5:00am wake ups are easier when these mountains call for you to get out of your tent. Photo by Cecelia Palmquist (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest, 1st Place), Nepal Semester.

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Where There Be Dragons

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    [post_date] => 2018-10-18 12:13:02
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-18 18:13:02
    [post_content] => 
Selected by peers, family, friends and strangers, we're proud to announce the winners of Dragons Summer 2018 Photo Contest!
FIRST PLACE: PHOEBE WONG 
Eastern Himalayas, Summer 2018
"My Amma's Puja."
SECOND PLACE: TESSA DENISON
Thailand, Summer 2018
"Elephants getting a bath."
 
THIRD PLACE: ELLIOTT BLOOM
North India, Summer 2018
"During a day of trekking, we stop to take a break on the top of the pass where past trekkers hung up prayer flags. Sending Buddhist mantras off into the wind."

Congratulations Phoebe, Tessa, and Elliott!

[post_title] => Announcing the Summer 2018 Photo Contest Winners! [post_excerpt] => As voted on by alumni, peers, family, friends, and strangers, we're proud to announce the winners of Dragons Summer 2018 Photo Contest... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => announcing-summer-2018-photo-contest-winners [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-18 12:16:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-18 18:16:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 651 [name] => Announcements [slug] => announcements [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 651 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Announcements on: New Programs, Surveys, Jobs/Internships, Contests, & Behind-the-Scenes Activity. [parent] => 0 [count] => 30 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 12 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 30 [category_description] => Announcements on: New Programs, Surveys, Jobs/Internships, Contests, & Behind-the-Scenes Activity. [cat_name] => Announcements [category_nicename] => announcements [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/announcements/ ) ) [category_links] => Announcements )
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    [post_date] => 2018-10-04 09:30:02
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-04 15:30:02
    [post_content] => It was extremely hard for the committee to choose only three winners, but we've posted the 1-minute videos selected as our three top #dragonsvisualstory contest winners on Instagram this week.

You can watch the videos on instagram by clicking on the videos below...

[caption id="attachment_153754" align="aligncenter" width="460"] 1-minute visual story video by Katherine Marcus of Dragons Guatemala: Community in Action program.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_153752" align="aligncenter" width="460"] 1-minute visual story video made by Jenna Einhorn, a student on Dragons Summer 2018 Nepal - Traditions of the Himalayas Program.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_153753" align="aligncenter" width="459"] 1-minute video from Vanessa Payne with imagery and sounds from this summer’s Guatemala Spanish Language Intensive 4-week course.[/caption]

Congratulations Vanessa, Jenna, and Katherine!

And thank you to ALL those who put love into their beautiful video contest submissions. They were an honor to watch! Sincerely, Dragons HQ [post_title] => Announcing our Three 1-minute "Visual Story" Video Contest Winners! [post_excerpt] => It was extremely hard for the committee to choose only three, but we're thrilled to announce and share with you the top three 1-minute videos selected as the #dragonsvisualstory contest winners... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => announcing-our-three-1-minute-visual-story-video-contest-winners [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-18 12:18:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-18 18:18:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 638 [name] => From the Field [slug] => from_the_field [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 638 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Yaks, Reflections, Quotes, Photo Spreads and Videos from the Four Corners. [parent] => 0 [count] => 37 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 2 [cat_ID] => 638 [category_count] => 37 [category_description] => Featured Yaks, Reflections, Quotes, Photo Spreads and Videos from the Four Corners. [cat_name] => From the Field [category_nicename] => from_the_field [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/from_the_field/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 700 [name] => For Parents [slug] => for_parents [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 700 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [parent] => 0 [count] => 27 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 3 [cat_ID] => 700 [category_count] => 27 [category_description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [cat_name] => For Parents [category_nicename] => for_parents [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/for_parents/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 654 [name] => Mixed Media [slug] => mixed_media [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 654 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Photography, Videos, Podcasts, Photo Contest Winners, Films & Art [parent] => 0 [count] => 27 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 654 [category_count] => 27 [category_description] => Featured Photography, Videos, Podcasts, Photo Contest Winners, Films & Art [cat_name] => Mixed Media [category_nicename] => mixed_media [category_parent] => 0 ) [3] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 651 [name] => Announcements [slug] => announcements [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 651 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Announcements on: New Programs, Surveys, Jobs/Internships, Contests, & Behind-the-Scenes Activity. [parent] => 0 [count] => 30 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 12 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 30 [category_description] => Announcements on: New Programs, Surveys, Jobs/Internships, Contests, & Behind-the-Scenes Activity. [cat_name] => Announcements [category_nicename] => announcements [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => From the Field, For Parents ... )
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    [post_date] => 2018-09-27 11:32:46
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    [post_content] => As a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, I grew quite fond of mealtime. Each afternoon and evening, my host family and I would gather around a large silver bowl placed upon a plastic mat. Squatting in the shade of the wide green arms of a mango tree, we scooped delicious fistfuls of savory sauces and white rice into our hungry mouths. Meals were completely satisfying. In my reflections, I realize that I was being nourished not only by the food, but also by the company I kept. Meals were a communal pause in our day, often followed by napping, drinking sweet mint tea, and braiding hair.

