Photo by Fye Maithai, China Semester.

Posts Categorized:

Alumni Spotlight

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    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2019-12-05 14:16:43
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-05 21:16:43
    [post_content] => 

“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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[post_title] => Featured Student Ambassador Reflection [post_excerpt] => “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..." [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => featured-student-ambassador-reflection-by-lula-zeid-madagascar-summer-19-alum [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-05 14:20:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-05 21:20:46 [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] => 54 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 638 [category_count] => 54 [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] => 37 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 646 [category_count] => 37 [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] => 669 [name] => Engage [slug] => engage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 669 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [parent] => 0 [count] => 17 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13 [cat_ID] => 669 [category_count] => 17 [category_description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [cat_name] => Engage [category_nicename] => engage [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => From the Field, Alumni Spotlight ... )
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    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2019-11-14 13:54:06
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-11-14 20:54:06
    [post_content] => 

This weekend we hosted seven Student Ambassadors at the Dragons office-house....

IMG_1961

They worked (and played) around the clock to inform our projects & programming for 2020.

We feel entirely refreshed with their vibe & vision!

There's an Instagram Highlight that captures some of the action.

And if you're curious, you can learn more about about Dragons Alumni Ambassador program.

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] => Alumni Ambassadors — Refreshing Dragons HQ with Vibe & Vision [post_excerpt] => This weekend we hosted seven Student Ambassadors at the Dragons office-house. They worked (and played) around the clock to inform our projects & programming for 2020. We have an Instagram Highlight capturing some of the action... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => alumni-ambassadors-refreshing-dragons-hq-with-vibe-vision [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-05 14:17:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-05 21:17:35 [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] => 641 [name] => About Dragons [slug] => about_dragons [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 641 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [parent] => 0 [count] => 34 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9 [cat_ID] => 641 [category_count] => 34 [category_description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [cat_name] => About Dragons [category_nicename] => about_dragons [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/about_dragons/ ) [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] => 37 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 646 [category_count] => 37 [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/ ) ) [category_links] => About Dragons, Alumni Spotlight )
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    [post_author] => 1525
    [post_date] => 2019-11-02 06:15:09
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-11-02 12:15:09
    [post_content] => 
FIRST PLACE: JULIA HALLIN 
North India, Summer 2019
"Taken in the beginning of a grueling, warm day of trekking. There was nothing but a sheer cliff beyond and an endless flat expanse of desert behind. Glorious."
   
SECOND PLACE: VICTORIA SULLIVAN
China, Summer 2019
"My Bangdong homestay sister who loves ping-pong."
 
THIRD PLACE: HOPE LANE
Madagascar, Summer 2019
"Looking out over Isalo before sunset."

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to all that submitted and shared such lovely images with us!

 VIEW ALL PHOTOS 

[post_title] => Announcing Summer 2019 Photo Contest Winners! [post_excerpt] => Congratulations to the winners of Dragons Summer 2019 Photo Contest... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => announcing-summer-2019-photo-contest-winners [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-14 13:58:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-14 20:58:23 [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] => 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] => 37 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 646 [category_count] => 37 [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/ ) [1] => 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] => 50 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 50 [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] => Alumni Spotlight, Announcements )
WP_Post Object
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    [ID] => 155389
    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2019-10-01 09:01:47
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-10-01 15:01:47
    [post_content] => 

It was extremely hard for the committee to choose, but we’ve selected our three top Dragons Visual Story contest winners:

1-minute Visual Story by Tom of Dragons Guatemala, 6-week Summer Program 2019.

 

1-minute visual story video by Isabelle of Dragons Peru Summer Program 2019.

 

1-minute visual story video by Samantha of Dragons China Summer Program 2019.

 

CONGRATULATIONS TOM, SAMANTHA, and ISABELLE!

And thank you to ALL those who put love into their beautiful video contest submissions. They were an honor to watch!

Sincerely,

Dragons HQ

 
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] => ANNOUNCING OUR THREE 1-MINUTE “VISUAL STORY” VIDEO CONTEST WINNERS! [post_excerpt] => It was extremely hard for the committee to choose, but we’ve selected our three top Dragons Visual Story 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-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-10-17 14:24:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-10-17 20:24:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [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] => 54 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 638 [category_count] => 54 [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] => 37 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 646 [category_count] => 37 [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] => 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] => 50 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 50 [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, Alumni Spotlight ... )
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    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2019-09-19 10:59:04
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-09-19 16:59:04
    [post_content] => 

If you're wondering what type of thing reduces the Boulder HQ administrative team to tears, this is it:

(Thank you Nina Saligman, specifically, for featuring the faces of so many Dragons instructors we know and adore!)

