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To be able to sit with oneself with no thoughts of then or now, to simply exist. To close your eyes and be content with darkness. To be patient, to be silent, to be mindful. I hear that word a lot… “mindful.” To be aware of self and mind......Read More
Some choose not to visit the world heritage site of Machu Picchu because of the tourist vs. traveler dilemma. With 5,000 sightseers per day and an annual revenue of USD $35.9 million, it is challenging to find “authentic” educational experiences amidst the touristic elements. For social and environmental reasons, our group decided to take the road less traveled by avoiding the trains/buses and instead walking with all our gear from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes, camping outside the sanctuary in a park, and then hiking up to the ruins (totalling 48km roundtrip on foot)! Despite burning calves, reaching the heights of… Read More
Happy Thursday! I don’t have much time to write this yak because i am meeting my host family for lunch in 20 minutes. So i will briefly recount some moments and share a few thoughts: During our 5 day trek around Apu Ausangate, I witnessed the most......Read More
Hello to all! Staying here in San Antonio over the past few days, it really opens your eyes to the vast number of wonderful places there are around the world that many may not have the opportunityto see in their lifetime. From the view of the volcanoes from the coast of Lake Atitlan, to the sunsets blended with hues of pink, blue, orange, and yellow, this town has been such a sight to be in thus far. During our stay, we’ve begun our homestays in pairs, allowing us to find more independence within ourselves, as well as intensifying our use… Read More
This village, Sinle, is built low in a valley where the terraces flatten out and step lazily toward the small rivers that crisscross their way toward the delta. There are hills all around me and I can see the stars for the first time this week. They......Read More
“They aren’t foreign, we are.” Our instructors remind us as we navigate the Thai toilets, step into the mud to plant rice, and take a bite of the strange dish our host-mother has prepared for our dinner. This is true of any place; there will......Read More
“I see [Lake Atitlan] in my dreams,” says my homestay brother Iuan (Ivan). At this moment I realize the opportunities I am exposed to while on this Dragons trip. As I sit around the table with my homestay family for dinner I pose a question to......Read More
Hello everyone! Today we spent about two hours in the forest attempting to learn slackline with help from Becca, one of our wonderful instructors. Slacklining and yoga were definitely out of our comfort zones. The bamboo forest was picturesque. While we all had our struggles in the beginning, the two activities were fun and interesting new experiences. The four of us all took part in helping each other, and through this were able to become better at slacklining. ~ Annie, Chloé, Mason and James
Hi! I’m Sofia. I’m writing this on the 20-hour night bus ride from Lincang, the biggest city close to Bangdong Village, to Kunming. We have finished the first homestay of our trip, and eagerly anticipate the second. My homestay family was......Read More
After being granted independence from France in 1953, Phnom Penh was considered “The Pearl of Asia”, boasting a flourishing economy, breathtaking architecture, developed roads, and a booming pulse of creative arts, like music and Cambodian......Read More
When I arrived in Peru, my transition was awkward and made the list of the top 10 most uncomfortable experiences I’ve had. In my ignorance, I didn’t apprehend the clash between my old life and the kind of life I would begin to experience......Read More
Unlike American cemeteries, Guatemalan cemeteries glow bright with the colors of the raised mausoleums. Death here comes hand in hand with life. The cement painted with yellows and pinks creeps with vines and insects. The leaves of plants of nearby......Read More
One of the core reasons I decided to apply to this program is Cambodia’s rich history. I was extremely interested in learning about the genocide and the nation’s recovery from it because much of this isn’t mentioned in US textbooks and......Read More
He sits under the green silk, His hands atop his knees And his sandaled feet crossed. His weathered words take me to a time I never lived. He spoke of mountains and trees, Guns and rice, Bikes and families. He spoke of endless tears, Sweaty palms,......Read More
Greetings from our homestay town Urubamba! We are so happy to share that we completed our 5-day trek around the Ausangate mountain range, across remote communities from Upis to Pacchanta. Our companions and guides were the wonderful Condori family, who possess generations of wisdom and practical skills for navigating the intense climate, altitude and terrain of the Andes. Each day started with a coca ceremony to provide health and blessings on or journey, and in addition to seeing up/taking down camp and cooking three meals a day, students took on leadership roles such as guide, facilitator, sage, historian, timekeeper, accountant,… Read More