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    [post_content] => Dear family and friends of North India 6 week students,

We're pleased to announce that everyone is back in the US safe and sound after the flight home from Delhi. In recent memory, I think it's safe to say that this has been one of the more remarkable North India programs. We want to thank all parents sincerely for the trust that you put in us; we know there were some times in which you'd love to have heard what was going on in the moment. But we can rest assured the tales will be told. Can't thank you enough.

Best,

Justin
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SUMMER: North India 6-Week, Uncategorized

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North India 6 Has Arrived

Admin,SUMMER: North India 6-Week, Uncategorized

Description

Dear family and friends of North India 6 week students, We’re pleased to announce that everyone is back in the US safe and sound after the flight home from Delhi. In recent memory, I think it’s safe to say that this has been one of the more remarkable North India programs. We want to thank […]

Posted On

08/8/17

Author

Admin

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    [post_content] => Namastey Family And Friends

North Indian Six students through to security and they’re off! The students and Rebecca ji made it safely through security and are on their way back home. Thanks for lending us your children– many stories await you upon their return!
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NORTH INDIA STUDENTS THROUGH AIRPORT SECURITY

I-TEAM,SUMMER: North India 6-Week

Description

Namastey Family And Friends North Indian Six students through to security and they’re off! The students and Rebecca ji made it safely through security and are on their way back home. Thanks for lending us your children– many stories await you upon their return!

Posted On

08/7/17

Author

I-TEAM

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    [post_content] => Dear Friends and Family,

We are writing this from the airport in Leh, Ladakh where we're waiting for our flight to Delhi. Patience is perhaps one of the most important traits a traveler can possess. Flights and trains get delayed, and especially in India things rarely happen on our schedule. In our busy lives at home, waiting is an undesirable state-the cause of much anger and frustration. If we must wait for something, you can bet we will be glued to our phones. But there are no phones here, no computers, no headphones. The students are curled up in a corner of the waiting room, heads on shoulders or in each other's laps. They're laughing and joking, drinking cups of masala chai and eating samosas and biscuits. We've been here for over an hour and may be here another hour more. No one seems particularly upset or frustrated. Over the past six weeks, we've waited for flights, train, taxis and each other. Waiting has become as much a part of our group as sleeping or eating.

Each day, students ask each other an “x-factor” question which can range from favorite food to places they want to travel. Yesterday, the question was “What advice would you give to students doing this program next year?” Most of the advice seemed to boil down to this “Be present. Be here. Engage with the people, places and experiences you are with now.”

We're often asked what students take home from these programs. Many take home a greater confidence in themselves and their ability to deal with challenging situations. Many take home new skills-packing a backpack, treating a blister, making momos. Most take home new friendships and inspirations. But what's less obvious and harder to qualify is their ability to sit with themselves or others without the multitude of distractions our modern lives throw at us. And how much students come to cherish these quiet moments. Sitting in a remote Ladakhi village among fields of ripened wheat, one student sighed, “I'm going to run over my phone with a car,” and many others nodded in agreement.

At the end of the course, we like to ask our students a few questions about their experience. Below you will find their anonymous answers. As you will see, they have been changed in ways both big and small, obvious and more subtle. As instructors, we are honored that you lent us your students for the summer! We feel privileged to have spent the last 6 weeks traveling around North India with ten such inquisitive, kind and curious young people. They inspire us every day and make us proud to do this sort of work.

Thank you,
Saurabh, Hemant and Rebecca

1) What is one thing you learned?

The people of Ladakh taught me how a remote, sustainable life can be challenging, fulfilling and joyful at the same time.

Learning never stops and it's always possible to keep learning no matter the circumstances.

I finally understand the idea of internal happiness and how to have it anywhere.

One thing? I have learned so much in the past 6 weeks, from how to sit with myself and feel my emotions to how to engage in cultural exchange and form bonds with people who have nothing in common with me and everything in between.

Over the course of this trip, I found that it was impossible to avoid learning something new every day, whether it was how to make momos, phrases in a new language or just more about myself and how I fit into the jigsaw puzzle of the world around me.

I have learned how to sit with myself and my thoughts.

