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    [post_date] => 2016-07-28 08:05:37
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    [post_content] => IMG_0965

Hello Families,

This is an update to let you know that the Nepal teams have arrived safely at JFK!  All students will be heading for their domestic flights to return home.  They all have the Dragons emergency number should they need to contact us for any reason.  Thank you so much and we're wishing you a happy reunion.

Dragons Administration
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SUMMER: Nepal A

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Nepal Group has Arrived in JFK

Admin,SUMMER: Nepal A

Description

Hello Families, This is an update to let you know that the Nepal teams have arrived safely at JFK!  All students will be heading for their domestic flights to return home.  They all have the Dragons emergency number should they need to contact us for any reason.  Thank you so much and we’re wishing you […]

Posted On

07/28/16

Author

Admin

Category

SUMMER: Nepal A

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-27 17:26:37
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-27 23:26:37
    [post_content] => Hello Families,

This is an update to let you know that it appears the flight leaving Abu Dhabi was delayed by an hour and so the new scheduled arrival time at JFK is now 10:39 AM.  Hopefully this won't affect student domestic travel too much and we'll be in touch again when the group lands.

Dragons Administration
    [post_title] => Nepal Flight Slightly Delayed
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SUMMER: Nepal A, SUMMER: Nepal B

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Nepal Flight Slightly Delayed

Admin,SUMMER: Nepal A, SUMMER: Nepal B

Description

Hello Families, This is an update to let you know that it appears the flight leaving Abu Dhabi was delayed by an hour and so the new scheduled arrival time at JFK is now 10:39 AM.  Hopefully this won’t affect student domestic travel too much and we’ll be in touch again when the group lands. […]

Posted On

07/27/16

Author

Admin

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-27 08:31:30
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    [post_content] => Hello Families,

This is an update to let you know that Nepal A is through security and waiting at the gate to board their international departure flight.  We'll keep you updated if any new information becomes available.  Thank you for your continued support.

Dragons Administration
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Nepal A is ready to depart

Luis Alvarado,SUMMER: Nepal A

Description

Hello Families, This is an update to let you know that Nepal A is through security and waiting at the gate to board their international departure flight.  We’ll keep you updated if any new information becomes available.  Thank you for your continued support. Dragons Administration

Posted On

07/27/16

Author

Luis Alvarado

Category

SUMMER: Nepal A

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-27 08:18:36
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    [post_content] => On our final full day in Nepal, we explored Kathmandu's Durbar Square, a jumble of narrow alleyways through ancient architecture, medieval courtyards, and expertly-made crafts. This is the center of Nepal's vibrant culture of artisans. We asked students to sit in this powerful place and complete two thoughts to share with families to help us start conversations as we transition home. This is what they wrote:

 

In Nepal, I ...

In Nepal, I learned about myself and the world I live in. I learned ways of being that were incredibly different from the way people of my culture live and as I unpack all of the experiences I’ve had, I’m starting to figure out how to incorporate them into the way I live my day to day life. I traveled around a country I had previously never been to, knowing next to nothing about it or its culture, from mountain villages to the valley of Kathmandu. I learned about Buddhism, Hinduism and the Nepali from knowledgeable teachers and used that knowledge to immerse myself in this new world of experiences. I think, most importantly, I relearned how to love everything and to be truly grateful for the entire world. And, of course, I had a blast while doing all of it!

In Nepal,
I forged a love for new experiences and new lands
I met new friends that I now call family
I overcame knee pain from vertical trekking
I survived a time of contemplative fasting in a golden-roofed monastery
I grew comfortable in someone else’s home separated by language
I fell in love with the hard-working ashram community
I ended a trip in a wonderful country with wonderful people

In Nepal, I’ve learned to be more grateful for all that I have and to not take things for granted. I specifically felt this way during my homestay. My homestay family was always so positive and happy, even with the little that they had. For me, this was really inspirational, because in the West we have so much compared to your average Nepali person, and yet Westerners are some of the most unhappy people. I hope that from this experience I can take home a sense of gratitude for everything that I have around me.

