Tuesday, June 11, 2013

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye!

I cannot believe my last day in Mcleod Ganj is over. I have had such an amazing time here. The people are so friendly and I love seeing all these monks and nuns. They have such wonderful attitudes and kind smiles. Walking around this town is so easy as there are only five main roads. I could walk around here so easily and never get lost. Since we are on a hillside, there is plenty of walking up steep streets but I am okay with that as it will keep me in shape. It has rained pretty much every day we have been here and yet it still doesn't ruin my time.

I have really enjoyed all of the places our group has gone to while in Mcleod Ganj. We have been to the Buddhist temple beside the Dalai Lama's house. I am disappointed about not being able to see him. He is such a bright light in this world. I did learn so many new things at this temple such as what a prayer wheel is and how Buddhists view the Dalai Lama. A prayer wheel looks like a large decorated tin can which has prayers inscribed on it. So when someone turns the wheel, it is like the wheel just said a prayer for them. The temple had walls and walls full of them! We also got to visit a meditation center up the mountain where Dr. Maher taught us how to meditate. I need A LOT of practice. I have what he calls "monkey mind" which is when your mind just jumps from one thing to the next.

We also visited some Tibetan buildings ran by the government in exile such as the Tibetan Art Center, The Museum of Tibetan Medicine and we even got to hear a Lama speak about attaining liberation. He is so knowledgeable and when he spoke I felt like the stupidest person alive compared to him. I really loved the Museum of Tibetan Medicine. As a nursing student, I really hope that when I become a nurse I can incorporate homeopathy into my work because I find it fascinating and I really do believe that some methods are effective.

One of my favorite parts of this trip was when we were able to visit the children's hostel called Tong-Len Center. Tong Len is a Buddhist organization which takes children from this one slum in Dharmsala and gives them better living quarters, food and a great education with the hopes that this will improve their situation in life. The children loved us. The soccer ball I gave to them was literally destroyed within two hours. I have never had my hair played with that much in my life! Their favorite things to do were to hold your hand constantly and to take pictures using your camera. Once you hand that device over to them, you are relinquishing your rights for it for at least an hour. After I got mine back, I found multiple pictures of their school decorations, close-ups of my face, my braided hair, and pictures of random kids that I hadn't even talked to. I really did enjoy myself though and was glad that I had that experience.

There is so much more that I could talk about but sadly I must pack. My trip to India is almost over and I sincerely wish it was just beginning. I have met so many amazing people and had incredible experiences. As I am driving away from here I just know the songs from "The Sound of Music" will be playing over and over in my head. So Long Mcleod Ganj! Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye! 

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