Upon returning to the States, I processed  my experience in Senegal by attending West African cultural events, printing myriads of black and white photographs, and cooking Senegalese food for friends. One of my favorite dishes to make was mafé gerte, or Senegalese Peanut Sauce. Simple yet scrumptious, this dish has served as one of the bridges between my Colorado mountain life and the years I resided in a round, earthen hut, gathering each day for the ageless ritual of sharing a meal.

Mafé Gerte

[caption id="attachment_153727" align="alignright" width="401"] Mafé Gerte pictured. Photo by Elke Schmidt, Senegal.[/caption]

Ingredients

  • Onion (1 large white)
  • Garlic (1-2 cloves)
  • Sweet potato (1 medium sized)
  • Carrots (2 medium sized)
  • Potato (1-2 medium sized)
  • Cabbage (approx 3 cups)
  • Habanero pepper
  • Oil of your choice (2-3 tsps)
  • Peanut Butter (½ cup to 1 cup depending on preference for thickness)
  • Tomato Paste (2 tsps - helps cut the sweetness of the peanut butter)
  • Water or broth (a bullion cube in water works well)
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper (Lots of it! A few tsps)
  • Cayenne (A pinch)
  • Rice
This dish is traditionally made with goat meat, which can be added with the onions if you prefer meat in your sauce. Directions:
  1. Cook rice while preparing sauce.
  2. Sauté onion in oil on medium heat until golden.
  3. Add vegetables including garlic, sweet potato, potato, and cabbage and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add 4-8 cups of water or broth (depending on how thick you like your sauce.)
  5. Once water is boiling, add peanut butter, tomato paste and spices.
  6. Turn to a low simmer and cook until sauce is reduced and vegetables are cooked (10-20 minutes).
  7. Serve over rice and enjoy!
Make sure you remove the habanero pepper so someone doesn’t get a hot surprise in their mouth. In the village, the pepper is passed around and dabbed on each person’s portion (it’s that hot!) Bon appetite! Ps. Do you have a favorite recipe from your travels that you'd like to share? Share it with megan@wheretherebedragons.com  
CO-DIRECTOR OF ADULT PROGRAMS
  [post_title] => Recipe for Senegalese Peanut Sauce Mafé Gerte [post_excerpt] => Upon returning to the States, I processed my experience in Senegal by attending West African cultural events, printing myriads of black and white photographs, and cooking Senegalese food for friends. One of my favorite dishes to make was mafé gerte, or Senegalese Peanut Sauce... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => recipe-for-senegalese-peanut-sauce-mafe-gerte [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-09-27 12:09:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-27 18:09:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 638 [name] => From the Field [slug] => from_the_field [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 638 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Yaks, Reflections, Quotes, Photo Spreads and Videos from the Four Corners. [parent] => 0 [count] => 37 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 2 [cat_ID] => 638 [category_count] => 37 [category_description] => Featured Yaks, Reflections, Quotes, Photo Spreads and Videos from the Four Corners. [cat_name] => From the Field [category_nicename] => from_the_field [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/from_the_field/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 653 [name] => Global Community [slug] => global_community [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 653 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [parent] => 0 [count] => 11 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 653 [category_count] => 11 [category_description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [cat_name] => Global Community [category_nicename] => global_community [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/global_community/ ) ) [category_links] => From the Field, Global Community )
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    [post_date] => 2018-09-27 11:04:44
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    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_153725" align="aligncenter" width="431"] Photo by Elke Schmidt, Senegal Program.[/caption]

