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Life in McLeod Ganj

Life in McLeod Ganj

The days go by fast and my departure is getting closer and closer. I am sad because I have met wonderful people that I will probably never see again (or maybe I will) and McLeod Ganj has a very special energy. It belongs to India, specifically to the state of Himachal Pradesh, but despite belonging to India it is a very peaceful place. Surrounded by mountains, people stroll around relaxed all day long, it is a small place where you can reach all the places on foot. The mix of different people is very pleasant, here live one of the largest Tibetan refugee communities in the world, in the mornings you see them sitting with their mala (a Tibetan necklace made of wooden beads which is the equivalent of our rosary) between their fingers chanting their mantras, they are very curious and friendly, they always greet you with a smile. There are of course many Hindus and quite a few Europeans or Americans who have decided to settle here. There are many yoga, meditation, reiki, etc. centres. I took my first level of reiki last week and have been practising with my classmates ever since. There is also a small Muslim community, most of them are from the Kashmir region where a few years ago they also suffered an invasion and conflict similar to the Tibetans. The place where I sleep called Mount View is run by Kashmiris and they pamper me as if I were their family (thank you Shabir, Rama and Munna!). When I look out of the window I see the imposing mountains that surround this little village, I hear the children from the school next door singing and sometimes I receive the visit of monkeys and eagles on my terrace, there are so many of them here. So that you can see that I am not lying, here is a sample of them

On the other hand, I have been visiting Yeshi's project every day, talking to other volunteers, seeing a bit of the day-to-day running of the project, etc. Last week was something special because on Saturday their project was officially inaugurated so they have been busy with preparations, two ministers came and they all dressed up in their traditional Tibetan costumes, it was a beautiful sight to see. One of the English teachers failed so they asked me if I could fill in for him and I have been teaching conversation classes for the past week. It's the first time I've been a teacher and it's funny because I always thought I wouldn't enjoy it but on the contrary, I've really enjoyed giving my little contribution, now after a week of practice they are able to use the past simple tense correctly 🙂

Over the weekend I have been especially active on the cultural side. On Saturday I attended a short film competition at TIPA (Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts) and enjoyed the traditional dances of both Tibetans and Indians. On Sunday I went trekking (with Tony, an American guy, Eva, a German girl and Carolina, born in Poland but with her heart in Spain, all of us have formed a small family in India). The afternoon was spent in TIPA watching a very interesting and award-winning documentary about the life of the Tibetans.

A little while ago I met a Spanish girl, from La Rioja, who has been living in Mcleod Ganj for two years and works as a volunteer in a project related to refugee children, giving them education and at the same time trying to empower Tibetan women through handicraft workshops. On Thursday I arranged to visit him.

As they say here Tashi delek! It means All the best!



  • Germán
    October 29, 2013

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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