life! You are young, and alive, and have so much to live for. As you encounter challenges along the way, avoid the common pitfalls of self criticism or despair. Find opportunities to learn grow and engage in the rough. This will not be a paved road. Most of all, revel in the "new you" the "you" that is unfettered by the draping of

2) Live the Questions. There will be no answers for you on this journey, only questions, and mostly questions that will not be answered in any short period of time. Hopefully, if we are successful, profound questions about who you are and how you fit in the world will surface. Please, don't stop exploring these questions!

3) Get Lost. Find opportunities to be alone on the edge of a river or wrapped in silence on a long bus ride. This is an "unbound" experience that, if successful, will provide space for you to explore the world around you without an agenda or even a schedule. Take advantage of this moment in time "away" from your regular life. Wisdom will follow.

A Dragons Education includes all of the above, and in an effort to support and enhance your school's global studies programming, we hope that you will be a willing collaborator in the creation of depth and meaning on this journey.

Thank you for traveling with us! We look forward to all that is to come.

 

Best regards,

Simon Hart

 

Caminante no hay Camino

 

Caminante, son tus huellas

 

el camino y nada más;

 

Caminante, no hay camino,

 

se hace camino al andar.

 

Al andar se hace el camino,

 

y al volver la vista atrás

 

se ve la senda que nunca

 

se ha de volver a pisar.

 

Caminante no hay camino

 

sino estelas en la mar.

 

 

 

 

 

Wayfarer, there is no path

 

 

 

Wayfarer, the only way

 

Is your footprints and no other.

 

Wayfarer, there is no way.

 

Make your way by going farther.

 

By going farther, make your way

 

Till looking back at where you've wandered,

 

You look back on that path you may

 

Not set foot on from now onward.

 

Wayfarer, there is no way;

 

Only wake-trails on the waters.

 

 
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The Journey is the Destination, Welcome! and a Personal Introduction

Simon Hart,Cambodia Nueva, China Asian Studies Academy, China Haverford, China Hun-Hawken, Guatemala Menlo Abroad, Nicaragua Collegiate, Peru Riverdale

Description

There is a famous quote from Sevillan poet Antonio Machado that reads “caminante, no hay camino, se hace el camino al andar”(see below for full poem), which has been roughly translated to mean, “wayfarer, there is no way, the way is made by going further”. My name is Simon Hart,  and as Director of School Partnerships at […]

Posted On

06/7/15

Author

Simon Hart

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    [post_date] => 2015-06-04 10:16:23
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    [post_content] => Saludos and hellos, and bienvenidos, to you who will join us  in Nicaragua this Sunday!

Ah, where to begin…perhaps I should begin by telling you of this country I call home, because it has been that to me for half my lifetime; but you will soon be met with the unbreakable spirit of this nation yourselves, perhaps no explanation is necessary.

Perhaps then, I should tell you that Nicaragua is a place students have experienced as having an unmistakable sense of pride emanating from its people. But many of this country’s stories are not mine to tell, when you get here you’ll find this land and its people speak well for themselves, and we have only to listen.

Stories are important; even our own. Perhaps I should start with me then, with my story, which begins with a girl who started out, not exactly in any of Nicaragua’s jungles, but instead in New York’s. Now the New York of the 80’s, the one I knew, is scarcely the one we know today—any more than Nicaragua in the 90’s, at the time of my arrival, resembles the Nicaragua you will encounter today; and yet I come to the realization again and again, that it is not only a place which changes us, nor a specific time in history that provides just the circumstances for a new process of thinking. Instead it is a disorientation from what we know.

As a young girl who’d been to school in New York I already knew about getting ahead, about comparing results and sorting people into winners and losers. I knew a lot about difference, how it feels and how it becomes glaring. Upon my arrival to Nicaragua at around your age, I had no other choice but to entirely renounce my place in such a pecking order. I knew nothing, I could do nothing but question. And there it began. There was a natural disorder, a certain amount of chaos, as there is in any busy workshop. But a deeper discipline was at work, the discipline of doing things and learning through life, an appreciation of knowledge as something that can be pooled and traded at little or no cost. Unlike commodities, when knowledge is shared, no one has any less of it.

