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    [post_content] => Connecting with your Dragons group: The information below has either been mailed to you (if you live in the US) or sent digitally via email if you live outside the US. Posting it here as well for easy access!

For Students Arriving by Air: • Please arrive by 8:00 PM on June 27th. Proceed to baggage claim and gather your bags. There is a free airport shuttle that will transport you directly to the Howard Johnson Inn from the JFK airport terminal once you arrive. To catch this shuttle, please take the JFK AirTrain to the Federal Circle Stop and use the provided phone to request shuttle pick up. The address for the hotel is: 153-95 Rockaway Blvd Jamaica, NY 11434 • Your instructors and fellow students will be wearing Dragons t-shirts and awaiting your arrival.

For Students arriving by Car: • Please arrive by 6:30 AM on June 28th. Meet in the hotel lobby of the Howard Johnson Inn Jamaica JFK Airport NYC (153-95 Rockaway Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11434). Your instructors and fellow students will be wearing their Dragons t-shirts and awaiting your arrival.

If You Have Trouble Finding Your Dragons Group Should you have trouble locating the rest of the group, please call our central Boulder office. We will be on call to help you connect with the group: • During normal business hours (M-F 8:30-5:30, MDT), call 303.413.0822 • After hours, please call 303.921.6078
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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A, SUMMER: Nepal - Group B

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Travel Day Reminder!

Hilary LeBlanc,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A, SUMMER: Nepal - Group B

Description

Connecting with your Dragons group: The information below has either been mailed to you (if you live in the US) or sent digitally via email if you live outside the US. Posting it here as well for easy access! For Students Arriving by Air: • Please arrive by 8:00 PM on June 27th. Proceed to […]

Posted On

06/5/17

Author

Hilary LeBlanc

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    [post_content] => Hello everyone! My name is Posy and I could not be more excited to be joining you all in Nepal. I'm 18 years old and just graduated from high school in sunny San Diego, although I grew up in significantly-less-sunny Chicago. I love film, theater, history, literature, comedy, and rock-climbing. I also like to dance and paint, although I'm not very good at either of those things! I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and I'd like to learn how to meditate and cook some traditional food. I'm also looking forward to the beautiful scenery and time for introspection before I'm off to college! I'm a bit nervous about the trekking, because I've never gone on a trek or very long hike, and I hope I'm in good enough shape!

Enthusiastically,

Posy
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Intro!

Posy Stoller,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

Hello everyone! My name is Posy and I could not be more excited to be joining you all in Nepal. I’m 18 years old and just graduated from high school in sunny San Diego, although I grew up in significantly-less-sunny Chicago. I love film, theater, history, literature, comedy, and rock-climbing. I also like to dance and paint, although […]

Posted On

06/4/17

Author

Posy Stoller

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    [post_content] => 

Namaste Fellow Adventurers and Dragons Community!

We are excited to introduce you to the tentative itinerary for your Nepal Summer course! Your Instructor Team (aka I-Team) -- Aditya, Rishi, and Christine -- have been busy collaborating to create a meaningful, transformative, and challenging course for you and we are thrilled to share with you the general itinerary, as well as the overall structure of our course.

The framework of the four weeks we will spend together is guided by three interdependent core values: Global Citizenship, Awareness of Self, and Leadership. These core values, together with the three phases of our course, serve as the overall framework for our entire time together and are carefully considered when planning each destination, activity, and discussion. The three phases of our course are: Preparation and Skill Acquisition, where we set intentions for our course, develop skills so we can learn and thrive in Nepal, and build a strong, cohesive group; Experience and Practice, where we continue to develop these skills and put them into action, enabling us to connect deeper with the local community and continue to reflect on our personal and group intentions, and Expedition and Transference, where the students (you!) take ownership for your learning experience, have increased leadership responsibilities, and put your skills into practice.

Please keep in mind that the itinerary below is tentative. As we live and learn with each other in the heart of the Kathmandu Valley, we have to be flexible to seize learning opportunities as they present themselves and make room to deepen our experience and meet our shared goals. We encourage you to start setting intentions and thinking about your own visions and goals so you can take ownership over your experience during our time together.

