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Rice paddy terraces

No mud, no lotus.

There is a saying in Buddhism that goes, “No mud, no loutus.” On a literal level this is referring to the symbiotic relationship between muddy ponds and the breathtaking brilliance of the fabled lotus flowers found throughout Asia. On a metaphorical level, this is expressing how struggle is required for any real growth.

Up to this point in our trip, the instructor team has offered a relatively struggle-free experience, taking on virtually all the responsibilities of transportation, team building, conflict resolution, navigation, educational content, budgeting, etc. However, while in Chengdu we handed all responsibilities over to our 12 intrepid travelers so as to allow them the opportunity to blossom into a lotus via exposure to the muddy waters of planning, communication and all the unseen variables that inevitably arise therein.

If you have been following our “yak” board you will have already learned of the various trials and tribulations which graced our group. Through miraculously positioned obstacles, new skills were acquired and where once we found but a seedpod of potential leaders, we are now witnessing, as spring comes to us here at the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, the first buds blossoming on what is sure to be a traveling band of brilliant lotus flowers.

The instructor team is extremely proud of all of our students. They consistently face adversity with maturity and rare is the time they shy away entirely from the pressures of leadership. Time and time again they have impressed us with their ability to act with patience, integrity and humility as they learn the skills needed to be genuinely aware global citizens who are capable of authentic leadership.