In Nepal, I found an incredible community of close friends. I dived head-first into new and completely different scenarios for me and found myself finding comfort in these places. I connected with a homestay family in a way I have never felt before as we communicated through so much more than words. I trekked through the Himalayan mountains and saw unreal landscapes that cannot be captured with a camera. In Nepal, I furthered my discovery in finding myself and who I want to be in life. I continued to wake up and see the world, myself, and those around me in new lights.

In Nepal, I had deep conversations with my fellow travelers that allowed me to reflect on my intentions and commitments in life. I had incredibly meaningful dreams that shed light on the person I want to be, prompted by my readings about peace, teachings, and conversations I’ve had the past month. I fasted for 36 hours against all of my hesitations and mental questioning. I thought deeply about vows and the person I want to aspire to be, and I figured it out. I expanded my mind, I fell in love with Mother Nature, and felt inspired by talks about development, sustainability, equality, and compassion and contemplated my place & responsibilities in the world.

In Nepal, I found myself and a sense of deep-rooted love and gratitude. I found the ability to appreciate the way in which humans interact with one another and their environment. I found mindfulness and a new worldview that blossomed from deep discussion, emotional conversations, and exploration.

In Nepal, I traveled. I saw the world through eyes I didn’t know I had.
In Nepal, I learned. I heard stories and poems ,participated in discussions, solved riddles and became part of a community.
In Nepal, I grew. I learned what it meant to disconnect from the world and connect with myself.
In Nepal, I lived.

In Nepal, I have seen villages and cities without wealth, but not poor. these places have a cultural vivacity that I have never experienced in America, where our cities, New York or Chicago or Vegas, all pulse & buzz with energy & motion, always searching for something that it can’t quite understand; Kathmandu hums with a different kind of energy. It has a history & culture rich with tradition. It is secure with itself. It knows when to take a breath. I have also discovered a possible new religion. Hinduism teaches many beliefs that I personally hold in the duality of nature & man, the necessity of creation & destruction, and the duality and ultimate destruction of the ego. I have found, in Nepal, the beginning of a path towards self-growth & reflection, a path I truly believe I could only find in the land filled with Sherpas & daal bhat.

 

As I leave Nepal, I want you to know...

As I leave Nepal, I want you to know that I’m excited to see everyone and to come back and share all of the deeply profound experiences that have allowed me to learn and grow as much as I did. I want you to know that I’d love to talk and share with anyone who’s interested in knowing. I want you to know that I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity and all that it has allowed me to learn.

As I leave Nepal, I want you to know that I have forged connections to both places and people that will never be broken - connections that will be kept strong through continued communication and hopeful re-visits.

As I leave Nepal, I want you to know that these past four weeks have given me a new outlook on life. Through my time here in Nepal I have experienced so many amazing things that I don’t think I would be able to experience elsewhere. By being immersed in a culture that is completely different from my own. I’ve been able to learn so much about Nepal and its people.

As I leave Nepal, I want you to know that I am afraid.
Of not feeling understood when returning home.
Of not living every day with these incredible people.
Of losing sight of the immense inner beauty and values I possess.
Of letting fears and anxieties prevent me from doing what I know I need and want with my life.

As I leave Nepal, I want you to know... coming back is going to be scary. I miss the comforts of home so little, but I do miss the people so much. I’ve become accustomed to squatting and wiping with my hand, engaging with Nepali people and not feeling like and outsider, and being my complete, true self with the people I’m with. I have been thinking critically & deeply about my actions and path in life, something that time isn’t made for at home. I’m scared I won’t be able to bring everything I’ve learned into my old life.

As I leave Nepal, I want you to know how grateful I am to have received the opportunity to explore the beauty, cultural richness, and natural vibrance that is Nepal. I want you to know that I have seen (on so many varying occasions) how people interact with their environments, communities, and traditions, and found beauty in each interaction. I want you to know that I express emotion and gratitude in a different way than I used to. I want you to know how thankful I am to have found a piece of myself in Nepal.

As I leave Nepal, I want you to know how much I’ve learned. I’ve learned thanks to my many interactions with so many amazing people, and thanks to everything I have seen and experience. I will be bringing back with me so many stories and so many memories that I can’t wait to share with you.

