Indonesia Semester

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    [post_content] => After five years of being a foreigner living in Dakar, Senegal, I think I’ve finally figured out how to dress. Today I’m wearing my favorite pair of form-fitting gray jeans, a black t-shirt, and a knee-length burgundy cardigan with no buttons. It’s 73 degrees Fahrenheit today, which honestly feels a bit chilly to me since my body has adapted to this warmer climate. This evening, when it’s time to break the Ramadan fast, I’ll upgrade my outfit with a knee-length kurta over my jeans and cover my hair with a light scarf. 

[caption id="attachment_159139" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Jenny Wagner, Dragons Administrator in Senegal during the Bridge Year Program[/caption]

We make many tiny assumptions about people daily because of their clothes based on our own cultural references — their beliefs, their lifestyle, their socioeconomic status, their value. In a foreign context, clothes sometimes hold new and unfamiliar meanings. 

For years I perplexed my Senegalese friends with my fashion choices. I showed up to chic restaurants wearing wax-print wrap skirts that maids generally wear while doing housework. And, like a grown-up wearing a Hello Kitty backpack to work, I wore my headscarf in a style only middle school girls use. These days I know more about how to calibrate my fashion statements so that they mean what I’m hoping they mean (Sexy? Flirty? Casual? Professional?). As a white foreign woman in my 30’s, I also understand the assumptions people might make about me and how this can impact the way others read what I’m wearing. It has taken me five years to arrive at this level of understanding, mostly thanks to some honest fashion interventions from Senegalese friends who weren’t afraid to offend me. 

Although I’m an American national (and grew up in Boulder, CO), I have residency in Senegal and no longer consider myself a “visitor” here. People in my neighborhood know who I am, the details about my story, and what my place is in our community. As my Wolof has improved, so has my ability to distinguish the messages others communicate -- and that I communicate to others -- through my clothing choices. I know what to wear to a naming ceremony, the office, the beach, the gym and a girl’s night out. I know many aspects of what clothing choices here say about age, class, religion, occupation, political beliefs, and values.  

Occasionally, as a part of my work in the Dragons office, I am asked to provide suggested edits to our student packing list for Senegal. I always struggle with this task, because “how to dress” in a foreign country is so much more subtle and complex than a packing list can communicate. 

At Dragons, our mission is to cultivate meaningful connections through immersive and responsible travel. How we dress on our programs supports this mission in a big way. It’s also a very sensitive topic for many people and brings up charged topics like class warfare, cultural appropriation, colonialism, sexual violence, and the patriarchy. Too often, conversations on this topic revolve around women. In our experience, while gender presentation is definitely a factor in how people might respond to certain clothing choices, all of our best practices for how to dress abroad apply to people of any gender.

I reached out for help to our Dragons instructor community for guidance on how to approach this subject, and I want to acknowledge that what follows is woven from contributions and ideas shared by Hanna Jacobsen, Teto Morales, Maddie Melton, Berta Gielge, Dave Haffeman, Kristen Gianaris, Anna McKeon, Claire Bennett, Ellery Rosin, and the Dragons JEDI Committee.

[caption id="attachment_159138" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Jenny Wagner in Senegal with friends and family[/caption]

