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Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010


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I am truely in a place that I do not understand very well. At the moment I am starring out the window at 25,000 foot snow capped peaks at an internet cafe with monks who are playing a very familiar video game. This is very much an oasis in a land that is "changing" its identity. Here the monks do not beg for ohms but for money, and under their crimson robes you can very often see Nike shoes. I feel a bit nervous in this peticular city and I am looking forward to the orphanage. I don't want to ruin anything right now so I will update everyone later.

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Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

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Where am I?

William Friedlander,Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

Description

I am truely in a place that I do not understand very well. At the moment I am starring out the window at 25,000 foot snow capped peaks at an internet cafe with monks who are playing a very familiar video game. This is very much an oasis in a land that is "changing" its […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

William Friedlander

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Tashi Delik!

After the 13 1/2 hour bus ride from Kanding to Ganzi we have finally arived. As I write to you from a small internet cafe with keys that stick and a internet providor that doesnt allow facebook I can safly say that I have been in a great mood since we arrived in Kanding. It took me a minunte to realize that although we are not in the Tibet Autonmous Region the area of western Sichuan we are in, has such a rich Tibetan culture that has been fansinating to see so far. Every monistarty we have visited has given me a really great grasp on buddism and how tibetans worship. Every inch of these temples are covered with meaning, color, history and sacredness. The feeling that I get when im standing in these monistaries is something that i have never felt before, I get a rush of excitment knowing that I am standing in a place that is holy.Maybe a future in Buddism awaits me.. who knows.

So far everything has been amazing. food. senery. moutains. people. group dynamics.tomarrow we leave Ganzi and head to the orphanage in Shechen which to be honest I am a bit nervice for. I felt good about my Manderan skills because i could say "how much is this" and "to expencive!!!!" but Tibetan is another story so we will see how it goes when i try to teach english to a bunch of kids

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Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

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Exploring Ganzi

Mitchell Bowman,Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

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Tashi Delik! After the 13 1/2 hour bus ride from Kanding to Ganzi we have finally arived. As I write to you from a small internet cafe with keys that stick and a internet providor that doesnt allow facebook I can safly say that I have been in a great mood since we arrived in […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Mitchell Bowman

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We have finally reached the Tibetan Plateau and are now in Ganze, a city located in the Kham region. Starting our day at 4:30 AM, we embarked on a 13 and a half hour bus ride into higher elevation. Although the ride was exhausting, the dramaticscenery at 12,000 feet more than compensated for the loud and bumpy travel. Luckily, the excessive Nalgenes of water have paid off, and no one is suffering from any signs of altitude sickness. After the long day, after arriving at our surprisingly nice hotel, we shared our roses, thornes, and blindspots of the day at our team meeting, and retired to the hot showers.

We began today with meditation and tai chi led byour trusty and experienced instructors Damaas andZiva, followed byour typical breakfast of noodles and baoze (pronounced bawtse). We then went to a Tibetanmonestary to do Kora and spin prayer wheels. It was probably the oldest one we have been toso far and the paintings inside were beautiful. Some of us located the dieties we chose at the beginning of our trip.

After heading back to the hotel, we had aquick lesson onthe Kham dialect ofTibetan to preparefor the next ten days we are spending inthis region.Working off our new familiarity with the dialect, we headed into the town ingroups of twos and threes to exploreGanze for ourselves and run our last errands before leaving the city forthe Shechen orphanage.

After regrouping we headed tothe Ganzi monestary which the town is named after. It is the first and biggest Tibetan Buddhism Gelugpa sect monestary inthe Kham region. We finally got to witnessmonks debating which can get pretty intense. We were also lucky enough toshare experiences and have anintimate conversation with onethe higher ranking monks at the monestary. It brought some of us to tears and prepared the whole group for our discussion back at the hotelabout the foundations of Buddhism and the country of Tibet.

