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Alumni Spotlight

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    [post_date] => 2020-03-17 15:27:47
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-17 21:27:47
    [post_content] => We wanted to share these recipes from the field to spread the love with some comfort food.

Izzy Arrendell shares a recipe for Kopiak from our Mekong Semester. Daniela Harvey and Adam Marcelo, Andes and Amazon students, chose cooking as their Independent Study Project (ISP) and shared weekly recipes on the Yak Board. A few of which are listed below.

Kopiak

As we continue our journey through China, I have been spending time reflecting on our time in Laos. Thinking back to things that made me love Laos so much. There is too much for me to put in one yak post. So instead I will share something small but valuable during the time I spent in Laos. My host mom taught me how to make Kopiak noodles during our homestay. I became addicted to this noodle soup and sometimes ate it twice a day. There are no measurements so just add ingredients to your preference. You can make it vegetarian if you want or add a different kind of meat than beef. Whatever floats your boat. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do. - Izzy
Cook time: 15 min or so Ingredients:
  • Water
  • Ground Beef
  • Rice Noodles
  • Cilantro
  • Soy Sauce
  • Bullion (Cubes or powder)
  • Lime
  • Fish sauce
Instructions:
  1. Boil Water
  2. Add bullion, soy and fish sauce (go light on the sauce you can add more later)
  3. Chop and add beef (in bite-sized pieces) to boiling water
  4. When froth forms on the top of water, add noodles and continuously stir so water doesn’t boil over
  5. Add extra seasonings to preference
  6. Let cook till meat is cooked through (no pink)
  7. Add cilantro plate and serve with a lime.
*chili sauce goes really well with this dish*

Ceviche and Causa

"Today we started our ISP’s and mine is cooking. Today we made Ceviche and Causa. Adam is writing about Ceviche and I’m writing about Causa. I am vegetarian so I’m writing the vegetarian version. You can put anything in as a filling, what matters is the potato bit. This is for one person." - Daniela

Ingredients:
  • Filling bit (Shrimp, Chicken, Vegetarian, whatever)
  • 3 Potatoes (Yellow, boiled and peeled) for 4 people it’ll be 1 kilo
  • 3 Tbsp Aji Amarillo (Yellow chile pepper)
  • 1 Lime (to taste)
  • 1 12 tsp Salt (to taste)
  • 12 tsp Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 12 Avocado
  • 1 tsp Mayo (to taste)
  • 1 Tomato
Instructions: 
  1. Take the potatoes and mash it
  2. Add salt, pepper, and aji amarillo
  3. Mix until very yellow
  4. Add lime and oil
  5. Peel tomato and cut into 4 slices (like apple slices) and cut out the seeds and guts
  6. Peel Avocado and cut into thin slices, from top to bottom
  7. Take your filling and cut it into little squares. Add salt, black pepper, mayo and mix
  8. Oil the mold
  9. Layer your potato, tomato (leave some for garnish), avocado (leave some for garnish), and your filling and top with more potato. The layering doesn’t matter, it just needs to start and end with potato. Also if you don’t have a mold you can use a bowl or a cake tin, it doesn’t matter.

Ceviche

"For Ceviche the best types of fish to use are whitefish and the worst type is tuna. Salmon can also work but it has a very strong taste. So here is Trucha Ceviche. I hope you all enjoy. 🙂" - Adam

Ingredients:
  • 1 piece of Trucha
  • 2 Lemons
  • 12 tsp Salt
  • 14 tsp Pepper
  • 1 Chile Pepper (small)
  • 14 tsp Garlic
  • 14 tsp Ginger
  • 5 leaves Cilantro
Instructions:
  1. Take your piece of fish and cut it into small squares. After place the pieces of fish in a large bowl
  2. Get your onion, cut it in half, and take out the heart of each one. After cut the onions into small slices
  3. After cutting onions, put in water while you begin to cut the other vegetables
  4. Take your chile pepper and cut the tips off. After filet it and cut the two slices into small squares. Add to large bowl and mix well
  5. Mince cilantro and add to large bowl. Mix well
  6. Add salt. pepper, and garlic to large bowl. Mix well
  7. Grate the ginger and add the juice to large bowl. Mix well
  8. Cut two lemons in half and juice them in large bowl. Mix well
  9. Finally, add onion that has been soaking in water to large bowl
  10. Add to plate and enjoy.
  11. Helpful garnish: Eat your ceviche with plantain chips.

