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Photo by Sampor Burke, Mekong Semester.

Instructor intro

Sabaidee Everyone greeting from Laos, the former millions of elephant kingdom. It’s the nation which half of the region is jungle and 90% percent is greenery area, and yet it’s the most unknown country of S.E Asia I would say. My name is Somsanid Inthongsai or Som. I’ve been involved with Dragons since 2010 and partaken the Mekong semester every program since then, I also led summer grogram as well which are: Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. It is such an honor to be your instructor on this amazing Mighty Mekong Fall Semester 2018 with Steve and Shuier!

Before and between working with Dragons, I was freelance translator, English/Lao teacher, farmer, topo-mapping surveyor and a trekking guide in my little home town called Thakhek, where our Laos homestay will be located on an island right in the middle of the Mekong.

We might heard that traveling is to open our mind, to discover the new places, culture and beauties. That’s true, and as I’m working as a Dragons instructor, I’ve learned so much about myself while traveling, It’s a mirror to allow me to see and expand my understanding of humanity, the similarity and the difference of values, and that helps me to be a better person through the sense of harmonies and gratitude for the people that I made relationships with along the way. Traveling offer so much more than just to discover the outside but your inner self as well.

Fun facts about me: When I was young, I was a monk for short period of time and that how I was profoundly introduced into Buddhism, which I took it as a lens of life’s perception and practices nowadays. During courses I taught Buddhism and meditation, beside that I also into histories and politics and Chess J

When I was 16 after my high school, I worked with my father in the southern Laos for a topography mapping project, where I spent my life 3 months in the wild tropical jungle. The area was the Ho chi minh trail (You’ll learn this history on course), where there’re tons of UXOs (unexploded ordnances) which left from the US-CIA secret war, it was dangerous in our everyday life working in such area, there was once that the bomb exploded but luckily no one was near and got injured. There were times that we encountered mama bear and eating pythons and king cobras or big lizards, but that was how we learned simple jungle survival, building shelters, finding food, and completely enjoy the nature without human civilization. It was one of my greatest achievements of all time as that age.

Please don’t hesitate to share your introduction/stories and post any questions that you have on the Yak Board.

Excited for the full circle!

Cheers!

Somsanid.