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Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008


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Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons' "North India: Identity in Exile"summer program. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, itineraries are subject to change. Please keep an eye on the course's Yak board for additional itinerary-related postings and updates.

Week One:
Fly Los Angeles-Delhi. Arrive in India’s capital and overnight in a local guesthouse in the Tibetan district of Majnuka Tilla: Prepare for early morning internal flight to Leh, the capital of Ladakh. Spend our first few days in Leh acclimatizing to our 11,000-ft elevation: Breathe Himalayan air for the first time; explore the majestic Buddhist monasteries of Thikse and Hemis; begin Buddhism and language lessons, and research independent study topics; meet with members representing a variety of NGOs, such as the Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) and the International Society of Ecology and Culture (ISEC); explore opportunities to visit and engage in service collaborations within local monasteries and the Tibetan resettlement community in Choglamsar; learn about resettlement issues facing Tibetan refugees who have fled from China over the Great Himalaya Range.

Week Two:
Travel outside of Leh to begin rural home-stay: Live with local Ladakhi families and consider service options within the community; meet with important local figures and continue with Buddhism and language studies, and Independent Study Projects. Jeep or bus travel to the remote southeastern corner of Ladakh to reach Tso Moriri, a high-elevation lake with an extremely fragile ecosystem: Continue with acclimatization; conduct self-directed service project focused on ecological preservation of the region; camp next to nomadic communities and learn about the Tibetan Plateau’s nomadic traditions. Prepare for upcoming trek from Tso Moriri to Kibber village, in the Spiti Valley.

Week Three:
Head out on a challenging 9-day trek: Trek through open valleys and across dramatic mountain passes; reach the highest point of the trek, the Parang La Pass, at over 18,000 feet!

Week Four:
Descend from the Parang La Pass into the Spiti Valley, where we will rest, clean up, and prepare for an intimate home-stay with local families: Join our hosts in the fields; learn about rural livelihood in this remote and harsh environment; explore local Buddhist temples and learn about Tibetan arts and iconography; continue with Buddhism and language lessons; explore the permeation of Tibetan religion and Tibetan culture across boundaries.

Week Five:
Depart the Spiti Valley on a remarkable public bus ride towards Dharamsala, the seat of his Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan Government in Exile. Arrive in Dharamsala and stay at Dolma Ling Nunnery: Enjoy discussions with the nuns from the Tibetan Nun’s Project; learn about the Tibet freedom movement by visiting with teachers and students at Gu Chu Sum’s school for ex-political prisoners; engage in self-directed and mentor-supported independent study work; continue our language, cultural, and religious studies, focusing in on Tibetan identity and the practice of Tibetan Buddhism in exile. If possible, arrange private audiences with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness the Karmapa, or the Nechung Oracle.

Week Six:
Wrap up independent study work by arranging final meetings with local figures; prepare project presentations. Visit the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, the Tibetan Youth Congress, the Tibetan Women’s Alliance, Tibetan Children’s Village, and Namgyal Monastery. Overland travel back to Delhi: Practice our Tibetan language and share stories with locals in Majnuka Tilla; explore Delhi’s vibrant and chaotic street scenes; visit the Old Delhi spice market; compliment our study of Tibetan Buddhism with visits to Hindu, Jain, Muslim, and Sikh temples and mosques via rickshaw.Enjoy a final celebratory feast of delectable Indian cuisine and prepare for flight home.

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Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

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Identity in Exile: Sample Itinerary

Dragons Administration,Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

Description

Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons’ "North India: Identity in Exile"summer program. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, itineraries are subject to change. Please keep an eye on the course’s Yak board for additional […]

Posted On

10/15/08

Author

Dragons Administration

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It was so strange to wake up in our sweaty room yesterday morning, and things were...QUIET. Bryan and I dropped off the students and Kunga to the Delhi International Airport at 1am, and after some teary goodbyes, returned home at 3am to a room once bustling with activity but then eerily silent with our rickety ceiling fan making the only sound. All I could see as I fell asleep were the images of everyone's faces, beautiful snapshots of unique experiences we shared, fond memories of all the inside jokes and strange encounters and reflective moments.

