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Zhongdian Hauptplatz, Yunnan, Gebetsmühle in Shangri-La

Homestays in Nanyao Village

As we approach our last night here in Nanyao Village, looking back it might not have been the most exciting or Instagram-worthy portion of the trip, but I do think this is the part students, and teachers alike, will be talking about five, ten, maybe even fifty years from now. From that first night we discussed home-stays, the fear of pending uncomfortable situations and being lost in translation was extremely palpable throughout the room. Yet the moment they poured in that first morning after staying with their Naxi-families, the excitement to share their experiences with others was incomparable.

When I first started to write this Yak I was going to describe this portion of the trip as maybe not the most luxurious, given grievances with different toilet and shower situations that our students might be used to, however as I reflect more deeply, I want to claim this is without a doubt one of the most luxurious portions of the trip. Our students have been able to slow down, step away from their hyperactive social and school life to make new relationships and to have deep conversations with someone different. It is so hard for us all to step out of our normal social bubbles and have authentic conversations with others, and to learn how similar, yet different, we all are. To have this experience, in such a beautiful piece of the world, truly is a luxury.