Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Missing India Already

     Mcleod Ganj is easily one of my favorite places in the world. We've only spent a few days here but I am completely in love with every bit of this place. We've done so much in so little time and I'm so bummed that we leave tomorrow. On our first full day we went on a hike up a mountain to meditate. I've known that I'm more of a mountain person than a city person but that day proved it even more to me. We sat on rocks in a clearing and had the most beautiful view. Dr. Maher instructed us in some meditation and it went a lot better than I originally expected. When we meditated on love, we had to first think of the person we love the most. I chose my sister and felt a tear fall down my face when thinking about the love we have for each other. I miss her more than I realized! Although it was difficult to stay focused for so long, the meditation definitely relaxed me and I know it would be useful to practice it more at home.
     Another huge part of this visit was with the Tong-Len hostel. The children have so much energy and love being played with. They were all so sweet and polite, calling all the girls "ma'am" and the boys "sir". The little girls liked putting make up on us and doing our hair. I think their favorite activity though was taking pictures. I had over 400 pictures taken by them and there was usually about 15 of the same thing The next day we went to the slums where Tong-Len has set up a classroom and a sanitation center to try and help these terribly poor people. When we started walking into the slum, a few children ran up to us. One girl asked me my name and then immediately grabbed my hand without saying another word. These children don't know the love and attention that they should be getting. There were black tarps held up by sticks and rocks and that is what people live in. The "classroom" was a little sturdier and there were four benches that about 20 kids put their work on while they sat on the floor. As soon as they arrived in the classroom, they said "Good afternoon, ma'am" to their teacher and got right to their work. I'm not a person who is usually very fond of children but my emotions took over and it became very hard to see these children who were born into poverty work so hard and be so well behaved. I've always wanted to teach abroad but after being there, I am positive that teaching kids is something I need to do. These kids are so inncent and beautiful, they deserve so much more than they have. A few kids were not in class and were hanging around outside the classroom. Two of them liked the string bracelets on my wrist so I gave them to them. Leaving the kids was much harder then I expected but my first goal when I get home is to figure out how to help from the U.S.
   I don't want to believe that we're leaving Mcleod Ganj tomorrow, let alone India in a few days. Everything we've done doesn't seem real. I've taken over 500 pictures and I still feel like I'm already forgetting details that I don't want to forget! This trip has been an amazing experience and it has definitely changed me in a good way. I do miss my friends and family but I would gladly stay in India for a while longer. I haven't even left yet and I already miss India. I will be back someday!

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