As I leave Nepal, I want you to know that Nepal is not what I expected, but probably what I needed.
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SUMMER: Nepal A

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Thoughts from the group as we transition

The Nepal Student Group,SUMMER: Nepal A

Description

On our final full day in Nepal, we explored Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, a jumble of narrow alleyways through ancient architecture, medieval courtyards, and expertly-made crafts. This is the center of Nepal’s vibrant culture of artisans. We asked students to sit in this powerful place and complete two thoughts to share with families to help us […]

Posted On

07/27/16

Author

The Nepal Student Group

Category

SUMMER: Nepal A

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-26 16:05:52
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-26 22:05:52
    [post_content] => Dear Nepal Students & Families,

Nepal summer program 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:

July 27th, 2016

Etihad Airways #293

Depart: Kathmandu (KTM) 9:30 PM

EY 293 will make a scheduled stop in Lucknow for a brief refueling.

Arrive: (Abu Dhabi) AUH 12:45 AM (July 28th)

 

July 28th, 2016

Etihad Airways #103

Depart: Abu Dhabi (AUH) 3:35 AM

Arrive: New York (JFK) 9:35 AM

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,

Dragons Administration
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SUMMER: Nepal A, SUMMER: Nepal B

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Return Travel Information

Eva Vanek,SUMMER: Nepal A, SUMMER: Nepal B

Description

Dear Nepal Students & Families, Nepal summer program 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: July 27th, 2016 Etihad Airways […]

Posted On

07/26/16

Author

Eva Vanek

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2016-07-25 11:36:31
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-25 17:36:31
    [post_content] => "Karmola, come here!" My Didi yells out my Nepali name. I have just finished my quick and cold bucket shower in our little bathroom stall. Out here in Alegaun, a rural Nepalese village, having an enclosed wash area is quite the luxury. Many people just wash at the public tap, a spicket of free-flowing water.

Didi wants me to come to her so she can dress me in one of her old saris. We aren't just playing dress up though; we are getting ready to attend a traditional Himalayan wedding. After pushing me into the central room of our mud house, Didi and Ama begin thrusting fabric at me, chattering away in Nepalese. I only pick up the odd word however, partly because I have only been speaking the language for two weeks and partly because I am too preoccupied with the colorful cloth being pushed into my arms. They finally settle on a small scrap of black velvet and point towards my chest.

"Put on." They gesture to me in a mix of broken english and hand gestures.

"This?" I hold up the fuzzy dish towel they have handed me. Upon closer inspection, I discover that there are two arm holes in this crop top to shame all crop tops. Taking off my pajama shirt, I try to stuff my limbs into it. Nepalese people are much smaller in stature than the average American. The difference in our sizes is readily apparent in my struggle with the velveteen. The three quarter sleeves barely pull onto my forearms. After a three person struggle, I begin perspiring. I actually begin pouring sweat because not only was I trying to stuff my size two arms into the size one casing, it is also 90 degrees and humid. We force the buttons closed and Hallelujah! I am encased.

A few other girls in my group also fight their way into tops and we all tie on our colorful underskirts made of heavy cotton. A few Amas and Didis start grabbing the long sari fabric and begin the drawn out process of wrapping us into the patterened silk. There is, however, a disagreement about how to do it. Whenever one woman finishes tying it up, an Ama comes along and redoes it, huffing under her breath.

Drums begin playing in the distance, our sign that the procession has started and we need to get our butts into high gear. Once I am finished, Didi all but throws me out of the door onto the porch.

"Jannus, jannus. It start." Hiking up my skirt and throwing on my flip flops, I head up to the classroom and meet the rest of the group.

The wedding is in a neighboring village and the only way to get there is walking on some chiplo bato, slippery roads. With all the girls in saris and sandals, it is a long and treacherous hike. One of us falls into a maize field, but she is fine. And after about twenty minutes, we arrive.

When we get there, the ceremony is in full swing. The bride and groom sit under a tarp. The bride, a girl of about 18, sits in a glorious red veil with a solemn expression. This is the first time she will live away from home, so she must look sad to leave her parents. But she can't look too sad or else she will insult her future husband. While the groom, also a teenager, sits next to her. He looks a strange mixture of proud and bored, a combination that only a cocky teenage boy can acheive. Because the space is small and for fear of coming off as gawky white tourists exoticizing a traditional ceremony, we shuffle away.

