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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

Instructor Introduction: Rishi

Greetings Dear Friends,

I applaud your decision to welcome this exciting adventure. It’s an immense pleasure to travel with you as your instructor this spring along with my wonderful colleagues Tsheten and Tsering, I hope to learn from you. Every participant that I’ve worked with has helped me see the world in a different light which makes my work incredibly rewarding. As your instructors, it is our job to make sure that we design and deliver a course that is going to be safe, adventurous, and meaningful. It gives me great joy to prepare for our upcoming adventure. My intention in this course is to help foster unbiased curiosity, unhindered from the notions of good or bad, beautiful or ugly, rich or poor, authentic or inauthentic. If we can support each other in seeing Nepal this way, I would consider our course a smashing success.

Let me take this opportunity to introduce myself a little bit. I am your instructor Rishi Bhandari. I grew up in a spiritual eco-friendly community in the southern hills of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. At the community I lived with more than 100 people sharing the same food, sharing work, tending plants and animals together, learning from each other, singing together, and meditating together. I was raised with a community that puts a very strong emphasis on spiritual growth and I feel blessed to have grown in this unique juxtaposition of spirituality and religion steeped in the teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism. My childhood was spent falling asleep to the chants of the Bhagavad Gita (the sacred epic for Hindus) while watched by a statue of Buddha meditating. For the past decade and a half, I have been involved with educational institutions both as a student and a mentor. But for the last five years, I have devoted much of my time leading several different types of courses in Nepal, India, Bhutan, Senegal, and the US. In my free time, I love to read, write poetry and listen/play music. I also love running, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and any spontaneous adventures.

As a person born in Nepal and raised by these rivers, mountains, and people, it’s an immense pleasure for me to introduce you to this place and the people. Nepal constantly astonishes me by how there are so many diverse cultures co-existing with each other. A friend of Dragons who is an expert on cultural studies says, “Nepal is not a melting pot. It is a salad bowl. It’s where cultures unapologetically hold their unique identities yet seamlessly exist in harmony with others.” You will get to experience and see this in person and I believe that is a trip worth taking.

Over the next weeks, we will be updating this Yak board with important information about the course. Please do make sure that you check the yak board for introductions from your fellow travelers and post your introductions with a picture. Yak board is also a great place to ask questions about the course if you have any. The instructor team will make sure to reach out and help you in whichever way we can. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me through email (

Looking forward to connecting with you all.

Warm Regards


“The single story creates stereotype and the problem with stereotype is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete, they make one story become the only story.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Danger of a single story