Photo of the Week
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    [post_date] => 2015-08-08 16:36:09
    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-08-08 22:36:09
    [post_content] => The Silk Road team has safely arrived to LAX. Here's to smooth travels from here forward. With care,

Dragons' admin
    [post_title] => Arrival to LAX
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Silk Road 6-week

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Arrival to LAX

Dragons Admin,Silk Road 6-week

Description

The Silk Road team has safely arrived to LAX. Here’s to smooth travels from here forward. With care, Dragons’ admin

Posted On

08/8/15

Author

Dragons Admin

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-08 06:34:01
    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-08-08 12:34:01
    [post_content] => After a sad morning where we said goodbye to two of our instructors and Vaibhaw, we made it to Hong Kong. During our layover students took advantage of duty free stores and enjoyed Western food that we seldom saw in our six week journey together. Everyone looks really happy to be going home, but at the same time is trying to enjoy our final precious moments together as a group. Luckily the flight to LA will be a good 13 hours. More from us soon in LA.
    [post_title] => Thoughts from Hong Kong
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Thoughts from Hong Kong

Kevin Peters,Silk Road 6-week

Description

After a sad morning where we said goodbye to two of our instructors and Vaibhaw, we made it to Hong Kong. During our layover students took advantage of duty free stores and enjoyed Western food that we seldom saw in our six week journey together. Everyone looks really happy to be going home, but at […]

Posted On

08/8/15

Author

Kevin Peters

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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After a chaotic flurry at Beijing airport trying to reorganise delayed flights so that no one would miss their international connections, we stood together in a circle for a final group hug before our instructors and Vaibhaw waved the rest of the group goodbye and they went through security. We then hurried over to Terminal 2 to send off our final student, Vaibhaw. All students are now on their way home and are looking forward to reuniting with family and friends after an incredible  6-week journey through China's Wild West. [post_title] => Departing Beijing Airport [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => departing-beijing-airport [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-08 12:04:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-08 18:04:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=124035 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 523 [name] => Silk Road 6-week [slug] => silk-road-6-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 523 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 255 [count] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5.1 [cat_ID] => 523 [category_count] => 53 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Silk Road 6-week [category_nicename] => silk-road-6-week [category_parent] => 255 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2015/silk-road-6-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Silk Road 6-week )
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Departing Beijing Airport

Silk Road Instructors,Silk Road 6-week

Description

After a chaotic flurry at Beijing airport trying to reorganise delayed flights so that no one would miss their international connections, we stood together in a circle for a final group hug before our instructors and Vaibhaw waved the rest of the group goodbye and they went through security. We then hurried over to Terminal 2 […]

Posted On

08/8/15

Author

Silk Road Instructors

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-07 19:16:40
    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-08-08 01:16:40
    [post_content] => As some of you are aware, the Silk Road's original group flight (Cathay #347) from Beijing to Hong Kong was delayed. We have been working to get them on another flight since receiving this information. Fortunately, they have been re-ticketed on China Air flight CA111, which is scheduled to leave at 9:30am local time.

We received word from Kevin that they have just cleared security and are on their way to the gate. With this new itinerary, they arrive in Hong Kong at 12:30pm local time and should have no trouble making their connection and arriving to LAX as scheduled.

With care,

Dragons Admin
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Silk Road 6-week

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Group boarding plane in Beijing – new Beijing-Hong Kong flight

Dragons Admin,Silk Road 6-week

Description

As some of you are aware, the Silk Road’s original group flight (Cathay #347) from Beijing to Hong Kong was delayed. We have been working to get them on another flight since receiving this information. Fortunately, they have been re-ticketed on China Air flight CA111, which is scheduled to leave at 9:30am local time. We […]

Posted On

08/7/15

Author

Dragons Admin

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-07 16:00:15
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    [post_content] => I can't believe how lucky I am to have been a part of this fantastic program. My last yak (which was my first yak...oops), I wrote at length on the miracles I experienced in the few days before the program departed. It is only fitting to now write about the miracles that this program and China itself bestowed upon me.

To begin to explain how this experience has changed my life, I would have to first explain how much I needed a change. As a student in the American public school system, to say I was disappointed with the way my education is run is an understatement. The work is --more so now than ever before-- fill-in-the-blank nonsense, with little to no vehicles for expression and analysis. Needless to say, I've been unmotivated to push through the senseless worksheets, which in turn has created a Great Wall (so to speak) of bad grades spanning over 7 years. I recognise now the school system is not entirely to blame, which this program has brought to my attention almost immediately.