Picarones

"This is my last recipe for this trip it is for Picarones. They are Peruvian doughnuts. So good. Very fried. You can serve them with maple syrup or any sauce like that. It does take two days." - Daniela

Day 1: Ingredients:
  • 1 kilo of sweet potato
  • 1 kilo of pumpkin
  • Water
  • 2 grams anis
  • 1 tsp of yeast
  • 1 kilo flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of anise tea
Instructions:
  1. Gut the pumpkin (deseed it get the weird stringy bits out), take the rind off, and cut into big chunks
  2. Peel and slice the sweet potato
  3. Put everything into a big pot and add 1 liter of water
  4. Add anise and leave to boil
  5. Once all the water is dissolved mash everything
  6. Slowly add flour and mix with your hand, add the egg and tea water (Very mushy and I would suggest cutting your nails first too) Keep mixing with your hand until it makes a batter
  7. Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water, pour it into the pot with the batter and mix
  8. Cover it and let it rise overnight.
  9. Helpful tip: for every 1 kilo of flour use 1 egg
  Day 2: Ingredients: You need very little for day two.
  • The batter from yesterday
  • Oil
  • Water
  • A stick
  • Whatever topping you want
Instructions:
  1. Heat oil to fry.
  2. Get your fingers wet so the batter doesn’t stick to your hands
  3. Make a ball of batter into your hands and put a hole in the middle to make a doughnut shape
  4. Gently place the doughnut into the hot oil and take your stick and poke it in the hole and swirl the doughnut and until the hole becomes round and doesn’t close
  5. When it starts to become golden, flip
  6. Take out the doughnut and place it on a paper towel to get extra oil off
  7. Drizzle whatever sauce you have over the doughnut and eat.

Capchi de Avas

Ingredients:
  • 5 yellow potatoes
  • 100g lima/fava beans
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 stem/branch of huacatay or oregano if you can’t find huacatay
  • Oil
  • 1/2 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large ostra mushroom
  • 500ml milk
  • 1/4 cup cumin
  • grated parm
Instructions:
  1. To start you need to wash and peel your potatoes and cut them in half
  2. Chop your onion into little squares
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add onion and garlic
  4. Once they’re almost brown add salt and pepper
  5. Once they are fully browned add the potatoes and water and leave to boil
  6. When it comes to a boil cover the pot
  7. Wash your beans and add to the pot
  8. Cut mushroom into large squares and add to pot
  9. If your potatoes are taking too long to cook now would be a good time to cut them in smaller pieces to help them cook faster
  10. Add milk and some salt
  11. Mince your huacatay and add to pot
  12. Leave the pot to reduce
  13. Add cumin and salt if needed
  14. Sprinkle parm on top and eat.
 

"This recipe was so good and easy to make although it was a bit time-consuming. Totally worth it though. Today I went back and got the amounts for masamora de quinoa and apple compote that I didn’t have yesterday." - Daniela

  For the masamora you need: 2 sticks of cinnamon, 200g of quinoa, 1 star anis, 400 ml water (double the amount of quinoa), 400g condensed milk, 400g normal milk, 3 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp corn starch For the compote you need: 2 peeled granny smith apples (it can be any type of apple really), 1/2 cup water, 1 stick of cinnamon (plus some ground cinnamon to sprinkle on top, 1 star anis, and 1 cup of sugar.  

