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PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China


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    [post_content] => Greetings!

I am incredibly excited to introduce myself and to meet you all in a matter of months. I have spent some reading over your applications and am impressed and excited by what a mature, curious, well rounded, and intelligent group of students I will be traveling with this summer! I am looking forward to getting to know each one of you; I have a deep interest in psychology and the gift of knowing a new human (and nothing helps you get to know someone like traveling) is one of my favorite things.

My personal interest in China began as a child, when a family friend shared stories of his exploits in the newly opened foreign country. When I attended college, I took a Chinese calligraphy course as an elective and the next year, found myself enrolled as a full time Chinese Language and Literature major. I fell in love with the philosophy behind the language and, as a singer, the sound of the spoken word. I went on to studied abroad in Tianjin, travel solo as a 19 year old woman in the countryside, and later live in Beijing, a city of then 20 million people. China to me is a vast and beautiful mystery, as well as a poignant and interesting discussion point for the future of humanity.

Upon graduation from college, I had intended to move to China, but an interim job in Wilderness Therapy steered my soul towards working in the outdoors and I spent the next 8 years working with at risk young people and backpacking, rock climbing, rafting, and exploring the great American west. (With a 6 month stint working for a start-up Wilderness company in Beijing.) I have spent over 500 days leading trips with teen girls, boys, young adults, and families in the backcountry. For the past 9 years, I have also maintained an active Wilderness First Responder certification, a medical qualification specific to backcountry challenges. Two years ago I participated in NOLS (the National Outdoor Leadership School) Professional Instructor Course and I am looking forward to deepening the study of leadership with all of you.  I led a 4 week trip for Dragons last year in China and it was incredibly beautiful, challenging, and fun.

While I still enjoy spending time in the natural world as much as possible (I live at the base of the Rocky Mountains,) I currently spend much more time exploring the “front country” parts of the world. My partner is an internationally recognized artist and I manage his business, allowing us to visit some incredible places and people. In the past 6 months I have been blessed to spend time in Mexico, Rome, Thailand, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and Portugal. I love traveling, and believe seeing through other human’s eyes and understanding different ways of being is one of the most direct ways of accessing compassion, peace, and a keen understanding of the world and our unique place in it.

What else? We have 2 cats, a dog, 22 chicks and 4 ducklings. I like to sing a lot, I love playing games, and I have a plethora of corny jokes. I’m really excited to lead this trip with Daniel, who carries an incredible wealth of knowledge about China and who has made me laugh out loud multiple times in our planning sessions. I second his advice to PACK LIGHT; get a small backpack and when it’s full, you’re done. The less you bring, the more you gain. In addition to the pictures, I’d also offer to bring some individually wrapped American candy for sharing with Chinese folk you meet along the way...it’s a great way to make friends!

Hugs from Colorado and see you soon,

Martha

Course Instructor

marthagilbert@gmail.com

P.S. Please feel free to send an email to say hello, or if you have questions about gear/clothing/etc while packing. I like to nerd out on that kind of thing.  Can’t wait to meet you!

 

 

 
    [post_title] => Hello Norfolk!
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Hello Norfolk!

Martha,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

Greetings! I am incredibly excited to introduce myself and to meet you all in a matter of months. I have spent some reading over your applications and am impressed and excited by what a mature, curious, well rounded, and intelligent group of students I will be traveling with this summer! I am looking forward to […]

