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

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Welcome to our forum for courses in the field. The Yak Board is a digital group journal where students and staff share photos, stories, reflections and group updates while on course. Check out our Featured Posts below or explore Yaks by program by clicking on the icons above.

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My Homestay

Jack, Participant

Yak of the Week

I started out my homestay by being greeted by an old lady who spoke no English. I would later know her as angay, which is the Dzongkhan word for grandma. Now that the week is complete, I can confidently say that in my opinion, I had by far the best......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Madagascar

Madagascar: Island of Diversity

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Family

Lula, Participant

Yak of the Week

Before we began our assail on the bruised sandstone of the mountains of Isalo, we all stood in what looked and felt like a prayer circle. “These are our guides,” our instructor, Sidonie, told us as she gestured to the group of men that......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Senegal

Senegal: In the Shade of the Baobab Tree

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Color goes with la couleur va avec kulor bi

Penelope, Participant

Yak of the Week

“Color goes with la couleur va avec kulor bi”   My mom always used to say “Color goes with color” But in my beige American mind I never understood At 16 a dragon swept me away To a land of brilliant color Of pale orange sand and bright......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Senegal

Senegal: In the Shade of the Baobab Tree

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The communal bowl

Taz, Participant

Yak of the Week

Eating out of a communal bowl, sharing tea cups, these are both little things that distinguish Senegalese culture from what I’ve grown up with. Growing up in Peru and New York, my eating habits have remained consistent: everyone gets a personal......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Bolivia

Bolivia: Spirit of the Andes

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The Struggle

Megan Murphy, Participant

Yak of the Week

Before I came to Bolivia, I was determined to put my experience in a historical and political context that I could cleanly understand. One of my teachers from school had seen me at his open summer classes and, upon learning I was going to Bolivia,......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Bolivia

Bolivia: Spirit of the Andes

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ISP Experience

Sophie, Participant

Yak of the Week

My favorite part of our 10 day Tiquipaya homestay were the 4 afternoons I spent working on my Independent Study Project, graffiti. It transformed my mindset. It may sound a little depressing, but my art is one of the few things I pride myself in and......Read More

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Tiempo en Ak’tenamit

Brandon, Participant

Yak of the Week

Hello there, Don´t know where to start, it has been about three days since when we departed from Ak´Tenamit to our midcourse and now we are at Qachuu Aloom at the department of Bajo Verapaz. I´ll do my best to explain my time in Ak´Tenamit. In......Read More

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A Note to the Parents

Jane Park, Participant

Yak of the Week

Monday, July 8th, I stand in the backyard with uncooked rice in my hand. The morning fog still hangs heavy over the valley, concealing the steep drop down to the fields behind the house. The baby of the family, Tsou-Tsou, stands next to me, shaking......Read More

WTBD Yaks from China

China: The Silk Road

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Village Homestay Reflection

Melanie Leider, Participant

Yak of the Week

My alarm sounds at 7:30 AM. I turn to Laura and shake her awake in our cozy, pink canopy bed. Together we mosey our way outside to brush our teeth and wash our faces by the tap where we can hear our yak grunting from inside the shed. After chowing......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Cambodia

Cambodia: Peace-Building & Conservation

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The beauty of what we don’t know

AnnaRose Craig, Participant

Yak of the Week

People are generally quiet here. Except Ma, she’s rather loud. I don’t talk much because my family speaks Khmer and very little English. It’s quite wonderful because it gives me a chance to listen rather than speak. During the day, I hear the......Read More

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From Ladakh, with gratitude

N. India, Instructor

Yak of the Week

We have spent the last two weeks forming a “little” family of thirteen on this trip. We imagine if we sat down to list all the people who have been part of our journey so far, the number would be far greater. Perhaps we will do that one day......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Cambodia

Cambodia: Peace-Building & Conservation

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The Genocide Museum

Ruby Murray and Rachel Schreiber, Participant

Yak of the Week

A few days ago, we visited the Genocide Museum in the heart of Phnom Penh. The museum is housed within a former Khmer Rouge “Security Center,” S-21. As we entered into the museum, shaded by large trees that did nothing to betray the horrors that......Read More

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Our stay at Swe Nadi monastery

Oscar Rigo, Participant

Yak of the Week

Dear family and loved ones, Through July 11 to the 14, we stayed at the Shwe Nadi, where we experienced our first learning service. During our stay, the team was given the choice to part take in three activities, planting bamboo trees, adobe brick......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Bolivia

Bolivia: Spirit of the Andes

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Homestay Family

Grace Levey, Participant

Yak of the Week

Hi! I am reporting live from Cochabamba, where I was able to spend my day exploring the big city.  But this post is not about Cochabamba.  Rather it is about a place called Tiquipaya and the wonderful people I have waiting for me there – my......Read More