Photo by Cara Starnbach, student.

Posts Tagged:

Global Citizenship

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    [post_content] => Buddha Bhutan Summer Abroad

To keep advancing our mission to foster a more compassionate, just, and inclusive world, we're bringing you more FREE Dragons talks to keep sharing the things we're passionate about. We hope you'll join us and learn something new!

Register now. Space is limited. Missed a session? Watch the recorded webinar on YouTube.    

Intro to Ayurveda: Self Healing in The Time of Covid-19

An introduction to this 5,000-year-old system of understanding how our bodies and minds interact with nature and society with simple techniques to remain balanced in times of stress and uncertainty. Presented by: Jenny Wagner, Dragons Princeton Bridge Year Program Director. Jenny shares her passion for Ayurveda drawing on her experience as a Dragons instructor, Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), and life coach. May 13th, 10am MST | Learn More/Register >>

 

Resume Building 101: Planning for Your Future Career

Feel empowered and productive with Ellery's guidance on resume building best practices to show that you're qualified, stand out, and translate nuanced experiences to paper. Presented by: Ellery Rosin, Dragons Staffing Director. Ellery's coveted tips are rooted in her behind-the-scenes knowledge of the hiring process and experience as a field-educator and Peace Corps volunteer. May 15th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>

 

Packing 101: Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Travel Packing

We may not be able to travel yet, but why not keep the travel stoke alive by practicing your packing skills? Ellery will walk you through best practices in packing for extended travel experiences. Presented by: Ellery Rosin, Dragons Staffing Director. Ellery shares her packing expertise learned during her time as an international experiential education leader and Peace Corps volunteer. May 18th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>

 

Urbanization in China and the Biggest City You've Never Heard Of

Drawing on life experience and a passion for Chongqing's local history and economic transformation, Jody will introduce students to this city of 12 million and discuss migration and urbanization in China today. Presented by: Jody Segar, Dragons College Program Director, draws upon his experience living and working in China for 11 years as a teacher, a financial reporter, the host of the Chinese television program, a guide on the Yangtze River, a musician, an advertising designer, a writer and editor, and China program director. May 20th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>

 

Foreign Friends, Foreign Devils

What is it like to live in China long-term as a "foreigner"? Jody will engage attendees in thinking about how being perceived as a foreigner can change and shape the way they might perceive themselves and others, in China and in the US. Presented by: Jody Segar, Dragons College Program Director, draws upon his experience living and working in China for 11 years as a teacher, a financial reporter, the host of the Chinese television program, a guide on the Yangtze River, a musician, an advertising designer, a writer and editor, and China program director. May 27th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>

 

A Coup or Not a Coup? The Fall of Evo Morales and Political Transformation in Bolivia

With the sudden ousting of longtime indigenous president and incumbent Evo Morales, Bolivia was already in a major political crisis when Covid-19 took hold. Presented by: Julianne Chandler, Dragons Latin America Program Director, shares her experience living in Bolivia during dual crises of pandemic and coup d'etat. May 29th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>
 
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Self Healing, Coups, Foreign Devils, Resume Building + more! New Online Virtual Global Speaker Series Webinars

Posted On

05/11/20

Author

Dragons HQ

Description
To keep advancing our mission to foster a more compassionate, just, and inclusive world, we're bringing you more FREE Dragons talks to keep sharing the things we're passionate about. We… Read More
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    [post_date] => 2020-04-21 11:03:01
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-04-21 17:03:01
    [post_content] => Last night I stepped out into the front yard and was met by a numinous presence. It was 9:30 pm, and our neighborhood, the nearby highway, and streets were bathed in silence. The languid moon slid in and out of clouds, leaving me awestruck at the texture, volume, and animate character of the sky. 

An hour earlier, I sat with my seven-year-old as she broke down in tears of fear and sadness—not the typical bedtime tears of disappointment—her embodied response to the uncertainty and isolation she feels during these weeks without school or friends.

