Rwanda Summer Program

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Announcements

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    [post_date] => 2020-07-06 10:23:43
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-07-06 16:23:43
    [post_content] => Dear Dragons Alum Families and Community,

Today is July 1st: Week one of our summer courses. In normal times, students would be getting to know their instructors and peers, tasting and smelling new cuisines, and beginning their Dragons experience. These are clearly not normal times, and this year we are feeling what many of you experienced when your child left home: the empty nest. Until international borders reopen, the majority of our customary work is put on hold; as temporary empty nesters, we are afforded the time and space to look at ourselves in new ways. These past months of crisis have helped us to ask old questions with renewed urgency, expand our vision, and deepen our purpose. I'd like to share these developments with you:
 

Bringing our work closer to home

At our core, Where There Be Dragons is about discovery of and connection to self, others, and our shared planet through immersive and responsible travel. With international travel on pause, we want to expand our mission to meet new realities. Over the past several months we've developed new domestic programs for our SummerGap and Adult participants. We've long wanted to bring our work "closer to home." These courses do just that, allowing us to bring participants in contact with critical issues and impactful experiences in the US.  

Supporting communities

  • While we know Dragons will get through this and be stronger for it, the slowdown has acutely impacted many of our overseas staff and partner communities. In response, The Dragons Fund (a 501c3 program of the COMMON Foundation) started a
  • Community Relief Fund to help provide small grants to affected communities in the places we visit. These communities have always been the bedrock of a Dragons education. We are continually inspired by their creativity, strength, and resilience. They continue to teach us how to navigate this complex world.
  • Julianne Chandler, our Latin America Program Director, recently wrote a beautiful blog post about how one of these communities in Bolivia has been impacted by the pandemic and responded in creative ways.
 

Deepening our work towards justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion

Over the past few years we've made tangible strides in more fully articulating and realizing our mission, vision, and values. We hope our actions loudly reflect our words. And yet, as with all things aspirational, the journey is endless. COVID-19's unequal impact on vulnerable communities and movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter remind us of how far we have to go-as an organization, as a country, and as a global community-to actuate meaningful and systemic change. International travel, and Dragons programming, are fundamentally entangled with legacies of colonialism and contain deep inequities. We are using our "empty nest" to develop a long-term strategic plan for deepening our work toward justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, which we look forward to sharing in the coming months.
  Dragons will always seek to provide profound and unfiltered experiences that expose us to the beautiful and painful complexities of our world. Through our shared learning, we can step beyond our cultural and self-imposed limitations, awakening to who we want to be for ourselves and our communities.
Thank you for all your support in the recent months, and over the decades. We look forward to updating you on our programming as it returns.
 
Reed Harwood
Executive Director
 
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[post_title] => The Empty Nest and What Comes Next for Dragons [post_excerpt] => Today is July 1st: Week one of our summer courses. In normal times, students would be getting to know their instructors and peers, tasting and smelling new cuisines, and beginning their Dragons experience. These are clearly not normal times, and this year we are feeling what many of you experienced when your child left home: the empty nest. Until international borders reopen, the majority of our customary work is put on hold; as temporary empty nesters, we are afforded the time and space to look at ourselves in new ways. These past months of crisis have helped us to ask old questions with renewed urgency, expand our vision, and deepen our purpose. I'd like to share these developments with you: [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-empty-nest-and-what-comes-next-for-dragons [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-07-06 10:47:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-07-06 16:47:09 [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] => 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] => 50 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 6 [cat_ID] => 653 [category_count] => 50 [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/ ) [1] => 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] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9 [cat_ID] => 641 [category_count] => 53 [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/ ) [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] => 60 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 60 [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] => Global Community, About Dragons ... )
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    [post_date] => 2020-06-17 10:12:54
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-06-17 16:12:54
    [post_content] => 

ARE YOU CONSIDERING A GAP YEAR?

