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Another instructor introduction!

Dear Dragons students and families,

I’m writing you from Boulder, Colorado, where I have weathered the past many months of the pandemic. Though I have spent most years of the past decade living outside of the United States, primarily in Senegal and India, I am still rooted to my family in Iowa and to my community in Colorado, my de facto home in the US. I’ll be joining the RGS-A group on April 2nd and taking the place of Luis Alvarado on the instructor team when he returns to his family and young daughter in Bolivia. I am honored and delighted to accompany and learn alongside the group for the second half of the program, and I’m very much looking forward to settling into the rhythm of footsteps landing on mountain trails, meals cooked over a gas stove, and deep conversations about life and all our learnings set to the backdrop of the beautiful places we’ll visit in the second half of the program.

To share a bit more about myself, my involvement with Dragons over the past 13 years has defined many contours of my life. I came to Dragons days after finishing my Master’s degree in International Education and Development back in 2008. I had thought that I’d return to my career in the field of international development doing education policy, but the immersive and transformative learning inherent in experiential education has kept me spinning in the Dragons orbit ever since. As an instructor, I have worked on our programs in Senegal, Rwanda, Madagascar, India, and Nepal, and I even joined the Colorado River Basin Semester in last fall for a few weeks during their orientation and on a trek in Rocky Mountain National Park. As an administrator, I have mostly spent time as a Program Director responsible for overseeing our programming in South Asia and Africa and managing staff trainings.

Beyond my work with Dragons, I have a number of passions and hobbies that fill my days. For one, I take very seriously my role of auntie to a large number of small children of family and friends alike. I am also a lifelong language learner, and while I’ve spent the past year focusing on Italian, I also speak French, Hindi, Bengali, and Spanish. I am an amateur birder and photographer, and I can often be found standing very still somewhere out in the wild, camera in hand. Since being more grounded in the US this year, I’ve gotten involved in immigration justice advocacy, which offers me the opportunity to try to repay some small fraction of the kindness and hospitality that I received while living outside of the United States in the service of folks trying to make a new life here in this country. More than anything, I value being grounded in community and in the little piece of earth that I get to call home.

I always cherish any opportunity I have to spend days immersed in community and in wilder places with Dragons students, and even more so now that the pandemic has shrunk each of our worlds so significantly. I can’t wait to meet the group in Del Rio during their midcourse time!

With care and anticipation,

Christy