After finding a shady spot big enough to fit all 14 of us, we begin eating. The host villagers pass us plates and plates of delicious smelling food; coconut rice, fried roti, and vegetables dripping in oil and spice. It's a nice break from our usual dhalbhat, a lentil and white rice dish. We stuff our faces and before you know it, the drums beat once more. And so, we dance!

The guests crowd around a small circle where a man in a white wifebeater twists and twirls with the grace of a drunk uncle. He sweats pure raksi. In an odd juxtaposition, the crowd hold up smartphones and even full on-the-shoulder video recorders. Even this remote village in the middle of the Himalayas is not free from the far-reaching grasp of Apple and Samsung. By some providence, a few of us find ourselves pushed into the middle of this ring. The crowd yell "dance" with their eyes, remaining mostly silent. I feel like a zoo animal being poked to performance. However, I am an American. Bravado runs through my veins. And so, I dance.

The basics of Nepalese wedding dance, as it has been laid out to us, are hand gestures and twirling. At least for the women. The men, as Jonathan discovers, are not supposed to raise their hands above their heads. There is also this great dance where they freeze at a specific sonic cue. Jonathan has a natural talent for it and becomes the life of the party. We dance for almost 20 songs before we force ourselves out of the circle. 20 songs come out to be only about 15 minutes. The songs, a repetitive mix of drums and horns that abruptly get faster in the middle, last only 45 seconds each. In that time, though, you are expected to get down.

During the breather we interact with the local children. We break the ice by taking their pictures. Technology really bridges all gaps. They warm up to us and begin asking things in a mix of broken english and nepali. They sing us a traditional song of Nepal and in response we sing them "Jingle Bells", a traditional song of America. Another bridge between cultures is, of course, dance. And so, we dance and dance and dance. Whenever we try to take a break, the little ones drag us back in. They grab my hands and lead me in a quick foot movement where we almost touch the inner edges of our feet. Jonathan, ever the life of the party, dances even more than the rest, sometimes by himself. Needless to say, they all love him. Eventually, the instructors gesture for us to get in our last dance. After the girls pout at our imminent departure, they ask to write down their phone numbers and offer their bedrooms for sleep-overs. These girls, who we met less than two hours before, offer their homes and lives to us; another shining example of the comradery and overall friendliness of Nepalese people.

We, full of dance and joy, begin the precarious trek back to Alegaun and away from my first and hopefully not last Himalayan wedding.
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My First Himalayan Wedding

Alex Shook,SUMMER: Nepal A

Description

“Karmola, come here!” My Didi yells out my Nepali name. I have just finished my quick and cold bucket shower in our little bathroom stall. Out here in Alegaun, a rural Nepalese village, having an enclosed wash area is quite the luxury. Many people just wash at the public tap, a spicket of free-flowing water. […]

Posted On

07/25/16

Author

Alex Shook

Category

SUMMER: Nepal A

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    [post_content] => 7 Ways To eat a mango

1) The way I used to eat it at home: peel with a knife and then slice. Rating: a ton of work and wastes some mango, also need a cutting board and kife, hands get really messy. One star.

2) Slice the sides off with a knife and then cut across the mango so you get little cubes that you eat off the peel. Rating: also a lot of work and you need a knife and plate. And napkins. Kinda fun to eat though. Two stars.

3) Peel the skin off with your fingers then eat it like an apple. Only works with the right mango, also can get really messy. This is a risky situation as the mango is really slippery. At Namo Buddha the monastery I had saved this amazing mango for when I broke my fast. After 36 hours of only water, I brought the mango up to the rooftop in the morning and peeled it with my fingers, so excited to eat this juicy mango as I looked at the breathtaking Himalayas and enjoyed life. Suddenly the mango slipped out of my hands and fell onto a platform a couple feet down off the side of the roof. Awesome. Thought about it for about 20 seconds but decided it was worth it so I hooked my food into a bench and leaned my entire body off the roof. Grabbed the mango. Fantastic decision. Two stars.

4) Bite into the mango, skin and all. Then chew it so you get all the fruit, then spit the skin out. To be honest, I have never tried this one myself; we saw a little girl in Alegaun, our homestay village, do it. It should only be done with organic, local mangoes though because of pesticides in the skin. One star.

