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Photo by Sampor Burke, Mekong Semester.

A Day in Damoyu

Our first 24 hours in Damoyu have brought hot sun, rain showers, tea ceremonies, map drawing, exploration, creation, and storytelling. Orientation is a time intended for slow immersion into a new place. We discuss culture and customs, we reflect on what brought us to this place in this moment in time.

Our Orientation’s theme (Mapping our Journey & Values) comes from our course’s Focus of Inquiry: Mapping the Mekong: identity, tradition, environment, and history through wabi sabi (imperfect beauty). Today we spent time mapping our journey; discussing our itinerary and the various components of it, examining our own life rivers and how they have merged to flow into the Mekong, pondering what it will be like to drink hot water in cold mountains and cold water on hot islands.

Even though it has only been a day here, our group has already settled into a comfortable rhythm. We began the day with a tea ceremony and ended it with a Tibetan folktale about the three parallel rivers. We hope to do that as often as possible. Our maps are being added to, every day, and we look forward to sharing them with you.