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

Namaste from Kathmandu!!

Namaste Everyone,

Welcome to Nepal Himalaya Program and its a pleasure to be introducing myself to you guys.

My name is Tsheten and I am from Nepal. I have been involved with Dragons for 4 years now. However, this is my second trip as an  instructor. While I am writing this over a cup of Chiya (Nepali tea), monsoon is slowly losing its effect over this region and I am reminded that it is almost time for another adventure with a new group of young adults.

I was born in a village in the foothills of Solukhumbu. As a child, I grew up playing football in muddy fields, wandering spontaneously and planting potato seedlings in fields alongside my family. I experienced being a monk for two years where I learned and practiced buddhist rituals with 200 other monks. I learned to live in discipline and peace. I spend most of my adolescence in the city, where I got my regular schooling leading up to college (B.A, Development studies). However, I am always driven back to the remoteness of Nepal and uniqueness of those places.

Nepal is a small country. Yet, for its small size it is remarkably diverse and it resides in many things. It is  the mountains that towers above and take you to the roads less traveled. It is in raging rivers that meanders through hills and hidden valleys. It is in villages nestled along the hills above clouds. It is in people with subsistence lifestyle and their friendly greeting of Namaste (“I bow to the divine in you”). It is in terrace farms fed with rain water, it is in smoke chimney of traditional mud houses and cowshed that shelters their livestock. It resides in thousands years old monument next to residential buildings in congested streets of Kathmandu valley. It is in museum palaces, statues and common courtyards. Above all, it lies in a contrast between modern and ancient. It is in age old traditions still alive and in practice. It is in chants of mantras from a child monk early in the morning in shrines. It is reflected  in Thangka paintings hung on the walls of your home-stay family. It resides among many things and among many things it resides. Overall, it is mystifying.

Dragons has been a wonderful experience for me as I have come across many amazing people. From Instructors, home-stay families, crafts mentors, teachers, guides etc. their contribution has been invaluable to the experience of students. I must say, working alongside these people have provided me with wonderful experience that has encouraged me to explore, dream and discover. And I am glad, we will spend times with these incredible people.

As  you  prepare yourselves to experience the newness in culture, landscape and people, get ready to lose and immerse yourselves in newness of this part of the world. Rest assured, you will have wonderful connection to this place. As the saying goes, “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” To me, all the lands of the earth belong to us all. It is only when you go there and see the different ways in which people live and express their lifestyle.

We’re so excited to meet you, and travel with you, and learn with you. Please, take a few minutes to write a short intro about yourself here so we know where you’re coming from, what you’re excited about, nervous about, or have questions about.

Until our paths cross, we wait to hear from you.

Dhanyabad, (Thank you)