Indonesia Semester

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Engage

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    [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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[post_title] => 3 Dragons Activities to Stoke Your Inspiration  [post_excerpt] => 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.  [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 3-dragons-activities-to-stoke-your-inspiration [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-04-02 12:28:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-04-02 18:28:49 [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] => 655 [name] => Continued Education [slug] => continued_education [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 655 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Continued Education, Webinars, Curriculum, Transference. [parent] => 0 [count] => 12 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 3 [cat_ID] => 655 [category_count] => 12 [category_description] => Continued Education, Webinars, Curriculum, Transference. [cat_name] => Continued Education [category_nicename] => continued_education [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/continued_education/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 638 [name] => From the Field [slug] => from_the_field [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 638 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Yaks, Reflections, Quotes, Photo Spreads and Videos from the Four Corners. [parent] => 0 [count] => 62 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 638 [category_count] => 62 [category_description] => Featured Yaks, Reflections, Quotes, Photo Spreads and Videos from the Four Corners. [cat_name] => From the Field [category_nicename] => from_the_field [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/from_the_field/ ) [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] => 22 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13 [cat_ID] => 669 [category_count] => 22 [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] => 5 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 16 [cat_ID] => 1 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Uncategorized [category_nicename] => uncategorized [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => Continued Education, From the Field ... )
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    [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
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[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] => 2020-02-10 11:21:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-02-10 18:21:35 [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] => 669 [name] => Engage [slug] => engage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 669 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [parent] => 0 [count] => 22 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13 [cat_ID] => 669 [category_count] => 22 [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] => 56 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 56 [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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    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2020-01-30 07:59:54
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-01-30 14:59:54
    [post_content] => 

The inaugural Tufts Civic Semester cohort recently returned home!

Dragons is thrilled to partner with Tisch College in organizing Civic Semester and we are so happy to read these profound reflections from recent students on their experiences in Peru. Here's a snippet from the article, but head over to Tufts to read the full feature!

Yong Quan Tan, a Civic Semester fellow, was placed at Eco Huella, a family-owned farm focused on sustainable indigenous agriculture. His work involved daily farming duties, building greenhouses for high-altitude Andean communities and facilitating visits from local and international organizations.

“It was a time for me to understand the challenges faced by frontline communities … and the urgency for them to adjust and to change the way they work and they live their lives in order to confront [climate change],” Tan, a first-year, said.

Through his time at Eco Huella, Tan has learned more about the actions that can be taken against climate change.

“[I am] being more environmentally conscious … not just of our consumption habits … but also of a greater need for pushing back against factors that are contributing to climate change, and the power of us consumers [who] can decide what kind of choices companies can make to benefit the climate,” he said.

Read the full feature: Inaugural Tufts Civic Semester cohort returns from Peru by SEAN ONG

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] => Featured Reflections from Tufts Civic Semester Fellows [post_excerpt] => The inaugural Tufts Civic Semester cohort recently returned home! Dragons is thrilled to partner with Tisch College in organizing Civic Semester and we are so happy to read these profound reflections from recent students... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => featured-reflections-from-tufts-civic-semester-fellows [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-02-06 13:51:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-02-06 20:51:36 [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] => 62 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 638 [category_count] => 62 [category_description] => Featured Yaks, Reflections, Quotes, Photo Spreads and Videos from the Four Corners. [cat_name] => From the Field [category_nicename] => from_the_field [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/from_the_field/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 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] => 42 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 700 [category_count] => 42 [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] => 669 [name] => Engage [slug] => engage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 669 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [parent] => 0 [count] => 22 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13 [cat_ID] => 669 [category_count] => 22 [category_description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [cat_name] => Engage [category_nicename] => engage [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => From the Field, For Parents ... )
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    [post_date] => 2020-01-09 13:05:26
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-01-09 20:05:26
    [post_content] => In an effort to give back to our wonderful network of international partners, Dragons has a Community Grant Fund that awards grants to local organizations based on a comprehensive application process.  Some of this year's grant funds were distributed to support a menstrual health project in Chaukati, Nepal. Thank you to Michael D. Smith MSW/MPH (Nepal Himalaya Studies Instructor) for sharing more about this project via the following report! 