************

Our first few days together will be spent in Bhaktapur, a beautiful and ancient Newari town on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Here we will take some time for Orientation – settling into our magical surroundings, and learning about place and culture. This will also be the time that we start to get to know each other and the group, our nomadic family. During these first few days we will start gathering the tools and knowledge that we will need to engage with this journey with confidence and respect. Our orientation in Bhaktapur will also include excursions to nearby temples and historical sites, and perhaps a short hike or two! Bhaktapur is rich in culture and history, and we’ll observe artisans at work on their pottery, weaving, and woodworking as we stroll through the narrow streets and explore the lovely Durbar square.

After Orientation we will stay in an ashram community called Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir – a wonderful place which is at once an organic farm, a shelter for the vulnerable, and a retreat center. We will get the chance to do yoga, learn from spiritual teachers, and understand the nature of “sewa” (service) by contributing what we can to the community. As the ashram is a center for the arts and culture, we will also engage with Independent Study Projects here, with options to deepen our knowledge on topics such as dancing, weaving and traditional medicine.

We will then depart the ashram on a short trek for stretching our legs and vision. We will be trekking the beautiful hills around the Kathmandu Valley – which will be lush during monsoon season – walking during the day with everything we need on our backs and staying in small teahouses at night. Our trek will end when we walk through the hilltop monastery of Namobuddha, one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Nepal, where we hope to spend the night and briefly live alongside the hundreds of monks that stay there, gaining insight into their lives structured around a routine of teaching and meditation.

We will then travel into rural Nepal, to a beautiful Gurung village named Balamchaur. Located in the Annapurna Conservation Area, we’ll spend our days learning from our homestay families, participating in daily village life, and learning what it means to have a sustainable lifestyle. Following our time in Kathmandu Valley, we’ll relocate to a rural village, where we’ll spend time participating in daily life.

After this peaceful break we’ll be prepared to descend into the chaos of the city for our urban homestay in the medieval city of Patan. We’ll navigate the cobbled streets and ancient temples, and stay with Newari artisan families. Every day will be a new learning journey as we explore the city together, do excursions to see the sites, and listen to outside speakers come and tell their stories. -

Our final few days together, Transference, are dedicated to looking back at the passage we have taken, as well as forward, towards home. We will spend time focusing on synthesis, integration, preparation, and celebration. We will visit Boudha, and amongst the giant white stupa, butter lamps, and pilgrims, say our final goodbyes and begin our journey home.

We hope you are excited as we are for our upcoming journey! Your I-team is looking forward to meeting you all and setting out on a journey into the life, culture, and landscape of the Himalayas.

Please now take the time to introduce yourself on this Yak board and keep checking it regularly for introductions from your fellow adventurers and preparatory updates from your I-team. We will be posting some more messages to get you thinking about the journey ahead soon!

Blessings,

   

Aditya, Rishi, and Christine

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Our Tentative Itinerary

Christine Megariotis,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

Namaste Fellow Adventurers and Dragons Community! We are excited to introduce you to the tentative itinerary for your Nepal Summer course! Your Instructor Team (aka I-Team) — Aditya, Rishi, and Christine — have been busy collaborating to create a meaningful, transformative, and challenging course for you and we are thrilled to share with you the […]

Posted On

06/2/17

Author

Christine Megariotis

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    [post_date] => 2017-06-01 21:20:46
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    [post_content] => 

Hello Students,

The time is drawing nearer to our trip and we hope you are getting as excited as we are to embark on this exciting experience in Nepal! We know that your mind is probably abuzz with a million questions and one of the biggest ones is – What on Earth do I pack for a month in a country I have never been to? Never fear! In addition to the detailed packing list in your Nepal Course Preparation Manual (please take the time to reference this if you haven’t already), we instructors would like to highlight a few important points and items to make packing easier.

Each participant will also get a phone call from one of the instructors a few weeks before the trip, to answer any questions you have about the trip, and about packing. If you’d like to ask it sooner, post a public yak with your question. Chances are if you have a packing question, someone else in the group has the same one!

Overall, LESS IS MORE! It is very important that you can fit all of your belongings into one backpack and that you can carry it on your own. Pack up your backpack and walk a few blocks – how does it feel? Is there anything you can downsize or do without? Sure, all those travel size toiletries are small, those books are thin, and the extra pants you packed don’t take up too much space, but remember - Ounces make pounds, and pounds make pain! Keep in mind you may also want extra room in your backpack so you can fill it with mementos for your friends and family back home.