Why Dragons Dress the Way We Do

Students sometimes ask us why the recommendations we give them for dressing might be different from (and often more conservative or formal than) what they see some local young people wearing. There are so many dimensions to this!  You might not be saying what you mean to say. Think about the places you grew up. What are the different clothing styles you might counter? Where do they come from? "What do you hope to communicate to others through your physical appearance? Do others always perceive you the way you hope?" Short shorts or ripped jeans on local teenagers may be seen as young people pushing the envelope and boundaries of their own society. These young people know what they’re communicating with their clothing choices and why. The same clothes on foreign teenagers could be interpreted quite differently (example: culturally insensitive outsiders continuing the legacy of colonialism by importing foreign values and corrupting local youth). You might not agree with this interpretation, but it’s important to understand that it may impact the level of cultural access you’re afforded as a visitor. As Berta Gielge (Senegal instructor) explains it: “Clothes are a cultural language. You have a right to use your language, and your language is not wrong or worse than any other. But if you address people in your own language in a foreign country, there are likely to be some misunderstandings. When you first learn a language, you just repeat words and phrases. It is once you master the meanings that you will start to express yourself, and the more vocabulary and nuances you get to know, the more you can express your "true self" in that language. It is like that with clothing codes. When you are new somewhere, you copy the "standards". With time, you might find ways to dress in a style in which you can 1) feel comfortable, 2) feel like yourself, and 3) communicate the message that you want to communicate to your surroundings.” You may not understand how your clothing choices fit the context. Imagine an outfit in your own culture that you may feel uncomfortable wearing in certain contexts. Personally, I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing a swimsuit in the grocery store. Where I’m from, a swimsuit isn’t usually an appropriate thing to wear grocery shopping, and if I wore one I imagine I would have to deal with stares, comments, jokes, and even potentially being asked to leave and come back once I’m dressed more appropriately. Consider the possibility that your favorite summer outfit from home may be the equivalent of a swimsuit in the place you’re visiting. In every culture, there are outfits that aren’t appropriate for certain situations. In our experience, it’s almost always better to be overdressed than underdressed. This is not only true for obvious situations like a formal visit with tribal elders or stepping into a sacred cathedral, but also for everyday situations such as going to the market or walking around town. We usually advise students to wear clothes that are appropriate for most day-to-day situations, and to also pack at least one outfit that they could wear to a religious site or a more formal situation.  Dragons groups are invited into very sensitive spaces, including religious celebrations and sacred ceremonies that aren’t generally open to outsiders. Dragons instructors can help guide you to understand when and where certain clothing choices are appropriate— if you’re doing lots in a day, you may want to dress for your most formal event.  As an outsider, the way you dress can communicate respect to your hosts. Being good guests is essential to the ethos of how we travel, and sometimes that means adapting our behaviors. Claire Bennett (Nepal instructor) shares her thoughts on this topic:  Conforming to cultural norms that are not one’s own can be challenging for many students, as it can often feel like they are being forced to accept values that are not their own. This is not the case – you will never be asked to change your values as part of the program. You will, however, be asked to challenge your assumptions and withhold judgment when encountering different cultural expectations and practices. We encourage you to take your time to understand and assess the culture without initially judging it, in order to build relationships with people who think differently from you rather than instantly putting up walls. Ultimately we want to ensure that no-one is made to feel uncomfortable in their own community, remembering that traveling to the amazing places that we go to is a privilege; one that we hope will also be extended for others.  Dress can be tied to historical power dynamics between you and your hosts. In the words of Teto Morales (Guatemala instructor):  As humans, we can choose how we talk, behave, interact, dress etc. and we are free to do so in whatever way we want; however, some of the choices we do have an impact in other people that can be at some point not right, especially when this form is not part of a culture that we interact with. This exactly is what happens in some of the communities we as Dragons work and live with. Talking about the specific context in Guatemala, our people have been oppressed and imposed ideas from the exterior since the beginning of our modern history. These ideas have been with them since then and the lack of opportunities to explore new things are almost forbidden in terms of mostly religion and lack of education too. One of the only things that remains with them is their Mayan heritage and here dressing is really important.  Dressing is one of the only few things Mayan (indigenous people) preserve and Spanish conquerors could not take away from them. This and the conservative ideas from Christianism have made our people a bit skeptical to take new ideas from the “new” world. One thing that I really appreciate about working with an organization like Dragons is that the majority of our students come to these programs with the idea of immerse themselves in a new culture, this includes this culture customs and traditions; this is mostly why they learn from the beginning how to interact and properly dress without any problems, I have never had a problem addressing this and students always take the advice and history behind this that we share.” These host/guest power dynamics are perhaps even more important for our programs in the US. When we first launched our domestic programming, it was easy to assume at first that the packing list would not have the same cultural importance as they do for our international programs. We quickly realized that as an organization from the dominant US culture visiting a range of historically marginalized communities, showing respect via culturally appropriate clothing choices was a huge part of showing respect to and maintaining trust with our US-based community partners. Instructor Maddie Melton (US and China instructor) shares their experience supporting students to engage with conservative partner organizations in