Finally finding time for dinner we set out without Ziva, our only Chinese speaker and fundamental meal orderer. We ended up with four different varieties fried rice some with hot dogs, eggs and chinese broccoli. It was a valiant effort from our translator Mindy but the meal was unfortunately lost in translation. Overall it was a great day and we are all getting excited to see the kids and get to Shechen tomorrow!

ttyl (yak ya later),

jenna and jenny

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Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

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yak attack

Jenna Spitzer and Jenny Sher,Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

Description

We have finally reached the Tibetan Plateau and are now in Ganze, a city located in the Kham region. Starting our day at 4:30 AM, we embarked on a 13 and a half hour bus ride into higher elevation. Although the ride was exhausting, the dramaticscenery at 12,000 feet more than compensated for the loud […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Jenna Spitzer and Jenny Sher

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here are some photos from our adventure...

enjoy ;)

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Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

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some photos from the field

ziva vidic licul,Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

Description

here are some photos from our adventure… enjoy 😉

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

ziva vidic licul

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Tashi delek,

It has been a week since we have met each other in the lobby of the Hacienda hotel and since we have started our adventure in the Land of Snows. But so much has happened in this week that it feels like a month and we are becoming a big happy family here on plateau.

As you can read from our yaks we are doing great and the more we move into the tibetan areas the stronger the beats of are hearts are.

We will be leaving civilization tomorrow early morning and will be spending around 10 days in the rural areas. We are heading towards Shechen orphanage tomorrow, where we will stay for about a week. http://www.shechen-school.org/

Our students have planned some amazing lessons for the orphans and I believe we will all have a great time.

Since the school is in a very rural area we can not promise to be available online. We do have our phone connection there, so we will be in contact with the Boulder office regularly.

We need to pack now, take the last shower and have some good sleep on the actual beds ;) ...we will be sleeping in tents for some time now.

From tibetan town of Ganze we wish you a beautiful day, every day...

team Tibet

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Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

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to the school

ziva vidic licul,Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

Description

Tashi delek, It has been a week since we have met each other in the lobby of the Hacienda hotel and since we have started our adventure in the Land of Snows. But so much has happened in this week that it feels like a month and we are becoming a big happy family here […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

ziva vidic licul

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    [post_date] => 2010-07-05 00:00:00
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This past week has been such a whirlwind. We are in our third city, Garze, in eight days. Although Chengdu and Kangding (the two previous cities) were nice it is great to be tucked into the mountains at a 12,000 feet altitude and to finally be on the roof of the world. It feels like we are getting into the swing of things which is a great feeling. Tibet holds so much natural beauty I am really happy I get to spend my summer here. I am really looking forward to what we have to come in the next five weeks. Slowly we are getting less urban and more rural as we head the a small village tomorrow where the Shechen orphanage is located.I am alsolooking forward to our week there. It will be nice to get out of the city and have quality time with the kids and the group. I am not sure how good I will be at teaching but I will try and do my best.

Now that the trip has been going on for a few days we are starting to delve into our ISP projects. I have not quite decided what I want to do for mine. Either something involving food since I feel that says a lot about a culture or something involving Chinese development on the Tibetan Plateau and how that affects local ecology. I have some time to narrow it down but I think both could be really interesting.

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Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

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Finally on the Plateau!

Jenny Sher,Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

Description

This past week has been such a whirlwind. We are in our third city, Garze, in eight days. Although Chengdu and Kangding (the two previous cities) were nice it is great to be tucked into the mountains at a 12,000 feet altitude and to finally be on the roof of the world. It feels like […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Jenny Sher

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Well here I am in the city of Ganze; officially on the Tibetan Plataeu. It is a completely new world; one that I have been waiting to experience for a long time. What has stuck out most to me is the beauty found in the temples. I have been awed watching laypeople and monks alike practice their daily rituals. They are such a religious people; quitecontrary to my Western upbringing. In China I felt as though the people lacked a sense of unity and compassion. Here, however, it is nearly universal. A smile is returned with a smile, a tashi dele returned with a tashi dele. Having experienced other cultures thoughout my life, I have come to realize many foreigners hold grudges against Americans. Here I have found a people who discard all judgments and see thetruth within each individual.