  

As I meander down a sandy path in the Senegalese neighborhood of Yoff, I hear someone shout, “Kai Lekk!” I look up knowing that this familiar Wolof phrase meaning “Come Eat!” is in fact an invitation. A smiling face glows at me from a circle of people who are gathered around a silver bowl, their right hands beholding greasy rice. They are participating in an ageless afternoon African tradition of gathering amongst friends and family to enjoy a home cooked meal. In this case, they are eating my favorite, thieboudienne, Senegal’s National Dish, which consists of a scrumptious mélange of cooked vegetables, spicy stuffed white fish, and rice cooked with tomato paste.
thieboudienne, Senegal’s National Dish, consists of a scrumptious mélange of cooked vegetables, spicy stuffed white fish, and rice cooked with tomato paste  
[caption id="attachment_153726" align="alignleft" width="420"] Plates of cheb (rice), by Elke Schmidt, Senegal Program.[/caption] In any language in Senegal you will find the same message to come eat called out time and time again.  In a country where people have so little in terms of material items, where the entirety of a person's belongings can sometimes fit into a recycled aluminum can trunk, it shocks me that generosity and hospitality are offered without hesitation.  A personal example that elucidates this happened over a decade ago. In 2006, I was guiding a group of a dozen adventurous Dragons students through the rolling green hills of southern Senegal. We wanted to explore this seldom-visited nook of West Africa on foot in an attempt to witness and experience rural life first hand. One particularly beautiful afternoon, we came upon a remote village of earthen round, hobbit-like, thatched roof huts perched in a cluster amongst a vibrant parade of rainy season greenery.  Weary from a day of hiking uphill under the relentless West African sun, we stumbled towards the Chief’s abode to inquire about lodging. Without missing a beat he exclaimed, “Bismililaye! You are welcome to stay in my village but you must be my guest!” With his large smile and readiness to share, he exuded terranga, a Wolof word roughly translating to outrageous hospitality. [caption id="attachment_153727" align="alignright" width="408"] Mbouille & friends with plate of Mafe Gerte. Photo taken by Babacar Mbaye.[/caption] For me, “Kai lekk” and terranga are Senegal’s national pride. I’ve spent 18 years now traversing the Atlantic at any opportunity that arises to find myself in a country I continue to find a delightful amalgam of the challenging and the inspiring. On the one hand, I struggle with the oppressive heat that inspires rivulets of sweat to run down my stomach, the piles of trash on the urban beaches, and the barefoot children in tattered clothes with outstretched tomato paste cans begging for a sugar cube or a few coins. On the other hand, I am moved by the Senegalese ability to laugh, to be adorned in vibrant colors, and the way a stranger is called over to take a handful of rice or share rounds of sweet mint tea with neighbors.  Through the trials and joys of nearly two decades of a tumultuous love affair with Senegal, she has been my greatest teacher of gratitude, generosity, and the enormous potential of the human spirit. If you’d like to experience the way of Senegalese hospitality and eat delicious thieboudienne while you’re at it, consider joining us on one of our West African adventures. For adults, warm up from winter this February on our Music & Mysticism trip. For students, we offer In The Shade of the Boabob Tree, a 4-week summer program, and Rhythms of Senegal, a vibrant gap year semester program in West Africa.   

