Location: India

We woke up this morning to rain. It’s hardly surprising because it’s monsoon season, but it was raining cats and dogs yesterday, and it was a little tiring. Though after a filling breakfast at Common Ground, it had already stopped and it would stay that way for the rest of the morning. Instead of meeting our mutual learning partners right after breakfast as we usually would, today we went to the Lha headquarters to watch a presentation on the various services it offers to anyone in need of them. We then met our partners and set off to explore Dharamsala. Alejandro and Zach went to the Tibetan Museum with their partners, while Isabelle, Aisha and I were taken by our partners to a beautiful waterfall 20-30 minutes away walking. We took a few photos and then turned back. On our way, we passed by Teo and his partner, who were also going to see the waterfall. To end our two and a half hour lesson, my partner brought me to a tea shop where they sold French croissants and tarts. At noon, we headed to Common Ground for a delicious lunch made up of noodles, chili sauce (which turned into a who can eat the spiciest stuff competition between Aisha and Alejandro), meat momos and potato momos. After lunch, Isabelle, Zach, and Alejandro went to work at the daycare center. Teo, Aisha and I went to help Lha with their Fair Trade branch, which just started recently. Teo transcribed Buddhist teachings while Aisha and I took pictures and wrote descriptions of items so they could post them on social media. We then went to help a conversation lesson, which entailed talking with a group ranging from 2 to 6 people over several other groups in the same room. The group got back together again and watched a movie about the journey into exile called Murder in the Snow. It was a very heavy topic. Dinner came soon after at a Japanese restaurant. There, most of us tried a local tea made up of ginger roots, honey, and lemon. It was extremely sweet but quite good. The day ended with a short discussion about how the trip was going so far, and then we all headed to bed.