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Location: Dharamsala

 

The morning weather often dictates the mood in Mcleod Ganj. Considering this, waking up at 8 AM to an unexpectedly bright and clear sky was a good omen. Without having to carry an umbrella up the notorious 315 monastery steps, the journey to Common Ground was less tedious than usual (but just as exhausting). After a breakfast consisting of delicious Nutella pancakes and hash browns, an exciting day was imminent. During the Mutual Learning session, our partners accompanied us to various cafes and monuments, all the while sharing pieces of the Tibetan language and culture. In the hour of leisure following lunch, the Tibetan phrases were central to our method of haggling with vendors while we shopped for gifts (for our parents, of course).Then, it was time for our service at TCV day school. We again split up into groups three of us taught in classrooms, three played games with fourth graders in the auditorium, and the remaining six of us put the finishing touches on our successful auditorium renovation. For those who taught, our activities ranged from teaching English through hangman to teaching exponents and other mathematics. The other groups auditorium games included the Tibetan versions of duck, duck, goose and musical chairs. However, we all experienced amusement at the sound of Tibetan children singing popular Western songs such as Let it Go from Frozen. Following the 4 o’clock bell signaling the end of the school day at TCV, we headed back into town. Two hours of shop exploration and Indian television dramas at cafes finally climaxed with a wonderful dinner at Ashoka. The infamous buttered naan was eagerly devoured alongside other Indian delicacies. Finally, we trekked back down the stairs to Tsechokling, ending our day with an enticing discussion on internet surveillance during our forum. Night fell, concluding another great day in Dhasa.