If you're between the ages of 17-22 and are weighing the pros and cons of taking a break between high school and college, we've developed a free Gap Year Guide & Starter Kit to help you understand whether a Gap Year is right for you. Download for Free  

HOW WILL THE DRAGONS GAP YEAR GUIDE & STARTER KIT HELP ME?

If your Gap Year ambitions include gaining experience in wilderness exploration, language study, community engagement, activism, and/or cultural immersion, this guide highlights how a custom-crafted Dragons semester in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, can support your educational goals. It’s also equipped with statistics, guiding questions, student testimonials, links to resources, and interactive activities that will help you determine if taking time off the typical academic path will better prepare you for your future.  

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE INTERACTIVE PLANNING ACTIVITIES?

Download the PDF to engage with the following interactive features:
  • Guiding Questions
  • Links to relevant blogs and resources
  • Goal Setting Visioning Activity
  • Average Perfect Day + Best Day Ever (Ad Lib)
  • Timeline Activity
  • How to Choose a Dragons 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] => Free Gap Year Guide & Starter Kit [post_excerpt] => Committing to a Gap Year is a big decision. We developed the Gap Year Guide & Starter Kit to help you understand whether a Gap Year is right for you. The guide comes equipped with statistics, guiding questions, quotes from students, links to resources, and interactive activities. You can download it and view it in a PDF viewer to get started. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => free-gap-year-guide-starter-kit [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-07-09 13:08:11 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-07-09 19:08:11 [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] => 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] => 48 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 700 [category_count] => 48 [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/ ) [1] => 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] => 52 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 12 [cat_ID] => 654 [category_count] => 52 [category_description] => Featured Photography, Videos, Podcasts, Photo Contest Winners, Films & Art [cat_name] => Mixed Media [category_nicename] => mixed_media [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/mixed_media/ ) [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] => 60 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 60 [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] => For Parents, Mixed Media ... )
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    [post_date] => 2020-06-15 17:30:56
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-06-15 23:30:56
    [post_content] => 

Building Sustainable Relationships With Land & Water in the Western United States

Catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dragons is excited to facilitate new low-impact domestic programs closer to home. Our Colorado River Basin Semester continues to advance our mission to offer immersive and responsible travel by exploring the history, culture, and environments of the North American West. Taking health risks into account, we are initially prioritizing programs that remain in-line with public health recommendations and which do not pose a greater risk to vulnerable populations. Coming September 1st, 2020, 10 Gap Year students will travel slowly by foot, train, and boat to connect the Colorado River's ecosystems from alpine peaks to desert canyons. Participants will backpack to the source of the Colorado River. Get their hands dirty studying permaculture and sustainability on local farms. Float through the desert canyons of Utah and sleep under a blanket of endless stars. Forge lasting friendships and connect to landscapes that will call you back for many years to come.

Program Highlights:

[caption id="attachment_157040" align="alignleft" width="356"]domestic gap year program where there be dragons colorado utah Photo by Tim Hare, Instructor.[/caption]
  • Engage with movements for food justice and food sovereignty
  • Meet with scientists, activists, ranching families, Native American communities, and recreational groups to gain a deeper understanding of the demands on land and water
  • Study permaculture with sustainable farmers and learn about practical solutions for climate change
  • Develop a complex understanding of the human history and a deeper connection with the natural environment in the high mountains and winding desert canyons
  • 2-week backpacking expedition along the Continental Divide including possible summits of 13,000 and 14,000+ foot peaks
  • Float the red rock canyons of the Colorado River Basin while you learn about complicated demands on this precious resource and how water has carved the magnificent natural beauty of the Southwest
  • Study controversial land use issues and natural resource extraction practices in the Bears Ears National monument and other public lands
  • Learn how communities of the Southwest carve out their existence amidst the greatest drought in centuries and strike a delicate balance in a competition for scarce natural resources
 

Learn more about the semester on the program page. 

