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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.


Skipping rocks on the briny water of Owens Lake

Greetings, HIES!

It’s exciting to introduce you all to the HIES and Where There Be Dragons Yak Board for the upcoming course, “The Sacred Valley of the Payahuunadü”!

In just a few weeks, you’ll trade the noisy streets of Atlanta for the quiet spacious desert and mountains of the Eastern Sierras. Soon you’ll find yourself surrounded by the earthy colors and flowers of a California Spring as you explore the communities and landscapes of the American West. You’ll spend days soaking up the crisp clear sunshine and nights sleeping under the dazzling stars; you’ll engage with remarkable people dedicated to cultural florescence and environmental stewardship; you’ll engage with artists, ranchers and learn to cook local meals in the outdoor kitchen; you’ll bounce between vastly different landscapes and lifestyles from the cold snowy high peaks, to the hot and lush river valleys. Along the way, you’ll find this Yak Board to be a powerful forum, where your group can weave together a vibrant narrative of your collective journey—from pre-course preparation, into the field, and even after your return home.

We are thrilled to be a part of your experience in the Sierras. To make it real, the first thing we are asking of you is an introduction to you, and what you are looking forward to on this course. You may be well-acquainted with your peers on this course, but you may not know their expectations, excitement, goals, curiosities, and fears. This forum will provide the space and support for your classmates, instructors, and teachers to share these things. You’ll be amazed, looking back at the end of the course, to witness the ways you’ve grown and changed in just a couple of weeks!

We are overjoyed to follow along with your adventure.

-Dragons Administration Team