Sunday, September 18, 2005
Am I dreaming or did the rain stop?
I have been alluded to this mysterious tale that the rain actually will end, but I have had my doubts. True, I have only been here in India for a week, but the way it has been mentioned to me that the rains will stop seem so far fetched. Like a few days ago, I woke up to find a strange site, rays shining on the wall. Wow, I was so amazed, I told Drolma that the sun is shining. She told me that the monsoons are finished. Man I was stoked, my excitement was hard to contain. That morning I played Badminton with some of the volunteers at Tibet Charity. I was sweating basking in the sun. Later on that day before conversation class, I notice some clouds racing up the mountain. I am thinking, "Oh, they are just passing by". Then in the middle class, it started to downpour hard. It lasted all the way to the next night. Since I was doubtful of the tales of the end of the rain I brought my poncho with me. But my feet and pant bottoms was utterly soaked, and Dromla thought is was the funny thing that she has ever seen. As far the other volunteers they were caught off guard due to their belief in these mysterious tales of the end of monsoon. I am fine with the rain, and I am prepared for it, I think. If not I will be by next summer, lol. I have had the opportunity to see some more of Dharamsala. Jigme Tenzin took me for a ride on his two-wheeler to the Central Tibetan Administration, where the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives is located. They offer various classes on Buddhist Philosophy and Tibetan language. Unforunate for me, they are offered when I am volunteering. I do have a language tutor, he's a monk from the Namgyal Monastery, and we are trading languages which is more economic. At Tibet Charity, I am amazed at the studious intensity of the students, and also the hardships that they have endured to get to India. It has been common thus far to hear the escape stories of many Tibetans braving the Himalayan altitudes. So far, it seems average that groups of people between 20-40 will spend up to a month walking in the mountains to cross the border. Drolma, the lady that I am staying with now has vision problems from snow-blindness and needs glasses. Others have lost limbs to frost-bite. These stories have been frequent, with exceptions of course. These stories remind of hearing a story from a Haitian girl in high school. She told us that her family risked floating on a raft to come to America. She described to us how her uncle had fell in the ocean and was eaten by a shark. I could not imagine experiencing something as raw as floating in the ocean on a small raft, and watching helplessly as a relative has been had by a shark. Similar thoughts enter my mind as I continuously hear these stories of escape. I am happy that I am able to hear this first hand, for as I talk with many people here their countenance is so positive. I am not sure that I will such a positive outlook on life if I had sustained such trauma.