My time in India has taught me more than I'll probably ever know. But as I think back on what I've learned, the paper-thin Ladakhi air cutting through my lungs, I can say one thing of which I've become sure: there is a song that wants to be sung through us. Much of it, we are able to write ourselves-the rest can be heard as a whisper from the mountains.

The emotion or pain or heartbreak has always had the ability to trump happiness and joy. However on this trip I learned that no matter how much pain one may be in, happiness and joy is ultimately more powerful.

2) Who is a person who affected your trip?

My homestay father in the village of Taar showed me his love for the Himalayan mountains by taking me on a hike, starting at daybreak that I will never forget.

Rebecca ji, one of our beloved instructors became a role model for me, not only because of her unique and exceptional leadership style, but because of her courage to always try new things and push her limits and ultimately challenge herself.

Hemant is a person that has affected my trip.

Preet-a fascinating leader, charasmatic, consistent, diplomatic and disciplined. A man whose traits I admire and wish to develop.

My parents have affected my trip, because I am constantly realizing how much they have sacrificed to give me the incredible life I have.

I began to realize that every single person I spoke to, whether is was a random Ladakhi villager walking by, an instructor, or my roommate for the night helped to shape the cherished experiences; they all added a little more to the epic story of my time in India.

Rebecca ji, Saurabh ji, Hemant ji.

Every single person I encountered on this trip has changed me in their own unique way and I am endlessly grateful that they have opened their hearts to me and helped me to discover so much about this life.

3) What should people at home know?

I would like them to know that I aim to make some sustainable lifestyle changes modeled after ways that I have lived over the last six weeks.

Grateful and thankful to be able to visit to such a great country.

I will find joy in the smallest things.

No matter how much or how often you travel, even if it is to the same location, there is no way to leave as the same person you were upon arrival. Every person you meet, whether a mother who cared for you as her own for weeks or months, or a street vendor who is excited to share a language, or one who is exacerbated that you don't, teaches you something new and unique. No lesson is too small or interaction insignificant; with experience comes sensitivity and the ability to bring awareness to your own growing wisdom and change of character. Don't expect the same daughter, sister, or friend when I come home, but please be ready to welcome whoever walks through your door, because she is full of love and new life.

I guess I just feel like I've changed in ways that may not be obvious on the surface but are a deep part of me now.

Every experiences brings its own uniqueness and hence I wish each parent/guardian welcomes their child back with an open palm and respects how they have changed.

I will try to explain all that I have lived for the past six weeks, but know that my words could never quite do the mountains of Ladakh or all of the laughter or the million starts we all saw together, justice.

I'm prepared to not let other people's perceptions of ideals, values, and people dramatically affect my own conclusions. I will also be location the nearest Indian food shop as soon as I get home.

I am not the same as I was when I left six weeks ago-just as I'm not the same as I was when I woke up yesterday or even when I started writing this. Please don't worry or be alarmed. Just be with me and breathe with me on this journey. “Is not impermanence the very fragrance of our days?”
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There Is a Song That Wants to Be Sung Through Us

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

Description

Dear Friends and Family, We are writing this from the airport in Leh, Ladakh where we’re waiting for our flight to Delhi. Patience is perhaps one of the most important traits a traveler can possess. Flights and trains get delayed, and especially in India things rarely happen on our schedule. In our busy lives at […]

Posted On

08/7/17

Author

North India 6 Week

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    [post_date] => 2017-08-03 12:29:47
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    [post_content] => These images just came in from the team, who are currently in Likir surrounded by groves of apricots. These were taken way up in the rans-Himalaya.

Enjoy!

Justin
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Two Highest Passes

iTeam,SUMMER: North India 6-Week

Description

These images just came in from the team, who are currently in Likir surrounded by groves of apricots. These were taken way up in the rans-Himalaya. Enjoy! Justin

Posted On

08/3/17

Author

iTeam

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    [post_date] => 2017-08-03 10:57:16
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    [post_content] => 
Dear Summer 2017 North India 6 Week Student Families,
It is hard to believe that almost 6 weeks have already passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long before students will be boarding their planes back home. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!
Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for eagerly awaiting families (all times are in local time zones):
 
Monday, August 7th, 2017
 
United Airlines Flight #083
Depart: Delhi @ 11:35 PM
Arrive: Newark @ 5:00 AM on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
 
We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day. Should you need any assistance after regular office hours, please call our “on-call” number at 303-921-6078.
We wish all students a great trip home!
Sincerely,
Boulder Admin
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SUMMER: North India 6-Week

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August 7th/8th Return Information & Reminders!

