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Happy Holi!

Happy Holi everyone! Today (the 21st of March) was India’s annual Holi celebration. Our group got the amazing opportunity to participate in this holiday and meet some really amazing people at the same time! We woke up bright and early to views of the Himalayans. We learned this morning that we should avoid pesky monkeys and always lock our rooms – after seeing a monkey snag a water bottle from a lady. The mountains could be clearly seen through the trees, and we ate breakfast with them in the background. Food was amazing – I recommend Masala eggs any day. After breakfast we headed off to the Lakshmi Ashram in our white kurtas, perfect attire for colorful Holi. At the Ashram we met so many amazing women and girls who all studied the principals of Ghandi. We started the day doing chores and I was tasked with raking leaves for the cows. I met Nikita, Sonu, and Mira, and we worked through the day to fill our bags with leaves. When we met back up together, we started the Holi celebration. We all walked around in a circle while the girls sang and danced. At some point, the purple and blue dye began to rain down on our white clothing and “playing Holi” started! Everyone in our group got very involved and no one was safe from the powered colors. Afterwards, we all looked as if an art room had exploded onto us, and the Holi powder covered our hair, faces, feet, and of course, clothing. After we cleaned up, we sat in the sun and looked out over the most beautiful valley. At lunch time, we sat in a large room with all of the girls and ate a very delicious meal. After lunch, we played with the girls and had more time to talk to them and learn more about their lives at the Ashram. To say goodbye, the women of the Ashram gathered us in their classroom and sang, danced, and in the end, lots of hugs were given out. Walking back, I’m sure everyone was thinking about all the fun things we will be doing tomorrow at the Ashram – we can’t wait to go back. When we arrived back at our hotel, a lively game of cricket was started and we all participated (no matter how bad, or confused, we were). We will be having an early night tonight, as we are all very tired from our day spent at the Ashram. We can’t wait for our next day in India! P.S. Mom – I’m doing well! I bought a kurta I think you’ll like J

 

Leslie