Travels Through India…

Travels Through India…

Oct 26

Hi guys!  We’re at a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery just outside of Hubli, India.  Since my last blog, we have been to McLeod Ganj, Agra, Veranasi and Mumbai.

 

McLeod Ganj is a small hillside town right outside of Dharamsala in the foothills of the Himilayas.  It’s also the home of the Dalai Lama.  He was speaking while we were there and we got to see him up close.  It was really cool.  We also worked teaching English to Tibetan refugees who were in exile there.  It was really interesting to hear their stories.  We went to see the ruins of a temple that an part of an archeological dig.  It was really amazing.

In McLeod, Buck made friends with some guys at a coffee shop and ended up working there each day.  It was really funny watching him wait on tables and make cappuccinos.

Oh, and in honor of all the monks we met in McLeod Ganj, my brother, dad, and I decided to shaved our heads…. so we went to a barber in the little village and got buzz cuts.

From there we took a sleeper bus to Delhi (but without the sleep) and then a train to Agra.  The next day we went to see the Taj Mahal.  It was so amazing to see in person.  It looked just like a picture in a book, except it was actually there.

Then we went to Varanasi where we stayed right on the Ganges, the most important river in India.  It is believed to be very sacred, and everyone bathes their dead there before burying them.  It is believed that if you are buried in the Ganges, you go straight to heaven.

After Varanasi, we flew to Mumbai for two days, where we saw the Gateway of India, before taking an overnight bus (again, no sleep) to Hubli.  We got off the bus and realized, once it drove off, that we were on the side of the road miles away from the city.  We crammed our bags into a tiny motorcycle taxi and drove into Hubli where we met Jampa, the monk who would take us to Shar Gaden Monastery.

 

We had a great time there.  We made a ton of friends including Duke, an American monk who teaches English there and Kunga, who helped us with everything while we were there.  We got to teach English to the young monks who were really enthusiastic and kind.   They apparent thought my name was funny because of Michael Jackson.

We were able to experience a special ceremony for a young monk who was recognized as being the reincarnation of an important Lama.  It was an amazing experience watching the whole process.

We watched the young monks memorizing prayers.  Our time at Shar Gaden was really meaningful to me.   It was so cool to see how kids on the other side of the world live.  Right now we are flying to Cairo, Egypt.  We will be here for a few days to celebrate Buck’s birthday and we get to see the Great Pyramids of Giza and go to The Egyptian Museum.  Then we are on to Rwanda for the month of November.

I’ll write more soon.  Bye.