When Bryan and I awoke yesterday morning, we packed our bags and ventured outside to get some breakfast. Not only were our ears ringing in silent contrast - for 6 weeks we woke up to the chatter of our group and then they were far away in the air - but to add to the contrast, the streets in the Tibetan "colony" of Manjukatilla were completely silent as well! All the shops were closed in protest of the Olympics, which started just minutes ago in Beijing (I'm watching photo and text updates from the opening ceremony on BBC as I'm writing this yak). We crossed the highway to the "Indian" side and things were bustling as they should be in this crazy city. We got breakfast (palak paneer and DAL and chapati) at a little Dhaba with India Himalaya instructor, Cameron, and just talked for hours about our trips. I still haven't been able to think about much else - one doesn't just end a program like this and immediately move on. I find that I continue to reflect deeply for days and weeks after the program ends, and of course memories drift into my consciousness for years to come.

The final few days of our program were magical. We were able to attend the public teachings of the Dalai Lama on the "Lamp of Enlightenment," a piece written by the Indian master Atisha while he was in Tibet. We watched Om Shanti Om, the best Bollywood film EVER at a little cinema call one night. All the students presented their ISP projects and I know that Bryan, Kunga and I were soooo impressed by all the work everyone did. Their presentations were engaging and showed the depth of thought and effort everyone put into their projects. We took a long overnight bus ride from Dharamsala to Delhi 3 nights ago, and arrived in Delhi tired but packed the day full nonetheless. We visited the Red Fort, constructed by the Emperor Shah Jahan in 1639. Finding a quiet corner in the marble hall, we told each other the story of our trip. It was so wonderful to re-live our incredible sojourn by talking about the vivid events of each day, everyone contributing with a memory of a funny experience, a beautiful vista, a tough climb, a bad meal, a touching interaction. After that, we headed to Connaught Place for a SWANKY final dinner at the restaurant, Veda. Then we headed to the airport in our bus, complete with a microphone for our "secret santa" activity, and Bryan and I bid our wonderful travel companions adieu...

By now, everyone must be home, sleeping soundly for the first night. Soon you will wake up and I'll be on my way to the airport for that early morning flight to Leh that we took together 6 weeks ago (I'll be up at 3am!)! I stayed at Rigzin's pad last night and we just talked about you guys and how much we missed you! It will take me some time to adjust to your distance...I have felt a few pangs of that loneliness we talked about...

Well, I must go now to meet up with Bryan for dinner. I hope to hear from y'all and how the adjustment is going. If you send your addresses around by e-mail, I'll send postcards!

I miss everyone so much, and look forward to the day that our paths cross once again.

Love,
Kristin

(PS - For some reason, my yak about our visit to the Karmapa never made it up on the yak board. I've included the photo we took with him, but unfortunately have lost the text...)

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Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

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They’re off…

Kristin Brudevold,Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

Description

It was so strange to wake up in our sweaty room yesterday morning, and things were…QUIET. Bryan and I dropped off the students and Kunga to the Delhi International Airport at 1am, and after some teary goodbyes, returned home at 3am to a room once bustling with activity but then eerily silent with our rickety […]

Posted On

08/8/08

Author

Kristin Brudevold

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Hey all you Tibet-B'ers!

Kristin and I are still here in New Delhi, thinking of you each of you with a lot of love and respect in our hearts. I'm also thinking about how it's always so difficult and strange when these programs end. Leaving you all and Kunga at the airport was such a sad moment, leaving me with this indescribable "empty" feeling in the center of my being. The little family we created, which has been so tight for so long, has now moved in a new direction. But even though we've separated physically, we're still together in ways greater than the waves of space and time can account for.

I know that I will carry the amazing lessons I learned from each of you forever, and have grown tremendously through our time together. Again, I thank each of you -Conner, Rhiannon, Judith, Harold, Bao-Tram, Peter, Katie, Jason, Sam and Jimmy- so much for helping make this such a wonderful summer. Please keep in touch!

With lots of love,

~Bryan

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Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

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We Miss You!!