 
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[post_title] => Announcing Dragons Domestic Fall Gap Year Program: The Colorado River Basin Semester [post_excerpt] => Coming September 1st, 2020, 10 Gap Year students will travel slowly by foot, train, and boat to connect the Colorado River's ecosystems from alpine peaks to desert canyons.  [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => announcing-dragons-domestic-fall-gap-year-program-the-colorado-river-basin-semester [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-06-16 10:49:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-06-16 16:49:28 [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] => 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] => 48 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 700 [category_count] => 48 [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/ ) [1] => 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] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9 [cat_ID] => 641 [category_count] => 53 [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/ ) [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] => 60 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 60 [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] => For Parents, About Dragons ... )
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    [post_author] => 1530
    [post_date] => 2020-06-03 14:31:50
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-06-03 20:31:50
    [post_content] => Dear Dragons Community,

On Monday, May 25th—Memorial Day—George Floyd was murdered under the knee of a Minnesota police officer. In a country already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, Floyd’s death compounded the pain of another open wound: the wound of American racism, an infection that has festered for 400 years. It oozes hatred and rage and violence. It blinds so many to the full, sacred humanity of Blackness.

We write to you today to fight that infection. We know that Black Lives Matter. And in the words of instructor Caleb Brooks, “we know that George mattered, that he was imbued with the life force that every poet and theologian and artist and shaman has lived and died trying to translate into the broken languages by which we express our love and also our hate.”

We write to grieve with you, and to join hands with you against the systems that killed George Floyd.

We condemn the racist policies, white supremacy, and police brutality that killed George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and innumerable others. White people and white-run organizations must actively work against the legacies of white supremacy, racism, settler colonialism, patriarchy and structural inequality upon which this country was built and that pervade the lives of Black and Brown people in the US every day.  

As an administrative team, we regret that it has taken us until now to make this statement publicly. We acknowledge that we benefit from these heinous legacies and have a responsibility to dismantle them. Our mission to build a just and equitable world requires sustained anti-racist action. We stand in solidarity with those demanding racial justice. We invite you, our community, to join us in the movement for sustainable transformation. 

Today, Dragons donated to Black Lives Matter 5280, a small organization on the front lines of the protest in Denver, near our headquarters. You can find more organizations to which our staff are donating, and more ways to get educated and involved below.

The work of liberation is hard and at times may feel impossible. But, to echo James Baldwin, “in our time, as in every time, the impossible is the least that one can demand.”

In solidarity, 

The Where There Be Dragons Administrative Team

 

RESOURCES TO GET EDUCATED AND INVOLVED

Thank you to Black-led activists who have created these resources, which we have pulled from various locations. 

READ

We encourage you to purchase your books from black-owned and African American-focused bookstores. You can find a list here
  • ain’t i a woman by bell hooks
  • Ally Resource Guide
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates 
  • Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
  • Black Lives Matter Syllabus 
  • Choke Hold by Paul Butler
  • Divided Sisters by Midge Wilson and Kathy Russell
  • Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper 
  • Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall 
  • How to be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
  • How We Get Free edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor 
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson 
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat White Supremacy, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
  • Native Son by Richard Wright 
  • POC Online Classroom  
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde 
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • Stamped from the Beginning by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi 
  • The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein 
  • The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe Moraga
  • What to do Instead of Calling the Police 
  • When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Kahn-Cullors & asha bandele
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo 
  • Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect edited by Joe Macaré, Maya Schenwar, and Alana Yu-lan Price
  • Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis 

LISTEN

WATCH

  • 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
  • American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
  • BlacKKKlansman (Spike Lee) — HBO
  • Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent
  • Blindspotting (Carlos López Estrada) — HBO
  • Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
  • Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
  • Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
  • I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent or on Kanopy
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
  • Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to watch FREE for the month of June
  • King In The Wilderness  — HBO
  • Rachel Cargle’s Address on the Revolution 
  • See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
  • Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
  • Systematic Racism Explained
  • Tamika Mallory’s Speech on George Floyd Protests
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
  • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
  • When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix

