Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Taktse Winter Camp for the Arts and Leadership

Well I arrived back to Sikkim from Bhutan last night. The trip proved to be hugely successful both in the amount of stuff we got done in 10 days, as well as introducing 14 or so new kids who do not attend Taktse to the schools teaching method. I definitely saw the physical and emotional opening up of many of the local children. The parents themselves were able to see firsthand how their children are taught at school, and how dedicated the teachers and Mr. Lauenstein are to their childrens education. The different workshops we conducted were Reading & Writing facilitated by Ghenla Ezra, Storytelling and Singing which Acharya and I facilitated, Theatre and Portraiture faclitated by Mr. Lauenstein, and Bookmaking facilitated by Lopen Anila. On our one rest day last sunday Ezra, Acharya and I were able to make the trip to Paro about 1 hour away. It was our dream to visit Taktshung, the Tiger's Nest- which is a monastery literally built onto the side of a cliff, 2 hours hike up. that was a really amazing and spiritual trip for me. On top of the amazing experience we were having every day with the kids, their parents were so warm and hospitable to us, making sure we were well fed, and had everything we needed the whole time. So, my warmest thanks and gratitude goes out to them for that. I got to celebrate my birthday in Thimphu (Jan. 7) and one of the girls Kinley had the same birthday as me, so her parents brought in cakes for both of us that we shared during the tea time in the morning. Unfortunately, I had gotten a fever the night before and was suffering from an ear infection the rest of the time in Bhutan. Even now I am hearing a ringing in my ear which I need to get checked out by an ENT specialist as soon as possible. Still even with being sick this trip was one of, if not the most unique and memorable travel experiences I have ever had in my life, and I have traveled a good amount. It has been 6 weeks since coming to Sikkim and I am not feeling homesick at all- I simply love everything about being here, and am anticipating getting started on the TFI project as soon as I get well. I am planning to take a trip to darjeeling to a school which is focused on agriculture for the low class. more to come

1 comment:

Dylan said...

keep up the awesome work ben!