5) Slice like an avocado. Once you've separated it into two halves, slice to create little cubes and then eat the cubes off the skin like in method 2. Creds to my girl Olivia Sotirchos for this one; I had never seen this before this trip! Requires cutting tools and is really messy. Two stars

6) Slice in half like an avocado, but don't split them apart. Then, peel back the skin on each side with your fingers. You need a knife but no cutting board, but will get really messy. Three stars.

7) The most enlightening way. The mango needs to be really ripe, far squishier than something I would have picked out at the grocery store. Then, massage the mango firmly for a minute all over so that the fruit moves around inside. Bite the top off, and then suck the mango out like a squeezable applesauce! You don't need any tools, napkins, or plates, and your hands don't get sticky! Taught to us a couple days ago by Swami-gi here at the Aurobindo Ashram, this has revolutionized how I'll eat mangoes. On our first day here at the Ashram, we had a session with Swami-gi, the spiritual man in charge, and he told us his life story along with the philosophy of well-rounded education, care, attention, engagement and love that he fosters here. The energy and vibes at the ashram are like nothing I've ever experienced. With around 200 people here, there are always games and activities going on. I learned that many of the children had been saved from horrible situations in orphanages, on the street, or even human trafficking. The amount of kindness, generosity, and spirit that radiates from people's souls here is more than moving. The little girls yell my name and call me over to teach me a dance, and the girls who cook for us always smile as they bring us their delicious, vegetarian, organic food that they've grown and cooked on this property. Every evening, the community gets together for singing and chanting or meditation. At the first night's chanting, I was so astonished at the mindfulness and attention of the children that it brought tears to my eyes. As the room vibrated with drums, guitar, harmonium and a collection of voices chanting rhythmically and spiritually in Sanskrit, the young children closed their eyes and swayed. I thought about what sort of neglect or abuse this beautiful girl who looked about 5 might have endured, but she chose to be present, compassionate, and alive with hope as I watched her chant the mantra with her hands in a namaste prayer position. The beauty of the music and collective support, smiles, and peaceful being is something I will never forget. I am so utterly in love with this place. Never before in my life have I visited somewhere for such a short time but felt so connected and attached. The thought of leaving here in 2 days gives me a pit in my stomach.

As I chanted last night, finally picking up on some of the words, I saw Olivia swaying and clapping with her eyes closed. I then did the same and found a big smile immediately emerging on my face. I found deep gratitude for my life and everything that had gotten me to this moment. Bella saw me getting into the music, so she did the same, and then other people saw and were inspired by her. The energy of engagement, dropping all concepts of weirdness and judgement spread within the group. The happiness I feel here is something so deep and unexplainable. It's not the first type of happiness (referencing the TED talk "the new era of positive psychology") that comes from pleasureful, fun moments of passing laughter. These bring happiness in the moment, but don't carry a lasting impact during the rest of the day. This is the type of happiness I'm used to feeling at home- the feeling of getting a good grade that feels fantastic for an hour but doesn't sustain me during my neutral or downhill parts of life. This happiness is important, but the main contributor to overall fulfillment is the third kind. On this trip, I've found the third type of happiness as well as the first. The type of happiness that leads to lifelong fulfillment and joy even during moments when I'm not doing something "fun". Here at the Aurobindo Ashram in Nepal, I have found true meaning. And that's the best way to eat a mango.

xoxox Lila
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SUMMER: Nepal A

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The 7 Ways to Eat a Mango

Lila Brady,SUMMER: Nepal A

Description

7 Ways To eat a mango 1) The way I used to eat it at home: peel with a knife and then slice. Rating: a ton of work and wastes some mango, also need a cutting board and kife, hands get really messy. One star. 2) Slice the sides off with a knife and then […]

Posted On

07/25/16

Author

Lila Brady

Category

SUMMER: Nepal A

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-25 11:30:58
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    [post_content] => I think I was six or seven years old when I first heard the quote, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again". This quote hints at the imminent nature of failure in any life situation. Oftentimes, I find that it's hard to address failure or to honor it as a component that is so deeply intrinsic within one's journey to success- whatever that success may be.

I have heard the cliche-sounding "you must fail before you succeed" reiterated by teachers, coaches, job supervisors and counselors alike- probably a couple hundred times at this point. Despite hearing this statement so often, I never truly felt as if its message had a place or profound application in my life- until now, three weeks into our adventure in Nepal. I now realize that by being dropped into a very unfamiliar environment and having to rapidly adapt, you are bound to fail along the way. Since we only have a few days left on our adventure (a fact that I'm finding extremely hard to stomach), I feel as if now is the proper time to reflect on some of my experiences.

