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Rio Grande Semester – Group A

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A Borderless Passover on the Border

Jane, Izzy, and Tyler, Participant

Yak of the Week

How does one find matzo in west Texas? The answer is, you don’t. While preparing to make 64 pieces of homemade matzo for our Passover Seder, the doorbell rang, and a small miracle arrived: five pounds of matzo that we had overnighted in a fit......Read More

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Religion and Service along the Southern Border

Caroline Livaditis, Participant

I set down my heavy box with a sigh. Next to it, sat rows and rows of other heaping crates, all full to the brim with shampoo, clothes, hair gel, deodorant, and other “essential items” waiting to be shipped to the ever-growing number of migrants......Read More

Rio Grande Semester - Group A

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Reflections on Sunday Service at Border...

Sally, Participant

In McAllen, we are staying at Border Perspective, a Christian organization that serves the surrounding immigrant communities in both Texas and Mexico through food distribution and religious guidance. Most of us attended the Sunday service, led by......Read More

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Stargazing on the Rio Grande

Laura, Participant

Hello from McAllen, Texas! Even though our group has left the back country behind for Border Perspectives, I am still meditating on our time canoeing on the Rio Grande. One of our river instructors, Leslie, is extremely passionate about stars as......Read More

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Tailwinds!

Leslie Hopper, Participant

Photos from the Boquillas Canyon float in Big Bend National Park. May you have tailwinds all the days of your lives~ Leslie & Weslie...Read More

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What the River Has Taught Me

Izzy, Participant

Yak of the Week

Last week, our group finished a five day canoe float through the Boquillas Canyons in Big Bend National Park. After the eight-mile-a-day treks in the State Park with our heavy backpacks and blisters, these five days paddling on the river felt......Read More

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Visiting the Border Wall

Jane Singman, Participant

Two nights ago, our group arrived in McAllen, Texas, at a facility called ‘Border Perspectives.’ For the first time in 18 days, we have been sleeping in beds, showering indoors, and eating home-cooked meals we don’t have to make......Read More

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The River Becomes A Line

Maddie, Instructor

Yak of the Week

It’s dark now in McAllen, Texas and for the first time in more than two weeks, we’re sleeping indoors. We’ve cracked the window open and the air slipping through is warm and humid. Tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico just an hour......Read More

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Another instructor introduction!

Christy Sommers, Instructor

Dear Dragons students and families, I’m writing you from Boulder, Colorado, where I have weathered the past many months of the pandemic. Though I have spent most years of the past decade living outside of the United States, primarily in Senegal......Read More

Rio Grande Semester - Group A

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The Real Rio Grande

Jane Singman, Participant

Yak of the Week

A quote I have tried to live by for most of my life, and one that is especially relevant on this gap semester is: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” I think this quote has been a good guiding principle......Read More

Rio Grande Semester - Group A

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A New Understanding of Our Relationship to Land...

Sally, Participant

Yak of the Week

“I gathered a couple gallons from the tinaja. A gift. I tried to take this with my head down, and I worried that my disinterested taking of measurements might not be the proper response to something giving me life. I paused there thinking of......Read More

Rio Grande Semester - Group A

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Orientation until now

Matthew and Tyler, Participant

Hi everyone! These past 10 days have been quite eventful to say the least. Towards the end of orientation, the group was blessed with the opportunity to visit one of Texas’s finest truck-stop showers (I don’t mean that sarcastically, it......Read More

Rio Grande Semester - Group A

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Last Day of the Trek

Nicolene, Participant

After orientation we drove almost seven hours to get to Big Bend Ranch State Park. We slept at a campsite for two nights before we headed out for our first long hike from Monday to Thursday. Though our three day hike was the most eventful, our time......Read More

Rio Grande Semester - Group A

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Our Trek

Jane, Participant

Let me start this off by saying that a 25-mile backpacking trek is not something I ever thought I would, or could do. In fact, there were many times over the last several days where I thought about calling my mom and flying home, because the task at......Read More

Rio Grande Semester - Group A

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Off to Big Bend

Luis, Instructor

Hello friends and family, This is a note to let you know that today marks the end of our orientation in El Paso. It’s a cool morning here and students are bustling packing up there tents, loading our van and having one last breakfast before we......Read More