Bryan Newman,Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

Description

Hey all you Tibet-B’ers! Kristin and I are still here in New Delhi, thinking of you each of you with a lot of love and respect in our hearts. I’m also thinking about how it’s always so difficult and strange when these programs end. Leaving you all and Kunga at the airport was such a […]

Posted On

08/8/08

Author

Bryan Newman

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    [post_content] => A heartfelt thanks to Kristin, Bryan and Kunga -- and everyone backing them up in the Boulder office -- fortheir inspiration, dedication,and humor in caring for ourkids over the past six weeks. It's been an amazing journey for all (parents included).Thank you.
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Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

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Thank You

Liz Ross,Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

Description

A heartfelt thanks to Kristin, Bryan and Kunga — and everyone backing them up in the Boulder office — fortheir inspiration, dedication,and humor in caring for ourkids over the past six weeks. It’s been an amazing journey for all (parents included).Thank you.

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As Ihave been reading the trip postings and talking with my son Conner by phone, I have felt the urge to reach out in encouragement to all of you travelers who will soon be returning home. In our daily lives we typically are driven by forces and rythmns in which we allow ourselves tosimply flow withoutmuch question. A trip like the one you have been on is a unique oppurtunity to lift your head above water, so to speak. You now have seen through new eyes the perspectives of others. I hope that you all are able to keep your head above water, retain your new perspective and be furtherawakened, as you continue to journey after your return home. Best Wishes.

Ian

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Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

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Welcome Home

Ian Forsberg,Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

Description

As Ihave been reading the trip postings and talking with my son Conner by phone, I have felt the urge to reach out in encouragement to all of you travelers who will soon be returning home. In our daily lives we typically are driven by forces and rythmns in which we allow ourselves tosimply flow […]

Posted On

08/2/08

Author

Ian Forsberg

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Hello Everyone,

Since my last post i have been spending most of my time walking up and down the streets of Dharamsala. While at first being chased down busy streets by honking cars and beggers was startling, i have now grown to be very comfortable in this city. I have become friends with some of the workers in a cafe down the street that i frequently visit to work on my art project and grab a cup of coffee. My art project is a combination of a project that i have to do for an art school that i am attending in the fall and of my Independent Study Project for Dragons. In short, it is my own version of a wheel of life in the style of a grandfather clock. The first few days here i took some Thangka painting classes with my friend riannon. While i quit after a few days because it was to precise for my taste, riannon has commited to painting her very own Tara Thangka. I have also been taking some yoga lessons with the instructors. The instructor is about the skinniest, most flexible person i have ever seen and he can go from sitting cross legged to a handstand with one perfect swoop. I really enjoy the classes. We've also been meeting with various prominant people in the tibetain struggle and the tibetain government in exile. We've also been meeting everyother day with the Dalai Lamas translator for some really amazing Dharma talks. Hes really funny and extremely intelegent. I'm still looking forward to the Dalai Lamas teachings on the 4th and also for returning home and seeing everyone again.

See You All Very Soon,

Jimmy

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Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

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A Quick Update

Jimmy Brenner,Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

Description

Hello Everyone, Since my last post i have been spending most of my time walking up and down the streets of Dharamsala. While at first being chased down busy streets by honking cars and beggers was startling, i have now grown to be very comfortable in this city. I have become friends with some of […]

