Photo of the Week
Summer 2016
Photo Title


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    [post_content] => 大家好!我叫马菁英。I'm a Chinese teacher of the 6-week Chinese project in this summer. I'm a postgraduate majored in MTCSOL in Yunnan University. I have been teaching Chinese over one year. I hold the view that interest is the best teacher and practicing is the best way for learning a language, and I hope all of my students will enjoy your journey and enjoy my lessons as well. My hobbies are reading, cooking and traveling. Wishing us a good trip! - Charlotte/马菁英
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SUMMER: China Language Intensive 6-Week

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Self-introduction

Charlotte,SUMMER: China Language Intensive 6-Week

Description

大家好!我叫马菁英。I’m a Chinese teacher of the 6-week Chinese project in this summer. I’m a postgraduate majored in MTCSOL in Yunnan University. I have been teaching Chinese over one year. I hold the view that interest is the best teacher and practicing is the best way for learning a language, and I hope all of my […]

Posted On

06/7/17

Author

Charlotte

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    [post_content] => Hi Everybody,

This is Karen (Joel’s wife). I have been hearing stories about your trip for the last week. I wish I had went on the adventure with you – it sounds like it was pretty amazing.

Joel just gave me a stack of letters that you wrote for me. I want to thank you all for sharing your stories from the trip. I loved hearing all of your voices come through in the words that you wrote. It was nice to hear the different perspectives. It was also fun to have Joel explain a few of the inside jokes that you wrote about.

Wishing you all the best. Thank you again for the letters.

Best,
Karen
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SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

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Thank you for your letters!

Karen Ng (Joel's wife),SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

Description

Hi Everybody, This is Karen (Joel’s wife). I have been hearing stories about your trip for the last week. I wish I had went on the adventure with you – it sounds like it was pretty amazing. Joel just gave me a stack of letters that you wrote for me. I want to thank you […]

Posted On

08/15/16

Author

Karen Ng (Joel's wife)

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    [post_content] => To All The Dragons Staff & To The Students:

Thank you so very much for the wonderful experience that all the students have received.  The enrichment, the lessons, and the plenty of laughs will be all cherished for sure.   For the great Counselors that accompanied this group , and the Staff.  It has been for all of us including parents a very rewarding journey in all aspects.   My very best to all of you!
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SUMMER: China Language Intensive 6-Week

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To All the Dragons Team & Students

Rocio & David Bieber,SUMMER: China Language Intensive 6-Week

Description

To All The Dragons Staff & To The Students: Thank you so very much for the wonderful experience that all the students have received.  The enrichment, the lessons, and the plenty of laughs will be all cherished for sure.   For the great Counselors that accompanied this group , and the Staff.  It has been […]

Posted On

08/15/16

Author

Rocio & David Bieber

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Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone. -Wendell Berry

Dear Friends and Family, As is custom at Dragons, we took the last few days of the course to reflect on our experiences. For one such reflective activity, we asked the students three questions and are anonymously sharing their responses with you below. Before that, the instructor team (Caitlin, Saurabh, Matthew and Rebecca) would like to acknowledge the families of our students and the emotional labor it takes to send your child to the other side of the world for six weeks. We have so enjoyed travelling with and getting to know these thirteen incredible young people this summer. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

1. What did you learn in India?

-I learned too much recently to accurately and (therefore truthfully) communicate what/how much I learned. I went on a personal journey and am coming home a different person than the version of myself who left.

-I shouldn’t let anxiety rule my life and dictate the decisions I choose to make. live life with complete and utter confidence that you will land on your feet, even if it feels like the proverbial rug has been swept out from under you.

-India taught me to be humble.

-Throughout high school I have found myself feeling profoundly lonely, regardless of the number of people I surrounded myself with. I always felt somewhat isolated, struggled to relate and worried that my experiences of connecting to people would continue to be that way. On this trip, I learned I’m not along, many people are out there, whole hearted connection and open-ness is possible and I feel loved by a sangha I didn’t know existed in a way I never dreamed I would experience.

-I learned so much about Ladakhi and Tibetan culture.

-I’ve learned to become a stronger version of myself.

-I have learned about the power of bubbles and not to take myself so seriously. I have also learned about the non-judgemental friendship.

-On this trip I’ve learned that just because everything is empty doesn’t mean you can’t be happy.

