Where to begin?! We kicked off our student directed travel by going to the Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh. This is a seven acre abandoned Ashram where the Beatles stayed in the late 60’s and produced most of the “White Album.” The Ashram has become a shrine to the Beatles with incredible graffiti everywhere. We spent our time exploring the overgrown old buildings, discovering new artwork, and all the while singing (at one point maybe screaming) different Beatles songs together. I recommend googling the ashram because it is truly a magical musical place.
After Rishikesh, our travel skills were put to the test when we became in charge of getting from Rishikesh to Manali. (Paulo was in charge of transport and did a fantastic job!) This trip consisted of almost a 14 hour overnight bus ride (YIKES), but we arrived in one piece to green forests and mountain air. In Manali we did hikes to a waterfall and rock climbing. We have arrived in Dharamsala where we celebrated Kenya’s birthday, and will now be working on an organic farm.
We got back yesterday from our 4 day trek in the himalayas and it was awesomeee!! we made it up high enough that we reached the snow and those days were the first time i seen it snow in india. i got awesome pics that will probably be up in the next two weeks when i come home. Also i was able to represent the home squad and get some pics with my blazer jersey in the mountains too so when i put that up on "wear in the world" for portland, y'all better vote for me lol. And it was awesome coming back from the trek because we ran into the other india group and saw our friends from portland!!!!!!! tomorrow we make our way to the golden temple so thats the next move. (Travon)
Back to buisness!.. After two very tiring over night train rides we finally arrived to Mcleod Ganj. I can speak for all of us when I say we are LOVING the weather here! After being in the desert for so long, weather cold enough to where you can walk around in sweats and a hoodie has been heaven. We even got some rain[🙂]
We are all doing solo home stays for the first time but we feel more comfortable because our families are able to speak English. After meeting our host mothers we got to pick our internships[🙂] 5 of us are making dream catchers and 2 of us are creating beautiful paintings and I’m super excited to see how they turn out. Later that evening we got to watch a movie about the Dalai Lama to get a bigger perspective of the Tibetan culture and people that live here in India.
I personally take a huge interest on the Tibetan refugees that have had to leave everything behind to come to India. I’m grateful that in our time here we are also getting to help teach some of them English through conversation and get a little bit more perspective of what it’s like for them.All in all, we love our Tibetan families and the space they make for us (and being able to communicate with them.) I’m really going to miss this cool weather and amazing nature. (Blanca)
Whoa: So we were about to leave this city Mcleoud Ganj to go to the golden temple this morning but we delayed that for a few hours because we got to actually meet the Dalai Lama and shake his hand and take pictures with him! that was awesome lol! (Travon)