Notes on Weather/Gear/Clothing

Our trip will take place during monsoon season in Nepal. This means the hills will be lush and green and we will likely witness some stunning downpours. Temperatures will be warm most of the time (70-90 F) and we hope for plenty of sun, but it is likely to rain for at least a few hours most days, which can bring with it a chill.

Make sure you bring the following GEAR to keep you dry:

  • ·      Backpack rain cover – Make sure this fits properly around your bag
  • ·      Large plastic trash bag  - To line the INSIDE of your pack and keep your belongings dry
  • ·      Rain gear – A good rain jacket or poncho. A packable umbrella is also useful. We will be doing a short 2-3 day trek, so you don’t need top-notch and pricey rain gear, but you do want to stay dry and comfortable.
  • ·      It is best to bring CLOTHING that is light and quick-dry (so denim jeans are not that practical!!), light layers to help warm you up or cool you down as the weather changes, and nothing that you don’t want getting muddy! There will be opportunities to hand-wash your laundry, but you’ll be happiest with clothing that doesn’t easily show dirt. Your clothing should also be culturally-appropriate, so please do not bring tight pants/leggings, low-cut shirts, or shirts that show your shoulders. We are going into a more conservative culture than many of you are used to. In order to immerse ourselves in the society and make good relationships with the community, we do our best to adhere to local standards of dress. We will address culturally appropriate dress and behavior in great depth throughout our program, but a very basic way to show our respect for the local culture is to dress modestly.
  • ·      As for SHOES, a lightweight hiking boot/shoe that you would be comfortable hiking in or walking through the streets of Himalayan villages will do just fine. There is no need for a heavy-duty hiking boot as our trek will be short and in a warm and possibly wet climate. We also recommend a pair of sandals for daily use that your feet will be comfy in. Regardless of which shoes you choose to bring, make sure you break them in ahead of time to avoid blisters!

Medicines & Health

  • ·      As we are sure you are aware, staying healthy in Nepal will require more vigilance than in the US, so we would like to provide you with some thoughts on staying healthy this summer. We will be discussing these issues in much more depth when we are all together, but there are a few preventative medicines/supplements you may want to consider bringing with you to give your system a boost and to reduce the chances of getting sick. These are only suggestions – none of these are at all essential
  • ·      Here are a few ideas… Pro-Biotics Echinacea or Airborne to fight off colds Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) – acts like a natural antibiotic (nutribiotic) Activated Charcoal – acts to absorb bacteria and toxins in the intestines
  • ·      There is no need to bring OTC medications as the Instructor team carries a hefty and well-stocked medical kit on course. However, please make sure you bring enough of any prescription medications you need for the entire trip.
  • ·      In terms of keeping your hands clean, you may be tempted to bring some antibacterial hand gel with you. You are welcome to do so, but bear in mind that using this is not an adequate alternative to washing your hands! Instead, a TRAVEL BAR OF SOAP is a useful thing to pack in your day bag.
  • ·      Other than briefly travelling through on the way to our village stay, none of the program will take place in malarial areas. We ourselves will not be taking any malaria prophylaxis but defer to you to discuss with your travel doctor on what is best for you. For additional information here is a link to advice on malaria from the most reputable clinic in Nepal. http://ciwec-clinic.com/health-information/malaria-advice-for-travelers-to-nepal/. There will be mosquitoes at this time of year though, so INSECT REPELLANT can be useful. We have found that the natural kind, with citronella, is effective and not so harsh on your skin or the environment as the chemical kinds!
  • ·      For our female students, we recommend bringing a good supply of TAMPONS as they can be hard to find in Nepal. Pads are available in cities, but we recommend that you bring your own supply as well. Another alternative is to look into a menstrual cup e.g. Diva Cup/Moon Cup, as these can be great alternatives too and reduce waste, which can be awkward to get rid of in a homestay setting. We highly recommend the Diva cup (but you must be comfortable using it prior to the trip). Don’t be shy asking your instructors about them!
Etc.
  • ·      4 Passport Photos – You will need 2 passport photos for immigration and 2 more for tourist passes in some locations
  • ·      2 Water Bottles – ideally one can hold hot water or tea as we’ll be drinking that a lot in the village
  • ·      Journal – one you will love writing in!
  • ·      A good book  - we recommend paper books over an e-reader. Not only will it not break or lose battery, but you can swap it with other members of the group.
  • ·      Travel games/Cards/Instruments – bring anything to add some fun!
  • ·      Photos of home/family/friends – past students have brought small albums to share with homestay families and new Nepali friends. Pictures are wonderful conversation starters.
  • We know that was a lot of information we just threw at you, but it’s our hope that it will making packing a piece of cake for you. And again, please let your instructors know if you have any questions.