-I learned to never be afraid to grow.

-I have learned that silence is not uncomfortable or awkward, rather it is a beautiful way to show compassion. Silence can be comforting in the toughest times and uplifting in the most nerve racking.

-Religion isn’t a taboo conversation topic. The similarities in each creates a sense of unity. Even the differences draw people together through curiosity.

-I have learned that everything is bubbles.

2. Who is a person who influenced your trip?

-Without each and every person on this trip the conditions for my journey and growth would not have been possible. Every person I met in India is equally responsible for my trips’s outcome.

-Caitlin. She is the closest thing I have every had to a spiritual teacher. Without her seemingly infinite wisdom I would have never been able to tap  into my hidden resource of spirituality.

-Mia Wang has influenced me the most over these past six weeks. She has courageously taught me how to look at the world through the perspective of a global citizen while never taking situations too seriously. Her early morning wake-ups, light personality, and her ability to stay calm and collected has influenced the way I look at life. Thank you Mia, for being such a lovely human being.

-All the great people who have opened up their homes to me.

-Jesse and Caitlin have touched me with their beautiful poetry.

-My instructors have been amazing mentors, teachers and friends.

-I have been profoundly affected by each and every person I’ve had the pleasure to get to know on this course. Words are inadequate, so I’ll refrain from rambling but I feel I’ve made 16 wonderful friends whose combined well of knowledge approaches infinity. I have learned so much from these people and I can’t wait to learn more.

-Thinlas guided us safely through the mountains. She was such a role model for me. I have rarely met such a strong, humorous and independent woman. It was a pleasure learning from her.

-My Ama-lah (mother in Tibetan) taught me to laugh.

-Dorkar, our homestay neighbor in the village, has greatly influenced my time on this course. She gave me a Ladakhi name, welcomed me into an unfamiliar place and most importantly reminded me to have fun and not take things too seriously all the time.

-My homestay mother Tashi. She took in six of us and loved us like her own children. She exemplified compassion for all.

-Caitlin McKimmy, motherly in her ability to nurture others, sagacious  in her spiritual fortitude.

3. What should family and friends back home know about you?

-We gonna be alright. Based on my past field notes and now this it may seem a frightful notion to see me at home now. Don’t worry we gonna be alright.

-I’m hoping and working and meditating to shrink my ego and grow my compassion.

-Everything is bubbles. We shouldn’t take ourselves so seriously. I will do all that I can to embody impermanence and live each day with the knowledge that just like everything else it will eventually pop into nothingness.

-I love and miss them so much but they should also know that I may have some trouble conveying how remarkable this trip was.

-Everything is bubbles.

-Every day is an opportunity for radical personal growth, don’t waste your time clinging to the past and worrying yourself sick about the future. life has a funny way o f sorting itself out if let to run completely naturally and unobstructed.

-I had such a great time, and am so thankful for opportunity to do this trip.

- Love has a unlimited supply within our hearts. Each human being deserves to be loved equally.

-The simple way to live is also the best way to live.

-I taught myself to love.

-This trip has changed the way I understand my own identity as a Westerner and my role in the global community.

-There’s a new me coming home, I am excited to tell all about my amazing journey.

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Everything Is Bubbles

North India 6-week Students,SUMMER: North India 6-Week

Description

Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone. -Wendell Berry Dear Friends and Family, As is custom at Dragons, we took the last few days of the course to reflect on our experiences. […]

Posted On

08/14/16

Author

North India 6-week Students

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The last time I heard, I heard the dying of a star. it burned, and to the miserable gazer it whispered “are you lonely?” I shivered. Between cups of chai and dusk and dawn, cold voids haunt me. mock me at mirth and despise with no disguise. Is this a body full of sturdy spirits? or a clean crust of walking dead? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. eyes shut from darkness, mouth gasping for air. I ran and ran and ran. every piece of muscle tried to escape the brutish interrogation. I felt as if this soldier left on an ancient battlefield, one sword, one horse no enemy, yet surrounded. So I fought like a crab caught from behind, raising my clubs high and exhausted myself.