Posted On

08/2/08

Author

Jimmy Brenner

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Okay, you have to beleive me when I tell you this story. I wrote a very detailed and long yak a few days ago, but just as I was about to post it, the power went out. I cannot be mad becuase this happens rather constantly in Dharamsala. Nonetheless, I was very frustrated and put off writing another yak until now. Instead of recalling the entire trip and sounding repetative of my peers, I will try to give a brief summery of what we have done so far in this city. First off, Dharamsala is wet. It has not gone a day without raining here. The streets are perminantly wet and almost every store sells umbrellas. I got a snazzy black umbrella on the second day and have not gone anywhere without it since. Some of the other members of the group have elected to wear their raincoats instead. In any case, we have been working especially hard to stay dry. So we got to Dharamsala on the night of the 26th. I myself was recovering from an intense sickness and was still feeling a bit crumby. We are staying at a monestary that rents out a couple of buildings as guesthouses. It is the first time in a long time that we have had hot showers. The monestary itself is built in the middle of the forest (but not a forest in an American sence...think more half rainforest half kind of American forest). We arrived at about 4 or 5 or 6 or something like that on the first day. We were all very tired. After getting settled in our very comfortable rooms, we walked up to the city for dinner. It is about a 7 minute walk uphill to the actual city itself. There are steps carved into the mountain face that zigzag back and forth to the top. One is hiking on these slippery stone steps in the middle of the wild for a few minutes, and then suddenly reaches the top and is thrown into a metropolitan metropolas. I always find the drastic transition to be rather comical. Anyway, we ate as a group at a hotel owned by the Tibetan government in exile. I got mutton dumplings (I have no idea what mutton is except for that it is meat). After eating, we all started the walk back down to the monestary guesthouse. I was lucky becuase my headlamp just so happened to be in my bag the first night. We ended up having enough light that we all got down safely. The steps are in a perminant state of wetness and although I have not slipped yet, I am confident that I eventually will. The second day...lets see..what did we do the second day? Ah yes, we woke up at 8 for a simple breckfast at the monestary. Then, we walked through the city to talk to a man who had been held in Chinese prison for many years. He did not speak english, but we were able to have a question and answer session with our leader Kunga translating. He was a remarkable person to speak to and had a surprisingly positive perspective. The entire meeting took place at the center for this orginization that helps former prisoners of the Chinese and works to raise awarness about their crimes against humanity. After our talk with the man (who's name I have momentarily forgotten), we had lunch at a vegetarian cafe. My diet happens to consist of 95% meat, so it was not my favorite meal. The group was then given free time until 6. First off, I went to an internet cafe and wrote my yak that was ultimatly lost. I spent the rest of my time walking around the city and visiting the numerous shops. At 6, we all met back at the monestary for our next speaker. He was a doctor and an expert in Tibetan medecine. Again I forget his name, but can remember his face very well. he was a funny person and spoke really well about the basic principals of classic tibetan medicine. We westerners often veiw other forms of medecine as backwards or primitive. However, I have really come to recognize the usefulness of classic healing methods as I have met doctors over the course of the trip. Many Tibetan or Indian people cannot afford western medecine (which is very effective but is also based ultimatly around making money). Classic Tibetan medecine on the other hand is cheap and often gets very similar results as western medecine. For example, a Tibetan doctor may tell a person with high cholestoral to eat lots of garlic. A western doctor may tell him or her to buy a perscription medecation named garlique (an actual medecation back in the states). In any case, all of the doctors who we have met with have convinced me that classic Tibetan medecine is both practical and useful even in the 21st century. After our talk, the group hiked back up to the city to have dinner. It think I had a pizza (the Italian food here is really surprisingly good). After all was said and done, we walked back down the slippery steps and went to sleep. Today is the 31st and the day I just described was the 28th. Nonetheless, I must go. I will finish talking about our Dharamsala experiance later.

Go sox

[post_title] => Finally [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => finally-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-07-31 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=53558 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 448 [name] => Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008 [slug] => tibet-cultural-group-b-north-india-identity-in-exile-summer-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 448 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 248 [count] => 60 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 29.1 [cat_ID] => 448 [category_count] => 60 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008 [category_nicename] => tibet-cultural-group-b-north-india-identity-in-exile-summer-2008 [category_parent] => 248 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2008/tibet-cultural-group-b-north-india-identity-in-exile-summer-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008 )

Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

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Finally

Sam O'Reilly,Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

Description

Okay, you have to beleive me when I tell you this story. I wrote a very detailed and long yak a few days ago, but just as I was about to post it, the power went out. I cannot be mad becuase this happens rather constantly in Dharamsala. Nonetheless, I was very frustrated and put […]

Posted On

07/31/08

Author

Sam O'Reilly

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Dear Fans of Tibet B,

As the students have indicated in their yaks, our time here in McLeod Ganj (about 20 minutes up the mountain from Dharamsala) has been full of abundance in every regard! It is so beautiful here, it's refreshing to be grounded after weeks of nomadic movement, and there learning learning opportunities literally around every corner! After so much time in the desolate lands of Ladakh, it's nice to be in a city with all the hustle and bustle that brings.