My evening’s juxtaposition between the heartache of loss, and my awe at the mystical power of the night sky is representative of our collective family experience. It is a roller coaster of ambiguity and uncertainty expressed by colleagues, friends, and the global community at large.

The familiar refrain echoes that we are in “uncharted territory;” there is a great deal of uncertainty as to how we will get through this, and what life will look like on the other side. As the depth of this portal is exposed, we’re coming to terms with the reality that we may not “get back to normal.” We are all together on a transformative journey that will leave us with a world different from what we have known.

 

[caption id="attachment_156687" align="aligncenter" width="566"]Andes and Amazon Mountains Gap Year Photo by Aaron Slosberg, Instructor.[/caption]

 

How do we navigate the COVID era?

Confronted with the uncertainty and ambiguity of our current social environment, the value of global experiential education pedagogy comes into focus. Represented by organizations such as the Independent School Experiential Education Network (ISEEN), and the Global Education Benchmark Group (GEBG), global experiential programming exposes students to challenging and unfamiliar cultural environments that evoke a clarification of values and foster cultural competencies. Courses are often designed to be disorienting, bewildering, and to present uncertain circumstances. In short, it can look and feel very much like the situation we find ourselves in today.    Over the past ten years, Independent Schools have invested in global experiential education programs. The shift also marks an active investment in educator skill-sets, pushing the role of teachers to include mentoring and facilitating students. Teachers increasingly find themselves holding space as students navigate unfamiliar and challenging environments in a way that fosters growth and learning. The unique skills needed to guide such programs are the same that apply to the uncharted and emotionally charged future we are confronted with today. At this critical time, we are invited to lean into the discomfort, to work with students to question the norm, and empower them to write their own narratives of what our future will look like.   [caption id="attachment_155968" align="aligncenter" width="574"]High School Summer Abroad in Thailand Photo by Arwyn Drew, Student.[/caption]  

How will schools respond to this moment in time?

While we may not be able to offer group travel programs, now is the time to double-down on the practice of global experiential education, and recommit to this progressive shift. But based on check-ins with Independent School colleagues, the response to COVID-19 is mixed. Some report struggles in trying to keep with a rigorous academic schedule. Others have responded by reducing the focus on global education and laying off the Director of Global Education, while others are continuing to forge ahead, investing in capacity building, and feasible models for experiential education in the new era.  
The unbounded vastness of this global pandemic is overwhelming. It can easily lead to tears and despair. Such an uncertain challenge triggers the fight or flight response. For schools, it may seem that the safest path forward is to revert to what we know best—content learning within the structures of traditional disciplines—or to impose outdated educational structures on a new and dynamic reality.
  But there is another option: The option to give pause and to foster, in ourselves and our students, an openness to the awkward spaciousness before us. Paramount to the practice of global, experiential education, is creating space within our overbusy schedules to reflect on and honestly question current social and environmental realities around us. Indeed, perhaps the greatest, most revolutionary facet of experiential education is reflection; inviting students to evoke questions, clarify values, challenge beliefs, and hone opinions based on firsthand experience. The car has stopped;, we have the opportunity to get out, spread the map on the hood, and plot our course forward.   

How do we rise up to this challenge?

Transformation is not without pain; the deconstruction of what was, is a necessary precondition to create space for what will be. A new education, without the defining markers of 45-minute periods, four walls, and students moving along the assembly line of content acquisition is possible! We have been presented with a crack in our social and educational systems in which we might plant a new seed. Moments of crisis can lead to rapid institutional transformation —otherwise impossible in normal times.   In this crisis, we are called upon to be guides and mentors, empowering students as they cautiously emerge from this crisis into a new world—one in which the ability to navigate uncharted terrain is paramount. The great skill of holding space, and leaning into the discomfort of new realities is now more important than ever. It is the mandate of global and experiential education to do so, allowing students to access their inner wisdom and write their own narrative of this historical moment.   And we can expect that the ambiguity found in this “uncharted territory” will be the new norm, whether it results from another global health pandemic, the impacts of climate change, or the need to negotiate limited resources amongst an expanding global population.   
Right now, we are being asked to embrace the spacious clearing this great storm has left in our lives—not to get back to an over-busy schedule as soon as possible. We should leverage the practice of global experiential education to guide students, and ourselves, through this transformative journey by slowing down, building relationships, and looking inward. If we do, we may learn to listen to the numinous wisdom of the night sky, or more importantly, clarify values from our own tears and emotions. We may find, as an educational community, that there are many things here in this spacious clearing we can take with us as we move forward. 
  [caption id="attachment_156686" align="aligncenter" width="570"]Nepal Gap Year Mountains Photo by Nina Redpath, Student.[/caption]