**

The last time I dreamed, I dreamed of mama, fresh as the day we said goodbye, fresh as the morning dew, face never lined and hair never silvered, voice softer than breezes through the prayer flags. “honey, why you so scared?” “Why stuck in the lapse of cosmos?” I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. but she did not answer. bloomed into the dusts of purple mountains, left me awake, almost drowned in saturated tears and fear afraid of missteps afraid of falling afraid of an abyss deeper than the ocean and steeper than the Himalayan slopes what if my thoughts wander to a place higher- than my hands can reach? or what if my feet rest above where my mind resides? Isn’t the anxious endeavour of self a spurious mistake of self?

**

The last time I question. I asked, “Am I broken?” But I don’t know either a caged leopard or a tail-less lizard wounds still bleed, but scars aged and wrinkled weren’t they the honours of warriors? an ode to bravery? broken yet unbroken. fruits smashed to jam fruits squeezed to juice, fruits rotten; the pit of truth is what I hold, and I hold it dearly.

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Best Notes From The Field, SUMMER: North India 6-Week

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Transference

Mia Wang,Best Notes From The Field, SUMMER: North India 6-Week

Description

The last time I heard, I heard the dying of a star. it burned, and to the miserable gazer it whispered “are you lonely?” I shivered. Between cups of chai and dusk and dawn, cold voids haunt me. mock me at mirth and despise with no disguise. Is this a body full of sturdy spirits? […]

Posted On

08/14/16

Author

Mia Wang

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    [post_content] => The following field note is a journal entry written during our time in Sampela (7-29-16) by Rachel Kennedy.

Today I went scavenging with my mom, dad and younger sister. We rode the 30 minutes out to Hoga in relative silence. The empty space left by our innability to have copious amounts of communication was filled by the humming sound of my father’s motor. My father dropped me, Ibu and Lily off in the low tide and went to go net fish. I wasn’t quite sure what kind of fishing I’d be doing prior to the excertion, but I’m so glad it was scavenging! It was relaxing, interesting and came with low expectations of my abilities. My Ibu was happy to let me try and fail at pulling up sea cucumbers.

I hopped of my dad’s boat to immediately see Lily picking up purple and orange sea urchins with short spikes, putting them into a large bowl she carried. I wandered off to my mother for a short period of time, in which she handed me a pretty shell (white with orange speckles) and said, “untuk kamu.” Lily was me marching behind small and mighty, she’s a shy girl who makes you want to earn her smile. I looked back at her bending down to scower for sea urchins. She had a purpose and knew she was good at deciphering what to pick up. I went back to help her and began to learn what to grab based on a pointing and picking up game I initiated. As we got close to Hoga, my mom used a stick (possibly from the magroves) and began digging out sea cucumbers. She used her index and middle fingers on one hand as the other stabbed the stick intot he earth to force the cucumbers out. Since I wasn’t doing much successful scavenging, Lily gave me the bowl of creatures and I knelt down to receive each urchin they passed up. Lily would frequently reach down in the sand to meet her mothers hands in an attempt to take over the hunt for the sea cucumber. Her mom would playfully bantor with her, they fell into laughing fits twice. Everything I’ve seen my mother do has been with conviction; she just knows what she’s doing. Watching her dig deeper into the sand with a wooden stick carved at the end looked natural. Later on the boat, I watched her roll out the sea cucumber. Her hands looked even and familiar with every motion. Lily and I were warned not to touch the poisonous urchin. I couldn’t figure out how they knew which parts of the sand to plow into, but my mom helped me through fishing out several sea cucumbers. She made the inital strike and then stuck a hand in and motioned to me, “ini”. I grabbed the beginning of the root, she pushed the stick up and down to help me navigate to the end of the body. We eventually made our way back to Bapak’s boat, he’d caught some fish. Lily loved getting the roots, she would moan and groan and then cheer herself on when she got one to emerge. At seven, she was already doing this pretty independetly. She got one maybe two sea cucumbers completely on her own. On the boat my mom began to make small slits in the cucs. She showed me how to roll out the intestines. After I did that, she’d skin it and cut it open. After a rinse, she diced them and I was invited to eat them with rice on the way back to Sampela.

