As our summer in Ladakh comes to an end, we have returned to where it all began in Phyang, a beautiful village outside Leh. As students begin thinking about where it all truly began, at home, with you, we want them to be able to speak about their month in a way that is useful to both them and you.
We use transference as an intentional time to have students think and reflect about their time in India, to try and make sense of the whirlwind 31 days we all spent together. We know they will be asked, “How was India?” and we wanted them to be able to answer that question in a number of ways.
Below are some of their answers.
In one word….
In one sentence….
So different than I expected, we stayed in a northern, calm, and mountainous area, unlike the busy cities which I expected like Delhi.
Where people are truly and purely happy.
A beautiful cultural adventure shared in a lovely, hilarious community.
India was very interesting and adventurous.
I met lots of interesting people, had new experiences, and learned new things.
A journey of mind, body, and soul.
India was an amazing time full of adventure and joy.
I learned so much because India was so different and welcoming.
Going to India was an experience that has really changed me as a person.
India allowed my mind to be opened to all the possibilities as well as problems I was unaware of.
It was incredibly beautiful and so interesting and inspiring to learn about and experience Ladakh, along with an amazing group of peers and mentors.
I learned to open to making friends, trying new things, and more about my myself.
In one paragraph…
India has truly been a life changing experience. I learned so much about myself, including my strengths, weaknesses, and boundaries. I learned what it means to feel part of this world not apart from it. I understand what it means to feel humility under the presence of some of the greatest mountains on this earth. I understand my size relative to this universe. I understand that man will never conquer nature, the only option is to coexist.
Ladakh was such an oasis from the U.S. I was fortunate to be able to experience and learn from the Ladakhi culture and people. The scenery matched the beauty of its inhabitants. I was able to live and grow in a community, which shaped me as a person and helped me to learn about current issues, as well as to inspire me. I laughed constantly as well as was able to reflect on how I was changing.
I made 11 new and different friends, and 3 new mentors. I drank lots of milk and butter tea and ate meals on the floor. I learned about Ladakhi culture and explored beautiful villages and monasteries. I trekked for over a week, something I never thought I would be able to say. I interacted with kind and giving families, and got to know inspiring teenagers who live on and run a sustainable, eco-friendly campus. I learned about myself and my capabilities, as well as the dangers of tourism and development in the place I visited. I spent four weeks at an elevation above 10,000 ft!
India has allowed me to think critically of my own culture and life. I have learned that the world is so diverse, not only in nature but in culture. Being surrounded by a culture full of joy and selflessness has and will continue to inspire me forever. Being here has also allowed me to see that flaws come in every single culture, person, and system. We should think carefully about these flaws and how to react to them. It has also showed me that the answers to these flaws should come from a place of worldliness, not from narrow-mindedness.