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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    [post_content] => As an educational travel company deeply affected by COVID-19 we have been asking ourselves "How do we continue our mission in a time when social distancing and travel restrictions limit the very essence of what we do?" Like many other companies, we are turning our attention online.

Usually, at this time of year, we are busy with our Global Speaker Series program in which we send our global educators to schools across the United States in order to bring important global topics and critical questions into classrooms. Since most classrooms have transitioned into living rooms, we've decided to bring these lessons to you! Over the next couple of months, we will be live-streaming some of our best talks so you can experience a bit of Dragons straight to your living room.

 



 

This month's free webinar is called:

Migration and Organized Crime

How Thousands of People Go Missing Every Year on the Way to the U.S.

Hosted by Dragons instructor, Rich Brown. Rich will draw on his recent interviews in Guatemala and on the U.S.-Mexico border with civil society leaders, journalists, and migrants and their families to give students insight into the risks that Central Americans face as they attempt to reach the U.S.

More About the Speaker:

B.A., Anthropology - Columbia University, 2010; Graduate Specialization Degree, Migration Studies - Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO), 2020; M.A., Journalism - Columbia Journalism School, 2021 / Gordon Fellow for International Reporting
 
Rich Brown is a multimedia journalist based in Guatemala since 2013. He covers issues like migration, climate change, and land and water conflict. He facilitates the Forum on Migration, an interactive Immigration Studies program that connects U.S. classrooms with the people at the center of today's immigration headlines, from migrating families to government decision makers.
 
Rich leads Dragons programs in Guatemala, and he brings Central American to U.S. classrooms in speaking tours about the roots of immigration from the region.
 

Rich's talk will be held on April 16th and April 22nd at 4pm MST. RSVP online.

 
PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️
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    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_152952" align="alignnone" width="1510"] Photo by Teresa Tolo, South America Semester.[/caption]
The struggle for the recognition and acceptance of black, African-descendent communities all over the world is an ongoing challenge. However, the Afro-Bolivian community of Los Yungas proves that communities can join together and share their history and identity through the power of music and dance.
Driving into the North Yungan community of Chijchipa on Saturday afternoon, we could hear the rhythmic beating of drums and passionate singing of the local Afro-Bolivian community that served to welcome guests for the day’s festivities. This was the day of a musical perfomance/exchange between the local community and the Tigers of Africa, a traditional musical group from Senegal. Having spent the past five days embracing Afro-Bolivian culture in the neighboring community of Tocaña, we made the 20 minute drive to Chijchipa to take part in the important cultural exchange.

‘Honor y gloria a los primeros negros que llegaron a Bolivia

Que murieron trabajando

muy explotados en el Cerro Rico de Potosi’

‘Honor and glory to the first Africans who arrived in Bolivia

Who died working

Exploited in the Cerro Rico of Potosi’