DONATE

GET INVOLVED

  • #AmplifyMelanatedVoices when sharing content
  • Click for a pre-made email draft to demand justice for Breonna Taylor
  • Click for a pre-made email draft to demand justice for George Floyd
  • Click for a pre-made email draft to demand justice for James Scurlock
  • Click for a pre-made email draft to demand justice for Tony McDade
  • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TO VOTE
  • Get involved with your local government to end police brutality 
  • Join Local Black Lives Matter Chapters
  • Join Local allyship organizations such as SURJ

SUPPORT/FOLLOW

MORE

 
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] => Solidarity + Resources For Racial Justice [post_excerpt] => We condemn the racist policies, white supremacy, and police brutality that killed George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and innumerable others. White people and white-run organizations must actively work against the legacies of white supremacy, racism, settler colonialism, patriarchy and structural inequality upon which this country was built and that pervade the lives of Black and Brown people in the US every day.   [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => solidarity-resources-for-racial-justice [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-06-09 12:59:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-06-09 18:59:19 [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] => 53 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9 [cat_ID] => 641 [category_count] => 53 [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] => 670 [name] => Recommended [slug] => recommended [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 670 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [parent] => 0 [count] => 18 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 11 [cat_ID] => 670 [category_count] => 18 [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] => 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] => 60 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 60 [category_description] => Announcements on: New Programs, Surveys, Jobs/Internships, Contests, & Behind-the-Scenes Activity. [cat_name] => Announcements [category_nicename] => announcements [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] => 15 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 16 [cat_ID] => 1 [category_count] => 15 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Uncategorized [category_nicename] => uncategorized [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => About Dragons, Recommended ... )
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    [post_date] => 2020-03-18 15:35:26
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-18 21:35:26
    [post_content] => 

We want to share this note from Aaron Slosberg, Director of Student Programming, about the importance of the transference process for our students and instructors returning home and for all those adjusting to the current state of the world.

Dear Spring Semester Students, Instructors, and Dragons Community,

What initially started as an emergent epidemic in China, soon morphed into the global pandemic that is sadly bringing an early end to your semester this week. Dragons has gone through public health scares in the past, but none as far reaching as COVID-19. The scope of the pandemic is crossing and closing international borders in ways that are truly unprecedented because we are living in an unprecedentedly interconnected world. Fear can breed distance from the unfamiliar, which may be self-protecting and necessary in some cases, but also the roots of xenophobia and isolation in others. And we are living in fearful times with real problems to face.

COVID-19 is not a scarecrow threat. The potential health impacts are real and overwhelming in scope. Communities are struggling to mitigate the disease’s reach, and in doing so, are being faced with tough questions about the fabric of our society and values. Are public health and healthy economies at odds? Can we self-manage our response to the pandemic or do governments need to curtail personal freedoms in pursuit of a common good? Can we maintain open borders and movement or do nations need to close themselves off?  These are not abstract dilemmas; in fact, they have already personally impacted all of us and will continue to color conversations well into the future.

Being on a Dragons program can be paradoxically connecting and disconnecting experience. Connecting because you are so actively engaged with your surroundings, and the local & global themes manifested there, without the filter of screens or media. Relationships can feel uniquely alive and immediate. Disconnecting because you are apart from your community back home and from the technological waterfall of information available at your fingertips. We’ve heard that many  students this semester were only abstractly aware of COVID-19 because it just wasn’t a part of your daily realities. Although we know you each have already felt its influence, we also want to prepare you for the new reality you’re returning to…

You will feel the presence of COVID-19 everywhere you go in the coming weeks. Social distancing practices have shuttered schools, restaurants, and myriad public spaces. Once bustling areas are eerily quiet. Businesses and workers are struggling mightily to find a footing in this novel economy, Dragons included. The coronavirus is on center stage in all forms of media. People are scared and anxious about what the future holds.

Most travelers already feel overwhelmed returning from abroad. Re-entry culture shock and separation from your Dragons group can result in a rollercoaster of emotions. We want you to know that whatever feelings come up for you in the coming days have most likely been (or are being) experienced by Dragons students and instructors around the world. What is unique to your return experience is the added layer of coming back to a society in the midst of some tectonic shifts. We often say that a common disconnect in returning home is that the traveler can feel so different inside, filled with new experiences and perspectives, but their old surroundings still seem the same. You may find that just as you have changed, so has the context of your home.