I can identify it now, that it was precisely in the midst of this informal unlearning, the unlearning of disconnectedness as a way of life, that my education happened. (Okay, well if I’m to be honest, it took more travel, Columbia University, and several degrees in Education and Development for me to be able to accept that that was when it actually happened. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that one travels far to find what is near!)

Imagination, curiosity, and questioning would’ve been there for me all the time, anywhere, streets of New York or streets of Nicaragua; how we discover and dismantle the distorted masks we all look through is the question. Where do we begin to ask how we might engage and enlarge our lives. Where do we begin to get an education, of the kind that demands we confront ourselves, come to terms with our notions of the good life, try to comprehend, apprehend, or possibly even transform the places and the times which have shaped us.

This is what’s at the core of what I’ve wanted to share with you, be it here in Nicaragua or anywhere, it’s this, creating this hope: That we do not know what comes next. History is still in-the-making. Each of us a work-in-progress. The future entirely unknown and unknowable.

I’m so glad for the opportunity to work with you. I thank you, because a step towards the unknown will be taken just by your coming here. Nicaragua’s history of rebellion and continuing struggle against injustice instills both heartbreak and hope. I assure you, this is a country gets in you and stays with you, something irreversible…and holds an open invitation to the unknown.

Welcome to the Land of Lakes and Volcanos! Nicaragua invites you to NOT know what comes next, and so do I.
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Nicaragua Collegiate

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Welcome to the Land of Lakes and Volcanos

Dhyana Kuhl Gonzalez,Nicaragua Collegiate

Description

Saludos and hellos, and bienvenidos, to you who will join us  in Nicaragua this Sunday! Ah, where to begin…perhaps I should begin by telling you of this country I call home, because it has been that to me for half my lifetime; but you will soon be met with the unbreakable spirit of this nation […]

Posted On

06/4/15

Author

Dhyana Kuhl Gonzalez

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    [post_date] => 2015-05-28 13:52:25
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    [post_content] => Hola a todos!

I want to offer a brief introduction about myself. I live and work in Nicaragua in various capacities. I run an educational farm called Project Bona Fide (www.projectbonafide.com) and work in various capacities with my official role being Education Director. I also work with other business and organizations doing sustainable design and collaborating with communities.

I am very much looking forward to meeting you all and spending time working together with Los Quinchos! If you have any questions please feel free to post on the YakYak or e-mail me at Probonafide@gmail.com

Looking forward to meeting you all soon!

Saludos,

Mitch
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Nicaragua Collegiate

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Bienvenidos

Mitch Haddad,Nicaragua Collegiate

Description

Hola a todos! I want to offer a brief introduction about myself. I live and work in Nicaragua in various capacities. I run an educational farm called Project Bona Fide (www.projectbonafide.com) and work in various capacities with my official role being Education Director. I also work with other business and organizations doing sustainable design and […]

Posted On

05/28/15

Author

Mitch Haddad

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    [post_content] => Welcome to your Collegiate School & Where There Be Dragons online bulletin board and travelogue!

As you’ll soon discover, this board is a valuable tool for weaving a rich narrative of your collective journey, from pre-course introductions and goal-setting, to sharing and reflecting upon your experiences while in the field, to ultimately integrating this course into your lives back home.

In many ways, setting up this Yak Yak board marks the start of your course. It’s the first step in establishing the Collegiate/Dragons community that will support you throughout the journey that lies ahead. You will soon learn to walk, dress, eat, talk, and think in an entirely new way. You will see landscapes that cause your jaw to drop and meet people who change and inspire your life forever. Although your course’s official start date is still a few weeks away, your adventure actually began the day you made the choice to join this program.

We’re excited to share in your adventure!

 

Sincerely,

Dragons’ and Collegiate School Administrative Staff
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Nicaragua Collegiate

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Welcome to Your Collegiate Yak Yak Board!

Jackson Cooper,Nicaragua Collegiate

Description

Welcome to your Collegiate School & Where There Be Dragons online bulletin board and travelogue! As you’ll soon discover, this board is a valuable tool for weaving a rich narrative of your collective journey, from pre-course introductions and goal-setting, to sharing and reflecting upon your experiences while in the field, to ultimately integrating this course into your lives […]

Posted On

05/14/15

Author

Jackson Cooper

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