Welcome to our forum for courses in the field. The Yak Board is a digital group journal where students and staff share photos, stories, reflections and group updates while on course. Check out our Featured Posts below or explore Yaks by program by clicking on the icons above.
Want to follow a program in the field? Click on the Subscribe to Updates button to receive one email a day if new content is posted.
Subscribe to Updates
Pick a program below to receive updates from the field. You will receive
one email a day if there is new content and can unsubscribe at any time.
After a month of q’oas, charlas, and scavenger hunts, the vast world of Bolivian culture is opening up and we are starting to make sense of its distinct communities. In doing so, I have found it helpful to think of things in terms of Ayni, a......Read More
I’ve never felt so clean. That was my first thought after leaving the small Hammam (Moroccan Bath House) in Azrou, Morocco, following nearly two hours of continous bathing, scrubbing off dead skin, and relaxing in the comforting humidity of......Read More
Time spent on a farm is seldom wasted. Neither in building a house. For many of us this will be just a footnote in wider and richer experiences. For the elderly lady who lost her home three years ago, and who is presently moving into her new one, it is more than that. That everything is transient is a truth that must be felt viscerally and emotionally to be understood. We spend time reflecting seriously upon it. But should it be overcome? Some truths contradict each other. We built using bamboo precisely because it will not last; it will fall… Read More
as we prepared to meet the group, I realized grace and I were running incredibly late for our hike. when we arrived at our meeting place, I was met by warm hugs and singing of happy birthday. at the end, I blew out a lighter that was placed on a jar......Read More
9/24/18 Today, I walked passed an enormous, majestic tree, with a myriad of intertwining branches sprouting in every direction, like a Hindu goddess stretching her abundance of arms in a serene yawn under the glow of the nascent morning sun.......Read More
Hello, everybody! I’m thrilled to be back on the Yak Board. This evening, we’re finishing our six-day homestay in Bangdong, and we have plenty of stories to tell. Inspired by the spring group’s homestay yaks, I’ve decided to......Read More
As the upcoming first Independent Study Project (ISP) day was getting closer, I was getting more and more nervous. Being the only Dragons student in the Indonesia program to choose the studies of traditional music of Java, there was no wonder why I......Read More
People say that when you are uncomfortable you are in a good spot for personal growth. However, what they don´t tell you is that the uncomfortable part can be very, very uncomfortable. My first day of homestays turned out to be an extremely......Read More
Walking into the village Tar was a very different experience than what I expected it to be. I never thought that in my wildest dreams I would be so isolated from society and technology. The village was a small 7 house community, but had more character than a city like LA. The people of Tar have very different and special life that they live. They all have their role to play in the community, such as my host mother. My mother away from home was a very small lady with a large personality. She seemed to be the town Matriarch… Read More
Tibet was once one of the most isolated nations in the world. It’s harsh climate coupled with its impressive natural border of the Himalaya mountain range made traveling here quite difficult. When China staked claim to Tibet their first goal was to bridge this gap and make it easier to access the Tibetan Plateau. Railways were built to Lhasa and other major cities inside and outside the official Tibetan Autonomous Region. Xining, an old trading town on the famous Silk Road, received one of these railways. Nowadays it’s a mere 20 hour train ride from Beijing to the city of… Read More
When we first arrived to Tocaña the only vestiges of human life were the paintings and pictures on the walls. I was admiring a picture of Bob Marley, Mick Jagger, and Peter Tosh, when Pulga, the first Tocañeno I met, came out. With his short......Read More
Growing up in San Francisco I have always considered the city a core part of my identity, never able to imagine myself anywhere else. So much so, in fact, that I told my college counselor I would only seriously consider urban schools. Somehow I......Read More
My name is Andrea. My name was bestowed upon me in honor of my father’s mother, who died before I was born, who’s legacy I carry with me everyday. My name has meant a great many things to me, but it has always served to remind me of the......Read More
We sat in the back of Tar Village’s small gompa, watching our amalay, Tashi, bend to the floor in prayer. She came and sat down, laughing and taking selfies with the two of us and Tsewang, who was the amalay of Isabel and Caroline. Tashi and......Read More
What’s a monks favorite drink? Lamanade! What did the instructor say to the student during the homestay briefing? You Buddha Thangka your host! What did the student say when they found out they would be trekking in the mountains for over 9......Read More
The earth becomes pews as carpets are laid out; slowly, deliberately, in rows upon rows. The minutes sing slowly onward as men in white skullcaps cluster tightly together, shoes discarded behind the rugs in neat pairs; there is an air of great......Read More