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.
Want to follow a program in the field? Click on the Subscribe to Updates button to receive one email a day if new content is posted.
Subscribe to Updates
Pick a program below to receive updates from the field. You will receive
one email a day if there is new content and can unsubscribe at any time.
Inspired by two little girls, our Generation Z students have an incredible time doing the most timeless task – bundling and moving hay! Exuberant scenes from the terrace farms under Chokiti, our rural homestay village in the hills West of Everest. I traded image sharpness to get the sun flares, hope you find the trade-off worth it!
If you ask someone who lives in Senegal to choose one word to describe their home, they’ll most likely say “teranga” (in Wolof) or “teddungal” (in Pulaar) — a word that most closely translates to “hospitality.” The linguistic......Read More
Our group arrived in Jagat this afternoon to spitting rain and a roaring river. Tomorrow we head up Rolwaling Valley where we will explore for the second half of our trek and hopefully reach snow. Our first half of the trek has been interesting; we spent the week of Tihar walking between village celebrations and showering one another with marigolds and other colorful flowers. We have had very cold nights and very hot days. Tonight we will sleep amongst coffee plants and beds of bokchoy. We will send updates when possible.
Dear friends and family, We write to you from Bodh Gaya in Bihar where we arrived yesterday to embark on a 5 day inward journey and an exploration of Buddhism. Noble silence, dharma talks, meditation, as well as passionate discussions fill our days. Today we visited the Mahabodhi Temple Complex, housing the bodhi tree under which the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment, and walked in the footsteps of pilgrims who have been visiting this site for over two millennia. We watched the sun set behind the shikhara towers and paint the sky in a saffron hue matching the… Read More
The morning hike to the Kongmaru La pass was a long and tough day. The whole group was up to the task, but that didn’t make it any less painful and tiring. The reward for completing the trek was being able to see the beautiful statue of Guru Rinpoche. The statue was no bigger than 6 feet tall and surrounded by a small half frozen lake. This area that we had hiked to was where the second Buddha reached enlightenment and gained self control. The whole area was representative of the group at the time. The frozen part of the… Read More
I have always looked up to my Uncle John. I think, in a way, this is something I have in common with all of my older siblings–all four of us went on outdoor education courses as young teens (three of four on the same exact NOLS course that my......Read More
Its 6:45 am in Dindefelo. The hazy clouds have come down from the mountains and the town feels serene, but there’s anticipation building for the day ahead. We stumbled out of the hotel feeling worn out and slightly frustrated about the early......Read More
The other night, I was rolling on the floor of my host family’s porch playing gymnastics games with my host sister, Boah. At one point we were resting and my host mom pulled an ant out of my hair. She proceeded to say something about my hair......Read More
As we wait to board our ferry away from langa, one passage of my journal stands out to me: 10/27: “I have found / re-found a new sense of child in me. I am so much more loving and playful. Today I ran and giggled and skipped and sang under a......Read More
A couple of weekends ago, I was invited by my host father, Diego, to play some soccer with him and his friends at the local field. For me, a soccer boy in withdrawl who had been dropping subtle hints of his futbol-remission for like three weeks now,......Read More
Upon our arrival in Yoff-Layenne, our home for the next eight months, our group is tasked with completing a scavenger hunt in our new neighborhood. We descend solo into the winding alleys to search and explore, equipped only with paper maps and......Read More
[Note: This is merely a parody of Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches, and it is therefore not an instance of copyright infringement. At least, I hope not. I should really look that up.] [Other Note: I meant to post this about two weeks ago, and I......Read More
The first song I ever wrote was for a girl. It was the 8th grade, I thought I was in love, and I played guitar. It was the only logical course of events. Unfortunately, my attempt at winning her heart didn’t go as well as I’d planned. Instead of blushing and telling me she liked me too as I had imagined, my serenade was followed by some constructive criticism on song structure and lyricism. Although it was a crushing blow at the time, I must admit that her feedback was spot on. Moreover, that catastrophe was not enough to convince… Read More
By now there are probably hundreds of stories I could tell about my time here in Bolivia. From our group´s first card game in the Miami airport to my trufi ride only minutes ago, I have collected memory after memory, recording as many as I can in......Read More
I’ve spent the past week in the amazon. along with catching and monitoring tropical birds, finding a poisonous spider on my backpack strap, showering in the dark knowing a turanchala was somewhere in my stall, and getting eaten alive by bugs......Read More
“How’s Indonesia?” A simple question, and an inevitable one at that. I can only imagine if my son, brother, best friend, teammate traveled to a distant corner of the Earth, especially one that never crossed my mind save for a fleeting headline......Read More