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Location: Dharamsala

Well, this day didn’t actually start out so damp, we (for one time and one time only) got a chance to sleep in, which every girl took advantage of, though John and Uttam chose instead to seize the day and get up early. Walking outside was similar, I imagine, to floating in a cloud, and I had a strange feeling that I might just be in Indian San Francisco. As we began our trek up the stairs, the weather turned from mist, to rain, to a torrential downpour, and the whole group had our first collective real taste of Monsoon season. Wading, yes wading, through the streets was definitely not a highlight of the trip so far, but we all survived barely.We had lunch in a restaurant in a beautiful hotel, but I think the most beautiful aspect of the restaurant was that it was indoors. Everything in the room was done in traditional Tibetan style, and the food was delicious, as were the cappuccinos, of which I had two. If there was anything negative to be said about lunch it would’ve come from Fiona, as we’ve now discovered she has an intense phobia of spiders, and there was one clinging to the ceiling above her head. We also learned about Julia’s psychological -s-p-i-n-e problem 😉 After lunch, it was Allie’s turn to lead the forum, and we had an intense debate on censorship, mainly in the U.S., but also relating to China’s censorship of Tibet.After lunch, the rain had subsided, THANK YOU, and we went to the screening room to watch Kundun, a movie about the Dalai Lamas life and his escape from Tibet. It was incredibly interesting to learn more about his life and how the process of finding the next Dalai Lama occurs. And following the movie- some Bollywood dancing! Our yoga teacher from two nights ago ended up being our dance teacher, and we all laughed our way through the fast pace dances, or maybe they just seemed fast paced because I was struggling. It was definitely an interesting experience, but I think its great that we all had a chance to try it! For dinner we went to Carpe Diem, and the Thai food, the Thai food in India, was amazing!!! John also thoroughly enjoyed his sausage pizza.Today was a nice change of pace, especially in preparation for all of the festivities planned for tomorrow! Its crazy thinking that there are already less than nine days left of the trip, but I’m so excited for everything to come!Saved