Monday, June 8, 2009
Trekking up the Triund Mt. with 6 others through rain, hail, and God knows how many partial slip-ups, was an incredible experience. When it hurts just to walk up a flight of stairs the next day, you know you did something your body wont soon forget. Our stay in Dharamsala was very eventful, and while I wish we had been able to spend more time in Rishikesh (my favorite place in India by far), being able to experience the Tibetan community in-exile is something I don't think I can easily gloss over. It is incredible to see a people that have been cast out of their homeland by an oppressive foreign government, who then moved as refugees to foreign land, and yet still throughout that have remained not only vibrant, but absolutely charitable in their actions and intentions. India took in these people and yet the Tibetans have looked after not only themselves but have become very active in the slums and poorer areas in India that have often gone overlooked. Such a selfless attitude in the face of losing not only their homeland but spiritual leaders (the Pachen Lama, etc) as well should serve as an example to be emulated, if nothing else. It really is amazing, having moved through the burning humid climates of Delhi and Agra, to the milder climates of Varanasi and Rishikesh, on to cold and rainy Dharamsala, and then back to Delhi again. Not only that, but it is amazing to see how much all of us have changed, how less intimidating Delhi is now, how easy it is to spot westerners who are new here (newer than us at least) and spot the same mistakes in them that we made when we first arrived. It's hard to quantify all of it.