Sunday, June 3, 2012

It Just Keeps Getting Better

Now i thought Rishikesh was amazing, but i actually think that Dharmashala tops it! The view from out hotel is breath taking, you can see the white caps on the mountains! But of the entire trip my best experience came from today! We woke up early to see the Dali Lama drive through the city. Now if this was the only time i'd ever get to see the Dali Lama i'd say that a quick glimpse of the man is enough to understand his peacefulness. But we also got to make the hike up the mountain to the children's school to listen to him speak! Now we would have heard the majority of his teachings but someone is always missing which leads to the fun adventures of hunting them down! I found it to be a comical morning despite the lessons we missed out on. But we were able to catch the last few minutes of his session. The translation we were listening to was somewhat choppy and hard to understand at times but still now i can say i've heard the Dali Lama speak and that alone is incredible. Just watching him descend the stairs is a peaceful experience! It was really a once in a lifetime kind of thing and i'm glad to have forgone the hours of sleep for it!
This afternoon we went to Tong Len Hostel and that was equally as rewarding an experience! From the moment we walked in the children were clinging to our legs. They were adorable and so innocent. Becca and i were standing there and decided to play hand games, our favorite game is SLIDE so we thought we'd show them that! Well as soon as we began to play a group of girls ran up and already new the game! For at least 10 minutes we all stood there playing this overly simply game but it was so exciting and eventful to them. But one of the greatest parts for myself was meeting this 14 year old girl named Punam. The first thing about her that caught my eye was her clothing. While most of the other children were running around in jeans and t-shirts she was wearing more classic Indian clothing in a gorgeous turquoises blue. She came up to me asked my name and took my hand, and the moment she grabbed my hand she didn't let go except for when i pulled it free to do something. She has 2 brothers and one sister and her cousins also attend the Hostel. She is 14 years old and wants to be an Astronaut. Our conversations were simple and yet she and i became friends. I admire her, she has a dream and she is trying to attain it, even if that means studying in the dark so she can pass her exams. She is very special and i am glad to have met her! Today's overall experience was unlike any other! Each day on this trip seems to have gotten progressively better, i'm just not sure how one can top a day as special as this!


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