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As the upcoming first Independent Study Project (ISP) day was getting closer, I was getting more and more nervous. Being the only Dragons student in the Indonesia program to choose the studies of traditional music of Java, there was no wonder why I......Read More
People say that when you are uncomfortable you are in a good spot for personal growth. However, what they don´t tell you is that the uncomfortable part can be very, very uncomfortable. My first day of homestays turned out to be an extremely......Read More
Walking into the village Tar was a very different experience than what I expected it to be. I never thought that in my wildest dreams I would be so isolated from society and technology. The village was a small 7 house community, but had more character than a city like LA. The people of Tar have very different and special life that they live. They all have their role to play in the community, such as my host mother. My mother away from home was a very small lady with a large personality. She seemed to be the town Matriarch… Read More
Tibet was once one of the most isolated nations in the world. It’s harsh climate coupled with its impressive natural border of the Himalaya mountain range made traveling here quite difficult. When China staked claim to Tibet their first goal was to bridge this gap and make it easier to access the Tibetan Plateau. Railways were built to Lhasa and other major cities inside and outside the official Tibetan Autonomous Region. Xining, an old trading town on the famous Silk Road, received one of these railways. Nowadays it’s a mere 20 hour train ride from Beijing to the city of… Read More
When we first arrived to Tocaña the only vestiges of human life were the paintings and pictures on the walls. I was admiring a picture of Bob Marley, Mick Jagger, and Peter Tosh, when Pulga, the first Tocañeno I met, came out. With his short......Read More
Growing up in San Francisco I have always considered the city a core part of my identity, never able to imagine myself anywhere else. So much so, in fact, that I told my college counselor I would only seriously consider urban schools. Somehow I......Read More
My name is Andrea. My name was bestowed upon me in honor of my father’s mother, who died before I was born, who’s legacy I carry with me everyday. My name has meant a great many things to me, but it has always served to remind me of the......Read More
We sat in the back of Tar Village’s small gompa, watching our amalay, Tashi, bend to the floor in prayer. She came and sat down, laughing and taking selfies with the two of us and Tsewang, who was the amalay of Isabel and Caroline. Tashi and......Read More
What’s a monks favorite drink? Lamanade! What did the instructor say to the student during the homestay briefing? You Buddha Thangka your host! What did the student say when they found out they would be trekking in the mountains for over 9......Read More
The earth becomes pews as carpets are laid out; slowly, deliberately, in rows upon rows. The minutes sing slowly onward as men in white skullcaps cluster tightly together, shoes discarded behind the rugs in neat pairs; there is an air of great......Read More
We didn’t step into the jungle. We were devoured by it. Gunung Leuser National Park in Northern Sumatra is a primary rainforest, so the trees stretch higher than most necks can even crane. Giant Jungle ants creep along graceful Lilliana vines......Read More
At the foot of the walnut tree my ShuShu hugged the trunk, his chest glued to the familiar bark, with each limb wrapped around, like a cub clinging to his mother’s back while she wards off predators. In this position he shimmied slowly upward.......Read More
¡Hola a todos! It is incredible to think that in the past ten days, I met the people I with whom will be spending the next three months, explored the town of Urubamba to the point where I almost know my way around (I can at least find my new......Read More
Our first week of course has been an art in holding space and sharing light. We have provided one another license to think about intention and self. We have riffed off of one another’s thoughts and that has taken us down roads and up valleys of conversation relating to travel, development, adulthood, family structures, and our spirit animals. Light has been an important thread we have followed. We began our time together settled around candlelight, where we expressed our fears: of not being as present as we could be, of not expressing adequate gratitude to those we care about, of… Read More
There’s a saying that there is no winded road. We are only walking zigzagged on a straight road. When it rains, it’s not the clouds that are crying, but rather the sun, and the clouds cannot keep the sun’s tears from falling. As we......Read More
When hiking through the town of Yubeng, one cannot help but marvel at the vast and powerful nature of the world. The sun peeks out each morning from behind snow-capped peaks and tree-covered mountains encircled by puffy white clouds which have never......Read More