Monday, June 9, 2008

Monkeys are not cute... they bite ... ask Tee

After leaving Rishikesh we took a 6 hour jeep ride to Shimla up creepy mountain roads with death written all over them. When arriving in Shimla we quickly noticed this was unlike anyother place we had visited in India, it looked like something from the sound of music. Shimla turned into a not so glorious pit stop, when arriving everyone felt like crap and was in the mood for the crap "Shimla people" were ready to deal out. People in Shimla are shistie, we climed up what seemed like mt everest to the monkey temple. The monkey temple left a little to desire, it was kinda small, once we were all hanging out enjoying the view some monkes decided to come try and pick are pockets. At this time a mother monkey seemed to like Tee, which later turned into her biting Tee. Yes Tee was bit by a monkey and probably has Rabies, but its allright because Britt probably has malaria. The best part of Shimla was the Hindi movie we saw Janat, which was awesome ( Britt is planning to debut in Mumbai later this year as the token white girl in Hindi movies). We where happy to get out of Shimla and head on our way to Dharmsala.
Dharmsala aka a little piece of Indian heaven.
There is no way we can truly explain how different Dharmsala is from the rest of India, its not hot and the atmosphere is one of unity. While in Dharmsala we got to see the Dalai Lama in person twice, yeah thats right twice we have seen his holliness. In person he was just as you would imagine a genuinley happy person with a smile that went on for days. We have never truly seen a community so unified for the same cause, Tibetan Indepence. Throughout the area everyone rocked their Tibetan gear and hung their flag high. We also got to attend a prayer ceremony and a teaching lead by the Dalai Lama. We visited the Dalai Lamas Temple, the Norbulinka institute of cultural preservation, a progessive nunery, and the Tibetan library for Buddhist philosophy classes.
Tong Len is an organization we had the pleasure of working with while in Dharmsala. We got to interact and share some meaningful time with some of the poorest children I have ever seen. We played games, colored, took pictures lots of pictures, painted fingernails, and had a lunch cooked by soem local volunteers. Afterwards we got to visit the Tong Len hostile for children who use to be children of the same slums. These children were educated, healthy, happy, and well cared for. They all told us of their aspirations and favorite studies. They even did a few dances for us, which were well rehearsed and choreographed. The difference in these children was astounishing and will forever remain in my mind.
Peace Britt and Tee

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