And quickly I'd like to mention my ideas surrounding my ISP. I have developed increasing interest in Tibetan deities and I wish to explore this more. Roughly I'm considering studying a handful of important figures and their respective mantras. However, more of this to come.

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Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

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Finally- The Rooftop of the World!

Pat Hobart,Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

Description

Well here I am in the city of Ganze; officially on the Tibetan Plataeu. It is a completely new world; one that I have been waiting to experience for a long time. What has stuck out most to me is the beauty found in the temples. I have been awed watching laypeople and monks alike […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Pat Hobart

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We've completed our first week in China! While the dirty streets, stray dogs, beggars, and smog have certainly been overwhelming, sitting here in an internet cafe in Garze (that we found ourselves) is surprisingly homey. Although we have been moving around from Chengdu, Kangding, and now Garze, even the outrageous honking has become familiar. Personally, the temples that we have visited and the welcoming smiles and "tashi-dele"s of locals have been the most touching of my expereinces thus far.

For my ISP, I want to focus on the lives of tibetan children in the provinces that we visit throughout China and the TAR. With our trip to the Schechen orphanage starting tomorrow and other various visits to orphanages scattered throughout our trip, I hope to learn as much from our first hand experience about their daily lives.

See you in five weeks!

Jenna

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Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

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A Week in Review

Jenna Spitzer,Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

Description

We’ve completed our first week in China! While the dirty streets, stray dogs, beggars, and smog have certainly been overwhelming, sitting here in an internet cafe in Garze (that we found ourselves) is surprisingly homey. Although we have been moving around from Chengdu, Kangding, and now Garze, even the outrageous honking has become familiar. Personally, […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Jenna Spitzer

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At the current moment the group is in Garze which is in the autonomous region of Sichuan. It took us a 13:30 minute bus ride from Kang Ding to get here. However, the landscape here is absolutely beautiful. Looking right out of our Hostel window are several enormous snowcapped peaks ranging from around 20,000 to 24,000 feet. They are absolutely stunning. Garze itself is actually the only place that put me slightly out of my comfort zone so far. Immediately after we exited the bus there were a couple beggars who came up to us. One we have seen multiple times and he is one persistent little pain in the rump. The Monastery's we have visited so far have to be some of the most beautiful things I have ever seen made by the hands of man. There is so much to say as we have done a lot in the past week but mom, dad, you guys get the picture considering you are the ones reading this. You'll hear all about it when I get back. Hope everyone at home is having a wonderful summer. Much love,

Ben

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Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

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NEEHOW

Benjamin van der Horst,Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

Description

At the current moment the group is in Garze which is in the autonomous region of Sichuan. It took us a 13:30 minute bus ride from Kang Ding to get here. However, the landscape here is absolutely beautiful. Looking right out of our Hostel window are several enormous snowcapped peaks ranging from around 20,000 to […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Benjamin van der Horst

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For those who don't know, that means 'hello!' in Tibetan (: That along with a smile, is basically the extent of my response to all the happy faces here in Ganze. Due to my darker skin and asian assets, I've been commonly mistaken as a local. Which actually makes me feel bad when I'm approached and have nothing to say but, 'Nga ha ma go' which means 'I don't understand'.A highlightso far ever since my last yak-yak, would be my first encounter to a temple, whereI found every inch of the place, whether it was a painting,a carving, or a sculpture, absolutely stunning. Another would be the many friendly children that seem to have all the freedom in the world. My group was lucky to have a 9 and 11 year old lead us to a store to buy bowls and chopsticks! Aside from the million and one bugs, and the squatting toilets that I'm still adjusting to, I'm having an amazing time, and I can't emphasize enuogh how excited I am to get to the orphanage.

'Til next time,

Angela Thai

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Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

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Tashi dele!

Angela Thai,Tibet: Cultural Odyssey, Summer 2010

Description

For those who don’t know, that means ‘hello!’ in Tibetan (: That along with a smile, is basically the extent of my response to all the happy faces here in Ganze. Due to my darker skin and asian assets, I’ve been commonly mistaken as a local. Which actually makes me feel bad when I’m approached […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Angela Thai

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