I am writing you this note after having just finished an excellent run – ok – let’s realistically call it a jog. I’m sitting at my dining room table with a cold glass of Bournvita, a milk drink marketed to children in India, advertised to give them stronger bones, muscles and brains. Amazing. Apparently I haven’t grown (up). I mean, who doesn’t want a stronger brain? 🙂
I’ve just finished instructing a summer course in Ladakh, India and these days I’ve been spending time in the garden drinking tea and eating biscuits, an activity I hope you will come to love as we spend time together in Nepal this fall. I’ve also been reading a lot and crafting a lot. I often like to balance my rather busy and full Dragons days with very calm and restful breaks where I do an abundance of nothing.
I love my Dragons life, but I spent a lot of time trying to find my way here. When I was eight, I was in Bombay, India, the city I was born in, thoroughly dissatisfied with my life at school. I convinced my parents to let me go to boarding school and that’s where I spent the next 9 years of my life. It’s a cliché to say, but I do feel truly lucky to have spent my childhood in the beautiful hill station of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu. I then spent four years in New York doing a degree in liberal arts, while also taking 6 months to live and study in Germany. I did all sorts of things after this, like, work in advertising, write for a magazine, teach, spend lots of time in Ladakh, convince people my non-specific degree meant something, work on a farm and get a Master’s in International Education Policy. I applied for many jobs that didn’t feel inspiring, whose applications didn’t even sit right. Eventually, through an important phone call and life talk with a dear friend, I applied to Dragons. And I am thrilled to finally be here.
This semester will be only my second in Nepal. The last semester was a delight – full of new experiences. The winding, dusty streets of Patan that at first seem impossible to memorise, but quickly become familiar, but no less dusty. Our program house rooftop on which many a day dream has been had. The quiet apprehension of stepping into a homestay, the soft tears upon saying goodbye. The mountains that humble us and the people that teach us and laugh with us along the way. The discovery of a new craft, a new mentor, soon to become a good friend. I hope to spend this fall finding newer things still, going back to familiar places and faces and writing a new story – with you.
I am so excited to meet you, get to know you, travel and adventure with you. I hope to learn from and with you. I hope you are as excited as I am. Even if you are feeling something else, a tiny bit nervous, or buckets full of curious, I encourage you to step into this fall with your eyes, arms and heart wide open. Because Nepal will definitely be doing the same.
As your arrival in Nepal draws closer, I imagine you might have some questions. You will soon receive a phone call from one of us instructors, but if you have a more pressing or personal question, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected]