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Yak of the Week

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Why Does Gd Do Bad Things To Good People?

Nina Saligman, Participant

Yak of the Week

A practicing Jew sits in an Evangelist church and cries violently because Jesus Christ was crucified. This scene is typical to the life of Hugo Moya – a Mexican pastor and quasi-grandfather to most of our group. Four short weeks after we met......Read More

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Solo

Noah, Participant

Yak of the Week

Sun Setting. On my rock. I am just sleeping here. Vultures circle overhead in search of food. They have scoured every inch of this place many times over. This is their home. I am just a visitor here. Squirrels jump from tree to tree below; the......Read More

Colorado River Basin Semester

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Thoughts from this big rock

Ava, Participant

Yak of the Week

Sitting here on this big rock, I think of all that comes before and all that comes after. Seeing ruins dated back to 1500 BC will do that to you. I think of the communities that shaped the spirit of this canyon. I think of the tiny ways that we just......Read More

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Literal and emotional navigation

Nicoline, Participant

Yak of the Week

We just got back from our 5 day, 26 mile long trek on the Continental Divide Trail in the Chihuahuan Desert, and are now at the KOA campground. I was the navigator on this trek, meaning I was almost always at the front with my very......Read More

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Restoring Humanity in Our Immigration Policy

Sally and Izzy, Participant

Yak of the Week

For the past five days, our group has been trekking through the southern most point of the Continental Divide Trail, headed towards the Mexican border. After days of meticulous planning for our trek with food prep and a water caching system, we felt......Read More

Rio Grande Semester - Group A

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10 Things I Learned On Our First Trek

Laura, Participant

Yak of the Week

After reflecting on our first trek through Big Bend State Park, and as our second trek on the Continental Divide Trail approaches, I think it is important to reflect on what I personally learned the first time around. They say that making mistakes......Read More

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A Borderless Passover on the Border

Jane, Izzy, and Tyler, Participant

Yak of the Week

How does one find matzo in west Texas? The answer is, you don’t. While preparing to make 64 pieces of homemade matzo for our Passover Seder, the doorbell rang, and a small miracle arrived: five pounds of matzo that we had overnighted in a fit......Read More

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Poems from the Borderlands

Ella and Josh, Participant

Yak of the Week

Did You Know? by Josh 25 feet tall. 16 feet underground. Dirty, rusted metal. Barbed wire, but only on the United States side. Did you know? Did you know that red, beaten bottle caps litter the Borderlands between the United States and Mexico? Did......Read More

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What the River Has Taught Me

Izzy, Participant

Yak of the Week

Last week, our group finished a five day canoe float through the Boquillas Canyons in Big Bend National Park. After the eight-mile-a-day treks in the State Park with our heavy backpacks and blisters, these five days paddling on the river felt......Read More

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The River Becomes A Line

Maddie, Instructor

Yak of the Week

It’s dark now in McAllen, Texas and for the first time in more than two weeks, we’re sleeping indoors. We’ve cracked the window open and the air slipping through is warm and humid. Tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico just an hour......Read More

Rio Grande Semester - Group A

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The Real Rio Grande

Jane Singman, Participant

Yak of the Week

A quote I have tried to live by for most of my life, and one that is especially relevant on this gap semester is: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” I think this quote has been a good guiding principle......Read More

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The power of storytelling

Ella, Participant

Yak of the Week

On March 6, we stopped on our long drive between camping sites to visit a place called Manzanar. If you’ve never heard of it, Manzanar was one of ten sites of Japanese incarceration in California, now the destination of a pilgrimage founded by......Read More

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Thoughts from Owens Lake

Aaron, Participant

Yak of the Week

Imagine standing on the edge of a lake, blue water stretching on for miles to the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, being fed by the snow melt high above. Trees litter the shores, and maybe a whirling mass of migratory birds cloud out the sun......Read More

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Moby Dick

Celie, Participant

Yak of the Week

I woke up on Thursday morning in time to see the sun rising between the walls of Boquillas Canyon. “Our energy on this boat trip is finna be real chaotic” – Willow After breakfast Willow and I packed up our stuff and loaded it into our......Read More