Your Yak Board!

This board belongs to us, and we hope to cultivate some lively discussion here. This starts NOW! Please take the time to introduce yourself – who you are, what you are most excited about, and what you hope to get out of this course. Also, as you make you preparations, please direct any questions about packing or final logistics here and one of the instructors will get back to you as soon as we can.

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Pro Packing Tips

Christine Megariotis,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

Hello Students, The time is drawing nearer to our trip and we hope you are getting as excited as we are to embark on this exciting experience in Nepal! We know that your mind is probably abuzz with a million questions and one of the biggest ones is – What on Earth do I pack […]

Posted On

06/1/17

Author

Christine Megariotis

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    [post_date] => 2017-05-18 14:55:09
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    [post_content] => 

Namaste Dear Sathi haru,

Let me introduce myself with excitement as I await for an epic journey that we’ll be taking together. I am Rishi Bhandari, a human being born and raised in this land called Nepal. I was born in the western mountains of Nepal, migrated to the southern plains and raised in the central mountains.

 My first big impression of this place as a country came when in kindergarten (we used to love acronyms then) we were asked the full form of NEPAL. We were all looking at each other confused and the teacher said, “Never Ending Peace And Love.”  Since then, to find the place of validity of this acronym has been my endeavor and frankly, Nepal has not disappointed.

My journey as educator started quite early in my life as some of my students recall me writing on the board standing on a chair because I could barely reach the bottom half of the board. Over the course of time, I have always been fascinated by what actually educates us and what we think educates us.

I grew up in a sustainable community (Ashram) in the southern hills of Kathmandu. At the community I lived with 100 people sharing the same food, sharing work, tending plants and cows together, learning from each other, singing together and meditating together. My journey with Dragons started at the community where I first met a semester group. I was impressed by the entire team and also by the name :). I had a chance to spend some time with few other groups of Dragons and the more I got to know, the more I felt that it resonated with my vision.

As I write this introductory Yak, I cannot help but feel honored to be working with people seeking inspiration and people giving inspiration. I feel so much joy to be with human beings who have passion to explore, human beings with thirst to find answers, human beings with guts to ask questions and human beings with hearts to care for the earth and its limitless beings.

As you prepare yourself for the journey to this wonderful land, I pray that the mountains, the earth and the ocean keep you inspired and blessed.

Looking forward to learning from you all and reading your yak introductions.

Keep smiling.

So much Love and Peace

Rishi

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Namaste from Nepal

Rishi Bhandari,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

Namaste Dear Sathi haru, Let me introduce myself with excitement as I await for an epic journey that we’ll be taking together. I am Rishi Bhandari, a human being born and raised in this land called Nepal. I was born in the western mountains of Nepal, migrated to the southern plains and raised in the […]

Posted On

05/18/17

Author

Rishi Bhandari

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    [post_date] => 2017-05-18 09:10:28
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-18 15:10:28
    [post_content] =>  

Namaste fellow travelers!

My name is Aditya Shrestha and I am excited to meet you on this great journey you are about to undertake. As you prepare for it, I hope you too are filled with excitement of the adventure that awaits you. I want to applaud you for pushing yourself to come out of your comfort zone and undertake this challenging venture that has unlimited potential for personal growth. I assure that this will be one of the best decisions you've made.

Right now I am writing to you from Kalimpong, a town tucked between a ridge at an altitude of 1200 mtrs in the Eastern Himalayas. Though I have been conducting treks and outdoor activities in this part of the Himalayas for some years now, this will be my first course as Dragon’s instructor in Nepal. I am honored by this opportunity to get to meet each one of you, experience and learn many things together.

