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

ISP Presentations!

Today we had the pleasure of learning more about what the students have been upto making and learning every afternoon of our time in Patan at their Independent Study Project sites. Spoiler alert: We were totally blown away!

During our time in Patan, students have the opportunity to be paired up with local artisans and mentors to dive deep into different art forms and philosophies. Today, the students gave presentations on all they had learned and created.

When we arrived at the Program House this morning, Louise and Savannah were cooking up a storm for breakfast. We ate a delicious potato curry and perfectly round rotis as they described all the different things they had learned from their wise mentor. They each made recipe books, one of which will stay in the Program House for Him B!

Next, Guin and Clare described the meticulous work that goes into carving a metal sculpture – all the steps from creating a cast, to melting and pouring the metal into said cast and then working for hours and hours to perfect the shape and form of the sculpture. They had each made a sculpture and their mentor also came in to share and describe his work to our group.

Mario and Melanie learned Paubha painting, traditional religious paintings made by Newaris, the Tibetan equivalent known as Thangka. They told us about the way the canvas is made, all the natural stone paints they used and then showed off their works of art!

Then Maria and Frances spent some time telling us about all they learned about Yoga and Philosophy during their afternoons with their mentor. They discussed how yoga was more a way of life than it was a form of exercise and that they were thankful they got the opportunity to learn more about the philosophy behind yoga and why it’s so important. We’re so looking forward to the classes they are going to lead during our mini X-Phase this week!

Vivian and Harry shared all the exciting things they had been learning during their Ayurveda classes. Ayurveda is a system of medicine, popular in South Asia. It was fascinating to learn about the three doshas, loosely translated as “substances” in our bodies and the balance between the three (vata, pitta and kapha). While they aren’t experts yet, it was clear they had learned a lot and we look forward to learning more from them soon.

It was then time for Diego to pull out his hammer and chisel and show us how he had made his masterpieces. He described the techniques he had learned from his mentor and how he came to love the patience and calm that goes into a craft like stone carving. He created almost four finished pieces in his time here!

To end our day of presentations, Inga treated us to a beautiful folk song played on the Sarangi, a bowed string instrument. The Sarangi is one of the most difficult instruments to learn and yet, Inga was able to play a song from memory after just a few classes! We hope she will continue to master this art!

Below are some pictures of the students presenting, but they do absolutely no justice to the amazing amount of work they have put in these last 3 weeks. Students- your instructors could not be more proud of you!