Espagettis a la Huancaina

I once again have a new recipie to share to Adam and my mass following of Peruvian cooking enthusiasts. We can’t let our fans down. I am writing about Espagettis a la Huancaina. It serves 1-2 people. I personally thought the sauce was delicious as it had an aroma of different and unique flavors. The fried mushroom I also added to the dish was spectacular as it was fried to perfection. I hope you enjoy this classic Peruvian pasta. - Daniela
Ingredients:
  • Linguini 1/8 kilo
  • Aji (the same hot pepper things we’ve been talking about for the past two weeks) 4
  • Onion 1/2
  • Oil 1 TBSP
  • Salt 1 tsp (plus a little more for the mushroom)
  • Cheese (Andean salty cheese, queso fresco would probably work) 20 grams
  • Milk 1/4 cup
  • Black pepper 1/4 tsp (plus a little more for the mushroom)
  • Mushroom
Instructions: 
  1. Cook linguini
  2. Go to my post where I describe how to make papa a la huancaina and follow those instructions, only the sauce part
  3. Take your huancaina sauce and put it back into the skillet you used to cook the onion and peppers
  4. Put your cooked and drained pasta into the pan with the sauce and toss it. You might need to re-heat a bit
  5. Add salt and pepper to your mushrooms
  6. Egg and bread your mushrooms and then fry them
  7. When your pasta is mixed and the desired temperature put it on a plate
  8. Put your mushrooms on the plate on top of the pasta and enjoy
  9. Adam did shrimp instead of mushroom but you get the idea.
  We hope you enjoy!  

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[post_title] => COMFORT FOOD: RECIPES FROM THE FIELD [post_excerpt] => We wanted to share these recipes from the field to spread the love with some comfort food. Izzy Arrendell shares a recipe for Kopiak from our Mekong Semester. Daniela Harvey and Adam Marcelo, Andes and Amazon students, chose cooking as their Independent Study Project (ISP) and shared weekly recipes on the Yak Board. A few of which are listed below. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => comfort-food-recipes-from-the-field [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-17 15:54:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-17 21:54:52 [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] => 62 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 638 [category_count] => 62 [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] => 646 [name] => Alumni Spotlight [slug] => alumni_spotlight [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 646 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [parent] => 0 [count] => 42 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 646 [category_count] => 42 [category_description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [cat_name] => Alumni Spotlight [category_nicename] => alumni_spotlight [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/alumni_spotlight/ ) [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] => 45 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 12 [cat_ID] => 654 [category_count] => 45 [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] => 1 [name] => Uncategorized [slug] => uncategorized [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 16 [cat_ID] => 1 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Uncategorized [category_nicename] => uncategorized [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => From the Field, Alumni Spotlight ... )
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    [post_date] => 2020-03-06 09:47:50
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    [post_content] => 

