Location: Dharamsala, India

Comments on “the last day” buzz around in the air. The atmosphere is thick with goodbyes. It is indeed, our last day with our mutual learning partners and the children in the Tong Len Hostel. Closure to programs like these is the heavy reminder of the end of the trip creeping up on us. I feel everyone has been so surprised at such the great outcome of this trip; we don’t want to let go. But we constantly remind ourselves of the few days, that we still have ahead of us.

After having our regular morning session with our mutual learning partners, we meet back up at the charming little cafe named Common Ground. The group sprawls out all over the pillows, enjoying a few minutes of pure rest and laziness. But we are quickly sprung to our feet, but Jampa’s voice is announcing lunch. We walk down from Common Ground, in the chaotic streets of Mcleod Ganj. Chaos, which is now comfortable for us, well, most of us. We walk through a familiar street, with an unrecognized name and find ourselves in an Indian Restaurant. I speak for all members of our group when I say; we had a delicious meal. Bowls of butter chicken, rice, steamed veggies, raita, lentils rolled our way. We packed enough energy for the second rest of our day.

We traveled towards Tong Len, in a small road hugged by thick forests. The view of Kangra Valley, very clear to us. As opposed to it’s the foggy view from the monastery. The kids from the hostel greet us at the gate with the smiles they constantly wear on their faces. We spend the next 2 hours doing arts and crafts. Everything from paint to beads is spread out all over the floor. Another type of chaos is found in the room, a very enjoyable one.

And our day finishes in the cozy apartment of Jampa and Wen. Where we enjoy the Disney movie Mulan, with the sheer excitement of the little kids we still are. Night falls on us, and we fall asleep quickly, with the smell of thick incense we bought from the market in our rooms. Radiohead is playing softly from our speakers. We are thankful for another full experienced day and the opportunity to welcome more.