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

A Homecoming, of Sorts

Hi everyone!

I can’t believe we’re only a few days out from our California adventure. Were has the semester gone?

I’m really looking forward to this experience. While I’ll be returning to my home state, this trip will bring a number of firsts for me:

  • First time traveling in the eastern Sierras – my brother is jealous that we’ll be so close to Bishop. He’s a climber and absolutely loves the area.
  • First time taking such a large group of students into the field. (I did once travel with 75 kiddos to NYC for a Finance Academy trip, but that was a lot of tourism and hotel stay — definitely not a Dragons course!)
  • First time bringing my daughter, Amelia (12) on one of my adventures. I’m already really proud of her for stepping out of her comfort zone and committing to two weeks of camping with a bunch of high schoolers she’s never met!
  • First time connecting with the Bishop Paiute. I’m deeply humbled and grateful to be invited into a place that they have called home for many generations and really look forward to sharing stories.

There are other firsts I could name, but these are top of mind. Overall, I’m feeling really grateful to be getting back into the field with students after such a long COVID hiatus. While not the Bolivia trips of June 2018 and 2019 that proved so transformative for earlier PGC cohorts, I have no doubt that our time in the Payahuunadü will be magical. And, I have complete faith in our instructor team — both HIES faculty and los Dragones — to hold our students safe and to bring the magic out of our encounters with people and place.

Nos vemos pronto,

Erik