 
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SUMMER: Indonesia

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The Lost Field Note of Sampela

Rachel Kennedy,SUMMER: Indonesia

Description

The following field note is a journal entry written during our time in Sampela (7-29-16) by Rachel Kennedy. Today I went scavenging with my mom, dad and younger sister. We rode the 30 minutes out to Hoga in relative silence. The empty space left by our innability to have copious amounts of communication was filled […]

Posted On

08/9/16

Author

Rachel Kennedy

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    [post_content] => With great aplomb, I'm thrilled to announce that the Indonesia group has arrive back in LAX. Participants are currently clearing customs and immigration and picking up their bags before catching connecting flights onward. It has been a truly incredible program, and from all accounts it was one of the highlights among all of our summer courses. Participants will be getting in touch with you directly, but feel free to reach out if we can help with the transition.

Best,

Justin
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SUMMER: Indonesia

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Indonesia Arrival

Justin Kiersky,SUMMER: Indonesia

Description

With great aplomb, I’m thrilled to announce that the Indonesia group has arrive back in LAX. Participants are currently clearing customs and immigration and picking up their bags before catching connecting flights onward. It has been a truly incredible program, and from all accounts it was one of the highlights among all of our summer courses. […]

Posted On

08/9/16

Author

Justin Kiersky

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    [post_date] => 2016-08-09 10:36:22
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-09 16:36:22
    [post_content] => 

Dear Family and Friends of Augo, Marka, Natalie, Mel, Sean, Rachel, Jake, Lydia, Carlyn, Anna, Kayla, and Fiona,

As our students can attest, I’m a fan of the field of positive psychology. In his book on gratitude, Robert Emmons argues that although we often consider gratitude as a feeling or emotion, it is actually most effectively embodied as expressed action. He writes:

First, gratitude is acknowledgment of goodness in one's own life. In gratitude we say yes to life. We affirm that all things have taken together, life is good and has elements that make it worth living. The acknowledgement that we have received something gratifies us, either by its presence or by the effort the giver went to in choosing it. Second, gratitude is recognizing that the source(s) of this goodness lie at least partially outside the self. The object of gratitude is other-directed…Thanks are directed outward to the giver of gifts.

In reflecting on our trip, we want to express that even though you were not with us in physically, you were still one of the most important factors in the experience. You were a deep “source of goodness” outside of our collective group-self. Thank you for sharing your loved ones with us for the past 6 weeks. For Lindsay, Rita, and I, they have come to be our loved ones too.

Each day we were overwhelmed by their engagement and enthusiasm for the experience. They faced every challenge as a learning opportunity and embodied a mindset of positivity from arrival to our tearful goodbyes. They worked together harmoniously and still created space for introspection and community engagement. I wish we could take credit for the successes of the trip, but we were dealt an amazing hand. It was from your years of love, struggle, and support that helped create a deck of aces; all we had to do was host the card game.

Thank you for nurturing such lovely human beings.

Aaron, Lindsay, and Rita

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Gratitude for Family and Friends

Aaron Slosberg,SUMMER: Indonesia

Description

Dear Family and Friends of Augo, Marka, Natalie, Mel, Sean, Rachel, Jake, Lydia, Carlyn, Anna, Kayla, and Fiona, As our students can attest, I’m a fan of the field of positive psychology. In his book on gratitude, Robert Emmons argues that although we often consider gratitude as a feeling or emotion, it is actually most […]

Posted On

08/9/16

Author

Aaron Slosberg

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    [post_date] => 2016-08-09 10:35:31
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    [post_content] => Hi Everyone,

Here is a slideshow from our trip. I'm not sure if YouTube will decide to take it down because of music copyright issues, so watch it while you can:)

https://youtu.be/MB8VJozl4WI

Best,

Aaron
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SUMMER: Indonesia

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Slideshow

Aaron Slosberg,SUMMER: Indonesia

Description

Hi Everyone, Here is a slideshow from our trip. I’m not sure if YouTube will decide to take it down because of music copyright issues, so watch it while you can:) Best, Aaron

Posted On

08/9/16

Author

Aaron Slosberg

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    [post_date] => 2016-08-08 13:23:35
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-08 19:23:35
    [post_content] => The group has landed safely in Miami and instructors are helping students get to onward flights and rendezvous with family! ¡Gracias por la gran aventura!
    [post_title] => Group Landed Safely in Miami!
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SUMMER: Guatemala 6-Week

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Group Landed Safely in Miami!

Jody Segar,SUMMER: Guatemala 6-Week

Description

The group has landed safely in Miami and instructors are helping students get to onward flights and rendezvous with family! ¡Gracias por la gran aventura!

Posted On

08/8/16

Author

Jody Segar

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