McLeod Ganj is a very small town located on the ridge of a Himalayan mountain. It definitely has that quaint town feel even though there are still honking vehicles everywhere and many people through the streets. The people here are so wonderful and nice! Walking through the streets people don't try and sell you stuff and bug you until you actually buy something, like many of the other places we have visited. Which is such a nice change! The town is mainly Tibetan so it was also nice to meet and get acquainted to another beautiful culture.
On our second day here we went to the a hostel ran by an organization caled Tong-Len. One goal of this organization is to get the children who live in the slums a great education and stop the cycle of poverty. And I would have to say it is working! This was absolutely amazing! You walk in the gates and children greet you so politely. They All say "hello mam" and almost fight over who gets to shake your hand first. Everyone was "picked out" by a few children that wanted you to play. The two girls who stuck by me were so sweet and funny! They had so much fun playing with my hair, doing my makeup (I ended up looking like a clown), and dancing. When we left that day, on the way to the cars one of my little girls looks up at me and says "Roses are red, Violets are blue, I love you so, and miss you too." This almost brought tears to my eyes! She hugged me so tightly and started to tear up as I left. We went back the next day to say our final goodbyes. As soon as we got there the little girl ran to me and gave me a huge hug and said "This morning I woke up and missed you already." It was so incredibly sweet! I will definitely miss all the children at the hostel and I hope to see them again one day!
Also that same day we visited the slum where the children at the hostel come from. This really put how great I have it into perspective. We were sitting under the over hang where the children have class and one of the girls saw how I was starting to sweat so she reached into her backpack and pulled out a book for me to fan myself with. It was so nice! Then when we were leaving one of the older boys from the slum was talking to me he asked me if I was coming back and I said of course hopefully sooner rather than later, so he replied I hope so too but if not I will see you in our next life. It was such a sweet answer! The people here are just so incredibly wonderful, and we have formed such great bonds with so many of them. It makes it even more sad to leave!