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The "here and now" in McLeod Ganj

The "here and now" in McLeod Ganj

Marta with some volunteers and monks from the project. 

This summer, Marta Valentí lived for three weeks in the incredible city of McLeod Ganj. A place where nature and spirituality coexist and where it is better not to wear a watch or make plans, since "you never know what awaits you around the corner". during his volunteer with tibetan refugees, was impregnated with his philosophy and learned to live in the “here and now”.

How was your day to day as a volunteer?

After having breakfast together with the rest of the volunteers, we prepared the English conversation classes for Tibetan refugees. class time was the best experience of the day. In addition to how motivated and grateful they are for the classes, it was a pleasure to talk with them: they have such a different vision of life that we have so much to learn from!

Free time was shared with the rest of the volunteers. In addition, when we had the opportunity, we took the opportunity to visit the surroundings.

Compassion is the cornerstone of Buddhist philosophy. 

What surprised you about the Tibetan refugees?

Your generosity and kindness. They have suffered great injustices from China (persecution, etc.), and many of them have lived very hard experiences (they fled Tibet across the Himalayas and left family and friends behind). But they talk about them with compassion and try to find a conciliatory solution to the conflict.

The natural environment of McLeod Ganj is spectacular.

Do you remember any anecdote?

Yeah! We learned right away that you can't make plans in McLeod! Must live in the moment because you never know what awaits you around the corner. For example, you may have met someone, but on the way you run into a student-monk on the street and you stay talking with him for the middle of the afternoon. Or you may have planned to go on an excursion on your day off, but at the last minute they tell you that the Dalai Lama has changed his plans and is due to arrive in a few hours!

Marta with other volunteers from Tumaini.

 What did you like the most about your solidarity trip?

Live day by day with the refugees and with the local people. Soak up your culture and philosophy. AND the fantastic connection that there was between the volunteers and volunteers from Tumaini that we met there. It has been a great pleasure to share so many good moments with them!

How are the people who coordinate the project?

Very good! Yeshi, the founder, was very attentive and kind and he was very concerned that each one find the best way to collaborate on the project.

Having an open mind is essential to enjoy the experience.

What would you say to someone who hesitates to take a solidarity trip like yours?

That it is a very enriching experience, since it offers you the opportunity to live with people from cultures and philosophies very different from ours. In addition, in McLeod it is easy to meet other people who are also attracted to Tibetan culture. A very special connection is created.

Now that you have lived it, what would you recommend to someone who is going to travel?

Go with an open mind to meet people of very diverse cultures and beliefs and learn from all of them. Always live in the "here and now", as practiced by Buddhism, and pay attention to the opportunities that present themselves at any time in order to take advantage of them. McLeod holds many surprises!

The group of volunteers also took the opportunity to go sightseeing. 

Marta Valentí collaborated with the India project from 08/12 to 09/01/17. 

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