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Location: Dharamsala

Our sixth day of India was a special day. For the first time, I was invited to go to my language partners home. Although it was not spacious, it was beautifully decorated with paintings, banners, pictures, and traditional Tibetan cloth. Her home was so comfortable and serene; it was unlike any I have ever seen at home. The love she had put in to make this place her home was very clear. She graciously offered me the opportunity to try on some of her traditional Tibetan clothing. The outfit consisted of a large thick dress, a colorful belt, and prayer beads. As Caroline and I posed for our pictures, we were told about the history of the clothing and the special occasion it was worn for. We then continued with a more structured session by teaching them new words and helping them with their pronunciation.

After a beautiful morning with my language partner, we headed to lunch where after a delicious meal we were treated to a reading from an inspirational Tibetan poet named Bhuchung D Sonam. He spoke of his hardships and empowering moments that inspired his greatest writings. When lunch was over, we were allowed some free time, and all of the students decided it would be best to walk around our local streets together. As we wandered around our neighborhood, we shopped for colorful little trinkets and intricate scarfs. When we got back to the common area at Rabsel’s restaurant, I passed the time before dinner by getting into a heated chess game with Val.

To end the night, we were taken to a Tibetan culture show that consisted of traditional dancing, singing, stories and more. Throughout the performance, we not only learned about the traditional influences behind the clothing and music but also the performers’ personal life experiences in Tibet. It became a uniquely interactive show when we all joined in for a traditional Tibetan dance. It was most definitely another successful day in India.