the US: “The biggest difference [on US programs] is that students perhaps feel more "right" to challenge norms in the US and less tolerance for just accepting that it's part of 'local culture.' They see it as part of an oppressive framework in their own backyard that it is their right, or even responsibility, to push back against. You can say that your right to expression is the most important thing to you. And that's your choice and certainly an understandable one. But the trade-off is that you're going to cut yourself off from communities that feel differently. You're not going to have the same opportunities for learning from people who are different than you. But you probably can't have it both ways—  the choice that is not an option is to expect meaningful engagement with others while simultaneously insisting that their community norms are immoral or oppressive.” You may not be emotionally prepared for the reactions your clothing choices might elicit. At home, you can probably imagine the types of reactions certain outfits might elicit from others and dress according to your own mood and preferences. Depending on where you are traveling, dressing in ways that expose certain parts of your body may elicit unexpected reactions, such as unwanted comments or looks. We don’t think people should ever feel guilty or responsible for this kind of attention, but we encourage you to reflect on whether you are emotionally prepared to deal with it.  Does this mean you should never wear clothes that reveal “culturally inappropriate” parts of your body while traveling? Not necessarily. You might be ready to wear those clothes if you feel emotionally prepared for the responses you might receive, and have the language skills and confidence to respond as needed. As Hanna Jacobsen ( Latin America instructor) shares: “The reality of being in a country with a lot of machismo where there are really different impressions of what’s appropriate. It does become a choice as to how you can deal with things. The communities my students were based in, it’s super safe, lots of men on the street, you get a lot of looks, a lot of comments. For someone who’s lived here for a while who can speak the language, can say some things back, or ignore it, doesn’t ruffle my feathers in the way it might shock a student of being addressed by someone who might be their father’s age.” No matter how you dress, as a traveler you are a potential target for harassment or crimes. Past Dragons students often share feedback on the importance of packing “nice, regular clothes,” so that you’re not always wearing the identity of a tourist. Be aware that drawing additional attention to yourself (especially as a foreigner) can make you more of a target. As a new arrival in the country, you probably aren’t emotionally or linguistically prepared to respond to these situations. Dragons instructors tend to advise students to dress in ways that won’t elicit any extra or unwanted attention because in most cases, this adds a layer of physical safety and emotional comfort that supports a positive learning experience. While victims of harassment or crime are never responsible for inappropriate actions directed toward them, the truth is that our clothing choices can and do impact how others behave towards us. Teto Morales (Guatemala instructor) shares: “I always let students know that we will be seen differently because despite always saying we all are the same, we do look different, especially in small communities. If we look different, dressing properly can diminish being targeted in a bad way.” It’s not actually about you. The main reason we tend to advise you to dress in ways that might be more conservative or formal than what you are used to at home actually has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with our deep respect for and commitment to the communities and organizations who host us. As Anna McKeon (Southeast Asia instructor) explains it:  In the dominant culture of the US, and some other industrialized nations, the cultural unit is that of the individual. It's all very Descartes 'I think therefore I am' - the whole way you think about the world is through the individual. So self expression is a big deal. In many other countries and in non-dominant communities in the US, the cultural unit is not the individual, it's the community. We are seen and shaped by those others we spend time with. So how we dress is not just about some simplified notions of modesty or patriarchy - yes, those concepts can be involved, but before that, it's about the importance (or not) of the self. For students, the challenge is first to realize that the cultural challenge is about changing from an individual focused mindset - basically it's not about them! It's about other people! If a culture places an importance on dressing modestly or in a certain way, if you choose to challenge that, you are likely to make the person or people you are interacting with feel uncomfortable. If you want to have a positive interaction with those people then you need to stop placing more value on your expression of individual self, and more on them and their community.” Dressing like a traveler, not a tourist. Past Dragons students often share feedback on the importance of packing “nice, regular clothes,” so that you’re not always wearing the identity of a tourist. Wearing clothes that express who you are can make you feel more like yourself and make you feel more at home in a place.  [caption id="attachment_159135" align="aligncenter" width="1890"] Cartoon by artist Malcolm Evans[/caption] Do you have any comments, thoughts, or wisdom to share on best practices for how to dress while traveling and interacting with different communities? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!  [post_title] => The Nuance of What to Wear While Traveling - A “Dressay" [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-nuance-of-what-to-wear-while-traveling-a-dressay [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-05-10 14:39:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-05-10 20:39:45 [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] => 697 [name] => Dragons Travel Guide [slug] => dragons-travel-guide [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 697 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 26 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 3 [cat_ID] => 697 [category_count] => 26 [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] => 669 [name] => Engage [slug] => engage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 669 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. 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    [post_content] => Few skills are more empowering than being able to communicate in a foreign language. About one in four adults in the United States can hold a conversation in a language other than English. But even if you speak multiple languages, chances are your high school didn’t offer classes in Bahasa Indonesian, Aymara, Khmer, or Wolof. 