Overheard on the Yak Board (Guatemala Independent Spring Experience

Guatemala homestay independent spring experience ISE If you had happened to be walking down 4th avenue in San Miguel Escobar last Saturday around noon, you would have seen me and my Spanish teacher Blanca carrying a massive, scalding frying pan in a Guatemalan swaddling cloth woven for newborn babies. This strange event was only one of many misadventures that day. As my time in Guatemala began to come to an end, I wanted to cook a thank-you lunch for my host family, my instructor and his family, Biz and Nell, and my Spanish teacher. I settled on an overly-ambitious menu of avogolemono (a Greek chicken soup), a massive Greek bread, two salads, and strawberries with cream. I wanted to share a few of my favorite foods, like the Greek cuisine I eat with my grandmother at Christmas, the strawberries I associate with summers in New Hampshire, and the obligatory kale salad I must like as a Brooklynite. Guatemala homestay independent spring experience ISE The adventure began on Thursday, when Biz, Nell, and I went to Antigua to buy ingredients. Our first stop was La Bodegona, a massive grocery store that caters to locals and tourists alike, resulting in an overwhelming maze of food. We found three separate pasta aisles, went on a several-minutes long quest for powdered sugar, and even stumbled into a whole separate building dedicated to clothing, which felt a little like stepping into another dimension. After La Bodegona, with our iPhone translators at the ready, we crossed the street to the municipal market where we spent an equal amount of time finding our way to the vegetable section as we did actually shopping. On Friday, I spent the whole morning cooking the soup, and prepping the other dishes for lunch the following day. My grandmother helped me start the wood stove for the soup, and then watched in horror as I put my chickens directly into boiling water without washing them. She efficiently helped me rescue the birds and run them under the tap, and although a crisis was averted, she and my host mother asked me if I had washed just about everything else every time I added it to a dish. Whoops! Guatemala homestay independent spring experience ISE Guatemala homestay independent spring experience ISE A few minutes after chicken-gate, I ran into soup crisis number 2. In Greek, the name of the dish means egg-lemon soup, and although fresh eggs abound here, it turns out there’s not a lemon to be found in all of Antigua. As I later learned, lemons require cooler temperatures than limes, and are thus not well suited to tropical, warm countries like Guatemala. Fortunately, my instructor Juancho brought me an alternative citrus fruit he grows at home, and combined with lime, I used that to replace the lemons. Satisfied with my soup, I put it in the fridge, and called it a day. On Saturday, I woke up very early to start the bread dough. Guessing roughly how much yeast to add in absence of the rapid-rise packets I’m used to, I got the dough rising right about when the rest of the family woke up. The mornings here are quite chilly, and as a result, I was having a hard time getting my bread to rise. I tried putting it various parts of our patio and kitchen, boiled water to heat the bowl, and finally settled on an elaborate system of heating and cooling the dough on our stove, around the boiling coffee, beans, eggs, and tortillas my host grandmother was preparing for breakfast. Eventually, I was satisfied with the dough, and enlisted the help of my host sisters to braid it.
The lunch ended up being a huge success. The food (against all odds) turned out well, but the best part about the meal was spending it with all of the people who have made my two months here magical. I’m so sad that I only have one more week in Guatemala, but the lunch reminded me that the connections I’ve made here will last a lifetime.
Once the bread was set, my host sister and I carried it down the street to my Spanish teacher’s house to bake. The oven in my kitchen doesn’t work, so Blanca generously volunteered hers. When we arrived, however, we discovered that the massive frying pan we were using for the bread didn’t fit into her oven. Fortunately, she had a larger oven in a different part of the house, and her husband kindly dragged it to the kitchen and connected it to the gas. Unfortunately, however, this oven only had two markings to measure temperature, a plus sign and a minus sign. I took a guess and selected plus, and then told Blanca I would return in an hour. I guessed wrong. 20 minutes later, Blanca texted me a photo of some very crispy looking bread, and asked me if this was what I was going for. I sprinted down the street (my host sister led the way on her bike) and found my bread several shades darker than it should have been. Fortunately, with some scraping, we managed to salvage the bread, and the inside was just as tasty as usual. The final challenge, however, was getting the bread back to my house. Blanca volunteered her baby swaddle, and that’s how I found myself on fourth avenue with a piping-hot Greek holiday bread. Guatemala homestay independent spring experience ISE Meanwhile, a situation was developing at home. Before picking up my bread, I had put the soup on the stove to heat up. As I was walking home, my host mother called me to say that the soup smelled horrible, and had separated overnight. Disappointed, I was resigned to cooking spaghetti as a last-minute replacement, but my host mother would hear none of it. “We’re going to remake the soup!” she declared confidently, even though we had less than an hour until our guests were going to arrive. I tried to reason with her, but she had already fired up the wood stove and enlisted her mother to help us. “¡Manos a la obra!” she declared, and went into a frenzy of buying replacement chickens, helping me chop ingredients, and heaping wood into the stove to speed up the cooking. One second I would see her at the woodpile, and the next she would be stirring the soup side-by-side with my host grandmother who was picking apart chicken carcasses like it was an Olympic sport. And, about 45 minutes later, just as our guests were walking in the door, we had a fully-completed soup! The lunch ended up being a huge success. The food (against all odds) turned out well, but the best part about the meal was spending it with all of the people who have made my two months here magical. I’m so sad that I only have one more week in Guatemala, but the lunch reminded me that the connections I’ve made here will last a lifetime.  

