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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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Movement Chronicles Part 1

Anna Stevens, Instructor

Picture of the Week

We are writing to you from the village of Nagathali, which is surrounded by snow-capped Himalayas to the east, north, and west. Langtang Peak, sharing a name with the National Park we are in, stands at 7,227 meters, a perfect view from our kitchen. A few days into trekking and we have found our legs, backs, and minds. We have already covered around 40 kilometers of hiking, and lost and gained thousands of meters of elevation. We have been on snow, hiked through rebuilt villages that lost buildings in the 2015 earthquakes, and seen the Big Dipper and the Milky… Read More

WTBD yaks from Mekong

Mekong: The Tibetan Plateau to the Heart of Southeast Asia

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Memories of the Mekong

Sydney Nadler, Participant

Yak of the Week

I opened my eyes to sublime rhythms of the earths sky with sunsets of sugary orange and honeycomb reflected upon each pond. There sat the blazing lotus flower, so pure, so calm. I sat alone and watched the flower, my eyes began to tear. It is right......Read More

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A lil’ Update

Otis, Participant

Yak of the Week

Figure there’s more than a few parents out there wishing for a little more of an… elucidating report from their kids on how their grand adventure abroad has been to date, so I thought I’d at least share how its been for me and......Read More

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Identifying the Future

Anna G., Instructor

Picture of the Week

Neem, totle, tulsi, nettle, kalturda, bojho, sage, chili peppers, canabis, rudilo, titepate, tobacco, bhogote, gandepate, sarifa, barbari, ginger — each of these plants can be found within a twenty minute walk from the community center in Koshi. On their own they serve different purposes: smoke from bojho is inhaled to cure tooth and throat pains; rudilo is used to deter fungus from growing on plants and can be ingested when someone is experiencing hemorrhaging; in the case of dysentery or gastric issues, one can harvest the seeds from bhogote and cook them down into a tea. Separately each of these plants can help to heal. Together,… Read More

WTBD yaks from Mekong

Mekong: The Tibetan Plateau to the Heart of Southeast Asia

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Beyond Language

Solange, Participant

Yak of the Week

I have always loved learning languages. Growing up in a bilingual household and attending international schools, I appreciate that languages can help bring distant communities together and bridge the gap between cultures. I knew that this program......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Indonesia

Indonesia: Community, Culture, and Conservation

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On Home

Lila Brady, Participant

Yak of the Week

To start, some prose for you: Today, someone sneezed and it sounded like you and instantly my heart dove into your white puffy jacket. My mind thinks often of the moment I said goodbye to you. Today I climbed into a taxi on Jalan Sukum as stalks of......Read More

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reflections on family

Sylvia, Participant

Yak of the Week

i. the living room is on the ground floor. I sit with my bahini on the couch and watch Cinderella in Hindi. She asks me – will you comb my hair? Her hair so thick I could secure buildings with it. Pulling the comb through it, my own hair so......Read More

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Why am I here?

Fernanda, Participant

Yak of the Week

I am here to watch a TV show I do not understand. I am here to listen to a language in which I only know two words. I am here to taste food that I have never tasted before. I am here to feel the heat on my skin and the warm breeze go through my......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Indonesia

Indonesia: Community, Culture, and Conservation

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Full Life

Lila, Participant

Yak of the Week

I have been thinking a lot today about living a full life. I wonder if what I’m doing is making my life more full of life. I love quotes and words from aged travelers of the feeling of being alive in the middle of energetic, chaotic bazaars, and......Read More

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Some recent adventures

Parker, Instructor

Picture of the Week

We’ve been in Nepal for exactly 30 days today. It’s been a jam-packed month of experiences and learning! Here are some recent adventures: Anil Chitraker took us on a walking tour of Patan, pointing out many of the sites and history that had heretofore escaped our notice. He recently facilitated some networking and logistics for visits by Prince Harry, Morgan Freeman for his new show ‘The Story of God’, and Benedict Cumberbatch for Dr. Strange filming. Jason Shah talked to our group about youth movements and attitudes in a somewhat traditional and heritage-filled area of Kathmandu. We ate at his… Read More

WTBD Yaks from Andes Amazon

South America: Andes & Amazon - Group C

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The Mountain that Eats Men

Zack Siddall, Instructor

Yak of the Week

  In 1544 the Spanish invaders discovered the mighty Cerro Rico mountain of Potosi. Arguably the largest silver mine in history it’s said that the silver extracted from Cerro Rico could build a road of pure silver from Potosi all the way to......Read More

WTBD yaks from Mekong

Mekong: The Tibetan Plateau to the Heart of Southeast Asia

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This Morning

Isa Warlick, Participant

Yak of the Week

This morning, our first morning in Koh K’Sach Tonlea, I’m slowly awakened by music I’ve never heard before. A distant neighbor has decided to start wedding festivities early, 5:30 am early. As I look around our single room home,......Read More

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Muchas Gracias, Toro Toro

Danielle Mullings, Participant

Yak of the Week

Who would have known that a group of 16 persons, all from vastly different backgrounds would connect so deeply with two guides, native to the Toro Toro National Park in Potosi, Bolivia. It seems that when diversity meets diversity, souls are......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Andes Amazon

South America: Andes & Amazon - Group A

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First Trek!

Teagan Cimring, Participant

Yak of the Week

Hola Familias! We have been in Bolivia for exactly ten days now but it already feels like a lifetime ago that we arrived at the airport and were greeted by Jhasmany, Sandy y Jesse. The first five days we spent in an amazing eco lodge which felt like......Read More