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Photo by Catherine Von Holt, Nepal Semester.

Greetings from Jogja

15 August 2018

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Greetings from Jogja

I am just wrapping up my time here in this beautiful city on the south-central coast of Java. I came here a few weeks ago from Myanmar. I was looking for a quiet place east of the monsoons and the humidity that had already settled into Southeast Asia. Jogja is a city of immense history that boasts both the largest Hindu temple complex ever built outside of India (9th century) and the largest buddhist monument ever built (8th century). It is a city of art and music where the small roads still wind and twist through the neighborhoods that seemingly connect forever and cause the calls to prayer to echo into the evening.

I am originally from Winona Lake, a tiny town in northern Indiana. I grew up surrounded by cornfields and lakes and spent most of my time thumbtacking national geographic maps to my bedroom walls and dreaming about wandering down some dusty road on the other side of the globe. Dragons has been a dream job for me as it has allowed me not only the opportunity to truly discover some of the most far-flung places on the globe but it has pushed me to truly engage with the people and cultures that I have encountered along the way. One of my favorite things about travel is that it simultaneously makes us challenge both our notions of self and the world at large.

This is my fourth year working for Dragons and living on the road full time. I have spent most of my time leading courses and living in sub-saharan Africa and Indonesia but have had the privilege of spending time in India and Nepal and Myanmar with Dragons as well. Outside of those places I keep finding myself passing in and out of south-east Asia and occasionally make it back to the United States to visit family and eat cheese.

I am unbelievably excited to be heading back to Nepal tomorrow and can’t wait for all of you to arrive in a few short weeks. In a world that is becoming more divided and caustic, my goal for this fall is to dig deeper into the language, traditions and culture of Nepal with a focus on all of the beautiful, nuanced, difficult and real things that connect us as opposed to those that separate us.

I look forward to exploring Nepal with all of you and am excited about our upcoming conversations and discussions and can’t wait to hear your stories and start to get to know you and learn about what matters in your lives.

See you all in Kathmandu.