Matthew’s Yak 10/6/17
I have been trying to appreciate silence. I’ve always been a pretty talkative person and have always felt a need to fill silence. At SECMOL, however, I have come to appreciate the buzz of students practicing their english during conversation class (a class where we have a series of ten to fifteen minute conversations with the Ladakhi students) and the warmth that radiates in the dinning hall when students sing traditional Ladakhi songs after dinner. I have found all the sounds that naturally fill the silence here to create such a unique sense of community that I have been lucky to be a part of this past week. I still struggle often to let silence be silence; however, listening to the multitude of sounds on this campus and the silence of the mountains has helped to better appreciate being here.
When I have had free time recently – which for me is in the morning when I don’t have work hour (an hour in the morning where we join the students in doing odd jobs around campus) and tea times – I have tried to spend part of it in silence. I read, journal, and take photos. Spending this time in silence has, I found, really helped me focus and center me. Today is our last day at SECMOL and I am so thankful for the time I’ve had here and in Ladakh in general. I am excited for Varanasi but also trying to take advantage of my last few days here and of the pristine silence of the mountains. Sending love to all my family and friends back home.