Location: Norbulingka

We woke up this morning a little later than usual because we wouldn’t need to walk up the 300 stairs to get to Common Ground. Many of us finished up our packing and then got ready for the 30-minute drive to Norbulingka. Upon arrival, we were excited and surprised to see the beautiful hotel we would reside in for one night. The garden was covered in prayer flags, greenery, and fountains. We got a short tour of the area and saw women working together to sew beautiful designs to sell from the store. Men were doing detailed paintings using expensive paint derived from the powder of rare rocks. In a separate room, men were hammering metal into small Buddha statues. We were amazed by the attention to detail and accuracy of everything we saw. Next, we explored the museum and learned about some traditional Tibetan clothing and events. After a delicious lunch and cake, we learned about writing our notes and reflections, which the girls immediately got started on. Everyone talked about the things that the past two weeks have taught us and our highs and lows. After spending some time writing, Aisha, Izzy and I went to the shop of Norbulingka where I bought a bag and Aisha bought wrapping paper. We ran into the boys while walking back to our room and ended up staying with them until dinner. At dinner, we went to a pizza place called Joy where we ordered six pizzas! Alejandro and Zak ate most of it. It began to rain in the middle of dinner, yet none of us had brought our umbrellas or raincoats. By ordering some ginger lemon honey tea, we attempted to wait out the rain in the restaurant. As more time passed, we decided to just run into the rain. By then it was dark, and we were getting soaked by the rain, so Zak and Aisha accidentally walked straight into a small river, thinking it was solid ground. With sopping wet feet, the two stumbled into the guest house with the rest of us. After a few games of chess, we are all tired and ready for bed.