[caption id="attachment_158763" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Language Classes in Guatemala  Students taking Spanish language classes in Guatemala[/caption]

So what happens when you want to travel to one of the many interesting places in this world where you don’t speak the language? Here are the top ten tips we’ve learned over 30 years facilitating language study for beginners.

A little goes a long way. If you don’t have much time to study before you travel, consider focusing on a few key phrases that are helpful in any language. Hello. Thank you. Sorry. Where is the bathroom? Do you have ____? How much does it cost? I don’t understand.

Loosen up and practice, practice, practice. Imperfection is your friend when learning a language. Don’t stress about small mistakes, and feel free to fill in the gaps with whatever is available. It’s okay to break the rules— people who grow up speaking multiple languages often mix them together in the same sentences.

Don’t let words get in the way of meeting people. One of the best ways to motivate yourself to communicate is actually having people to talk to. Communication experts agree that the majority of human communication happens through body language and tone of voice. Use non-verbal communication skills such as hand gestures and facial expressions to interact with people.

[caption id="attachment_158760" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Taking time to learn Arabic on the flight.[/caption]

Set yourself some daily challenges. Pick one small language task for yourself every day. Go buy some basic necessities in the local market. Memorize a phrase to repeat to a taxi driver. Introduce yourself to someone and ask them their name. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even try learning a local joke or tongue twister.

Stay with a family. Learning a language is about more than just learning words. Languages are born out of cultural contexts, and living with a family means steeping yourself in the many subtle ways of being that are deeply connected to communicating in a new language. This is one of the many reasons homestays are a core component of every Dragons program.

Kick off your travels with a basic class. Even a single hour-long class with a local teacher can go a long way. Try to find a teacher who uses a communicative approach and gives you chances to practice your skills in class or on field trips outside the classroom. Take advantage of your time with your teacher to ask questions about cultural norms.

Learn from someone who understands both cultures. See if you can find someone who is willing to unpack some of the cultural differences you might encounter in your new environment. In addition to being multilingual, many of our instructors play the role of intercultural mediators, helping language learners understand the “why” and “how” of language alongside the “what.”

[caption id="attachment_158761" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Mandarin language classes[/caption]

Give yourself a break. Do you feel like you’re hitting a wall with your language learning? Take some time off to give your brain a break. Sometimes when there is a lot of new language input, our mind needs time to digest and process. Don’t be surprised if a week later you experience a sudden explosion in your language skills! Language learning takes time, one of the many reasons why our programs emphasize slowness and depth.

Have fun! Learning a new language opens up new experiences, friendships, ways of thinking, and maybe even a new favorite song, film, poem, or proverb. Don’t forget to take a moment to delight in it all!

Find a penpal. Staying in touch with friends you meet during your travels is a great way to keep your language skills from disappearing once you return home. A video call can transport you back into a homestay experience, and social media, texting, and emailing are all low-pressure ways to keep a new language alive in your brain. 

