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The Tiger's Nest in Bhutan. Photo by Chelsea Ferrel.

Throughout the day, clouds fall lower in the sky

Dear Parents and Friends of Bhutan Dragons,

At the end of the course, we like to ask our students a few questions about their experience. Below you will find their anonymous answers. As you will see, they have been changed in ways both big and small, obvious and more subtle. As instructors, we are honored that you shared them with us for the summer! We feel privileged to have spent the last 4 weeks, traveling around Bhutan and Nepal with twelve such inquisitive, kind and curious young people. They inspire us every day and make us proud to do this sort of work.

With Love,

Nick, Topaz and Rebecca

1. What is something you learned about Bhutan?

Bhutan is unlike anything I ever imagined. The people, environment, and community were kinder and more beautiful than I thought possible.

The people of Bhutan care about a world beyond their own, they ground themselves in community based values while practicing selfless acts to better a global reality.

Bhutan is more beautiful than you can imagine and the people are more welcoming than anyone I have met before.

It has a massive focus on preserving the biodiversity and staying carbon negative, 70% of the country is still covered by trees in an attempt to do just that.

Being too oriented on work and consumerism can be very detrimental, and you can do perfectly well taking your time and having fun.

I learned about a country who values tradition and environment seemingly over everything.

Bhutan has its problems just like any other country.

Bhutan has lots of biodiversity. They have a huge number of animals, plants and climates.

The government is extremely intertwined with the environment. They even have it in their constitution.

Throughout the day, clouds fall lower in the sky and completely engulf the mountains. It makes everything magical and mysterious and despite being such a small detail, it is one of my favorite things about Bhutan.

2. Who is someone who influenced your trip?

My homestay family for showing me their life and culture. They were so welcoming and caring, I am so thankful for all of their kindness.

Sangay, my homestay brother, as he spoke English very well and gave me a window into Bhutanese culture and life that the guides on this trip did not.

My instructors. They were not just willing but rather enthusiastic to impart their wisdom on topics we wanted to hear more about.

I had some good talks with Rebecca about life that helped me not only see Bhutan but more of South Asia in a new light.

My homestay family influenced my trip the most. I learned the most about Bhutanese life and culture with them. It was humbling to see how welcoming and kind they were to me.

Topaz had the biggest influence on me. He was always there to talk to, give advice and is loving towards everyone.

My homestay mother influenced my trip because she was so happy with her life.

Tiger Sangay was a huge help and a great teacher on this trip. He really was a great mentor.

Topaz influenced my trip a lot because I had lots of conversations with him while I was sick and he told me so much about this part of the world.

During our homestay, I spent a bit of time learning how to weave with a woman in the village. In the limited time we spent together, I learned so much from her about not only weaving, but Bhutan itself. She inspired me to continue trying new things and to get better at weaving.

3. What is something your family should know?

That I love them and I am extremely grateful for all of their support.

I have grown and expanded my views to account for all the experiencing I’ve had on this trip and in the future.

I want my family to know that the way we live life is not the only way to live life.

I may have lost quite a few things, brace yourself!

I miss them and appreciate them more than they could ever know.

How thankful I am for giving me the opporunity to go on this trip and I can’t wait to tell them everything I did and learned.

Don’t worry, I’ll still go to college.

I never felt homesick during this trip but I thought about my brothers and dad every day, about how much I love and miss them.

I am still the same person but I now have more knowledge. That is all that changed about me.

I feel my values and view have changed on this trip.

I have changed a lot from this trip and I want to share all my stories with you.