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A young arriero leads a mule across fresh snow in the Peruvian Andes. Photo by Benjamin Swift (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest Finalist), South America Semester.

Saludos from your Instructor

Hola a todxs,

Bienvenidos a Dragones! ¿Qué onda?

Today I am writing you all from my family home on Bainbridge Island, WA in the beautiful pacific northwest. I recently finished a 6 week Dragons program in Guatemala and I am taking some needed downtime (still on the move though!) to recharge. I am happy to report that my strategy is working and I’m already full of anticipation for the fall.

In the last couple of years, transition has become common for me.  After graduating from university, I moved to Guatemala to work a year on a Princeton in Latin-America fellowship. Last summer I worked as a trip leader in Argentina before quickly packing up again to join my brother as an English teacher in Vietnam. Then in the spring, it was back to Latin-America to begin my Dragon’s journey in Bolivia and Peru. Finally, a few months in Colombia and Panama, six weeks with Dragons in Guatemala and I am “home” again.

Throughout these changes, I have been challenged to value each experience in the present moment. When one chapter ends and another suddenly begins, it can be difficult to leave the past behind and focus yourself entirely on the now.

In less than a month, the “now” will be Cat, Colleen and I meeting all of you guys in Bolivia! Together we will climb mountains, trek through jungles, and hear firsthand the stories, passions, and challenges of Bolivian and Peruvian people. We will also wait in bus stations, eat lots of potatoes, feel homesick, get bitten by mosquitos, and push the limits of our physical and mental capacities. This is all intensely exciting and perhaps a bit overwhelming. Just how I like it.

As we think ahead to the fall, I implore each one of us to be mindful in our preparation.

Here are some questions I’ve been asking myself lately:

What do you need to do over the next month so that you feel ready to give your whole self on program? What are your personal goals for this semester? What are you passionate about? How are you going to apply your passions to this experience?

Okay basta ya.

Be well, pack light, and come in with an open mind and heart. I am beyond excited to meet all of you.

If you have any questions, thoughts, ideas or concerns whatsoever, don’t hesitate to send me a note. Your instructor team will be here to support you from start to finish.

[email protected]

Hasta pronto viajeros.

Abrazos,

Jesse