Miriam Payne,SUMMER: North India 6-Week

Description

Dear Summer 2017 North India 6 Week Student Families, It is hard to believe that almost 6 weeks have already passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long before students will be boarding their planes back home. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival! Below is a reminder of the […]

Posted On

08/3/17

Author

Miriam Payne

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-31 11:12:31
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    [post_content] => Dear family and friends of North India 6 students,

The team is officially back from trek and settled into a guesthouse in Leh. Due to some communications issues in the capital, they will not have internet connectivity for the next day or so. That said, everyone is happy and healthy and thrilled to have successfully completed their time in the gorgeous back-country.

The following three days in Ladakh will mark the conclusion of the mountain phase for the team. Students will have a chance to partake in the seasonal apricot harvest in the village of Likir. Together with villagers, the team will pick apricots, process them, and learn to make traditional Ladakhi apricot preserves. Simultaneously, students will be celebrating the ‘fruits’ of our time in India and preparing to bring this experience home with us.

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Update From North India 6

Admin,SUMMER: North India 6-Week

Description

Dear family and friends of North India 6 students, The team is officially back from trek and settled into a guesthouse in Leh. Due to some communications issues in the capital, they will not have internet connectivity for the next day or so. That said, everyone is happy and healthy and thrilled to have successfully […]

Posted On

07/31/17

Author

Admin

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-24 18:13:07
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    [post_content] => Julley (Hello) from Ladakh,

Greetings from the village of Phyang, in the small Himalayan district of Ladakh. We arrived two days and having been settling into life at 11,000ft. In between catching our breath (figuratively and literally!) we are finding time to learn some Ladakhi, history of the region, as well as play some games and enjoy some truly spectacular star gazing.

We're also celebrating our midcourse. Can you believe it's already been three weeks? We can't. We're taking some time to celebrate our first three weeks together, share some gratitude for each other, and look forward to the next three weeks of adventure which include a village homestay, a trek and some apricot harvesting!

Stay tuned for more adventures to come!

With love and gratitude,
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From the Mountains…To More Mountains

iTeam,SUMMER: North India 6-Week

Description

Julley (Hello) from Ladakh, Greetings from the village of Phyang, in the small Himalayan district of Ladakh. We arrived two days and having been settling into life at 11,000ft. In between catching our breath (figuratively and literally!) we are finding time to learn some Ladakhi, history of the region, as well as play some games […]

Posted On

07/24/17

Author

iTeam

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-21 11:49:03
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    [post_content] => Namastey and Julley Family and Friends,

The North India team is happy and healthy as we set out for our big Himalayan trek today.  We are going to have very limited internet access and likely wont be posting yaks while we are on trek.  We will be checking in with the office via satellite phone and they will post when they hear from us.

Please have a look at this itinerary for our trek so that you can follow along at home.

21st-25th July: Transition to village homestay in Taar Village

26th July, Trek, Day 1: From Taar we will walk 2 hours to the road, and drive one hour to Likir. We will see the historic monastery and then hike an easy 4-6 hours to the village of Yangthang.

27th July, Trek, Day 2: Today we hike our high-point Sarmanchan la pass(3870 meters)3-4 hours hiking and We will go to the

village of Hemis Shukpachun.

28th July, Trek, Day 3: Today We will walk 4-5 hours to the village of Ang.

29th July, Trek, Day 4: Today We will walk 3-4 hours to the village of Tia .

30th July, Trek, Day 5: Today We will walk 4-5 hour to the village of skyindyang.

31st July, Trek, Day 6: We will walk 15-20 minutes to the main road where our jeeps will be waiting to take us to Leh and We will Visit the historical monestary in Lamayuru  on the way back to Leh  .

1st Aug: Rest day in Leh!!!

Namastey from India  and Julley from Ladakh…
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UPDATE ON NORTH INDIA 6 FOR UPCOMING TWO WEEKS

I Team,SUMMER: North India 6-Week

Description

Namastey and Julley Family and Friends, The North India team is happy and healthy as we set out for our big Himalayan trek today.  We are going to have very limited internet access and likely wont be posting yaks while we are on trek.  We will be checking in with the office via satellite phone […]

Posted On

07/21/17

Author

I Team

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Dear families and friends,

We write from the Delhi airport, where students are all checked-in and waiting to board out flight to Leh, Ladakh. We couldn’t be more thrilled to transition from the verdant foothills to the high Himalayas of the Tibetan plateau. Despite the early hour, the excitement in the air is palpable!

As Ladakh is incredibly remote, our connectivity over the next few weeks will be somewhat less. However, we will be posting instructor updates at least every three days, and student updates just as often as we can.

We continue to feel so blessed to working with 10 incredible fresh talented young mind and inspiring young adults.

Cheers to adventures ahead!The I- Team

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Beautiful Himalaya is calling

I-TEAM,SUMMER: North India 6-Week

Description

Dear families and friends, We write from the Delhi airport, where students are all checked-in and waiting to board out flight to Leh, Ladakh. We couldn’t be more thrilled to transition from the verdant foothills to the high Himalayas of the Tibetan plateau. Despite the early hour, the excitement in the air is palpable! As […]

Posted On

07/16/17

Author

I-TEAM

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-16 10:53:56
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    [post_content] => 

When I woke up this morning, I knew that it was my last morning in Dharamsala. My host mother was already dressed and making her bed. Amala glanced over at me as I blinked from the light streaming in through the window beside my bed. It wasn’t even 5:15 am but the sky was clear of the rain clouds, which are a near constant presence in Mcleod Ganj. Sometimes, it feels like the name is an unintentional pun - McCloud Ganj. Clouds float in through the screen windows of the hotel library during morning check-ins, condensation curling like smoke in the air. Mountaintops are often obscured by fog. Rain seems to fall for days.

But in the mornings where the rain stops, when everyone is just waking up, Dharamsala looks into a child’s fantasy land, made of colorful streets resting on clouds. The mountains in the distance are foggy and full of the sunrise, their peaks snow-streaked. It feels impossibly magical.

Every morning that it was not raining, Amala and I would wake up and walk kora around Mcleod Ganj. She always laughed at me and how I continually stopped to marvel at the scenery as she kept walking, and I then had to run to catch up with her. The path that we took led us off of the winding roads of Dharamsala and into a wooded area, where the concrete path was lined with prayer wheels. Some were small, some were large and nearly impossible to turn by oneself. They were brightly painted or shining gold worn down by years of hands brushing over them, or just a simple white.

My host mother does this walk, which left me out of breath on the first morning, five times a day. And as I followed her, morning after morning, I began to truly enjoy it as well. The path was familiar and I came to know the people who we ran into each morning, friend’s of Amala’s who she would hold hands and skip with - skip with, like they were schoolgirls! - on our way home while I carried the bread we bought every morning from the seller in front of the temple.

I am amazed by Amala’s strength every day. She raised two daughters by herself, both of whom now live far away. The neighbors tell me that she is like their mother, making sure that they’ve eaten dinner and running to get their laundry inside when it starts raining. She always laughed when I tried to help her, even with small tasks like washing the dishes or carrying her umbrella.

Amala and I couldn’t communicate very well. She spoke very little English, I spoke no Tibetan, and neither of us could say more than five phrases in Hindi. But we always ended up laughing at the language barrier - at my utterly confused face, eyes wide and eyebrows high, or at how she would make me practice my Tibetan numbers when we walked down stairs together. Our laughter connected us more, perhaps, than any attempts at language could have. We could always understand each other’s laughter, whether it was at the Indian soap operas we watched together over dinner (I still couldn’t tell you a plot of a single serial) or at ourselves.

As our time in Mcleod Ganj comes to a close and a new chapter of our journey begins, I will miss the sunrise kora, the shows I couldn’t understand, all of the laughter and misunderstandings, all that made this unfamiliar house in an unfamiliar land my home, if only for a week, and the woman who made it warm and welcoming to some strange American girl.

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

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Thoughts From Above the Clouds

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

Description

When I woke up this morning, I knew that it was my last morning in Dharamsala. My host mother was already dressed and making her bed. Amala glanced over at me as I blinked from the light streaming in through the window beside my bed. It wasn’t even 5:15 am but the sky was clear […]

Posted On

07/16/17

Author

Madison Stern

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