Here the pre-monsoon rains have just arrived and has given way to a pleasant ambience with farms being tilled ready for paddy plantation. I was born and raised in Sikkim, a land of great diversity. Over the last 7 years I have been traveling extensively to most of the Eastern Himalayan highlands. Over time learning more about the people who live here, their social strands, ethnic conflicts, beliefs and religious ceremonial affairs. Through my travels I have received gifts in the form of great friends, mentors and wonderful stories to share. It was travel that made me realize the importance of community, my connection with the land and how I shared a deep affection for the Himalayas and I am thrilled now by the opportunity to get to share this with you all.

As you prepare for this adventure; I hope that you keep an open mind and continue to be curious. We the instructor team are here to assist you in every part of the journey. Looking forward to meeting you all to walk on the path of self discovery and learning together.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at adityashrestha10@gmail.com.

Thanks

Aditya

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Instructor Introduction

Aditya Shrestha,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

  Namaste fellow travelers! My name is Aditya Shrestha and I am excited to meet you on this great journey you are about to undertake. As you prepare for it, I hope you too are filled with excitement of the adventure that awaits you. I want to applaud you for pushing yourself to come out […]

Posted On

05/18/17

Author

Aditya Shrestha

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    [post_date] => 2017-05-12 18:42:33
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-13 00:42:33
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Namaste Little Dragons,

Don’t worry, I won’t be calling you that for long! By the end of our 4-weeks together you will have turned into a full-fledged Dragon. You will be part of a community of travelers and global citizens who have stepped outside of their comfort zones with open hearts and open minds to learn more about themselves and the world that surrounds them, the world as it really is, not just the self-selected one that we can comfortably rely on back at home. You will have shared copious amounts of chiyaa (tea) with your homestay families, been fed too much dal bhat (rice with lentils) by your aama (mother), dodged countless cows and dogs in the street, practiced meditation, stumbled across a new language, listened to chants and bells of Buddhists and Hindus in prayer, learned to see through someone else’s vastly different worldview, and challenged your own ideas of the sacred, on meaning, and on this world. And most wonderfully, you will be doing all of this with a community of fellow seekers, now-strangers who will become friends that will be there to lift you when you are down and celebrate your successes.

My name is Christine and along with Rishi and Aditya will be part of your Instructor Team (or Iteam for short). I’m writing this to you as I’m preparing to leave Nepal for a time before our course begins and I have already begun to count the days until we will be back here together! I first came to Nepal last fall as an instructor and I haven’t wanted to leave since. Nepal is a place that demands your attention and your full presence – through the mountains, valleys, and plains you will meet kind-hearted and resilient people and discover simple joys that will enrich your life. I really think I must have done something extraordinarily good in a past life to accrue the karma that brought me to this beautiful country and such an inspiring group of people.

I became a Dragon in 2013, where I instructed two Indonesia semesters, and before working as a Dragon, worked in international development and education, specifically focusing on environmental issues in tropical countries. Before that, I traveled habitually during college; as an international affairs major, travel was a way to further my education and taught me that my East Coast-derived perspective is one of many in this massive world and while valid, not necessarily the “best” or the most “correct”. I’ve lived on the islands of Sumatra and Java in Indonesia, Washington, DC, and am a proud New Jersey native.

I can’t wait to meet all of you soon! I’d like to suggest that you keep something in mind as you prepare for the next few months, something I have been thinking about as I prepare myself for a new region of the world. You may already be an expert in all things Nepal, or perhaps you had trouble finding it on a map before. It doesn’t matter! What does matter is your willingness to learn humbly and your willingness to share abundantly.

I’ll leave you with my favorite packing advice: Bring your curiosity, courage, and patience. A small smile goes a long way, but a big grin is worth the space it might take up in your backpack. You don’t need a lock for your heart. Leave your assumptions behind.

I also encourage you to post something about yourself once you’ve read introductions from Rishi and Aditya. Chittai bhetaula! (See you soon!)