We descended from the Tibetan Plateau and now rest on this misty hillside, the seat of the Tibetan Government in Exile. Each day has been packed with meetings with prominent members of the government, ex-guerrilla fighters of the Tibetan resistance, religious leaders, artists, and traditional doctors. Students have been able to pursue their individual interests in the form of an ISP (independent study project). Some such opportunities include:

- Jimmy and Rhiannon are studying traditional Tibetan thangka painting (the Tibetan Buddhist practice of painting deities and their abodes according to strict geometric proportions) with a teacher in town, Lobsang. They are spending about 3 hours each day struggling with the precision of this art form, and will be working on their own artwork inspired by this practice.

- Harold is studying the Tibetan resistance movement and is taking advantage of the lectures we have organized for the group, as well as meeting with individuals around town, speaking about their escape from Tibet, their time in Chinese prisons due to their assertions of independence, and in some cases, about their actual experience of fighting the secret war against the Chinese. There are many books and resources around town all at Harold's eager fingertips!

- Katie and Bao Tram are studying Tibetan medicine/psychology. They are learning that the Tibetan medical system is a holistic one that involves not just the physical ailment, but other factors such as one's mental state, diet, lifestyle, spirits created by the ignorant mind, etc etc. The Tibetans believe that there is no separation between mind and body, and that we are intimately interconnected with the environment around us. The two of them took a trip to the Men Tse Khang (the medical institute) and visited the museum, spoke with a doctor, and with the head astrologer (astrology is connected with Tibetan medicine). Katie is even sampling the effectiveness of some Tibetan herbal pills against the cough she has been having!

- Conner, Peter, and Jason are all studying various aspects of Tibetan Buddhism and are taking advantage of the myriad opportunities and centers that Mc Leod has to offer. Jason is comparing Buddhism with Hinduism and visited a Shiva temple yesterday, and is eagerly absorbing as much information about the various Hindu deities that he can find! Conner and Peter are both looking at Buddhist meditation, and are studying Buddhist philosophy with teachers around town.

- Judith is studying Tibetan fashion and has been taking extensive notes throughout our whole journey. She is comparing Ladakhi dress, with the dress and conceptions of beauty in Spiti, and now here among the Tibetans in Dharamsala. She spent some time at a fashion tailoring training program for Tibetan refugees who just arrived in McLeod and who are looking for a vocation and employment. She has been learning about various adornments that people have worn in the places we have visited, including the jewelry, aprons, etc.

- Sam is looking at the effects of Development on the areas we have visited (Tibetan and Ladakhi culture), and how the Tibetan community is surviving in exile. He's soaking up many books and visiting with people around town, speaking about the Tibetan exile identity and its future.

As far as group lectures, here's a short summary of what we've done so far and what we have set up for the future:

27th July: Walk through Bagsu up to the waterfall - journal exercise; lunch above waterfall - share ethnography projects from Kibber and reflections on where we've been and what we want for our time in Dharamsala; ISP time.

28th July: 10am lecture with Gu Chu Sum (an NGO helping Tibetan political prisoners and ex-prisoners in exile); afternoon ISP time; 6:30p lecture with the main research doctor from the Men Tse Khang, Dr. Pema Dorje.

29th July: 10am lecture with Lhasang Tsering of the Amnye Machen Institute and former head of the Tibetan Youth Congress, a radical group striving for Tibetan independence; afternoon ISP time.

30th July: 9am registration for the Dalai Lama's public teachings; morning ISP time; 2pm lecture with Ama Adhe, a female ex-political prisoner imprisoned for 28 years; 5:30pm lecture/dharma talk with Dorje Damdul, the translator for the Dalai Lama.

31st July: 11am Private audience with the Karmapa, head of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and very prominent religious leader! ; afternoon ISP time.

1st August: 10am meeting with various offices of the Tibetan Government in Exile; afternoon ISP time; 5:30pm lecture/dharma talk again with Dorje Damdul.

2nd August: Day hike to the Tibetan Children's Village; ISP time.

3rd August: Morning meeting with Samdhong Rinpoche, the prime minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile; afternoon ISP time; 5:30pm lecture/dharma talk again with Dorje Damdul.


4th August: ALL DAY PUBLIC TEACHINGS by the DALAI LAMA!!


