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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

Believe.

Intrepid friends,

In a few short days you will join the three of us here in Nepal. We are greatly anticipating your arrival. We have spent the past week considering all the possibilities of our time together. We have had discussions about places we will go and people we will meet. Mostly, we have developed an excitement for meeting you. As we finalize preparations, we have taken some time to reflect upon the ways in which we want to exist in this world. We wanted to share this with you. See you soon.

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We believe in the importance of recognizing curiousity as just that, and not as a manifestation of assumption. As you enter into a new sphere of life and a new physical space, you will have wonderings all the time–perhaps you already do. From the roads to the hills, the beds to the bathrooms, the normal you will see may not be the normal you have known. Allow yoursef to ask–ask, ask. Assuming creates separation, and we aim to unite. Come to Nepal with curiousity. We believe this will be your ally in adventure.

We believe we each have the power to make others’ lives a little better, every day. Through listening, smiling, sharing, and giving. From recognizing to honoring to valuing to providing. Our every day’s are uniquely ours. We have the choice about how we show up. Will you smile at your home-stay mother in the morning after a poor night of sleep? Will you give a hand to an elderly man to help him cross a busy road? Will you choose not to get frustrated when traffic delays your arrival? The smallest of acts and the boldest of interactions can have the grandest of results.

We believe in the power of challenge; to not give in to what is hard, but embrace it as learning and growth. You have known challenge. In Nepal you will come to know new challenges. It is how you lean in to these moments that will help to define your experience. Tolerating adversity and uncertainty will help you push your comfort zones and realize that you are never too small and nothing is ever too big.

We believe in choosing the motivation of love over the motivation of fear. Compassion replaces control. Empathy encourages community. Light or hard, love is love and it is present on every corner of every street you will walk down in Nepal. You do not always need to like something, but there is something to be said about holding love within yourself and letting it spread to others: friends, mentors, strangers.

We believe in collaboration; for the next three months, we will be the co-creators of our experience. There is no script written for how to live on this course, much less this world. Let us create and write together.