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18 May 2018

Greetings from Prague.

I have just arrived here in the magical city of Prague where I plan on spending a little time before winding my way back across Europe and then on to California to meet all of you in Los Angeles in a few short weeks. This place, with its castles and straight lines, stands in stark contrast to the soft edges and gentle curves of Asian architecture but the overall sense of history and tradition seem almost the same.

I am originally from Winona Lake, a tiny town in northern Indiana. I grew up surrounded by cornfields and lakes and spent most of my time thumbtacking national geographic maps to my bedroom walls and dreaming about wandering down some dusty road on the other side of the globe. Dragons has been a dream job for me as it has allowed me not only the opportunity to truly discover some of the most far-flung places on the globe but it has pushed me to truly engage with the people and cultures that I have encountered along the way. One of my favorite things about travel is that it simultaneously makes us challenge our ideas and perceptions about the world and ourselves.

This will be my fourth year working for Dragons and living on the road full time. I have spent most of my time leading courses and living in sub-saharan Africa and Indonesia but have had the privilege of spending time in India and Nepal with Dragons as well. Outside of those places I keep finding myself passing in and out of south-east Asia and occasionally make it back to the United States to visit family and eat sandwiches.

I am unbelievably excited to be returning to Myanmar next month and can’t wait to explore more of that magical place with all of you. I first visited Myanmar after a chance conversation in a little noodle shop in Chiang Mai. I ended changing my plans and booked a ticket to Yangon for the next day. My first three weeks in Myanmar all took place within the confines of a little monastery near Yangon where I taught a course on educational theory to a small cadre of Buddhist monks. From there I traveled north to see, first hand, the mesmerizing beauty of Bagan and then west into the countryside for a week to see the more traditional side of Burmese life. As is so often the case, I fell in love with a place I barely knew existed before first arriving.

I look forward to exploring Myanmar with all of you and am excited about our upcoming conversations and discussions and can’t wait to hear your stories and start to get to know you and learn about what matters in your lives.

See you all in California.