Posted On

05/7/16

Author

Martha

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    [post_content] => The meeting started off the way they usually do, with the rose/thorn activity, where each person lists a rose (good thing) and a thorn (bad thing) that has happened since the last time we met. From there the tone shifted into something I was not prepared for. We started it off by talking about the kind of people we would need on this trip, simple enough. It went downhill from there for anyone (myself included) who had never done this activity before, when someone started by saying "Camel! Because we need water", and I was completely lost by this point. From there, a large list of other roles was written: compass, scribe, leader, mule, historian, alarm clock, blogger, and doctor. It was after this that I learned what these terms meant: they are used by Dragons as an easy way to think about what each person must do on a given day. From here, the meeting returned to some resemblance of normalcy. Dr. Naujoks, head of the program, chose Claire Cunningham as our leader for the meeting, and the pair went out to discuss what everyone else's roles should be for the rest of the meeting. During that time, we had a brief discussion of the assigned article, China's Internet: a Giant Cage. Claire and Dr. Naujoks then returned, and roles were assigned: Bryn as the scribe, Mackenzi as the alarm clock, and me as the blogger. Then we began to share our Magic Statements. A Magic Statement is a sentence written in the past tense and is designed to show each person's personal goals. The format goes "My trip to China was the best time ever because...". Each person said his/hers, and Bryn wrote the main points of each on the board. From there, we narrowed down the list, and ended the meeting with writing our group magic statement: "Our trip to China was the best time ever because we formed new relationships both in and outside of our group, and we expanded our horizons in attempts to immerse ourselves in a new culture while developing greater self-awareness". Claire then assigned a new article to read, Christianity in China: Cracks in the Aetheist Edifice, and we went our separate ways.
    [post_title] => China Exchange Meeting #3
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PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

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China Exchange Meeting #3

Sammy DeLorenzo,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

The meeting started off the way they usually do, with the rose/thorn activity, where each person lists a rose (good thing) and a thorn (bad thing) that has happened since the last time we met. From there the tone shifted into something I was not prepared for. We started it off by talking about the […]

Posted On

05/4/16

Author

Sammy DeLorenzo

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    [post_date] => 2016-04-19 21:17:11
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    [post_content] => "By now all of us have heard (too often) the old Proust line about how the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new places but in seeing with new eyes. Yet one of the subtler beauties of travel is that it enables you to bring new eyes to the people you encounter."

I like this quote from Pico Iyer's essay because it completely embodies the idea of travel. Like Iyer, I've heard the saying that "discovery consists not in seeing new places but in seeing with new eyes" too often for its message to really resonate with me. But when I read his take on travel, it forced me to find a new, more personal meaning behind the quote and it really captured what travel means to me. Travel is not just an experience for the traveller, but also for the people the traveller meets along the way. While travel is often viewed as an individual's journey to find himself, this individual's actions actually affect people on a larger scale. When you travel, you are not only stepping into another person's life and culture, but also bringing your life to them. This sharing of culture allows for an understanding and appreciation of different people on a deeper level. I agree with Iyer's opinion that this is one of "the subtler beauties of travel" because, although it isn't something you are usually conscious of when traveling, you are able to both leave a part of you behind and find a new piece to take with you.
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PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

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Why We Travel

Sophia Burke,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

“By now all of us have heard (too often) the old Proust line about how the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new places but in seeing with new eyes. Yet one of the subtler beauties of travel is that it enables you to bring new eyes to the people you encounter.” I […]

Posted On

04/19/16

Author

Sophia Burke

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    [post_content] => "We travel, then, in search of both self and anonymity"

Travel is not just an opportunity to see new places or try new things, it is a chance to make a change. In your everyday life there is already a you that exists, a role that you have been predetermined to fill; and each day, for every person you interact with, you fill the same role, no matter how great or small it is. In this sense there is very little room for growth and change in day to day life because it is so easy to fall back into the same, comfortable routine. Travel is the opportunity to break this chain. It gives you the chance to be a completely new person, where the people you meet don't already have any preconceptions about you; where, in their eyes, you are an unmolded piece of clay, and with every word or action you get to shape a new form of yourself. In this way travel gives you the chance to discover and explore a new you, to see what kind of person you truly want to be, and to make a change for the better in your life.