These were the words sang by the men, women and children of all ages who participated in the Saya, the Afro-Bolivian song and dance that incorporates African instruments, colonial-era clothing and powerful lyrics that share the Afro-Bolivian history. These lyrics have been passed down from generation to generation ever since the Afro-Bolivians arrived from Africa as slaves to work in the mines and coca plantations of Bolivia.
These lyrics have been passed down from generation to generation ever since the Afro-Bolivians arrived from Africa as slaves to work in the mines and coca plantations of Bolivia.
[caption id="attachment_152953" align="alignleft" width="300"] Photo by Teresa Tolo, South America Semester.[/caption] Along with several performances of the Saya, we also had the chance to hear from Alejandro, an important elder who was born towards the end of the hacienda (estates or plantations owned by the Spanish colonists)  and had witnessed the transition into freedom for his people. The festival took place in the Casa de Hacienda, the former residence of one of the plantation owners in the 1800s that now serves as a meeting point and cultural center for the community. Alejandro expressed how important it is for people to recognize how the suffering of the Afro-Bolivians took place in this same location yet they have been able to look past its exploitative history and use the space to exhibit their culture and educate others of the history. [caption id="attachment_152955" align="alignright" width="294"] Photo by Teresa Tolo, South America Semester.[/caption] Around 6 PM, the guests of honored arrived after a long journey from Senegal that same morning and were already in song and dance as they marched into the Casa de Hacienda with the local Saya group. After taking an hour to rest and prepare, the Tigers of Africa took the stage draped in their colorful, intricate costumes to begin their performance. The fast rhythm of the traditional drums complimented the movements of the dancers who jumped, ran, flipped and twisted around.
Although the performance was only 30 minutes long, the whole crowd was profoundly impressed. Afterwards, everyone had a chance to chat with the performers who are currently on a tour throughout South America. Although there was a struggle for communication between the Spanish-speaking locals and the French/Wolof-speaking Senegalese performers, both parties were elated to interact with their African brothers and sisters. This also gave me an opportunity to use my knowledge of French and Spanish to translate between them.
Our time spent in Los Yungas with the Afro Bolivian communities was an incredible, unforgettable experience. Everywhere I went the people referred to me as ‘family’ and expressed how happy they were to have their African sister visiting the community. Having based my ISP (Independent Study Project) on the Afro-Bolivian history and culture while in our Tiquipaya homestays, travelling to Los Yungas was an opportunity to immerse myself first-hand into the culture I had read and heard so much about. [caption id="attachment_152951" align="alignleft" width="343"] Photo by Teresa Tolo, South America Semester.[/caption] The struggle for the recognition and acceptance of black, African-descendent communities all over the world is an ongoing challenge. However, the Afro-Bolivian community of Los Yungas proves that communities can join together and share their history and identity through the power of music and dance.

Read more student reflections from the South America Semester on Dragons Yak Board. 

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    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-19 16:25:39
    [post_content] => 

Since Earth Day deserves more than one day a year, we’re going to give it a few days of alumni student love. Starting with Dragons Student Ambassador Benjamin Swift

[caption id="attachment_152916" align="aligncenter" width="567"] Photos by Benjamin Swift, South America Semester Alumni Student.[/caption] Captioned: "For Earth Day, I'm sharing pictures from my South America semester of fellow student, Trisha, picking up trash on a trek we did while doing our service trip in the Altiplano. Trisha and I also visited the Tiquipaya landfill (pictured, top), which inspired an article that I wrote for my campus newspaper (goo.gl/S16dEQ). This interest in the environment and trash helped lead me to Haiti, where I visited my Dragons Instructor, Ellie Happel, and learned about her work and research fighting proposed metal mining. While there, we visited SOIL (oursoil.org), a composting toilet company that provides dignified access to sanitation for people who would otherwise not have access to it, creating rich organic compost in the process. At SOIL, I wrote an article (goo.gl/RiYSFd) for them after helping the workers empty poop buckets all day. Through these photos, which include images from a landfill in both Colorado and Bolivia, I hope to highlight that the waste we create is an issue, whether it is obviously visible or not. In Bolivia and Haiti, trash is conspicuous in cities and in the environment, though, per-capita, people create much less of it than in the United States. Americans generate much more waste, but simply do a better job of concealing it, thus creating an illusion that it does not exist." 🙏🏼 you Benjamin. #earthday #wheretherebedragons #wheretherebe🐉

Want to see more? Visit Dragons Instagram Feed.