- Christine

  [post_title] => Namaste from your Course Director [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => namaste-from-your-course-director-3 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-18 11:26:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-18 17:26:27 [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] => 637 [name] => SUMMER: Nepal - Group A [slug] => summer-2017-nepal-a [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 637 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 621 [count] => 60 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0.1 [cat_ID] => 637 [category_count] => 60 [category_description] => [cat_name] => SUMMER: Nepal - Group A [category_nicename] => summer-2017-nepal-a [category_parent] => 621 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2017/summer-2017-nepal-a/ ) ) [category_links] => SUMMER: Nepal - Group A )
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Namaste from your Course Director

Christine Megariotis,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

Namaste Little Dragons, Don’t worry, I won’t be calling you that for long! By the end of our 4-weeks together you will have turned into a full-fledged Dragon. You will be part of a community of travelers and global citizens who have stepped outside of their comfort zones with open hearts and open minds to […]

Posted On

05/12/17

Author

Christine Megariotis

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    [post_date] => 2017-05-08 23:14:44
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    [post_content] => 

Namaste Fellow Adventurers,

Welcome to the Summer 2017 Nepal Program!  In just under 2 months you will arrive in the Kathmandu airport and begin a sojourn that will change your life in unforeseen ways.  This journey will present challenges and rewards far beyond your imagination.  It is an exciting prospect and one that I’m sure you are all a bit nervous about.  It takes a tremendous amount of courage to leave behind what is familiar and to venture out into the unknown.  For that, you already have the respect of your instructors and the communities you will be living amongst and working with.

In this note, I want to introduce you to the Field Notes page and to share a bit about your summer and myself.  Your Course Director and instructors will introduce themselves in the coming days too, so please keep checking this board!  You will soon discover that this page is a great way to share, connect and build enthusiasm for the adventure that lies ahead.  It will also be used throughout your course to share your experience with loved ones back home.   Important notices will also be posted during the months of May and June, so please begin the habit of checking your board regularly.

My personal sojourn in Asia began almost 2 decades ago.  While studying at Middlebury College, I found myself drawn to Eastern religion and philosophy for the emphasis placed on cultivating self-awareness and embodying virtuous emotions such as compassion, generosity and patience.  I decided that I needed to journey to the East and follow in the footsteps of so many seekers before me.  I have not been disappointed with the decision I made to enroll with the School for International Training in Nepal.  It changed my life so dramatically that I made my home in Asia for 14 years.  Among the many lessons that I have learned, perhaps the most potent has been learning to live in the present.  Asia can demand your full attention in any given moment and challenge the ways in which you view yourself and the world.

You will all have experiences of intense presence, some that you might like to be forewarned of.  Past students have expressed an appreciation for, shall we say, a heads up!   So, with that said, be prepared for the potentiality of the following:  dramatic changes in schedule, a lack of personal space, phases of too little or too much free time, being hungry, being intensely full, being more tired than you’ve ever been in your life, having to wait for transportation, being asked to do things you’re not totally psyched about, not having clean laundry, not having a toilet or having to use a dirty toilet, having to speak a different language, being laughed at, having sloppy diarrhea, once again, not having a toilet!, having to take a cold, bucket shower or having no shower (for days), hiking until your thighs burn and your lungs are ready to burst, eating unappetizing food, having to drop your expectations. . . and more than anything and perhaps implicit in all stated above, having to be uncomfortable and hopefully learning to extract a valuable lesson in being so!

However, you can also be prepared for the inevitability of the following: feeling your heart spontaneously open to virtual strangers, seeing more smiles in a day than you can count, experiencing acts of kindness and generosity from people who have seemingly nothing, being moved to tears and laughter unexpectedly, hearing words of insight and wisdom from respected members of the community, being accepted into a family as if you were their biological child, playing silly games with the most enthusiastic and curious kids you’ve ever met, holding farm animals, stuttering through a new language, saying “Malaai kushi laagyo!”, being spellbound by chanting monks, learning new skills from your ISP mentor, feasting your eyes on high, snowy peaks, filling your belly with copious amounts of daal bhat, meeting dreadlocked, ash covered yogis, watching monkeys play, and avoiding cows lounging in the city streets.

 What lies ahead is hard to find words for.  What is even more difficult is to be prepared for the journey.  I imagine this note will find all of you at some stage of preparation.  All I can say by way of advice goes beyond anything you can fit in your backpack. It’s important to start this sojourn with your loose ends tied up at home so that you can slip into the presence that awaits you.  What I ask for you to all bring is an open heart and mind.  Be ready to give up some control and let yourself flow.  My role and that of your Course Director and instructors is to provide a safe raft and a paddle to get you through the rapids.

