Saturday, June 6, 2009

2 more days...

After staying in Dharamsala for 9 days, I feel like I have lived here for months. When we first walked into our 2 dollar a night hotel room, I was nervous that I would be scared about what was to come. Bugs in the bathroom, paper thin walls, watching out for monkeys stealing things, be inside the gates by 11:30 pm, and having to turn the water heater on 30 minutes before it was needed was not what I was use to. But, one week later, I find that I really love that little hotel room and all those problems have turned into an amazing journey. Just after one week I've changed my living standards and have found that people adapt to their surroundings a lot more than we give ourselves credit for. Twice we have visited the slums in Dharamsala and it has been one of the roughest and dirtiest looking places I have ever seen. No one should ever have to live under such circumstances and it's appalling that this compassionate city, home of the Dalai Lama, would allow such slums to exist. With that being said, upon entering the slums, the children's faces still light up with the biggest smiles ever. They run up to hug us and ask us our names, then we walk hand in hand full of happiness. Their surroundings are rocks and tarp tents for houses, but they don't know it any other way. They arn't consumed with material things but rather find fun in the simple things in life. You would have already made their day if you had only given them a little bit of attention and a hug. Their simple, pure love has helped me know how to better live and love in return. I've realized how lucky I am to live in a country where the basic immenties that I take for granted are what these people live day to day searching for. For example, in this slum of 700 people, there is only one water well that is available for only one hour a day. This is only possible with connections through Tong Len, or no water would ever be accessible. Even if the government is not taking steps to help, the directors of Tong Len are showing compassion to the less fortunate. India has opportunities knocking everywhere and I have stories to share for the rest of my life. Yay India! P.S.-I never thought I would say this, but I'm excited about going back and spending a day in Delhi. :)

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