A Very Long Day
Today was our first morning with the host families and amala (my tibetan mother) woke up at 5 am to pray in the room Ashley and I were sleeping in, so morning started very early for us.
Last night was amazing because we spent the whole night teaching them how to play card games. Amala was nice enough to boil water for us to shower in beacause the shower only had cold water. The most difficult part of this trip so far was the squat toilets. Grrr! Breakfast was chelakepe chimbuduke (very good), although my spelling is not. After talking to the other students this morning I found out that everyone's parents took them out for some exciting events, such as taking Kristina to the waterfall and going on a jog and meditating with Shah and Joelvy. Ashley and I weren't able to explore the town with our parents because our amala is mourning the loss of moomala (her mother). :(
Peter and Shah spin prayer wheels
After language class we went to the Tibet Museum and learned about the Chinese-Tibetan relations. It was sad to see how the Chinese government tried to erase the Tibetan culture. After the museum we went to the Dalai Lama temple and learned how to do rounds (pray). Rumor says that the Dalai Lama was in the building, but we did not see him. We finally had lunch on our own today, but it didn't make a difference because I'm becoming tired of the food. Ashley and I are going to make an agreement with our parents so that we can cook dinner one night.
After lunch we visited the Tibetan Parlament in Exile and learned how the government in exile works from a speaker who has studied all over the world. It was especially cool when he spoke to us in Spanish. Then we heard the tragic life story of Ama Adha, who was imprisoned in China for 27 years. Her story was moving especially when she talked about how she forgot what her village and what her daughter looked like after she was set free. Heading off to dinner now.
Manda (Brooklyn Latin)