 In the weeks to come, if you or your folks have any questions about the course, please feel free to write me directly – sharriman@wheretherebedragons.com.  I also encourage you, once your instructors have posted, to jump on and introduce yourself.  It always takes the brave first one to get it started and then the board will take off!

 I hope that this note finds you all healthy, happy and enjoying the spring.

 Be well,

Shannon Harriman

PS - The photo is of me and my kids this spring in Nepal with one of my teachers of nearly 20 years.

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A Welcome from your Program Director

Shannon Harriman,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

Namaste Fellow Adventurers, Welcome to the Summer 2017 Nepal Program!  In just under 2 months you will arrive in the Kathmandu airport and begin a sojourn that will change your life in unforeseen ways.  This journey will present challenges and rewards far beyond your imagination.  It is an exciting prospect and one that I’m sure […]

Posted On

05/8/17

Author

Shannon Harriman

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    [post_date] => 2017-05-07 15:53:56
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-07 21:53:56
    [post_content] => Dear Summer 2017 Travelers,

It’s great to see your Yak Board come to life! This is a very exciting time of year for all of us, and while we understand that you’re likely anxious to meet your traveling companions, we have a request for you: please don’t seek out your fellow travelers on social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, etc.) before the course.

Let us explain: it is our intention to provide you with the best Dragons experience possible. Over the past 24 years, we’ve learned that that you will get the most out of your program if you’re able to make fresh introductions on the day your course begins, unfiltered by our online profiles and preconceptions. We welcome you to introduce yourself here, and we hope that you will use this site to voice your goals and intentions for the semester. At the same time, we’d like to avoid students forming any sort of “cliques” online before departing on the program. We certainly know that you can all find each other on social media, and while we cannot forbid such networking, we encourage you to abstain from doing so. Instead, we invite you to meet your group without pre-judgment and with a willingness to expose yourself to everything new, different, wild, and other.

We hope that your pre-course preparations are going well. We look forward to connecting with you very soon!

Sincerely,
The Dragons Team
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                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2017-peru-4-week-a
                    [category_parent] => 621
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                    [category_description] => 
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                    [category_parent] => 621
                )

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                    [name] => SUMMER: Senegal
                    [slug] => summer-2017-senegal
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                    [category_count] => 52
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Senegal
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2017-senegal
                    [category_parent] => 621
                )

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                    [name] => SUMMER: Sikkim
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                    [category_nicename] => summer-2017-sikkim
                    [category_parent] => 621
                )

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                    [name] => SUMMER: Thailand
                    [slug] => summer-2017-thailand
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                    [category_nicename] => summer-2017-thailand
                    [category_parent] => 621
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Cambodia, SUMMER: Morocco  ... 
)

SUMMER: Cambodia, SUMMER: Morocco, SUMMER: China Language 4-week - Group A, SUMMER: China Language 4-week - Group B, SUMMER: China Language 6-week, SUMMER: Nepal - Group A, SUMMER: China Silk Road, SUMMER: Guatemala - Group A, SUMMER: Guatemala - Group B, SUMMER: Indonesia, SUMMER: Madagascar, SUMMER: China Comprehensive, SUMMER: Bolivia, SUMMER: Myanmar, SUMMER: North India 4-Week, SUMMER: Nepal - Group B, SUMMER: Nicaragua, SUMMER: North India 6-Week, SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A, SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group B, SUMMER: Peru 6-Week, SUMMER: Senegal, SUMMER: Sikkim, SUMMER: Thailand

View post

A Note on Social Networking

Miriam Payne,SUMMER: Cambodia, SUMMER: Morocco, SUMMER: China Language 4-week - Group A, SUMMER: China Language 4-week - Group B, SUMMER: China Language 6-week, SUMMER: Nepal - Group A, SUMMER: China Silk Road, SUMMER: Guatemala - Group A, SUMMER: Guatemala - Group B, SUMMER: Indonesia, SUMMER: Madagascar, SUMMER: China Comprehensive, SUMMER: Bolivia, SUMMER: Myanmar, SUMMER: North India 4-Week, SUMMER: Nepal - Group B, SUMMER: Nicaragua, SUMMER: North India 6-Week, SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A, SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group B, SUMMER: Peru 6-Week, SUMMER: Senegal, SUMMER: Sikkim, SUMMER: Thailand