What no one tells you before this course is about the time you find yourself faced with, well, yourself. The opportunities for self-reflection confronted me with my own failures, strengths, and weaknesses, in ways that I couldn't escape or distract myself from. The first couple of weeks, I was struck with how inquisitive my peers were, in ways that my classmates at home couldn't dream of being. Within 20 minutes of meeting each other, we were all discussing what writers we thought were provocative, and whether or not Thoreau was truly transcendental. I was ecstatic to find a group of people, my age, that wanted to ask questions about the world that may not have had a correct answer. This questioning/debating spirit continued on throughout the trip, and often added passion during boredom and a pleasant distraction from long travels. This has motivated me to ask more of the world, not in the material sense, but that it answers to injustices and oppressions, and calls out those that are blind to privilege. So that a man can't insist that opening doors for women is his way of "giving back" for their womanly problems (such as eventually having to give birth). I've learned through this group how to question the little things (and not just focus on the big picture of my arguments), while listening to the big picture of the opposite side (and not focus on the little inconsistencies in their arguments.) I'm sure my parents are thrilled I've learned this.

With the self reflection provided on this trip, I've gained insight to how positive I can be. I could explain how I've come to be known as a negative person over the years, but that would require about 6 yak posts and 3 hours of your time. It takes very little to be positive at first, and the real struggle comes with positivity under pressure. What I've absorbed from instructor-student feedback is that my efforts to be optimistic have yielded to a better group dynamic, which I'm so proud of I can hardly stop smiling as I write this. I've spent time contemplating on how to continue this great characteristic when I get back to the states, and I'm a little fearful of how far into the year I can keep it up (I've vomited several times off the sides of mountains, yet I don't think being part of the public school system is that different.)

Finally, I've thought a lot about my newfound ability to self motivate myself (courtesy of being on this program.) On the taxi ride back from the Chinese minority hospital (the experience of a lifetime, and not in a good way), I cogitated how being on this trip has helped me push myself so far past what I thought the edges of my comfort zone were. Things that had previously been in my panic zone (such as the idea that someone knows the exact consistency of my poops day by day) are now almost like second nature. The small goals are really the ones that matter because they're the ones that are practically impossible to procrastinate ("Ok, just one more valley until the campsite." "No thanks, I'll just wait until tomorrow for that one.")

I am forever indebted to Dragons for this amazing experience, and I want to share my personal stories and revelations with others (*ahem* let me be a Dragons ambassador please). Thank you to my peers and instructors, and thank you China. I can't wait until spring semester.
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View post

Reflection

Alessandra Renée Hallman,Silk Road 6-week

Description

I can’t believe how lucky I am to have been a part of this fantastic program. My last yak (which was my first yak…oops), I wrote at length on the miracles I experienced in the few days before the program departed. It is only fitting to now write about the miracles that this program and China […]

Posted On

08/7/15

Author

Alessandra Renée Hallman

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-07 15:56:19
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Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how my attitude effects the attitude of those around me. Especially now that the trip is drawing to a close, I've been trying to think about what I would bring home with me and what this long and amazing journey has taught me. I have decided that this trip has taught me the power of positivity and how a small smile or laugh can change the attitude of those around me and make them smile too. I believe I fully realized this "super power" I had at mid-course during my 3 on 1 with instructors. Throughout the beginning (and into the end) of the trip my excitement had made me a smiley and happy person. During my 3 on 1 my instructors made me aware that this upped the attitude of the entire group. Once I was made conscious of this I made more of an effort to make sure our group was always happy. I hope to bring this new knowledge home and a my new attitude about how important my attitude is and how it can truly impact others. I've included some photos of different moments from our trip that make me happy. [post_title] => Positively Amazing [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => positively-amazing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-01-20 14:51:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-01-20 21:51:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=123987 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 523 [name] => Silk Road 6-week [slug] => silk-road-6-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 523 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 255 [count] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5.1 [cat_ID] => 523 [category_count] => 53 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Silk Road 6-week [category_nicename] => silk-road-6-week [category_parent] => 255 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2015/silk-road-6-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Silk Road 6-week )
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Positively Amazing

Talia Silverstein,Silk Road 6-week

Description

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how my attitude effects the attitude of those around me. Especially now that the trip is drawing to a close, I’ve been trying to think about what I would bring home with me and what this long and amazing journey has taught me. I have decided that this […]

Posted On

08/7/15

Author

Talia Silverstein

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-07 15:54:32
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    [post_content] => 4000m up in the sky, on the second day of our trek we got to sleep in a nomadic yurt. I had mild altitude sickness; therefore, I was allowed to sleep in a stone house. I did not have a great night, having a bad headache and feeling nauseous. The group in the yurt, faced heavy rains and were all soaked in the morning!

