I’d like to start by expressing my inspiration and gratitude: I’m inspired by your courage to leap into the wild journey that awaits you just around the bend, and grateful to the unique set of circumstances that is bringing each of you to Dragons and to Nepal. I hope that wherever you are now, you are peering into the months ahead with excitement and curiosity. While you are each drawn to Nepal for different reasons, your semester there will profoundly challenge and inspire each of you in ways yet unimaginable.
I can certainly understand your draw to the subcontinent…I made my first voyage to India in 2004, enticed by the idea of a place so utterly colorful, foreign and unknown. I was charmed by the hospitality and wisdom of the people and awed by the opportunities to be challenged deeply and to learn profoundly every day, and I said I’d return to India a hundred times. I have since explored many corners of the subcontinent, with 10 trips to Nepal in the past 8 years, 4 years in India, and a year and a half in Bangladesh. You’re in for a treat! Nepal will provide countless moments of sheer joy and wonder but also of frustration and exasperation. By stepping out of your comfort zone and surrendering to a completely different rhythm, you will be richly rewarded in compassion, knowledge, friendship, perspective, and humility.
I have been working with Dragons for more than a decade in many capacities and countries, as a field instructor and as an administrator. From now into February I will be working with Uttara to get your program off the ground, and then I will be taking some time off to work on some personal projects. As such, Uttara will be your primary point of contact during the program (see her bio next on the Yak board). In our shared role as South Asia Program Director, we’ll work from the sidelines with your instructor team to set the foundation for a safe, fulfilling, and fun three months of hands-on learning and exploration. The instructors who will be guiding your journey are a special and talented group with years of experience working with young people, and we are humbled by the opportunity to facilitate your program alongside these talented folks.
In the coming weeks, your instructors will introduce themselves here on the Yak board, will encourage you to introduce yourselves, and will post more important information about your upcoming trip, including a sample itinerary. Stay tuned for more soon! Again, welcome to Dragons and to Nepal. I’m so looking forward to following your journey!
Christy, South Asia Program Director