5th August: Group time and course wrap up; evening overnight bus to Delhi.

6th August: Arrive Delhi in the morning, explore the city, group time.

7th August: Group time, evening flight home :(

As you can see, we're trying to maximize our last week together! We hope you can appreciate how incredible some of the opportunities we're having here in Dharamsala are - we are so fortunate to be granted time with these exceptional people! We'll send more updates soon!

Peace,

Kristin

[post_title] => Abundance in Cloudy McLeod [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => abundance-in-cloudy-mcleod [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-07-30 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=53584 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 448 [name] => Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008 [slug] => tibet-cultural-group-b-north-india-identity-in-exile-summer-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 448 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 248 [count] => 60 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 29.1 [cat_ID] => 448 [category_count] => 60 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008 [category_nicename] => tibet-cultural-group-b-north-india-identity-in-exile-summer-2008 [category_parent] => 248 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2008/tibet-cultural-group-b-north-india-identity-in-exile-summer-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008 )

Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

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Abundance in Cloudy McLeod

Kristin Brudevold,Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

Description

Dear Fans of Tibet B, As the students have indicated in their yaks, our time here in McLeod Ganj (about 20 minutes up the mountain from Dharamsala) has been full of abundance in every regard! It is so beautiful here, it’s refreshing to be grounded after weeks of nomadic movement, and there learning learning opportunities […]

Posted On

07/30/08

Author

Kristin Brudevold

WP_Post Object
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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-07-29 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Hello Again!

As I promised, I returned to this small internet cafe to write another Yak. I figured I would fill in a bit of the bare boned itinerary I gave you before.

I'll begin by describing my Hemis homestay. My hemis family consisted entirely of women, aside from an exceptionally mischevious three year old younger brother. Although initially he locked me in my room and through kitchen utensils at his mother, I grew to see the, erm, comical sides of his actions. The rest of my family was very kind and tight knit. I had two sisters, 20 and 25, and a mother, along with a pair of grandparents. The father if the house was in the military, along with the father of the younger children and husband of my 25 year old sister. My 20 year old sister was a nun, so there was a decided lack of male presence in the household. Regardless, I ended up greatly enjoying my time spent with my family.

After we left Hemis we spent time at Lake Tsomoriri. We picked up trash from the heavily polluted delta of the river, and spent time doing various other things around the small town of Korzalk. We went on an intense day hike to find nomads, a hint of the trek to come. On our last day spent there, we enjoyed a game of soccer with a bunch of the local kids. Although we demolished them with our mad soccer skills, we had a great time breaking down some cultural boundaries.

From Tsomoriri, we started our trek. Our first day was a gruelling walk about a third of the way around the lake, to the southeastern tip of the lake. The day brought ill omens, as exhaustion and sickness took their toll. We ended up spending our first rest day at this beautiful camp sites, visiting the nomads and going on a short day hike. The next four days were spent walking the length of the vast riverbed stemming from the Parang-La glacier. This walk was stunningly beautiful, and it steadily built the anticipation of our ascent of the high pass, Parang-La. On our seventh day of the trek, we woke at 4 am and began our ascent of the glacier. At the top of the pass, we put up prayer flags and took many beautiful pictures to mark this mighty moment. From the pass we descended into a deep canyon, only to discover we had to climb back out again. After we reached our camp site, exhausted and sleep deprived, it totalled a nearly 13 hour day. The last two days were very leisurely as we approached Kibber, the destination of our trek.

We finally reached Kibber, the highest village in the world with electricity and a motorable road. We spent a quick night in a guesthouse before we met our homestay families the next morning. I immediately went herding with my homestay father after a quick breakfast of flatbread and yogurt. This day was spent moving the animals from pasture to pasture every 2-3 hours, and the rest spent sleeping. The next day, my homestay father, Tinlay, had to travel to Kaza to do some government work. We went down to Kaza also to visit the local hospital. The next morning, Tinley had still not returned, so I went with my homestay mother to her fields. There we performed irrigation work and weeded some fields. I also ate many of the famous snap peas with my small two year old brother and had a small lunch with another family. The following day, I also went herding wityh some of the local youth. I learned many new games, rode donkeys, adn napped before returning to the village. The next day, eight of us walked to the beautiful Ki monastery, and toured the small building, spending our last day in Kibber relaxing. That night I packed and ate my final dinner with my family.