And in those changes, we encourage you to practice caution, patience, and compassion with your loved ones.

Caution because these circumstances absolutely demand it. Follow health protocols not only for your own safety, but also for the safety of your community. You may not be in a high risk demographic; however, your behaviors can determine the level of risk posed to those around you. Don’t take it personally if loved ones are intentionally distant from you, or even a bit scared of the risk you may pose as a newly returned traveler; everyone is doing their best to navigate this situation. Keep up with the sanitation and safety guidelines from your course, and heed the established advice of health experts.

Patience because your transition back home will take time. Don’t expect for everything to immediately feel the same. Don’t expect for everyone around you to readily understand your experiences and emotions. And know that with time and patience, you will form newly familiar routines and norms. Your experiences abroad, and the expression of them, will gain clarity and traction in your life at home.

Compassion because your experience is uniquely yours. Your family and friends back home have not been exposed to the same realities, perspectives, and insights. Don’t let that difference become a barrier to connection or a cause for judgment. Compassion because we have the power to turn this moment into something other than a cause for fear of people and places different from us. Compassion because we are all doing our best to cope with a world often beyond our control, and while we can’t always change what’s outside of us, we can choose to respond with kindness.

I want you to know that even though your Dragons semester is coming to a close, you are forever a part of this community. We are here for you now, and always. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us whether that’s in a week, or years down the road.

Wishing you all the best in your return home.

Aaron Slosberg

Director of Student Programming

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[post_title] => TRANSFERENCE: A NOTE FROM OUR DIRECTOR OF STUDENT PROGRAMMING [post_excerpt] => We want to share this note from Aaron Slosberg, Director of Student Programming, about the importance of the transference process for our students returning home and for all those adjusting to the current state of the world. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => transference-a-note-from-our-director-of-student-programming [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-04-07 14:33:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-04-07 20:33:30 [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] => 697 [name] => Dragons Travel Guide [slug] => dragons-travel-guide [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 697 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 25 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 2 [cat_ID] => 697 [category_count] => 25 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Dragons Travel Guide [category_nicename] => dragons-travel-guide [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/dragons-travel-guide/ ) [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] => 48 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 700 [category_count] => 48 [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] => 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] => 50 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 6 [cat_ID] => 653 [category_count] => 50 [category_description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [cat_name] => Global Community [category_nicename] => global_community [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] => 60 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 60 [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] => Dragons Travel Guide, For Parents ... )
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We are filled with gratitude and excitement about announcing our first-ever U.S. based Dragons course. Introducing the Payahuunadü Nüümü Indigenous Nations Program, a 12-day course for Dragons and Nüümü students in California. 

This summer, eight Dragons students, ages 18-24, and four local Nüümü (Paiute) youth will learn together about Indigenous work to regain sovereignty over food, land, and water in Payahuunadü (Owens Valley, California). With a strong emphasis on developing tools for allyship, advocacy, and skills for social and environmental justice work, students will dive into topics like how to create good relations with the earth and human communities, Indigenous sovereignty over water, land, food and governance systems, and what decolonization would actually mean.

Meet our brilliant course designers:

KRIS HOHAG

Kris Hohag is an educator, artist and native of the Owens Valley.
Raised in Bishop as a citizen of the Bishop Paiute Tribe, Kris received his Bachelors degree in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine and his Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Washington. His work has focused on language revitalization, youth leadership development, outdoor education and building bridges between diverse cultures to unite over our common love of water and land.
A University and Rez-educated scholar and organizer, he initially built a solid reputation by working as a teacher in local schools and mentoring at-risk youth in Southern California, the Pacific Northwest and the Eastern Sierra. Over time and by example, he has proven to be an influential community voice while honing his chops as an entrepreneur and artist. Kris has worked with every tribal organization on his reservation serving Indian people across such central topics as education, economic development, language and culture, healthcare, and governance. He served a two year term on the Bishop Paiute Tribal Council, acting as Vice Chairman during 2014-2015. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the local clinic in his community, Toiyabe Indian Health Project, as well as a rep for the statewide California Rural Indian Health Board. Several key projects he spearheaded or played a vital role in locally include the Bishop Tribal Youth Council; the Bishop Paiute Tribe’s Community Radio Station: KBPT 96.1 LPFM; the Eastern Sierra Writing Circle and Collective Language, a youth-oriented, monthly open mic and live show to build community and showcase local talent at the Wunut Novi Youth Media Arts Center. He is a founding member of the Payahuunadü Alliance, a grassroots family of stewards comprised of diverse voices united around a great love for the lands east of the Sierras known as Payahuunadü.

KINSINTA JOSEPH

Kinsinta Joseph is the daughter of Patricia and Tom Joseph who met during the Klamath River Fish Wars of the late 1970’s. Her mother is Hupa (Na:tinixwe’) and Karuk from the Klamath and Trinity Rivers in Northern California. Her father is Nuumu and Newe from Pa’ha Gwae, the southern part of Payahuunadü (Owens Valley, CA). As a youth, she traveled across Native country with her parents and nine siblings, learning the importance of nation building. She grew up participating in social justice movements, spending much time at the state capitol trying to persuade the Governor’s office to restore the rivers, advocating humane policies towards our immigrant relatives and helping raise awareness of police brutality. Her family founded California Kitchen at Standing Rock, a movement to bring attention to the destruction that fossil fuels is admitting to the Earth. California Kitchen was organized to feed and house people through the cold winter. Kinsinta is the founder of PayaHupaWay, a Native Jewelry brand focusing on cultural activities such as gathering basket materials, reminding us of our connection to help restore the land. Payahupaway promotes a lifestyle grounded in songs and prayers that is reflective of her ancestral teachings. Kinsinta most importantly is a mother and a partner to a Nuumü man. They have been working on curriculum that prioritizes Nuumu Yadoha (Paiute Language) and Traditional Ecological Knowledge so that their daughter and future generations of Nuumü Youth have the opportunity to learn what is relevant to them, the community, and the Land. She is a founding member of the Payahuunadü Alliance, an indigenous-led grassroots team of stewards united around a great love for Payahuunadü.

CHARIS BOKE

B.A. English, Mills College; M.A. Social Sciences, University of Chicago; Ph.D. Anthropology, Cornell University Charis teaches with Dragons in Nepal and on Turtle Island (North America). In 2018, she completed her doctorate in cultural anthropology at Cornell University, where she studied, learned with, and wrote about herbalists, healers, and community organizers in the United States through an ethnographic lens. Her previous research as a student and Fulbright fellow in Nepal, between 2005 and 2009, focused on swayambhu or uTpati, self-arisen goddess worship sites. As an anthropologist, an herbalist, and a community organizer, Charis identifies as a scholar-practitioner, bringing these multiple perspectives on social justice and healing into her work as an educator. She draws on her background as an anthropologist of medicine, then environment, healing, and religion, and as a Buddhist practitioner whose attention to the world is shaped by the numinous and inexplicable. She seeks and makes magic alone and with groups, in the mountains and the deserts, always learning to listen better to what the earth has to say, a set of practices that she strives to share with others. She is also informed, in teaching and in life, by her long-term commitment to building socially and environmentally just relations. In that mode, she teaches as an “act of radical love,” to borrow bell hooks’ excellent phrase, seeking to guide students toward their own truest life-path through intellectual engagement and direct experience together. The broad goal of her work in and out of learning spaces is to provide people not only with historical and cultural frameworks to understand situations or places, but also with the relevant tools, experiences, and relationships to engage more deeply with the world we live in and all its challenges. She has deep roots in community organizing and activism, and sees her work as a mode of discovery not just about what our world contains, but about how to make it better.   Learn more about sovereignty work and indigenous-led organizations:   

P.S. 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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