-Chase Yager
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PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

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Why We Travel

Chase Yager,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

“We travel, then, in search of both self and anonymity” Travel is not just an opportunity to see new places or try new things, it is a chance to make a change. In your everyday life there is already a you that exists, a role that you have been predetermined to fill; and each day, […]

Posted On

04/19/16

Author

Chase Yager

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    [post_content] => "Thus travel spins us around in two ways at once: It shows us the sights and values and issues that we might ordinarily ignore; but it also, and more deeply, shows us all the parts of ourselves that might otherwise grow rusty. For in traveling to a truly foreign place, we inevitably travel to moods and states of mind and hidden inward passages that we'd otherwise seldom have cause to visit."

Part of the beauty of travel is that it takes you away from your home. While this seems like I am stating the obvious, leaving home goes beyond simply leaving the four walls in which you reside. Leaving your home means that you separate yourself from your culture, from your friends, from your safety. At the risk of being cliche, travel honestly does force you out of your comfort zone. Being away from the familiarity of home allows you to better know yourself while also discovering parts of yourself of which you may have previously been unaware. Travel removes the insignificant problems which plague everyday life, while letting you focus on what is there in that moment.
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PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

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Why We Travel

Eleanor Lilly,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

“Thus travel spins us around in two ways at once: It shows us the sights and values and issues that we might ordinarily ignore; but it also, and more deeply, shows us all the parts of ourselves that might otherwise grow rusty. For in traveling to a truly foreign place, we inevitably travel to moods […]

Posted On

04/19/16

Author

Eleanor Lilly

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    [post_content] => "We travel, then, in part just to shake up our complacencies by seeing all the moral and political urgencies, the life-and-death dilemmas, that we seldom have to face at home."

Traveling is about expanding your horizons and changing things up from the way they are at home. Traveling allows people to figure out that the world is an amazing place and it exposes them to new cultures. You look at things in a whole new light after seeing how different other places around the world are.

 
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PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

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Why We Travel

Will Finney,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

“We travel, then, in part just to shake up our complacencies by seeing all the moral and political urgencies, the life-and-death dilemmas, that we seldom have to face at home.” Traveling is about expanding your horizons and changing things up from the way they are at home. Traveling allows people to figure out that the […]

Posted On

04/19/16

Author

Will Finney

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“Abroad is the place where we stay up late, follow impulse and find ourselves as wide open as when we are in love. We live without a past or future, for a moment at least, and are ourselves up for grabs and open to interpretation. We even may become mysterious — to others, at first, and sometimes to ourselves”

When we travel we are no longer fettered by our routine. We can test our limits both physically, spiritually, and emotionally without the fear of failure. With exposure to new experiences and new ideas, we challenge our perceptions and values, which allow us to grow as individuals.

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PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

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Why We Travel

Bryn Galumbeck,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

“Abroad is the place where we stay up late, follow impulse and find ourselves as wide open as when we are in love. We live without a past or future, for a moment at least, and are ourselves up for grabs and open to interpretation. We even may become mysterious — to others, at first, […]

Posted On

04/19/16

Author

Bryn Galumbeck

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    [post_content] => "Yet for me the first greatest joy of traveling is simply the luxury of leaving all my beliefs and certainties at home, and seeing everything I thought I knew in a different light, and from a crooked angle."

"Though it seems fashionable nowadays to draw a distinction between the "tourist" and the "traveler", perhaps the real distinction lies between those who leave their assumptions at home, and those who don't; Among those who don't, a tourist is just someone who complains, 'Nothing here is the way it is at home'."

