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Welcome to your Dragons VMS Thailand Yak Board!

VMS Students and Families,

Welcome you to your VMS and Where There Be Dragons Yak Board for our collaborative “Human Ecology in Northern Thailand” program.

In just over three weeks, you’ll bid farewell to home, and trade the snow banks of Vail for the smells and sights of Thailand. Beyond the change of geography and landscape, your time in Thailand is sure to shaken and awaken you as you dive into new foods, new languages, cultures, ways of living, complex histories, topics of development, religion, and immerse in the daily life of a rural village. Along the way you’ll learn about the ecological diversity of the tropics and the jewel of SE Asia. You’ll listen to stories from environmental activists, artisans, and local youth. You’ll eat new things, laugh with new friends, contemplate your own unique lifestyle and worldview as you dive into contemporary Thai and ethnic identities, and struggle to make sense of this BIG experience in your own wonderful way.

To support your group’s collective experience, this Yak board will be a powerful forum that weaves together an exquisite narrative of the journey you’ll be on with your VMS-Dragons community. This narrative will extend from the pre-course days, well into the field, and even after. And so we invite you to try your keyboards at the published word, and begin to share about your own goals, experience, and hopes for this grand adventure.

We are thrilled to be a part of your experience in Thailand. To make it real, the first thing we are excited to hear from you is an introduction. You may be well-acquainted with the folks on your course, but you may not know their expectations, excitement, goals, curiosities, and fears as you all embark on an epic journey to Southeast Asia. This forum will provide the space and support to share these things. And, you’ll be amazed looking back at the end of the course and witness the ways you’ve grown and changed in just a matter of days abroad!

Parents, we realize that this Yak Board will be extremely important for you to remain abreast of your child’s travels, and to see images and words from their journey. We’re excited to have you follow along. While we do encourage your participation on postings that are relevant and valuable to the entire VMS group, we do not publish postings that serve as personal communications with your sons and daughters.

We are overjoyed to follow along with your adventure.

The Dragons Administration Team