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Photo by Parker Pflaum, Summer 2014

Welcome To Your Haverford China Yak Board!

Haverford Students and Families,

Welcome you to your Haverford School and Where There Be Dragons Yak Board for our collaborative “China: Culture and Environment” program.

In just a couple of weeks, you’ll bid farewell to home, and trade the bustling streets of Philadelphia for the verdant rice paddies of the Yunnan and skyscrapers of Beijing. Beyond the change of geography and landscape, your time in China 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 your Chinese peers. Along the way, you’ll learn about the diversity and the complexity of urban Beijing and Kunming. You’ll listen to stories from environmental activists, monks, and local youth. You’ll eat new things, laugh with new friends, contemplate your own unique lifestyle and worldview as you dive into contemporary Chinese 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 Haverford-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 China. 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 China. 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 While we do encourage your participation on postings that are relevant and valuable to the entire Haverford group, we do not publish postings that serve as personal communications with your sons and daughters.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