We wish you the best of luck in your travels, and hope you find it fulfilling to cultivate meaningful connections with people you might not normally be able to communicate with!
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    [post_content] => Christy Sommers saw her first sweatered goat (yes, you read that correctly) in 2010 during her time as a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh. It was on a weekend trip to the countryside that she first saw and photographed a baby goat sporting a little pink dress and, in Christy’s words she was “the most elated.” 

[caption id="attachment_158293" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Christy sees her first sweatered goat in Bangladesh, photo from Christy Sommers[/caption]

She soon learned that when the temperatures drop into the 50s or 60s (Fahrenheit) across Northern India and Bangladesh, people put their hand-me-downs on  goats to keep them warm during the winter months. Christy has been documenting this adorable phenomenon for the past decade, and has been creating calendars with her photos since 2013.

Christy worked supporting Princeton University's Bridge Year program in Varanasi, India from 2014 to 2017, and during this time she discovered the Varanasi is home to a veritable treasure trove of adorable sweatered livestock.We recently interviewed Christy, a Dragons instructor and administrator, to hear more about the story behind her Goats in Sweaters calendars. Here is what she has to say:

[caption id="attachment_158294" align="aligncenter" width="2112"] Photo by Christy Sommers[/caption]

A Calendar is Born 

Demand is what inspired Christy to create her first Goats in Sweaters calendar. In 2013 she printed 15 calendars and gave them as holiday gifts to family and friends. After a lot of encouragement from her community, Christy started printing more and more calendars each year. In 2018, the goats caught the attention of NPR’s Goats and Soda: Stories of Life in a Changing World. That article helped her further spread the word and now Christy sells  around 2000 calendars each year.

Giving Back 

Once she started selling the calendars, Christy has always wanted the project to support the communities where the goats come from. Christy gave all of the proceeds from the 2016 and 2017 calendars to Guria, a grassroots organization in Varanasi, India that fights to end human trafficking and exploitation in Varanasi’s red light district and across India.  [caption id="attachment_158302" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Photo by Christy Sommers[/caption] She shifted and began supporting Asha Deep Vidyashram with the 2018 calendar. Asha Deep is a K-8 school serving a marginalized population in Varanasi;  Asha Deep’s students are first generation learners and the whole school environment is designed to support poor students with illiterate parents.The donations from the calendar sales are able to fully support the operations of Asha Deep for three to four months on average.  Christy expressed a passion for giving back to the communities that “taught me so much and are home to where I took these photos.” She is excited to continue supporting Asha Deep, and is delighted that the graphic designer for the 2022 calendar  is an Asha Deep graduate! [caption id="attachment_158298" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Photo by Christy Sommers[/caption]

What are the logistics for creating a sweated-goat-calendar every year?

Christy says that people frequently misunderstand the photos and think that she is the one who is putting the sweaters on the goats. She clarifies, “In India, I just photograph them as I find them. Only once have I put sweaters on goats myself, and it was to dress my dad’s five goats in style for my sister’s wedding!” Christy took a trip to Northern India in February 2020, right before the pandemic restricted travel. Beyond reconnecting with the Asha Deep students and staff, she also took hundreds more fashionable goat photos - more than enough for several more years of calendar models. “Goats do what they want, so capturing them in decent light and an amazing sweater is not easy.” Christy uses a Canon Powershot SX740 camera—a relatively high quality point and shoot that also fulfills her requirement of fitting in her pants pocket.  Christy smiles, and ends our conversation with, “I have to say, I don't consider myself a creative person, and it feels so vulnerable to put this out into the world. I'm nervous every year —is it still gonna work?” We’re confident Christy’s project will continue to work—bringing a slice of joy to nearly 2000 homes every year. You can buy Christy's calendar on Etsy for $15, or if you'd like to add a small donation to your order, you can do so directly through this google form. [caption id="attachment_158299" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Photo by Christy Sommers[/caption]  
More Information about Asha Deep from Christy
As in years past, more than 50% of the proceeds of the 2022 Sweatered Goat calendar will benefit Asha Deep Vidyashram, a school serving over 200 K-8th grade students in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood in Varanasi, India. All of Asha Deep's students are the children of illiterate parents. The school is determined to give these children a quality education that combines academic success with additional focuses on students' self-esteem, promoting compassion and gender equality, and teaching healthy conflict resolution and environmental awareness. They also provide a school lunch and run an after-school program so that students have a healthy and fun way to spend their evenings. We are proud to support Asha Deep's important work and give back to the goats' local community in Varanasi. Here are links to the Asha Deep website and Facebook page. Asha Deep's exciting news this year is that they have purchased a piece of land where they will build their own school, allowing them to serve a new community. They are running their own fundraiser to raise funds for this project, and would appreciate any additional donations toward this important aim.
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    [post_date] => 2020-04-16 12:02:01
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-04-16 18:02:01
    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_156662" align="aligncenter" width="522"]Dragons Fund Community Relief Fund Photo from Aajeevika Bureau[/caption]

