Unforgettable Experience

ApurvaVolunteer job at Lha: English Intermediate Class and Contributing writer
When I first packed my bags and decided to leave Delhi in search of the cliched ‘peace’ that we often find our hearts devoid of, I had no idea I’d get so much more than that. On my first day at Lha, I was welcomed by the ever smiling Rabsel with a cheerful, “Hello Ji”. Having met Dukthen, Jane and Rabsel, I knew I was in the right place to begin with. They’re nothing less than heroes for me, working so hard to make a difference in the lives of others.
At first, it felt strange to stand before a group of adult Tibetans trying to make sense. I had never been a teacher before. But strangely, I wasn’t nervous at all, unlike all the other times when I spoke before an audience. The simplicity and dedication of my students humbled me. They seemed grateful for whatever I had to offer to them. I learnt from them, much more than I taught them. When I was finally ready to leave, I wished that my lovely students make it in the big bad world, with their head held high with pride.
Mcleod Ganj has been an unforgettable experience for me. My entire life shrunk to an amazing roller coaster ride of memories. Being an Indian and having never travelled abroad, it was amazing for me to see so many people from different countries living together without barriers. It was here that I first saw the lives of Tibetans from up close, learned about their culture, their struggle. It was here that I saw snow for the first time, lost my heart to a wonderful man, became friends for life with a girl whose country I couldn’t easily locate on the globe, did paragliding and saw the world from a different angle, danced in a club in sweatshirts and sports shoes. The hangover of Mcleodganj is such that I often find myself humming ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ and sipping Ginger Lemon Honey tea.
I deeply appreciate the work Lha is doing for the Tibetan community, and I strongly believe that education is the strongest way to fight oppression. I hope to return to Mcleod Ganj someday, with more perseverance, time and knowledge to offer.
“Once a year, go some place you’ve never been before” – Dalai Lama
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One thought on “Unforgettable Experience

  1. I recently enjoyed two weeks as a volunteer with LHA and feel very privildged to have become part of the Tibetian Community in McCloed Ganj. For future volunteers I would really recommend a home stay as this really enables you to get to know people in the community and learn about contemporary Tibetian life in exile. Even if the family stay is only for a week, and then you move to a hotel or hostel it is really worthwhile and of benefit to your family. As an organisation II would recommend LHA, which is friendly and very well organised. The volunteer ‘get together’ was really enjoyable and enabled me to meet other volunteers and make some friends. For people arriving i Delhi for the first time, the reception service was really good and my stay in the Tibetian Colony in Delhi a little oasis of calm.

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