This month, Lha welcomed three cultural exchange groups to Dharamsala. In early July, a new group of 11 adults from Kentucky, led by Professor Ken Casey, joined Lha at Ahimsa House. They spent two weeks in the McLeod Ganj area, with one week’s travel to Bir and Tso Pema.
In mid-July Lha partnered with two groups of high school students from Lifeworks International, an organization providing summer community service opportunities to teenagers from all over the world. Led by Wen King, owner of McLeod Ganj’s popular restaurant and community hub, Common Ground, these students combined community service with adventure as they explored Dharamsala and performed over 100 community service hours.
Finally, students from Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana spent three weeks with Lha as part of their Indian study abroad program. Seven students and one professor stayed at Ahimsa House, explored the Dharamsala area, hiked to Triund, and toured Bir, Mandi, and Tso Pema. They also took advantage of the many opportunities in McLeod Ganj to take yoga and Tibetan cooking courses, study Tibetan Buddhism, and visit notable sites around the area.
Each of the groups participated in Lha’s Mutual Learning Partner program. Meeting every day with a member of the Tibetan refugee community, the groups from Kentucky, Lifeworks, and Loyola, shared their stories and helped their partners with English and other tutoring – all while learning firsthand about their partners’ daily experience of life in exile.
Lha thanks each of the July groups for contributing their positive energy and experience to our community. We hope to see many of these new friends again in McLeod Ganj very soon.