The next morning, we left at 2 am to Kaza where we caught a 4 am bus to Manali. The bus ride totalled nearly eleven hours and left all of us feeling tired or sick or both. We left the following day in jeeps to Dharamsala. The ride was nine hours, but everyone felt much better then they had the previous day. We arrived in McLeodganj and settled in to the small monastery where we sill spend our last week in India. Just yesterday we visited the Dalai Lama's residence and monastery. He was arriving from Delhi and we caught a quick glimpse of him as he drove by.

Well hopefully that will hold you all until I can tell you more stories in the future. I can't begin to express the human connections, life changing experiences, and amazingly fun moments I've been experiencing while here. I miss you all so much, and will be seeing you in an amazingly short time.

Love,

Conner

[post_title] => As I Promised [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => as-i-promised [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-07-29 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=53594 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 448 [name] => Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008 [slug] => tibet-cultural-group-b-north-india-identity-in-exile-summer-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 448 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 248 [count] => 60 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 29.1 [cat_ID] => 448 [category_count] => 60 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008 [category_nicename] => tibet-cultural-group-b-north-india-identity-in-exile-summer-2008 [category_parent] => 248 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2008/tibet-cultural-group-b-north-india-identity-in-exile-summer-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008 )

Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

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As I Promised

Conner Forsberg,Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

Description

Hello Again! As I promised, I returned to this small internet cafe to write another Yak. I figured I would fill in a bit of the bare boned itinerary I gave you before. I’ll begin by describing my Hemis homestay. My hemis family consisted entirely of women, aside from an exceptionally mischevious three year old […]

Posted On

07/29/08

Author

Conner Forsberg

WP_Post Object
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    [ID] => 53604
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-07-28 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Hello everyone! We are here in Dharmsala! The last three weeks have been crazy. So since my last yak-yak many exciting things have happened. So far we have had two home stays and a crazy trek. My first home stay in Hemis was amazing; Hemis itself is very rich in culture. Right as we entered the village many of us could felt the incredible sense of community these people had, everyone knew each other and were very hospitable. I have to admit my first butter tea will never be forgotten. I can’t really explain the taste, there is nothing I can compare it to in America. By this I mean, the tea wasn’t really that great. So after our home stay we started on our trek, which was the least to say insane. We trekked over 40 miles, on dry rocky terrain, raging rivers and Parangla, a 17000 feet mountain. It has only been about a week ago, but the whole experience seems like a dream. After that, we headed into our homestay in Kibber, which lasted for five days. Our next destination was Manali which was a 12 hour bus ride away. I really have to say that was the most intense bus ride I have ever been on in my life. I did not enjoy all the stimulus on that bus with the loud noises and the rocky ride. Manali was a very interesting city; it was much larger than Leh. Nine hours away we are now in Dharmsala, it is also a very cool city, Judith and I got our shopping on today it was great. Okay well I will write another yak-yak in a couple of days!

Bao-Tram Do

[post_title] => Friends and Family, yes I'm still alive [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => friends-and-family-yes-im-still-alive [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-07-28 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=53604 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 448 [name] => Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008 [slug] => tibet-cultural-group-b-north-india-identity-in-exile-summer-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 448 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 248 [count] => 60 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 29.1 [cat_ID] => 448 [category_count] => 60 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008 [category_nicename] => tibet-cultural-group-b-north-india-identity-in-exile-summer-2008 [category_parent] => 248 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2008/tibet-cultural-group-b-north-india-identity-in-exile-summer-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008 )

Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

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Friends and Family, yes I’m still alive

Bao-Tram Do,Tibet Cultural, Group "B" (North India: Identity in Exile), Summer 2008

Description

Hello everyone! We are here in Dharmsala! The last three weeks have been crazy. So since my last yak-yak many exciting things have happened. So far we have had two home stays and a crazy trek. My first home stay in Hemis was amazing; Hemis itself is very rich in culture. Right as we entered […]

Posted On

07/28/08

Author

Bao-Tram Do

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