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[post_title] => FEATURED INDEPENDENT SPRING EXPERIENCE REFLECTION: “SUNDAY LUNCH” [post_excerpt] => Guatemala ISE student, Zoe Davidson, reflects on the time she cooked a meal for her homestay family and everything seemed to go wrong. But in the end, "the best part about the meal was spending it with all of the people who have made my two months here magical. I’m so sad that I only have one more week in Guatemala, but the lunch reminded me that the connections I’ve made here will last a lifetime." [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => featured-independent-spring-experience-refection-sunday-lunch [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-09 14:20:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-09 20:20:33 [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] => 62 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 638 [category_count] => 62 [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] => 675 [name] => The Dragons Journal [slug] => thedragonsjournal [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 675 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Archives of The Dragons Journal (formerly known as the Map's Edge Newsletter). [parent] => 0 [count] => 21 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 7 [cat_ID] => 675 [category_count] => 21 [category_description] => Archives of The Dragons Journal (formerly known as the Map's Edge Newsletter). [cat_name] => The Dragons Journal [category_nicename] => thedragonsjournal [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/thedragonsjournal/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 646 [name] => Alumni Spotlight [slug] => alumni_spotlight [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 646 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [parent] => 0 [count] => 42 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 646 [category_count] => 42 [category_description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [cat_name] => Alumni Spotlight [category_nicename] => alumni_spotlight [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => From the Field, The Dragons Journal ... )
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    [post_date] => 2020-02-20 11:07:07
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-02-20 18:07:07
    [post_content] => 

Dragons is upping our video game.

We are highlighting alumni and instructor voices with new videos on IGTV.

We've been hard at work creating three video series that live on our Instagram. Get travel tips from alumni, your questions answered from instructors, and see awesome videos from the field. Follow us for more videos, live info-sessions, content from the field, and opportunities to talk directly with the Dragons community! DM or text us your ideas and questions. Text Us: 720-620-9500 How to find IGTV on Instagram: IGTV Gif [embed]https://www.instagram.com/tv/B7GiubGgo6S/[/embed]  

PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️

[post_title] => Don't Have Time to Research Travel Programs? Learn About Dragons on IGTV! [post_excerpt] => Dragons is upping our video game. We are highlighting alumni and instructor voices with new videos on IGTV! Check out our newest series with instructor Q&A's, alumni stories, and videos from the field. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => dont-have-time-to-research-travel-programs-learn-about-dragons-on-igtv [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-02-20 11:48:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-02-20 18:48:45 [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] => 62 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 638 [category_count] => 62 [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] => 640 [name] => Dragons Instructors [slug] => dragons_instructors [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 640 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featuring the words, projects, guidance and vision of the community of incredible staff that make Dragons what it is. [parent] => 0 [count] => 29 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8 [cat_ID] => 640 [category_count] => 29 [category_description] => Featuring the words, projects, guidance and vision of the community of incredible staff that make Dragons what it is. [cat_name] => Dragons Instructors [category_nicename] => dragons_instructors [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/dragons_instructors/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 646 [name] => Alumni Spotlight [slug] => alumni_spotlight [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 646 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [parent] => 0 [count] => 42 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 646 [category_count] => 42 [category_description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [cat_name] => Alumni Spotlight [category_nicename] => alumni_spotlight [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => From the Field, Dragons Instructors ... )
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    [post_date] => 2020-02-10 11:19:44
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Alumni, Emma Freund, authored this piece for Colby College's HerCampus blog. Read on for this reflection on Emma's time in Myanmar.