These two passages go hand in hand and teach the importance of traveling to a foreign country with an open mind. It is vital for us to travel to China without hoping for what we already have at home, but rather, we should be excited to learn about the customs and traditions of a culture so different from ours. Many people say, 'I don't want to look like a tourist', but if you are always expecting to find the same customs and values of the place you came from, you will never become a traveller. These passages also relate to technology in the sense that if you don't embrace the experience fully, and are constantly distracted by what is going on at home, you will not learn as much or enjoy the experience to the fullest. I will try to take on the mindset of a traveler, ready to immerse myself in a new culture, rather than always compare the new environment to what we have back home.
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PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

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Why We Travel

Gabi Diskin,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

“Yet for me the first greatest joy of traveling is simply the luxury of leaving all my beliefs and certainties at home, and seeing everything I thought I knew in a different light, and from a crooked angle.” “Though it seems fashionable nowadays to draw a distinction between the “tourist” and the “traveler”, perhaps the […]

Posted On

04/19/16

Author

Gabi Diskin

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"So travel, for many of us, is a quest for not just the unknown, but the unknowing; I, at least, travel in search of an innocent eye that can return me to a more innocent self." -Pico Iyer

With age I’ve developed a desire for efficiency.  As each year seems to more quickly pass than the one before, I feel the finite nature of life and I desire to fill that limited space with moments of love, positivity, learning and gratitude.  To create that space, I must meticulously craft efficient days so that I can maximize time to fulfill my dreams to continue learning, deepen my relationships, and hone my craft (as a teacher, coach, mentor, crafter, baker, and so the list goes on).  In doing so, I find myself extremely efficient, laser focused, and routine.  I try to find patience and a full heart in each of the tasks I set to accomplish but often find myself blazing through particular “to dos” in order to move on to the next “thing”.  While in the day to day, I appreciate what this routine allows me to tackle - I find that with routine comes an expectation for smoothness, desire for regularity, and gruffness should something arise that challenges my efficiency. With travel in each moment something new arises-- a visually stunning landscape, an uncomfortable encounter, a questioning of my culture or way of being-- and in those moments, I am challenged to maintain my heart of love, positivity, learning and gratitude.  Challenged in a way that encourages me to reform boundaries, expectations, ideals, and ways of thinking.  And in doing so, returning home, creates a new permutation of self---one who will be more patient.  Knowing the expanse of the world is so vast, travel reinforces the way in which I learn, love, and listen greatly outweighs the outcomes efficiency and routine. [post_title] => Why We Travel - Reflection [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => why-we-travel-reflection [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-04-19 21:14:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-04-20 03:14:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 545 [name] => PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China [slug] => norfolk-china-2016 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 545 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 536 [count] => 32 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0.1 [cat_ID] => 545 [category_count] => 32 [category_description] => [cat_name] => PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China [category_nicename] => norfolk-china-2016 [category_parent] => 536 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2016/norfolk-china-2016/ ) ) [category_links] => PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China )

PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

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Why We Travel – Reflection

Sarah Goodson,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

  “So travel, for many of us, is a quest for not just the unknown, but the unknowing; I, at least, travel in search of an innocent eye that can return me to a more innocent self.” -Pico Iyer With age I’ve developed a desire for efficiency.  As each year seems to more quickly pass […]

Posted On

04/19/16

Author

Sarah Goodson

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    [post_content] => "The sovereign freedom of traveling comes from the fact that it whirls you around and turns you upside down, and stands everything you took for granted on its head." Traveling is a tool utilized for all kinds of people for different reasons depending on the circumstances. But the most pure form is done with intention of "keeping minds mobile and awake" or freeing your mind from the invisible chains of our idealized society and restricted experience or knowledge of a world outside our own. It's destroying ideology to keep mind free and open to change and diversity. Traveling destroys ignorance with time and if appreciated can bring the greatest of all knowledge.It is good in a sense to abandon any traces you have of home and leave them behind in order to make yourself a rounded and experienced person.
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PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

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Why We Travel -response

Mackenzi Mills,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

“The sovereign freedom of traveling comes from the fact that it whirls you around and turns you upside down, and stands everything you took for granted on its head.” Traveling is a tool utilized for all kinds of people for different reasons depending on the circumstances. But the most pure form is done with intention […]

Posted On

04/19/16

Author

Mackenzi Mills

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