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] => A Phenomenal Destination (Short Film) by Dragons Alum Nina Saligman [post_excerpt] => If you're wondering what type of thing reduces the Boulder HQ administrative team to tears, watch this vide. (And thank you Nina Saligman, specifically, for featuring the faces of so many Dragons instructors we know and adore!) [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => a-phenomenal-destination-short-film-by-dragons-alum-nina-saligman [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-10-17 09:15:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-10-17 15:15:46 [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] => 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] => 37 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 646 [category_count] => 37 [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/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 670 [name] => Recommended [slug] => recommended [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 670 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [parent] => 0 [count] => 11 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 11 [cat_ID] => 670 [category_count] => 11 [category_description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [cat_name] => Recommended [category_nicename] => recommended [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/recommended/ ) [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] => 40 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 12 [cat_ID] => 654 [category_count] => 40 [category_description] => Featured Photography, Videos, Podcasts, Photo Contest Winners, Films & Art [cat_name] => Mixed Media [category_nicename] => mixed_media [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => Alumni Spotlight, Recommended ... )
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    [ID] => 155380
    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2019-09-12 12:45:55
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-09-12 18:45:55
    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_155381" align="alignnone" width="4512"] PHOTO: Fernanda and her homestay mom, Ouleye; dad, Ibou; and brothers, Sidikh, Rassoul, and baby Mame Cheikh.[/caption]

WORDS by FERNANDA ROMO

SENEGAL PRINCETON BRIDGE YEAR PROGRAM ALUMNI

Mungi dox literally translates to, “it walks.” In conversation, however, one might use it to mean “it’s going,” “it’s fine,” or “it works.” When I set out to write this piece, with the prompt of mungi dox in mind, I immediately thought about my family. After all, I’m living in a homestay with a total of nineteen people (I think), including three married couples and twelve kids of various ages. This is naturally bound to be a bit chaotic and might seem like a headache for people more habituated to smaller “nuclear family” living arrangements. For this reason, writing about how my household functions, how everyone pitches in, and how living in these big families actually works was sure to be a crowd pleaser. Wouldn’t everyone love to hear the conclusions I’d drawn about African family structures from my experience living with the Mbayes?
“Wouldn’t everyone love to hear the conclusions I’d drawn about African family structures from my experience living with the Mbayes? Regrettably, as appealing as that piece might sound, I’m not writing it.”
Regrettably, as appealing as that piece might sound, I’m not writing it. Mainly, because I can’t. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized that the chances of me being able to provide a fair analysis of this family’s dynamics are about as high as those of snowfall in Dakar. The mere idea of scrutinizing the way these people behave within their family, just to arrive to the conclusion that it surprisingly “works,” feels foolish at best and condescending at worst. However, my impending erroneousness is not the only thing holding me back from writing about the people in Senegal who are so dear to me. For a long time I couldn’t exactly pinpoint why I felt a tinge of discomfort every time I thought about turning the people I consider family into the subjects of my writing, especially when said writing is directed to Western audiences. I remember once, I considered blogging about Mame Maty, my instructor Babacar’s 10-year-old daughter, who I love like crazy and who is definitely one of the people closest to my heart here. I ended up deciding against it, because something about it wasn’t sitting right with me. And even though I didn’t entirely understand why, one thought kept popping up in my mind: she’s my friend. That’s also what I feel today when trying to make myself produce some insightful conclusions or lessons gathered from analyzing my homestay family. I don’t want to “report back” on what Senegalese families are like, both because it’s not possible to do so accurately, and because these people are, first of all, my family. Not subjects of study, not sources of all-encompassing revelations, but people who treat me like a daughter, a sister, a friend. And just as I wouldn’t write up a couple pages about my best friend back in Mexico and send it to an audience of people who she will never meet and who will form their entire perception of who she is based on my words, I don’t particularly feel inclined to do that here. And maybe that’s a good thing. After all, I think the main reason why the Bridge Year Program works, and is so incredibly meaningful, is because of relationships. The moments when I have felt that my time here has the greatest value have all been centered around having strong bonds, familiarity, and overall friendship with people. It’s really beautiful to think about how my Senegalese family and I genuinely care about each other, and how our lives have been enriched as a result. So I guess if you asked me, “Does it work to put a random toubab1 in the middle of a household in Dakar, Senegal, and have her be a part of this family for a few months?” I’d say yeah, mungi dox.

FERNANDA ROMO left her home in Mexico in 2017 to travel to Senegal for nine months as part of Dragons Princeton Bridge Year Program. She is currently a student at Princeton University, where she spends her days looking at pictures of her time in Dakar at 3am, facetiming her five dogs, and going on rants about the fake Mexican food in the dining halls.

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. ❤️
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