The first situation in which I failed during this trip- a mere 3 days in- is when I attempted to eat daal bhaat with my hands for the first time. To myself, I thought "oh, this can't be that hard", but then the daal began to seep through my fingers and drip onto my chin. I had failed...at eating? At that moment, I could have asked for a spoon and quit, but I decided to just roll with it and attempt to eat as the Nepali people do. Three weeks later, I'm happy to say that I can successfully get the food from my plate to my mouth (and the daal stains have been scrubbed out of all of my clothing).

I recognize that failing at eating daal bhaat is a pretty surface-level example of how success has blossomed out of failure for me during this trip. A deeper, more concrete example of this falls within the category of vulnerability and stepping outside my comfort zone- two concepts that we discussed during our initial days here in Nepal.

I admit that meeting new people and social interaction of that sort is not my absolute greatest strength (nor my greatest weakness). In the initial few days of this trip, it was odd to move outside of my comfort zone and find my space in a completely new group of people who live everywhere from Belgium to Maine to Texas and many places in between. It was awkward to fumble with these people in conversation and to attempt to build this "safe container" the instructors were intent on building. To be honest, I didn't initially see the purpose of many of the activities and discussions we engaged in during orientation and thought this "safe container" was a strange way to force expression amongst the group.

Nonetheless, during orientation there were moments in which I completely failed at communicating with the group. I felt like an awkward baby animal of sorts - fumbling to extend my limbs and create friendships with each and every person. At one point in time during the first 2 days, I felt as if I didn't really need to reach out to everyone, after all, we did only have 30 days together. As I contemplated being complacent with only a few friendships in the group, something inside pushed me to continue to reach out and grow - as strange and awkward as it initially felt, despite the failure in communication I had previously experienced.

I couldn't be more thankful for the awkward moments of relationship failure during those initial few days. I can't believe how close I have become with these nine people. I've found friends who I can confide in, sharing things that 90 percent of my friends at home don't even know about me, people who I can laugh about the most peculiar things with, and those who hold the same passions and interests as I do. The "safe container" I had laughed at during the first two days of the course turned out to be an outlet for social "failure" out of which grew the beginnings of some of the most beautiful and complex friendships. I'd call that success.

In my opinion, moments of failure have created many of the best memories out of which later came success. One night in our Alegaun homestay, I exclaimed to my amma "thakaai laagyo!" (I'm tired) instead of "vok laagyo!" (I'm hungry) upon her bringing me a heaping plate of food. She slapped her thigh and laughed, and I stood there with a huge smile on my face- confident in my Nepali - until I realized what I had said. *Groan* In retrospect, moments like that (there were definitely a few more language slip-ups) taught me to listen more closely to conversations within my homestay family and really try to learn how to converse with others during my time in Nepal- which I truly believe I was successful in based on how much I have learned and am able to interact with those around me.

The specific moments I've shared are just examples of the few times I've failed on this journey. I failed to mention in detail the first time I milked a cow and missed the pail, the first time I attempted to roll roti into a circle (my amma laughed at that atrocity), and many other experiences that, through practice, have turned into newfound skills of mine! I am so grateful for these experiences that have helped shape my worldview as a global citizen, curious student and mindful traveler.

The idea for this note was originally conceived about a week ago as myself and my instructor Claire, giggling, took a few slips down an extremely chiplo bato (slippery road) on the mountain as we walked down from our homestay village. This, in my eyes, was the pinnacle of physical failure. Sure, slipping down a steep mountain with a massive backpack on your shoulders is no fun, but I found it ironic that we both instinctively laughed at our failure to stay on two feet versus being embarrassed by it. As we shrugged it off and continued on our journey, making it to our final destination of the day, I couldn't help but consider the relationship between what I consider my "successes" of the trip and the road that led me to them.

Based on my experiences within these past few weeks, I know that the link between failure and success is, for lack of better words, interdependent and unbreakable. Now, I am confident that those cliche quotes I mentioned in the beginning are undoubtedly correct.