Ps. If you'd like to know how to make a simple and incredibly delicious Senegalese staple, read how to make the peanut sauce Mafé Gerte!

CO-DIRECTOR OF ADULT PROGRAMS
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    [post_date] => 2018-09-24 10:46:44
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-24 16:46:44
    [post_content] => 
One of our dear friends and a longtime Dragons instructor, Gina Collignon, has started a campaign to help bring our friend Sandy Pinto, one of our Bolivia instructors and a well-known Afro-Bolivian activist and organizer, to Honduras as part of a delegation supporting human rights, feminist initiatives, and awareness-raising surrounding violence against women under the Honduran dictatorship and in the wider region: Building Bridges of Solidarity. This effort is part of an initiative to help make these delegations availability to a wider demographic, specifically supporting women of color from the Global South to be part of these kinds of delegations.  As Gina writes:
I am part of an amazing community of people who understand the power of travel. What can happen when we use that power not just for our own personal growth, but to also grow connections between amazing organizers who might not otherwise have the chance to meet? I would love to find out.
Please consider contributing to this cause, even a small sum can go a long way!
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    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2018-09-20 10:53:31
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-20 16:53:31
    [post_content] => 

Did you know Dragons now offers an advanced level course for alumni of Dragons and other expedition, leadership, and international experiences?

The new program is for participants ages 18-25 and runs from Feb 7 - Apr 29, 2019. The itinerary was handcrafted by veteran Dragons instructor Tim Hare and includes wilderness exploration, Andean culture, Spanish language, and rock climbing. The course was developed in shared-vision and collaboration with the High Mountain Institute.

Read on for a bit of Tim's inspiration in designing the course:

TIM HARE
DIRECTOR OF RISK MANAGEMENT
----------
ON THE ANDES LEADERSHIP SEMESTER*
"The Andes mountains have captivated me for over 15 years, drawing me back to climb granite spires in southern Argentina, or walk through spacious wilderness of Patagonia or high glaciated peaks of Bolivia. The diversity of landscapes and cultures along the Andes Mountain range is breathtaking and I continue to learn so much from the various mountain communities and ways that humans have learned to relate to their natural surrounding in this region. "
ANDES LEADERSHIP SEMESTER*
PATAGONIA TO PERU
*The Andes Leadership semester is for students who have participated on a prior travel program or HMI course. 
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    [ID] => 153664
    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2018-09-13 11:41:23
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-13 17:41:23
    [post_content] => Loving this sentiment so beautifully articulated by Jiwon Yun in her Yak titled, "New Horizons"...
I reconnected to a part of myself that was buried by years of strict schedules and iPhones and the ever present need to get from one place to another. [...] I was in a constant sense of awe and self-reflection; sitting in a boat in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but miles of water stretching into the distant horizon, a place so far from solid land and a sense of control I’d come to rely on..."
"I came on Bridge Year to widen my perspective, to discover parts of the world and parts of myself that were previously unknown, and to push myself to do things I might otherwise never get the chance to do. And everything I brought back with me – the sand in my clothes and the sunburn on my legs – they all remind me of the memories I made on this trip and the lessons I’ve learned as I reconnected to a part of myself that was buried by years of strict schedules and iPhones and the ever present need to get from one place to another. I was able to take a moment just to breathe. To see. To laugh. To exist without worrying. To learn. Like a child experiencing everything for the first time, I was in a constant sense of awe and self-reflection; sitting in a boat in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but miles of water stretching into the distant horizon, a place so far from solid land and a sense of control I’d come to rely on, I became comfortable with having nothing to do but sit with my thoughts. I realized that every step I have taken in my past had brought me to that one moment, and that every step I took in my future would take me to one of the horizons far ahead. I was overcome with a sense of possibility and gratitude, both for the moment and the many moments to come, and my ability to recognize my own opportunities and be grateful for them."

Read her full reflection on the Yak board.

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