Take a chance on life, on you, and on the world being bigger and better once you get to know it.
As college students, we’d like to think we understand what life is and what our role is in it. In the words of Steve Jobs, “When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That's a very limited life.” Jobs goes on to describe how “life can be much broader” when you realize that you have the power to change the world. Life can be much broader when you realize how much the world has the power to change you. Summer Abroad Myanmar Where There Be Dragons This past summer, I went on an educational, immersive, rugged travel experience throughout Myanmar with a company called Where There Be Dragons. Dragons, according to its “Mission & Values” page on its website, is an “environmentally conscientious, culturally self-aware,” travel company that is “focused on developing mutually meaningful connections with local communities” with a goal to “to build empathy and foster a feeling of shared responsibility for our collective future” as citizens of the world.
Some would assume that I came back to 'reality' with a taste of a different world. On the contrary, I came back to a different space within a broader reality that I hadn’t known existed.
My experience with Dragons is one that changed my life in a way I don’t believe can ever be undone. Some would assume that I came back to “reality” with a taste of a different world. On the contrary, I came back to a different space within a broader reality that I hadn’t known existed. I gained the feeling that I know little to nothing about life, that I have so much more of life to explore. I looked fondly at my bug bites, chacos foot tan, notebook flowing with journal entries that perfume of sandalwood, and Myanmar milk tea that I drink when I yearn for that mystical other land. For when the world around me here at Colby makes me feel anxious or bored, these things are evidence to me that all of it was even real. I did fly halfway across the world to a place called Myanmar and felt my heart alive. I did. I took a chance and left my bubble to explore new edges of what seems like a different world but, in reality, exists inside mine without me ever knowing it before. Summer Abroad Myanmar Where There Be Dragons Fishing Summer Abroad Myanmar Where There Be Dragons
these things are evidence to me that all of it was even real. I did fly halfway across the world to a place called Myanmar and felt my heart alive. I did. I took a chance and left my bubble to explore new edges of what seems like a different world but, in reality, exists inside mine without me ever knowing it before.
So I say to you, take a chance on bamboo shoots and catfish soup, on taking a picture with a random little boy on the street because he wants to see your digital camera. Take a chance on climbing a 777-step mountain while sneaky monkeys grabbed at your purse, and taking a bucket shower in the middle of the village for all to see. Take a chance on planting rice at 4 am in the mud fields, and on cooking freshly slaughtered chicken over an open fire stove. Take a chance on abandoning toilet-paper and living for days off of only the woods. Take a chance on life, on you, and on the world being bigger and better once you get to know it. Homestay Summer Abroad Myanmar Where There Be Dragons Temple Summer Abroad Myanmar Where There Be Dragons I wouldn’t give back what Dragons gave me for anything in the world. So, I implore you, as a fellow college student who once thought she knew all that life had to offer her, take a chance and explore the world while you can because the world is beautiful. Just when we think we’ve seen it all—we haven’t. So take a train to a city you’ve never been to before, start writing to a pen pal in Bali. Watch documentaries about faraway lands. There’s so much to experience, whether you’re there in person or there in heart. Because once you bash your walls down a little bit, you will realize that life is only as small as you make it. So take the leap, see what else is out there. I can’t say it’ll be easy, but you’ll live. Summer Abroad Myanmar Where There Be Dragons Architecture Summer Abroad Myanmar Where There Be Dragons   About Emma:
Emma Freund is a passionate creative writer with special interest in culture, wellness, beauty, and lifestyle. She is an avid movie geek and loves to read romance and sci-fi novels. She pursues philosophy as background for her creative writing and could spend all day reading Plato's Republic if only given enough time. She is a fun gal who loves what she does, and she hopes you enjoy reading her work as much as she enjoys writing it!  
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[post_title] => From The Field: How My Experience in Myanmar with Dragons Expanded My Life [post_excerpt] => Dragons alumni, Emma Freund, authored this piece for Colby College's HerCampus blog. Read on for this reflection on Emma's time in Myanmar. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => from-the-field-how-my-experience-in-myanmar-with-where-there-be-dragons-expanded-my-life [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-02-21 13:00:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-02-21 20:00:21 [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] => 62 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 638 [category_count] => 62 [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] => 646 [name] => Alumni Spotlight [slug] => alumni_spotlight [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 646 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [parent] => 0 [count] => 42 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 646 [category_count] => 42 [category_description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [cat_name] => Alumni Spotlight [category_nicename] => alumni_spotlight [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/alumni_spotlight/ ) [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] => 45 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 12 [cat_ID] => 654 [category_count] => 45 [category_description] => Featured Photography, Videos, Podcasts, Photo Contest Winners, Films & Art [cat_name] => Mixed Media [category_nicename] => mixed_media [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => From the Field, Alumni Spotlight ... )
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    [post_date] => 2020-01-16 07:03:18
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We LOVE seeing our alumni featured in the press, and this piece spotlighting Blake Myers (Dragons Nepal Semester) is so fresh and thorough.

