Location: Dharamsala

After a weekend of momo making, shopping, painting, swing dancing, and great meals, it was time to return to mutual learning and teaching our TCV (Tibetan Children’s Village) kids. We started the day as usual by walking up the 300-plus steps to McLeod Ganj, where we ate a delicious breakfast at the Common Ground Cafe. Then our mutual learning partners came to meet us, and we did two hours of obviously, mutual learning. With my partner, we took a walk on the Kora, the loop around the Dalai Lamas temple while he asked me about words he didn’t understand. A problem I had, and a problem I’m sure others did too, was describing words that seemed so simple to us but were hard to explain, like effect and effect, immersed, isolated, and so on. But in the end, my partner and I were able to communicate fine, and we sat down at one of the many cafes in Dharamsala to do a little more work. For homework, I had had him read one of the Magic Tree House series books, which I used to love as a kid, and a wave of nostalgia hit me. After that, we had lunch before going to TCV, where we had a very loud two hours (particularly with my super energetic class). Now, we only have two classes left with them, since August 1 (our last day in Dharamsala) is their first day of Winter Semester, where they have school classes in the afternoon and evening. Right after TCV, we went to the ashram of Tenzin Tsundue, a Tibetan political activist, who told us about all the things he has done until now and how we have to realize how lucky and privileged we are and how we should contribute to not only helping with the Tibet situation, but all human rights issues in this world. I think we all learned something by listening to Tenzin Tsundue speak. We had dinner at Hotel Tibet and finished off the night with a forum based on Tenzin Tsundues speech, about how if we should feel bad that we’re all so privileged. The consensus was that we didn’t need to feel guilty about being privileged, but that we should do what we could to help the world.