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Trek View on Nepal: Himalayan Studies Gap Year Semester with Where There Be Dragons

In Nepal I witnessed…..

In Nepal I witnessed…..

That the “developing” colonized world is dramatically affecting a large amount of the population of humanity. (Ben)

How important community really is in the development of people. (Tomas )

A slower pace of life, one guided by community and religion, in which both these concepts blend together so that one cannot exist without the other. I witnessed mountains, rituals, festivals, family, color, spice and life. (Emilia)

A bustling constantly evolving mixture of old and new city, a thriving family community branching across a whole village and constant examples of Buddhist philosophy around the holy sites of Boudhanath Stupa and NamoBuddha. (Aaron)

A great sense of community something I’ve never quite seen before. I saw the most magnificent mountains that have truly inspired me to paint. (Emily)

An entire community living free from the pressure of time. Everything is done in “Nepali time” which basically means “do when convenient.” This creates a go with the flow environment that has greatly impacted my belief that timely life is too stressful and it’s best to sit back and observe the little things from time to time. (Choochy)

A bright juxtaposition of religious iconography and concrete in architecture. I witnessed cluttered, winding alleys and large fields of rice paddy. I saw ancient spaces, masses of motorcycle traffic and a master of traditional Nepali painting at work. I saw the impact and rebuilding of culture after natural disaster, working through the strength and constant presence of community in the country. (Zanna)

The power of being a part of something greater than you are. I saw the strength, confidence and passion that an individual manifests within themselves when he or she belongs to something or believes in something great. I watched in Nepal how one’s deep family roots, long standing communities and lifelong devotion to religious and spiritual faith and the interconnections between all three, give one a life of purpose and fulfillment. (Missy)

A great diversity of colorful environments. There were people with different dress, languages and livelihoods. But all that is only the outward manifestations of deeper complexity, people with different backgrounds, worldviews and aspirations. I also witnessed incredible natural beauty. (Silas)

Mardi Himal, Maccha Puchare, lighting up at sunrise, my poubha painting (traditional Newari religious painting) mentors intricate painting of the Buddha, Ganesh, Green Tara etc. the Boudhanath stupa gleaming at night, Tibetan Buddhist monks chanting in unison each morning at 6am. Styrofoam boxes, plastic water bottles an even broken rubber shoes repurposed as planters, the seasonal harvest of wheat and planting of corn, countless temples with traditional stone, wood and metalwork, terraced and forested hillsides, planted rice rippling in the wind like silk, all the ama’s in Ale Gaun, singing together to improvised lyrics while the men played the madal. (Carolyn)

Violent sickness, health, Daal bhat mountain, children being beaten, leeches and sustenance farming and yes all the other clichés too. (AnnaB)

How the feelings of community can completely consume a country and even extend to foreign visitors. How people of different religious views can co-exist and even learn from one another. Finally I have witnessed how our different values correspond and conflict. (Shenandoah)