Introduction

For over ten years, Where There Be Dragons has had the pleasure of bringing numerous Gap Semester, Summer, and College Study Abroad student groups for rural homestay visits to Chaukati village in Sindhupalchowk District, northeast of Kathmandu. Travel to Chaukati from Kathmandu takes about four hours by bus on the Araniko Highway to the nearest town of Bahrabise, located just above where the Bhote Khosi (Tibetan River) meets the Sun Khosi (Gold River). Then one must hike three hours up a hill through forests and fields from the highway to the villages above. Chaukati was one of hundreds of communities whose village was completely destroyed in the devastating earthquakes of April and May 2015. Of hundreds of houses, not a single one remained standing. Many families lost most of their possessions, as well as livestock such as chickens, goats, cows and buffalo (the lifeblood of rural Nepal).  Chaukati is a village of mixed ethnicities and castes, including many members of the Thangmi (Thami) community, a small ethnic group known for traditions that reflect a close relationship with the natural world. The Thangmi continue to gather food and medicines from the forest and maintain unique shamanic cultural practices. Most Thangmi elders never received any formal education, and many only speak Thangmi language, of which an estimated 20,000 native speakers remain.

Project Origin

Dragons student groups and alumni instructors, together with local government and some development NGOs, have joined a number of projects in Chaukati, before and after the earthquakes, including construction of a new health center and elementary school, dozens of new homes for marginalized local families, and other assistance such as agricultural development and new stoves. Other organizations, such as Its Her Turn Nepal (Hamro Palo Nepal), have assisted the community with non-tangible social development, such as conducting leadership trainings and empowerment workshops for girls.  In the Fall of 2017, as Dragons instructors interviewed host families about learning service opportunities in the village, the idea of reusable sanitary pads came up in conversation. Some local girls were aware of the benefits of reusable sanitary pads from the previous Its Her Turn project, but there was nowhere to obtain the cotton pads in the area. When one instructor asked the girls if they would be interested to receive a distribution of the pads, they refused, instead suggesting that it would be best for them to organize a training in Chaukati to teach local women to make their own cotton pads, so that they would not be reliant on others to bring them to them. The instructors approached a Nepal-based social enterprise, Dharti Mata ("Mother Earth" in Sanskrit), which runs a small factory that employs village women to sew a variety of sanitary pads from organic cotton. These attractive reusable pads, called "Love Lady Pads," are designed to reduce social stigma in rural areas around menstruation, to support safe and healthy sanitary practices, and to reduce the problem of solid waste from single-use disposable sanitary pads. Dharti Mata was co founded by Claire Lin, an eco-social entrepreneur from Taiwan, and Mithu Dhital, of the Hasera Permaculture Farm in Patlekhet in Nepal (where many Dragons students have studied). The women of Dharti Mata were enthusiastic to partner in the project, so the instructors applied for a $2000 of funding from Dragons Community Grant Fund to support Reusable Eco-Sanitary Pad DIY training workshops in Chaukati.

Project Description

Due to the limited availability of trainers and the onset of monsoon, which is very heavy in Chaukati (as anyone who has been there during that time can attest!), the group of seven trainers from Dharti Mata were not able to conduct the workshops until late October of 2018. A four-hour workshop was held each day for three days. The workshops included sessions on female reproductive health, developing positive attitudes about women's bodies and the menstrual cycles, massage and yoga techniques for maintaining a healthy uterus, discussions of the health and environmental benefits of reusable sanitary cloth pads, and a training session on how to stitch one's own pads that included distribution of cloth, needles, and thread. Each woman was given five pads in total: A pre-made simple pad and two pad components that were stitched during the training (a long pad and a night pad). More about the Love Lady Pads line can be found on their website at www.dhartimata.com In total, 150 local women of a variety of ages, castes, and ethnicities representing all six wards of the Chaukati area attended the workshops. The workshops were supported by the local government and were officially opened by the municipal Chairperson, Man Bahadur Thami. In the Spring of 2019, one instructor returned with the Dragons Nepal College Study Abroad course and visited Chaukati. They interviewed the local Women's Craft Development Committee about asked about their impressions of the workshops. The women reported they were pleased that the workshop had taken place, as it created a safe forum for women to openly discuss issues they were facing. They requested more trainings and workshops in the future, and offered to serve as the local organizing partner. The conversations surrounding women's health in Chaukati inspired one of the Spring 2019 Nepal College Study Abroad students to return to Chaukati for two weeks to study local midwifery practices. While she was there, she participated in the birth of baby, and was able to learn a great deal about taboos and progress in the areas of female reproductive health.

