Hello fellow Dragons!
My note to you comes from beside a fireplace in Colorado where I am warming myself after an evening running in the cold. These are some of the moments I am savoring before departing for the Indian subcontinent. I am excitedly anticipating how these types of moments will shift once we are in India; drinking chai along the Ganges, evening walks through mountain villages, sitting on rooftops in the desert.
Almost ten years ago I was in your shoes: taking a Gap Year and preparing for the unknown of a Dragons adventure. I had so many books checked out of the library, a lot of to-do lists, and a pile of addresses to bring along during my semester away. It was impossible for me to know at that time that my semester with Dragons would come to influence my life in unimaginable ways. For these unknowns, I am grateful.
I have worked with Dragons in various capacities since 2014 when I came to Boulder to work as an administrator in our offices. A year later I led a custom course in Rajasthan and visited our semester program in Varanasi. I was really taken by the enormity of the country; its vibrant markets, busy train stations, and varied landscapes. My time instructing with Dragons was paused as I focused more on outdoor and backcountry education. With various other organizations I traveled to Maine, Wyoming, and Alaska where I spent months deep in mountain ranges and exploring unnamed lakes and wide valleys. While not instructing, Boulder is my home base and I am generally always busy with various hobbies and projects.
Each time I embark on a new excursion I am reminded of words shared by Wendell Berry:
“Always in the big woods when you leave familiar ground and step off into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the unknown, and it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into…What you are doing is exploring. You are undertaking the first experience of our essential loneliness, for nobody can discover the world for anybody else. It is only after we have discovered it for ourselves that it becomes a common ground and a common bond, and we cease to be alone.”
Over the course of the next three months, each of us is going to be confronting the unfamiliar, but within that we are going to discover the familiar. I am so looking forward to meeting each of you and witnessing the way in which our time together will help shape who we all are.
This Yak board is a great forum to pose questions and introduce yourselves. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with any question, big or small.
If you would like to connect by email, please contact me at: [email protected]
With gratitude and excitement,