Description

Dear Summer 2017 Travelers, It’s great to see your Yak Board come to life! This is a very exciting time of year for all of us, and while we understand that you’re likely anxious to meet your traveling companions, we have a request for you: please don’t seek out your fellow travelers on social networking […]

Posted On

05/7/17

Author

Miriam Payne

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    [post_date] => 2017-05-06 15:35:39
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-06 21:35:39
    [post_content] => 
Dear Summer Students, Welcome to the Dragons community and your course's Yak Board! With summer just around the corner, we are excited to begin the final stages of course preparation with you. Launching your course's Yak Board marks the first step towards building your summer community, as this interface will help us bridge great geographic distances and connect you with your course instructors, your fellow Dragons students, and the Boulder Administration. You can think of your Yak Board as a virtual bulletin board.
  • Pre-course, your instructors will use the board to introduce themselves, tack up packing lists and respond to any of your pre-course departure questions.
  • On course, you can use the Yak Board to share photos with your fans back home, jot down vignettes of your life abroad, or share longer reflections about your unexpected adventures on an overnight train, at a meditation retreat, at your home-stay sister’s birthday party… It’s hard to capture everything that happens over the course of a summer, or expect to share it all for the first time when you arrive home. In many ways, your Yak Board will become a collaborative journal, curated by members of your group and enjoyed by your friends and family back home.
  • Post-course, your Yak Board turns into one big adventure log that will commemorate your group’s experiences abroad.
Your Program Director and instructor team will introduce themselves here shortly! We look forward to reading more about you in the coming weeks as well. Please use the Yak Board as an opportunity to dive in and start building a new community. There are no “dumb questions” when it comes to packing lists; there are only students that wished they had a backpack cover or an extra water bottle. Thanks so much for beginning this journey with us. We encourage you to post on your Yak Board early and often, and we look forward to being in touch with you over the coming months. With love, The Boulder Admin Team
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Group B [category_nicename] => summer-2017-nepal-b [category_parent] => 621 ) [16] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 639 [name] => SUMMER: Nicaragua [slug] => summer-2017-nicaragua [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 639 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 621 [count] => 50 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0.1 [cat_ID] => 639 [category_count] => 50 [category_description] => [cat_name] => SUMMER: Nicaragua [category_nicename] => summer-2017-nicaragua [category_parent] => 621 ) [17] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 640 [name] => SUMMER: North India 4-Week [slug] => summer-2017-north-india-4-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 640 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 621 [count] => 25 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0.1 [cat_ID] => 640 [category_count] => 25 [category_description] => [cat_name] => SUMMER: North India 4-Week [category_nicename] => summer-2017-north-india-4-week [category_parent] => 621 ) [18] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 641 [name] => SUMMER: North India 6-Week [slug] => summer-2017-north-india-6-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 641 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 621 [count] => 39 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0.1 [cat_ID] => 641 [category_count] => 39 [category_description] => [cat_name] => SUMMER: North India 6-Week [category_nicename] => summer-2017-north-india-6-week [category_parent] => 621 ) [19] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 642 [name] => SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - 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Group A ... )
View post

Welcome to the Yak Board!

Miriam Payne,Summer 2017, SUMMER: Guatemala - Group A, SUMMER: Cambodia, SUMMER: China Comprehensive, SUMMER: China Language 4-week - Group A, SUMMER: China Language 4-week - Group B, SUMMER: China Language 6-week, SUMMER: China Silk Road, SUMMER: Guatemala - Group B, SUMMER: Indonesia, SUMMER: Madagascar, SUMMER: Morocco, SUMMER: Myanmar, SUMMER: Nepal - Group A, SUMMER: Bolivia, SUMMER: Nepal - Group B, SUMMER: Nicaragua, SUMMER: North India 4-Week, SUMMER: North India 6-Week, SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group A, SUMMER: Peru 4-Week - Group B, SUMMER: Peru 6-Week, SUMMER: Senegal, SUMMER: Sikkim, SUMMER: Thailand

Description

Dear Summer Students, Welcome to the Dragons community and your course’s Yak Board! With summer just around the corner, we are excited to begin the final stages of course preparation with you. Launching your course’s Yak Board marks the first step towards building your summer community, as this interface will help us bridge great geographic distances and […]

Posted On

05/6/17

Author

Miriam Payne

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