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Photo by Catherine Von Holt, Nepal Semester.

Instructor’s Hello/Intro !!! Rishi Bhandari

Namaste (meaning; the God in me bows down to the God in you)

I am Rishi Bhandari, a human being born and raised in this land called Nepal. I was born in the western mountains of Nepal, moved to the southern plains and raised in the central mountains. I currently live in Nepal, spending most of my time travelling to mountains and villages.

My first big impression of Nepal 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.

Since early childhood I grew up at a sustainable community (Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir, Ashram) in the southern hills of Kathmandu. It will be my immense honor to explore this Ashram with everyone of you and share stories about it. At the community I lived with more than 100 people sharing the same food, sharing work, tending plants and animals together, learning from each other, singing together and meditating together. My journey with Dragons started at this very community where I first met a semester group. As 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 this unique vision of travel and learning. Knowing dragons for some time and leading my fourth Dragons course as an instructor I look back at all the memories with a soothing sense of gratefulness and wonder. I could not be more excited to lead this course, my very first Dragons Program for Adults alongside Claire Bennet, who is a very dear mentor to me.

I have a deep passion in sharing about Nepali culture and helping people understand and immerse in it to bring out wonderful experiences. I really look forward to sharing stories about Nepal and its people in its past, present and future, in its low point and glories. Apart from it I also deeply love sharing and learning perspectives through Poetry as being in poetry sessions is one of my favorite things to do.

Being a part of courses like this brings me incredible hope and I wake up every morning hoping to hear wonderful stories from folks I travel with. 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 brave enough to ask questions and human beings with hearts to care for the earth and its limitless beings.

Looking forward to everyone and every stories that we all have, we all are and we all make. I am so excited to see Nepal make a spot in your hearts soon.