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Update from SECMOL!

Dear family and friends of the North India 4-week crew,

It’s hard for us to believe that halfway point of our course is nearing! We have been having such a great time and feel blessed to be on this adventure with such a wonderful group of young people–they are participatory, interesting, and respectful. Thank you for entrusting us with them for this month! The students have adapted to the Ladakhi way of life with grace, trying all sorts of new foods, learning the cheerful Ladakhi greetings, and making friends with Ladakhi students their age.

Right now we are at SECMOL, the Students Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh, where they are learning about sustainable building and energy and getting involved in all aspects of life on campus, including milking the campus cows, helping prepare meals, working in the gardens, cleaning, and participating in two English conversation classes each day. As a group we have been having discussions on service learning and education and thinking critically about trash and waste management. During our most recent time in Leh, we visited the garbage dump and the students had a chance to explore the town on foot during a 5 hour scavenger hunt! They came back with so much confidence and new knowledge.

On Saturday, we will take a bus along the Indus River and students will move into homestays in pairs for 3 nights, where they will help their families in the fields and try to get a taste for Ladakh’s characteristic salty butter tea. We will have a day in Leh on the 16th to repack our bags and prepare for the trek, and on the 17th we will head out on our longer trek in Markha Valley for 8 days.

Thanks for your patience with our updates as we don’t have very much internet on this course! Being more disconnected has allowed us to delve ever deeper into our experience here and be really present while on the course, and you can rest assured that the students will come home with so many photos and stories to share! We (the instructors) are in touch with our office regularly and will continue to post updates as we can too.

With care,
Christy, Uttara, & Aditya