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Welcome to your VMS China Yak Board!

VMS and Families,

Welcome to your Vail Mountain School and Where There Be Dragons Yak Board for our collaborative “China: The Diversity of Yunnan” program!

In just over one month, you’ll bid farewell to home and trade the chilly Colorado winter for the eternal spring of Kunming and the crisp air of the surrounding Yunnan. Beyond the change of geography and landscape, your time in China is sure to shake 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 of Yunnan and the complexity of urban and rural relations. 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 VMS-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 While we do encourage your participation on postings that are relevant and valuable to the entire VMS group, we do not publish postings that serve as personal communications with your children.

We are overjoyed to follow along with your adventure.

The Dragons Administration Team