Location: Dharamsala

Today was kind of a day off for us. We slept in and ate breakfast around 9:30 on the rooftop terrace next to our rooms. Then I spent the next hour washing my laundry only to realize that everybody else was going to drop their laundry off somewhere in the city to get it cleaned for them. It was nice to have time to relax before we headed up the stairs into town. After dropping off our laundry, we walked through the streets, and I bought a beautiful toy for my sister. We ate lunch in a traditional Indian restaurant. We were served Thali that had one spicy soup with chili in it, one very spicy sauce to pour on the rice, and two different mixed vegetable dishes. The sauces were too spicy for me, but they also gave us a delicious coconut sauce to pour on our rice.

At the end of lunch, our leaders split us into groups of 3 and 4 and explained the rules for today’s scavenger hunt. They gave us a paper with all the riddles we had to solve and 400 rupees if we needed it. We first asked some monks in the street to translate some words then s foreigners there. One of the tasks was to have people from five different countries in one picture, so we had to ask every group if they were willing to take a picture with us. We headed up to Common Ground, the cafe we eat breakfast every morning because there are always people from Vietnam, USA, Germany, India, and Tibet.

We went to an internet cafe to look up some of the answers to our scavenger hunt and then walked down to Kriti monastery and the Nunnery to take pictures with the monks there. Afterward, we took a taxi to Bhagsu and went to the Bhagsu Nag temple. By then, we were pretty tired, so we took a break at a cafe and played cards. On our way back to McLeod Ganj, we followed some cows to try to get a picture with two of them. Our next task was to get a picture of the whole group jumping in the air in front of the Dalai Lama Temple with no feet touching the ground. As we were walking down to the Dalai Lama Temple, we found one of our learning partners, and she agreed to walk down with us to take the picture. That checked off the jumping picture and the act of kindness by the learning partner. Lastly, we headed to the restaurant with 20 minutes to spare and got our last points by taking a picture of a Langur (monkey). The whole scavenger hunt took 4 and a half hours. We had a delicious dinner with the group, where our leaders announced the winners of the scavenger hunt. After the dinner, we descended the daunting steps to get some sleep in our nice firm beds.