I was able to feel what it was like to be a nomad. The next day I had to complete an 8 hour trek, which reminded me what it would be like for the Kirgiz Nomads, who felt sick at work. It was a very rewarding experience in the end of the trek.
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Yurt Camp in Pamirs

Vaibhaw Ladha,Silk Road 6-week

Description

4000m up in the sky, on the second day of our trek we got to sleep in a nomadic yurt. I had mild altitude sickness; therefore, I was allowed to sleep in a stone house. I did not have a great night, having a bad headache and feeling nauseous. The group in the yurt, faced […]

Posted On

08/7/15

Author

Vaibhaw Ladha

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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image
I'd like to end the trip by reflecting on one of my favorite days and nights of the trip: the day of our camel trek into the Gobi Desert, when I climbed a giant sand dune with members of our group and beheld the beautiful night sky near Dunhuang. The dune is what I'll concentrate on: the colossal, wind-sculpted, ever-changing challenge to ascend. A few days ago, I shared one of my favorite quotes from the book "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell with the group: "But what is an ocean but a multitude of drops?". This too is true of the dune -- each grain of sand, in its ability to blow and squish and maybe even splash in the footsteps of our group, makes up the "ocean", the "desert", in which the dune is one crest of a very slow moving wave. To climb the dune, I had to take five small, staggered steps to proceed any perceptible step toward the top; the sand is unyielding, lashing back like water against the bow of a slow, lumbering ship. Finally, on hands and knees, I marveled as I stared over the sea of sand. I stood as another iteration of the grain or the drop - as an individual - in the bigger sphere of humankind's "desert" or "ocean", the Earth. Each person is a key component, yet small, that flows through the crests and troughs of human life, blowing to new corners, unexpectedly splashing into the unknown. Perhaps this is not a perfectly analogous situation to David Mitchell's ocean. Nevertheless, I got a lot of deep thinking about life and my place in the world done on that day! So now, our group, after rolling together in the same dune for six weeks, will be parting ways due to gusts of powerful wind, sculpting the grains and reorganizing as the wind does. We'll return to old dunes, explore new ones, find each other again out of all the individuals making up the fabric of human population. And maybe we'll climb a dune together again. I'll miss everyone - thanks for such an awesome trip! [post_title] => Final Reflection - Dunes [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => final-reflection-dunes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-01-20 14:53:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-01-20 21:53:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=123980 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 523 [name] => Silk Road 6-week [slug] => silk-road-6-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 523 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 255 [count] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5.1 [cat_ID] => 523 [category_count] => 53 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Silk Road 6-week [category_nicename] => silk-road-6-week [category_parent] => 255 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2015/silk-road-6-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Silk Road 6-week )
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Final Reflection – Dunes

Carolyn Bell,Silk Road 6-week

Description

I’d like to end the trip by reflecting on one of my favorite days and nights of the trip: the day of our camel trek into the Gobi Desert, when I climbed a giant sand dune with members of our group and beheld the beautiful night sky near Dunhuang. The dune is what I’ll concentrate […]

Posted On

08/7/15

Author

Carolyn Bell

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-07 15:49:45
    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-08-07 21:49:45
    [post_content] => On the penultimate night of the trip, our instructors took us to a parking lot in the town near the Great Wall where we stay to do some activities. After re-enacting key moments of the trip (including a flash lightning storm while mounting camels in Dunhuang) and lighting prayer lamps in memory of all we want to leave in China, we do a meditation with a stick of incense representing all we will return home with from the trip. During this meditation, I reflect back on those around me and China as a whole. Incense drifts under my nose as cicadas and dogs and Chinese park music break the silence of the foggy night. And breathing. Collective breaths of those around, who have become my friends in the past weeks. Each of their sticks of incense flares and decays in the wind, illuminating the darkness and catching my eyes. I realize soon I will return home, and much as that stick can't burn forever, I can not stay with them, or in China, forever. But I can remember them and this experience for a long time. I could light some more incense and keep making connections. This experience will not end as long as I don't let it end; as long as I preserve a sense of wonder at the world around and connection to others, that flame will not wither away.
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Silk Road 6-week

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Reflections

Stephanie Bell,Silk Road 6-week

Description

On the penultimate night of the trip, our instructors took us to a parking lot in the town near the Great Wall where we stay to do some activities. After re-enacting key moments of the trip (including a flash lightning storm while mounting camels in Dunhuang) and lighting prayer lamps in memory of all we […]

Posted On

08/7/15

Author

Stephanie Bell

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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On July 31st, about a week ago, we embarked a physically challenging trek, 4500 meters above sea level. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The little girl standing in front of a yurt is a Kyrgyz kid named Gülistan. We played tag and ate breakfast before trekking out of her family's summer residence and continuing the trek. [post_title] => Trek in the Pamir Mountains [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => trek-in-the-pamir-mountains [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-01-20 14:55:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-01-20 21:55:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=123926 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 523 [name] => Silk Road 6-week [slug] => silk-road-6-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 523 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 255 [count] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5.1 [cat_ID] => 523 [category_count] => 53 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Silk Road 6-week [category_nicename] => silk-road-6-week [category_parent] => 255 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2015/silk-road-6-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Silk Road 6-week )
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Trek in the Pamir Mountains

Charlie Miller,Silk Road 6-week

Description

On July 31st, about a week ago, we embarked a physically challenging trek, 4500 meters above sea level. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The little girl standing in front of a yurt is a Kyrgyz kid named Gülistan. We played tag and ate breakfast before trekking out of […]

Posted On

08/6/15

Author

Charlie Miller

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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