May Term in Nepal
A group of 10 students and three instructors — Jason Blauch, Andrew Hollis and Deb Weis—spent their month-long May Term in an outdoor adventure course in Nepal. The hands-on course is a cultural experience designed for students interested in developing skills as experiential educators.
Each day brought a new adventure of exploring the rivers, villages and mountains of Nepal, canyoneering, trekking the vast Himalaya, whitewater rafting and immersing in the country’s unique culture.
The group encountered some of the diversity of Nepali culture in the many villages of the Himalayan foothills and mountains, and interacted with a variety of Nepali communities—including those with Buddhist and Hindu cultures.
The group’s common goal was to gain interpersonal communication skills and awareness of group dynamics, to further self growth and to gain a sense of stewardship. They sought to develop these skills personally and become empowered to share them through the facilitation of experiences like this one for others in different environments.
Students were challenged physically and emotionally in their 24-hour-a-day, outdoor classroom. Taking on different roles and jobs each day, students learned to be effective group members, to build community and to improve their leadership skills. Students were also challenged to think deeply in nightly group reflection meetings, through reading assignments and through group presentations.
Prior to leaving for Nepal, the group completed a full-day community service project, planting trees in fire-ravaged portions of the San Bernardino National Forest.
During their time in the San Bernardino National Forest and in Nepal, the group practiced environmental stewardship and preservation by using the Leave No Trace Principles
Between Maoist protests, nail-biting bus journeys and spectacular mountain scenery, the May Term Nepal group had a once in a lifetime experience. They got to live and travel with a small band of exceptionally kind Nepali guides and porters who were outstanding cultural and logistical resources and whose companionship enriched the group’s experiential adventure.
The trip will live in on in the hearts of all of the group members, instructors and students alike.