Namaste Dear Friends and Fellow Travelers,
We know you are all very excited about your upcoming summer trip to Nepal and also have lots of questions about what to bring, and one of the biggest questions is how we will be in contact with home. So we discussed as team and we wanted to share with you information on our electronics policy for the course, and we hope that the guidelines presented here will help to clarify things. We want to let you know that you do not need electronic devices in this course, but if you wish to bring anything, we would like you to follow these guidelines:
Devices such as cell phones, computers, I-pads, tablets, iPods with Wi-Fi connectivity, and gaming devices are not allowed on this course, even if they are deactivated. If you come with these things, your I-Team will hold them for the duration of the course and hand them to you on the final day. Since so much of our traveling is rugged and lugging them all around can increase chances of damage, we prefer to store them safely away (although we’ll do our best to keep your things safe, we take no responsibility for any loss or damage that might occur) so you won’t be able to use those items at any point during the course. These devices have a lot of potential to interfere with the experience you are about to have in Nepal. There will be many chances to contact your home, so please do not worry about this – you will have so many opportunities to connect with your family and friends through internet cafes, phones while in urban areas, and through the Yak board, which is going to be your biggest means of communicating with home during the course. And the instructor team will make sure to help you connect back home if there is some emergency or other urgent matter.
We do allow offline devices such as cameras and e-readers without Wi-Fi capability. Please do keep in mind that moderation is the key with these things, since we don’t want these devices to become distractions from the experience. When it comes to reading, we have always found that books are much better options than e-readers as you can easily swap and share with one another. You can also access our Program House library which is well equipped with a plethora of great reads. As for cameras, please don’t worry about it if you don’t want to bring one, because at the end of the course we will create a google drive folder and collect the pictures from everyone and share them.
Past students have always mentioned how incredibly enriching it is to be disconnected from technology and express their gratitude to the instructor team for facilitating it by holding a strong line with the technology policy. We as the Dragons community strongly believe in the power of “unplugging” in our courses, so we can explore what it means to be truly connected to the present and in the moment, to be connected to the people around us, the ground on which we stand, the air we breathe, the sound of temple bells, and the song of the birds. Our modern electronic devices make it very easy to distance ourselves from these kinds of experiences, and we miss the chance by the second or minute to see what’s happening around us. We hope that you understand the value of disconnecting yourself and find the freedom and joy in it together as team. There are many other ways to entertain ourselves in this world and we will do that. We hope the upcoming four weeks will bring you lots of fun, learning, and the adventure of your life!
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about this electronics policy or any other questions you have. We are looking forward to connecting with you all and can’t wait to hear from you all here on the Yak Board!
Shanti, Nick, & Saurabh