Nepal, thank you for giving me space to learn firsthand that I must fail before I succeed.
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Failure is inextricably linked to success

Olivia Sotirchos,SUMMER: Nepal A

Description

I think I was six or seven years old when I first heard the quote, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. This quote hints at the imminent nature of failure in any life situation. Oftentimes, I find that it’s hard to address failure or to honor it as a component that is […]

Posted On

07/25/16

Author

Olivia Sotirchos

Category

SUMMER: Nepal A

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-21 10:16:39
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    [post_content] => Holla! This one's for you mom and dad. Thank you for financing this trip, I love you guys so much!

We are currently at an ashram and it is really cool here. When I'm not sleeping on my heavenly Nepali tempurpedic matress (a wooden plank with a sheet over it), I am taking all these cool classes. Today I took a class on learning how to make prayer bead necklaces- not to brag, but I'm pretty sure I was a proffesional mala beader in a past life. Then I worked on my Independent Study Project (ISP), I decided to do Aruyvedic Medicine. I am learning different ways to heal the human body with non-traditional medicine. We learned to feel the wrist and determine what parts of your body are working well and what parts aren't.

Today my teacher, Benita, took me into the jungle to collect different plants and taught me their purposes (if you guys are having severe leg pain, hit me up, I got you covered). It's fun, but it's at such a fast pace most of the time I was running behind trying to scribble out notes and draw and collect the plants while hiking up a mountain. Experiential learning to the max. haha.

Yesterday I learned about all the imbalances in the body and how to cure them. There are 3 primary imbalances, vata (your lower body), pitta (the abdomen) and kapha (your chest and up). You can determine where problems are occuring by looking at body structures. I would write the medicinal cures to some of these problems but the names and measurements are crazy and weird, it feels a bit like being in Snape's potion class. She doesn't only give solutions to illnesses, but also teaches that when a daily routine is deliberate, timed and managed, life is good.

It has been really fun here, but I think a huge highlight of the trip so far has been the homestay. I stayed with Lila in a bright blue house that overlooked all of Walling. We had a "grandmother", a "mother", and a "little brother" living with us. We helped plant rice, take care of the children, cook and clean. I was amazed at what these people have to do on a day to day basis! Most women have husbands who are working outside of Nepal and sending money in, so tasks that two parents would have done, the wife is now soley responsible for. A single mother has to get up, cook, shower, milk and feed the animals, get her child up, dressed fed and cleaned. She had to walk him to school on a very steep mountain, then go and work on the rice farm and do manual labor in the hot sun, all day. Next she picks her son up from school and walks, yet again, up a steep and slippery mountain, feed him, clean the house and do laundry. At night she prepares and cooks dinner, feeds and milks the livestock, gets her child to bed and then cooked for us. It was crazy, her day seems endless and she does it every day of the year. I only did a small portion of a few of those tasks and I was exhausted.

While we were at the homestay we also got to go to a wedding- an arranged marraige- and we all dressed up in traditional clothing. We danced a lot, everyone was laughing and recording us, I don't even want to think about how many different social media accounts I am now on #famous. It was so, so hot, we were all dripping in sweat, Jonathon's shirt was a much darker shade of blue then it was when we first got there. All in all, we had a lot of fun and it was cool to experience life as a villager in Alegaun.

Anyways, I have a ton more stories to tell you but I will save them so we have good dinner convo. I apologize for my writing being so poor; as you know I haven't been feeling so well. (But I'm on the up and up!) I hope your summer is going well, I look forward to seeing you next week.
Peace Homies!
Love,
Kira
    [post_title] => At Long Last - A Field Note!
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At Long Last – A Field Note!

Kira Warm Lonsdale,SUMMER: Nepal A

Description

Holla! This one’s for you mom and dad. Thank you for financing this trip, I love you guys so much! We are currently at an ashram and it is really cool here. When I’m not sleeping on my heavenly Nepali tempurpedic matress (a wooden plank with a sheet over it), I am taking all these […]

Posted On

07/21/16

Author

Kira Warm Lonsdale

Category

SUMMER: Nepal A

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Photos from Nepal A

Luis Alvarado,SUMMER: Nepal A

Description

Posted On

07/20/16

Author

Luis Alvarado

Category

SUMMER: Nepal A

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