Location: Dharamsala

Today was our last day of service. We started with our typical routine: waking up at 8:00, eating breakfast at 9:00, and meeting our learning partners at 9:30. Today, my learning partner took me to a historic and deserted part of town. John went to a cafe with his learning partner to work on English. Julia went to visit her new learning partners house. Bryn, Maddie, Allie, and Fiona went with their learning partners to the historic St. Johns church which was built during the British occupation of India to serve British soldiers.

  Then, at 12:00, we all returned to Common Ground to have a Tibetan lunch with our learning partners. After lunch, all our learning partners followed Tibetan tradition and presented us with white scarves and presents. My learning partner is a monk, so he gave me a Tibetan rosary which is used to count repetitions while chanting. Johns learning partner gave him Tibetan prayer flags. Fiona’s learning partner gave her a necklace, a bracelet, and Tibetan prayer flags. Maddie’s learning partner gave her a bracelet, Julia’s gave her an I love Tibet shirt and a bracelet, and Bryn got another bag. We all made use of Maddie’s Polaroid camera and took a lot of group pictures. We said goodbye to our learning partners and went on to our regular afternoon activities.    As usual, Julia, Bryn, and Allie went to Rogpa to take care of the babies. Bryn and Julia couldn’t resist taking pictures with the babies, despite Rogpa’s strict no picture policy (pictures attached). John, Fiona, Maddie and I went to Men Tsee Khang to teach our last English class. We did our normal class but ended early to go to the students for a Free Tibet office to watch a video and talk to the administration personnel.    We all came back down to the monastery for dinner and then started to pack. John and I finished in half an hour while the girls were still trying to find all their things. At the end, all our bags were overweight from all our souvenirs. We are going to have to find a way to redistribute weight as each extra kilo is a charge of 300 rupees. Though we are all sad to leave our learning partners and the babies, we are excited to do some sightseeing in these last couple of days in India.