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-26 10:59:49
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-26 16:59:49
    [post_content] => 

In early August, Dragons Admin will be workshopping the vision for our organizational role in the world moving into 2018. The mission statement that we create will flavor every avenue of our work, from marketing to alumni relationships.   It feels imperative to first invite into the room the voices of our alumni participants and staff. And because we think Dragons mission should be poetic, creative, bold and beautiful, we are inviting contributions to our missi0n-building workshop in all forms. We will gratefully receive a haiku, a dissertation, lyrics, a mission statement, a poem, a paragraph, a first draft essay, or even just a sentence on what the spirit/mission/heart of Dragons is to you.  The below essay was a contribution to this project from Micah LeMasters.  Micah worked with the prompt: "I have found the soul/heart of Dragons in..." If YOU would like to contribute to this project, please send your submissions to: [email protected] by August 5th, 2017. 

I found the heart of Dragons along a dust-red road that wound its way out of town toward a thatched, mudbrick hut. An old woman was holding it in her broken smile. She invited me into her home to share the two sweet potatoes she had traded her rice for. I found the heart of Dragons in the emerald green rice paddies where women spend their lives, doubled over at the waist, slowly pulling from the earth and giving to the earth and raising from the earth and taking from the earth and then returning to the earth. I found the Heart of Dragons, not in the mudbrick homes that rise, for a few years, from the red earth, but in the ancient tombs, hewn from the blue granite mountains, where our ancestor’s bones slowly turn to sapphire and gold.   I have heard the heart of Dragons in the clink of a cheap spoon chasing the last grains of rice to the edge of a metal plate. I have heard the rhythm and beat of Dragons heart in the scuff of an old man’s feet as he hauled his rickshaw up a hill on a misty morning in Madagascar. I have heard the beat and rhythm of Dragons heart in the song of the sandal repairman as he made his rounds through an old Javanese city. I hear it in the slow clacking and swaying of Indian trains as I drift off to sleep a world away. I hear it in the cough of worn out engines and the way a grass broom sounds as it scratches the sunbaked earth. I hear it in the heavily greased axels of ox-carts and the way a truly foreign language sounds like every poem and every song ever written. I have seen the heart of Dragons in the smile of an awe-struck child. I have seen the heart of Dragons in my students as they sit, tears streaming down their faces, unable to comprehend the complexity of life and sorrow and joy. I have seen the heart of Dragons, not in the marbled and gilded halls of the world’s palaces, but around the humble wooden tables, lit by candles, in the far-flung corners of the earth.
I found the heart of Dragons along a dust-red road that wound its way out of town toward a thatched, mudbrick hut. An old woman was holding it in her broken smile.
I have seen the heart of Dragons break a million times. I have seen it ache and anger. I have seen it fully comprehend sorrow and pain. I have seen it sit with those things and tremble with emptiness, waiting to be filled. I have seen it put back together. I have seen it heal. I have seen it overflow with joy and wonder and ecstasy. I have seen it skip a beat—and then another! —at the sheer wonder and beauty of everything. …And so we set off, searching for the heart of Dragons down this dust-red road that continues to wind its way into the distant hills. I’ve heard an old man is holding it there and that he keeps it wrapped in his shawl and held close to his own. They say he is waiting there for us, keeping it warm and safe and when we find him he will look at us, with wisdom, acceptance and love in his eyes, and quietly say: “come, sit, share this tea with me”   Micah LeMaster's Dragons Bio Micah LeMaster's Personal Blog  [post_title] => The Heart of Dragons [post_excerpt] => "I found the heart of Dragons along a dust-red road that wound its way out of town toward a thatched, mudbrick hut. An old woman was holding it in her broken smile. She invited me into her home to share the two sweet potatoes she had traded her rice for." [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-heart-of-dragons [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-23 16:02:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-23 22:02:55 [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] => 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] => 12 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9 [cat_ID] => 640 [category_count] => 12 [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/ ) [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] => 43 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 641 [category_count] => 43 [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/ ) ) [category_links] => Dragons Instructors, About Dragons )
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