In March 2020, the Dragons Fund, a non-profit ( in partnership with The Common Foundation), launched a Community Relief Fund to support vulnerable people and communities heavily impacted by decreased travel in the time of COVID-19.

As the world battles the spread of COVID-19, people around the world are facing immense hardship. Many Dragons partner communities rely on economic support from travel and tourism to survive, and with travel at a standstill, the impact on livelihoods will be severe.

[caption id="attachment_156663" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Dragons Fund Community Relief Fund Photo from Aajeevika Bureau[/caption]

Thus far, the initiative has been able to raise almost $10,000 and accomplish the following:

  • India: A $1,000 grant to Aajeevika Bureau, an Indian nonprofit working on the front lines of the migrant crisis
  • Indonesia: A $500 grant in Yogyakarta to provide essential food items to families that have lost income, as well as medical safety equipment for people removing dead bodies from homes
  • Senegal: A $700 grant to provide basic food supplies to vulnerable households in seven communities (Dene, Ndioukhane, Yoff, Mouit, Temanto Samba, Dindefelo, and Niodior)
  • Additional project proposals underway in Bolivia and Nepal.
  Dragons Fund Community Relief FundDragons Fund Community Relief FundDragons Fund Community Relief FundDragons Fund Community Relief Fund                
As global travelers, the Dragons community is acutely aware that the vulnerable always suffer first and most. We feel a responsibility to take action. This fund will provide financial support to partners and communities who have made Where There Be Dragons programs so incredible over the years.

— The Dragons Fund

 

Learn more about the Community Relief Fund.

   
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[post_title] => DRAGONS FUND RESPONDS TO COVID-19 CRISIS WITH THE COMMUNITY RELIEF FUND [post_excerpt] => In March 2020, the Dragons Fund, a non-profit ( in partnership with The Common Foundation), launched a Community Relief Fund to support vulnerable people and communities heavily impacted by decreased travel in the time of COVID-19 [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => dragons-fund-responds-to-covid-19-crisis-with-the-community-relief-fund [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-23 16:48:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-23 22:48:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 638 [name] => From the Field [slug] => from_the_field [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 638 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Yaks, Reflections, Quotes, Photo Spreads and Videos from the Four Corners. [parent] => 0 [count] => 36 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 638 [category_count] => 36 [category_description] => Featured Yaks, Reflections, Quotes, Photo Spreads and Videos from the Four Corners. [cat_name] => From the Field [category_nicename] => from_the_field [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/from_the_field/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 653 [name] => Global Community [slug] => global_community [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 653 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [parent] => 0 [count] => 47 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 7 [cat_ID] => 653 [category_count] => 47 [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/ ) [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] => 13 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 669 [category_count] => 13 [category_description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [cat_name] => Engage [category_nicename] => engage [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] => 23 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 16 [cat_ID] => 1 [category_count] => 23 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Uncategorized [category_nicename] => uncategorized [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => From the Field, Global Community ... )
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    [ID] => 156603
    [post_author] => 1530
    [post_date] => 2020-03-31 14:23:22
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-31 20:23:22
    [post_content] => Here are 3 Dragons activities that you can easily do at home focused on goal setting, gratitude, & connection.

