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Tuesday, July 10th findings:

Our first day at SECMOL was hot and beautiful. Their campus is entirely sustainable and student-led. Everything is solar-powered, and they divide campus work amongst themselves such as cooking, gardening, and cleaning. We attended English conversation class with foundational students, where I learned that many people here have an easy time learning my name because of their familiarity with Justin Bieber. Afterwards, Aditya found the guitar I saw a college student playing during work hour. Penelope had the chance to play and we sang every song we could remember the lyrics to. Some girls promised to teach us Ladakhi folk songs. Dinner was the common Ladakhi meal consisting of rice with lentils and boiled veggies. During dinner, a few students must give presentations in English on the topic of their choice and answer questions from the crowd. Then, Ladakhi news plays on the loudspeaker, and a few students names are picked out of a hat to translate the important news into English – this keeps us Dragons updated on the World Cup. During this time, a girl came around with a bucket of ripe bananas and the young kitten tried to hop in a vat of rice. After dinner, I joined the students for group games, and all were very kind and inclusive. We even played a round of Ladakhi/English telephone with the 40 of us. The students here are so inspiring because they care about their land, each other, and their education very much. On Thursday, we will wake up at 4:30 AM to climb SECMOL mountain in order to catch the sunrise.