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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.

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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.

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Ayni and Community

Anna, Participant

Yak of the Week

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

WTBD Yaks from Morocco

Morocco: Ancient Cities to the Atlas Mountains

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The Hammam

Dashiel Bove, Participant

Yak of the Week

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

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Thoughts from the farm

Arvin Singh Uzunov-Dang, Instructor

Picture of the Week

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

WTBD Yaks from Andes Amazon

South America: Andes & Amazon - Group B

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a birthday in parque de las papas

Claire Kraemer, Participant

Yak of the Week

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

WTBD Yaks from Indonesia

Indonesia: Community, Culture, & Conservation

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Thoughts from Ketambe Jungle

Mina, Participant

Yak of the Week

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

WTBD yaks from Mekong

Mekong: The Tibetan Plateau to the Heart of Southeast Asia

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The Bangdong Bloopers

Edward Meyer, Participant

Yak of the Week

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

WTBD Yaks from Indonesia

Indonesia: Community, Culture, & Conservation

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The log experience

Beck Friedman, Participant

Yak of the Week

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

WTBD Yaks from Guatemala

Guatemala: Spanish Language & Grassroots Activism

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Unconventional Bonding

Ellie Huettel, Participant

Yak of the Week

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

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My ama le from Tar

Sam, Participant

Picture of the Week

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

WTBD Yaks from China

China: South of the Clouds

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From Beijing to Liqu

Zack Siddall, Instructor

Picture of the Week

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

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Tocaña: Una Comunidad Afroboliviana

Nicole Martin, Participant

Yak of the Week

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

WTBD Yaks from Nepal

Nepal: Himalayan Studies - Group B

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The Beat of the Mountains

Sutter Morris, Participant

Yak of the Week

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

WTBD Yaks from Guatemala

Guatemala: Spanish Language & Grassroots Activism

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The Andreas

Andrea Giacomini, Participant

Yak of the Week

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

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Tashi, the Tar Doctor

Marka & Darci, Dragons Admin

Yak of the Week

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

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Monaster-ical Puns

Peter, Bennett, Madeleine, Participant

Yak of the Week

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

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Umbrella Trees

Ellie, Participant

Yak of the Week

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

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