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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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Reflections as a group

Him C, Participant

Yak of the Week

In Nepal I learned…. That humor doesn’t have to be the only way to interact with someone, that being kind is really appreciated, and how to do a card trade How to slow down and notice the little things. That lives on this half of the......Read More

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Trek departure

Arvin Singh Uzunov Dang, Instructor

Picture of the Week

Apologies for the belated post, I just found these on my camera and realized they might be worth seeing. Our students got their best and most fiercest game faces on for the morning we left for the trek, courtesy of red tikka and some glitter. Perhaps this is why they set such a fast pace for the whole trek, often leaving the porters and guides struggling to keep up. A big change from when they left you, eh? Transference has been a beautiful and affirming experience for all of us, and we are proud of the young men and women… Read More

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Chaotic Dividers

Ellie Wooden, Participant

Yak of the Week

This trip truly meant the world to me… Throughout my life my teachers and friends have always refered to themselves and myself as “American citizens” (I do not disagree, the quotes are to provide a point). A few years back I began......Read More

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At Bhaktapur

Team Him C, Instructor

Picture of the Week

The art of pottery itself can be meditative, maybe it is the effect of the fluid spin of the wheel, or the grounding effect of touching the clay/ earth with our bare hands. We went to the ancient pottery square in Bhaktapur on our last day of xphase to meet the artisans and try our hands on the pottery wheel.

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X-Phase Day Four: A Surprise

I-Team, Instructor

Picture of the Week

Our fourth day of X-Phase brought us closer to India and deeper into the plains of Nepal as we went to visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. We arrived later in the afternoon and only had a few hours to walk around, but we were able to visit the Maya Devi Temple and sit in the large lawn under flocks of birds and learn about Buddha’s lifestory and listen to some visitors from China sing prayers towards the setting sun. The true highlight of the day was stopping to get chiya and samosas at a shop on the way. Although… Read More

WTBD yaks from Mekong

Mekong: The Tibetan Plateau to the Heart of Southeast Asia

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Our Final Post: A Reflection

Team Dragons, Participant

Yak of the Week

As we spend our final days together doing transference near Kampot, we have one last collaborative post to share with you. Each of the 10 mini-posts have been written in general response to three questions proposed to us by our instructors: What is......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Morocco

Morocco: Ancient Cities to the Atlas Mountains

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FINAL YAK

Student Group, Participant

Yak of the Week

In Morocco I…   In Morocco I lived in the mountains, the desert, and by the sea. I was welcomed into two families who fed me tajine, couscous, tea, and bread. I learned about the history of this country, about colonialism, religion, and......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Andes Amazon

South America: Andes & Amazon - Group B

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Mountain Mama

Zoe, Participant

Yak of the Week

Powerful, mighty, strong, serene, tranquil, mountains. Throughout this trip I have come to realize the gravity of mountains. They, indeed, have a sort of gravitational pull. Once you start to look at them towering over what seems to be all of......Read More

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Sampela Thanksgiving

Ariella, Participant

Yak of the Week

I am awoken by a symphony; shrieking children, yelling conversations, the thunder of footsteps, chickens screaming… I moan, roll off my mat, and stumble out of my room into the kitchen. I creep outside onto our woven bamboo porch, where I find......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Guatemala

Guatemala: Spanish Language & Grassroots Activism

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Como amaneciste?

Mila, Participant

Yak of the Week

Usually at my home in Portland you wouldn’t find me up before I have to be. I am a huge fan of sleeping in, if there’s an opportunity to sleep in until 10 or 11 am I’ll probably take it. Here in Guatemala though, there’s a lot to do and no......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Nepal

Nepal: Himalayan Studies - Group C

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Reflections

Harrison Bushnell, Participant

Yak of the Week

It seems obvious that self-image (how we perceive our personality, worth, and attractiveness to the outside world) is eternally tied to our literal self-image (how we appear in photos, mirrors, etc.). I was pondering self-image during our 14-day......Read More

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Morning light

Micah LeMasters, Instructor

Yak of the Week

Winter has quietly settled into the Kathmandu valley and cold air has begun to sneak in with pealing prayer bells that find their way in through my open window in the morning. The ancient kingdom of Patan wakes up gracefully with freshly prepared......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Senegal

West Africa: Rhythms of Senegal

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Lost

Phoebe, Participant

Yak of the Week

I’ve been leaving parts of myself behind in Senegal. I left a bra in Mouit. The brand new crocodile earring that disappeared into the sand one night in Dene. I’ve lost endless, endless strands of hair. A lens cap in the mountains of Ibel. A......Read More