Location: Dharamsala and Norbulingka
It was a bit of a bittersweet move from Dharamsala to Norbulingka; however, the highlight of our long day was the slide show that the happy couple (Wen and Jampa) put together for us. The beginning of our day started with our last walk up the 312 steps from the monastery into town. Usually, it takes a toll on us physically, but today it was emotionally taxing as well. For the past two weeks, monsoon season had gone on vacation with us, until today. India made up for the lost rainy weather in two hours this morning, much to the joy of our two Qataris (Raya and Ian) and our luggage. Thoroughly soaked we had breakfast and soon after piled into vans taking us to a real hotel. The move was a nice change as we never really enjoyed risking frostbite every time we needed a shower. Although we didn’t have such a jam-packed day, there wasn’t a moment we didn’t enjoy. Considering the altitude difference, Mr. Model Buddhist (Jampa) officially permitted us to start killing mosquitoes. THANK THE LORD. Half of the group hadn’t been to Norbulingka before and were taken on an art tour around the not for profit institution that is dedicated to preserving Tibetan culture and tradition. Exiled, Tibet must not only focus on regaining freedom but also the preservation of its sacred customs. We have learned so much about how important it is to stay optimistic in the face of occupation by a communist and cruel country. We all gathered in a makeshift common room and shared the most valuable parts of our experiences, helping us to understand that we have changed as people along the way. That our trip is coming to an end leaves us with heavy hearts as we complete this blog entry. We will always remember the great time we’ve spent together as a family.