Introductions | Cast & Crew

 From Left to Right Back Row: Kyle, Tinzen, Kendra, Max, Gordie, Sonam, Tsering (in head scarf) Anne, Chandler, Tandin, Bryan Front Row: Steve, Thomas, Anastasi

From Left to Right
Back Row: Kyle, Tinzen, Kendra, Max, Gordie, Sonam, Tsering (in head scarf) Anne, Chandler, Tandin, Bryan
Front Row: Steve, Thomas, Anastasi

Kyle | Joining the Naropa Univerity Program (NU) from Beloit College.  He is a runner of the long distance nature, loves philosophy, classical music and Nick Drake. Kyle is here to study the East meets West side of medicine and the Body/Mind Paradigm. 

Tenzin Jamtsho | Tour guide, Dzonkha instructor + Dean of Students at ILCS (my campus).  Plays soccer and has very elite Bhutanese dancing-hands!  Tenzin is offering up his rich and in-depth knowledge of the mask dance to my ILCS colleagues this semester.  Fingers crossed that this yields a talent show at some point!

Kendra | American born, Thai raised.  A naturally born kindergarten teacher, Kendra is here to continue her Early Childhood education at the Paro College Campus.

Max | Where east coast card shark meets a french equivalent to Mr. Bean; Max is joining the NU from Center College in Kentucky.  Max's Bhutan inquiry is unraveling at the most beautiful campus of the three: The College of Natural Resources, in Lobesa

Gordie | Part monk, part Wookie; Gordie is a repeat classmate of mine who is the epitome of presence.  Grounded and easy going, Gordie is here to expand his horizons and live the cultural experience of Vajryana Buddhism. He is also exploring the effects of meditation on depression and anxiety.

Sonam | Driver extraordinaire of, what the group fondly calls The Sonam Express (our bus). Sonam was there to reinforce our knowledge of Dzonkha over breakfast, dress the boys in the ghos, and keep us on the road when it narrowed, muddied or shape-shifted all together. We are indebted to him with our safety, on time departure, and happy Bhutanese music making along the way.

Tsering | If we had a boss - it would be her.  Tsering is the on-the-ground nuts and bolts of the Naropa Study Abroad program with the Royal University of Bhutan.  Tsering is also the "Red"  (like from Shawshank Redemption) who can "get you things."  

Anne | The onsite liaison from Naropa Univeristy, Anne is also a regular researcher of all things Himalayan.  Anne's instruction offers savvy insights into the Buddhist culture, the nature of living at altitude and wisdom (and sometimes folly) of the "nature of group."  She is an excellent leader and a helpful guide in both the intercultural experience and the research process.  

Chandler | The essence and embodiment of "Beginner's Mind" -- this rock loving (and climbing), India traveling, dog loving photographer is the most openhearted individual I think I have ever met.  Chandler is here to unravel the conundrum of Bhutan's waste disposal and the side-effects and transformation of liter from esthetic clutter (stay tuned for our co-created blog post on esthetics and happiness) to campus art installations. 

Tandin | If this was a court, Tandin might very well be the jester.  Always bearing in mind the humorous side of Bhutan, it's people and culture.  Tandin is a professor at CNR and served as an etiquette instructor to the group during out three week orientation. 

Bryan | Here for a 2nd term, Bryan is an old hat at all things "Chilup" (white people) in Bhutan.  Although I don't recommend trusting his sense of direction, Bryan is totally savvy in all things "techy."    

Steve | My second campus colleague, Steve is a YouTube channel waiting to happen.  His beat-box-poetry-dishing-hat-tilting-fast-talking-southern-bell-ism is just the right amount of blunt and bold and the Bhutanese just love him!  Steve will be investigating the Lozey, a kind of yak poetry which, in so far as I can tell, is akin to the battle style as in that of Eminem's 8 Mile.

Thomas | Also a repeat customer of Bhutan; Thomas is here for his second RUB semester and also for his future Bhutanese bride, Kentsho.  The entire NU Klan is excited to attend their wedding in early April.

Anastasia | When I lived in New York, I used to get this chili passion fruit martini in the financial district... Anastasia is like that martini.  Tart, sweet, delicately contained but with a fierce and powerful punch.  Anastasia is in Bhutan to explore the dynamics of intimate relationships in this parochial patriarchy.  Her inquiry resonates with my own and I cannot wait to see what she discovers!