We are sharing some of our resources to keep positive! Dragons programs focus on creating meaningful connections to self, place, and the planet. Though our mission generally happens abroad, the work we do can definitely translate to life at home.

We’re all about silver linings, taking things in stride, and trying to learn from whatever life throws at us. Hopefully, these activities offer some inspiration, perspective & laughs during these challenging times. 

3 Dragons Activities for YOU! 

Gratitude Personal Reflection

Grab a notebook and pen. Take 5-10 minutes to free-write a list of all the things you are grateful for. Do your best to fill at least one page. Once you have completed your list, take some time to consider:
  • The why behind each of your bullets 
  • Are there any people in your life that stand out on your list? Have you shared your gratitude with them? 
  • Has COVID-19 changed how you feel about anything on your list? Given you any new perspectives? Made your gratitudes specific to this time in history? 
  Take action:
  • What are 3-5 things that you can do to share & express your gratitude? 
 

10 Minutes of Fame - Connecting more Deeply with Friends & Family 

Set up a zoom meeting with friends, or do this activity with your family over dinner. One at a time, select someone in your group to be in the ‘hot spot.’ The person in the hot spot then answers questions from the crowd about their life, beliefs and thoughts on just about anything.  Sample questions:
  • What’s your favorite food? Why?
  • What is your best childhood memory and how did it shape your life today?
  • If you had unlimited resources to spend 24-hours however you wanted, what would you do?
  • Name 3 important people in your life & share more about your connection with them.
  • In an alternate universe, what would your life be like?
  • What’s the weirdest thing you've ever done? Smelled? Eaten? 
  • What is something that you are proud of?
  • What is something that most people don’t know about you?
  • What do you need right now & how can we support you?
  • If you could be an animal, what animal would you be and why?
 

Magic Statement - Goal Setting 

Choose a period of time in the future (e.g., January 2021, the end of the summer, through the end of shelter in place, etc.) and think about the things you want to accomplish by that date. Visualize yourself standing in that future moment of time looking back at the weeks, months, or years behind you. From that perspective of your future self, journal about your “past” goals and accomplishments and how you reached them. For example, your journal prompt may be something like, The summer of 2020 was the best summer of my life because...  or My junior year was the best year of high school because…  Write down the things you have accomplished in the past tense as though you’ve already achieved them. Make sure to include the steps that you needed to take in order to reach your aspirations. It has been shown that looking backward at your imagined successes can help turn them into reality.   
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    [ID] => 156239
    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2020-02-06 13:50:56
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-02-06 20:50:56
    [post_content] => 

In effort to give back to our incredible community partners, Dragons manages a Community Grant Fund.

This fund awards grants to community organizations based on a comprehensive application process. Ultimately, the goal of the fund is to provide community organizations with financial support for local projects and to provide a mechanism for Dragons administration, instructors, and students to give back to the places that so generously welcome Dragons participants. The Dragons Community Grant Fund is supported by under-budget funds from student programming. All applications are reviewed by a committee and awarded on an annual basis. And the Dragons Community Grant Fund is now accepting applications for 2020-21 projects and proposals! You can view the eligibility criteria and apply online through the same page. Applications will close on June 1, 2020. Good luck! 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] => The Dragons Community Grant Fund Application Period is Now Open! [post_excerpt] => Spread the word: The Dragons Community Grant Fund is now accepting applications for 2020-21 projects & proposals! Read on for details... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-dragons-community-grant-fund-application-period-is-now-open [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-23 16:44:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-23 22:44:05 [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] => 669 [name] => Engage [slug] => engage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 669 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [parent] => 0 [count] => 13 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 669 [category_count] => 13 [category_description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [cat_name] => Engage [category_nicename] => engage [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/engage/ ) [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] => 25 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 15 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 25 [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] => Engage, Announcements )
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