Importance of Menstrual Health Projects in Nepal

In the contemporary Nepali context, programs such as this DIY Reusable Eco-Sanitary Pad training take on a larger significance than merely environmental or economic benefits. In many sectors of Nepali society, especially in rural areas, menstruation and female reproductive health issues have been considered taboo subjects. Myths and stigma surrounding ritual pollution from the touch of a menstruating woman prevails. In some areas, chapaudi, a practice where women move to a shed behind the house during menstruation, is still practiced. Though this tradition has been banned in Nepal, recent incidents of young women or teenage girls dying in their 'menstruation sheds' due to snakebite or other hazards have highlighted the persistence of these practices. Even in communities like Chaukati where Chhaupadi is not practiced, taboos surrounding menstruation still affect Nepali women and girls. Many households in Kathmandu still prohibit menstruating women from entering kitchens, temples, eating with the family, and sleeping on their beds. These practices can condition women to view their bodies as unclean and  devalue themselves because they take  blame for any misfortune their families experience. Chhaupadi’s legacy contributes to a wider disregard of women and girls that places them in danger. Nepali news outlets have been raising  awareness of this issue, and there are some indications that the media is in general, reporting more stories of female reproductive and gender related issues. Recent incidents of women dying in menstruation sheds have even been covered in international media such as the New York Times. Encouraging projects that support local women to advance the conversation about female reproductive health, helps de-stigmatize harmful attitudes and given women the space to voice experiences previously neglected in formal and public spheres.  Michael D Smith Dharti Mata and the organizers of the Chaukati Reusable Eco-Sanitary Pad DIY training workshops are grateful for the support of the Dragons Community Grant Funds for this project. It would not have been possible without the creation of the Fund or the instructors who carefully managed program budgets in order to contribute money to the fund. Thank you!      
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    [ID] => 155818
    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2019-12-16 11:58:55
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-16 18:58:55
    [post_content] => 

Dragons Podcast

You asked for it. And here it is:

THE DRAGONS PODCAST

hosted by Alum Student Bub Vernon

  • EP. 6 PEPY's Executive Director Sarakk Rith on hope and struggle for education in Cambodia.
  • EP. 5 Dragons Executive Director, Reed Harwood, on the role of Dragons in the lives of students and communities.
  • EP. 4 Two Dragons fund students on "ah ha" moments and advice for future students.
  • EP. 3 Veteran Instructor Rich Brown on the realities of immigration across the southern US border.
  • EP. 2 Veteran Instructor Claire Bennett on "voluntourism" and an alternative approach to service.
  • EP. 1 A mother & daughter who EACH did Dragons programs on their unique yet similar experiences.
  Dragons is committed to cross-cultural education as a tool for breaking down barriers. Tune in to our podcast and hear for yourself how we can all make a difference.

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[post_title] => Announcing Dragons Podcast: On Place + Purpose, hosted by Alum Student Bub Vernon [post_excerpt] => You asked for it. And here it is: THE DRAGONS PODCAST hosted by Alum Student Bub Vernon. Dragons is committed to cross-cultural education as a tool for breaking down barriers. Tune in to our podcast and hear for yourself how we can all make a difference... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => announcing-dragons-podcast-on-place-purpose-hosted-by-alum-student-bub-vernon [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-01-01 11:36:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-01-01 18:36:31 [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] => 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] => 42 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 700 [category_count] => 42 [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] => 640 [name] => Dragons Instructors [slug] => dragons_instructors [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 640 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featuring the words, projects, guidance and vision of the community of incredible staff that make Dragons what it is. [parent] => 0 [count] => 29 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8 [cat_ID] => 640 [category_count] => 29 [category_description] => Featuring the words, projects, guidance and vision of the community of incredible staff that make Dragons what it is. [cat_name] => Dragons Instructors [category_nicename] => dragons_instructors [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/dragons_instructors/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 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] => 42 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9 [cat_ID] => 641 [category_count] => 42 [category_description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [cat_name] => About Dragons [category_nicename] => about_dragons [category_parent] => 0 ) [3] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 654 [name] => Mixed Media [slug] => mixed_media [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 654 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Photography, Videos, Podcasts, Photo Contest Winners, Films & Art [parent] => 0 [count] => 45 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 12 [cat_ID] => 654 [category_count] => 45 [category_description] => Featured Photography, Videos, Podcasts, Photo Contest Winners, Films & Art [cat_name] => Mixed Media [category_nicename] => mixed_media [category_parent] => 0 ) [4] => 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] => 22 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13 [cat_ID] => 669 [category_count] => 22 [category_description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [cat_name] => Engage [category_nicename] => engage [category_parent] => 0 ) [5] => 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] => 56 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 56 [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, Dragons Instructors ... )
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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] => 62 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 638 [category_count] => 62 [category_description] => Featured Yaks, Reflections, Quotes, Photo Spreads and Videos from the Four Corners. [cat_name] => From the Field [category_nicename] => from_the_field [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/from_the_field/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 646 [name] => Alumni Spotlight [slug] => alumni_spotlight [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 646 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [parent] => 0 [count] => 42 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 646 [category_count] => 42 [category_description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [cat_name] => Alumni Spotlight [category_nicename] => alumni_spotlight [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/alumni_spotlight/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 669 [name] => Engage [slug] => engage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 669 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [parent] => 0 [count] => 22 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13 [cat_ID] => 669 [category_count] => 22 [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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