We've included a few of our favorite excerpts below. Head over to Buzz Magazines to read the full feature!

"Blake graduated from the Emery/Weiner School and was accepted to colleges, including Boston University, but he decided to put his formal education on hold. “I didn’t feel ready to go back to school again,” he said. Blake’s mom, Lisa, suggested looking into a gap year. She says Blake is an extremely good student and hard worker, but he was worn out and tired of school by the time he graduated. “We would rather buy a year of growing-up time so he can be excited about college than him going and maybe not having a great year,” she said." 

Alumni Magazine Feature

"Lisa says she is not surprised at all that her son chose such an unusual adventure. “We travel a lot as a family, and Blake always loved it more than the other kids,” she said. Blake spent his junior-year summer in Guatemala, where he became fluent in Spanish, and the experience reinforced his interest in learning about other cultures. “The change in him has been huge. He’s more mature with a broader view and appreciation of things,” Lisa said. “Travel has given him a whole different perspective. Living in Nepal piqued his curiosity to learn more about different Eastern religions, and he’s much more interesting and worldly.”

Read the full article, Bridging the Gap, online at Buzz Magazines.

 

Also, if you are alumni and were featured in any press after your Dragons program, please let us know!

 
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    [post_date] => 2019-12-05 14:16:43
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“Move. Away from wooden rice sifters and thick soil walls. Away from those rice cakes that finished baking on your palette as they steamed and collapsed in your mouth. Away from those sunken paddies and rich landscapes- freckled with cobalt windows and flush with bougainvillea. Move, because you’re in the mountains now. The deep, steep columns that flake under your rubber sole as you climb. Remember to look up- don’t dwell on the shards of Isalo you’re leaving behind. The magisterial pillars you bruise won’t shed off you like flint. Sigh the moment as you climb in the distracted line that is your group because soon you’ll leave it. Just as you left your family in Ambatomanga, and the pousy-pousy drivers before that. Because the more you dip the glorious memories into developer- the more you saturate and remember- the fainter they become. So be careful. Because it’s easy to think Madagascar is a dream. Easy to get swept away by the harsh winds and sparkling oasis’s of Isalo National Park. Easy to lust after campfire nights where the moon winks you to sleep in bug huts as your guides murmur quietly about the group of tents. If ignorance is bliss then ignorance is a shimmering waterfall nestled in rocks and drowned by sandbanks. Ignorance is also, then, a break from our longest hiking day and an exhilarating swim in the sapphire pools of the south. Ignorance is hopping back to camp barefoot to settle for the night and enjoy the laughs of the guides that were now our family. Ignorance is beautiful- until you climb back down. Back the cracked wooden beds of the hotel. Back the debrief we had with our instructor about our head guide’s story- and how he ended up working in Isalo. “He lived in hell.” he said coarsely as he toggled with his hunting knife, “was paid nothing, had to mine ore in nightmare conditions, and was exploited every second he stayed there.” At this point he started flicking bits of wood off the table. “You want to know what they call it? The place where human rights and morality are buried in the same holes Malagasy people are forced to mine? The gemstone village. Pretty name isn’t it.” Move, what’s beautiful isn’t always what’s right.”

- Lula Zeid @lulazeid

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