Final Farewell from Dharamsala
Yesterday, we saw Lobsang Sangay, the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, give a speech for the 54th Tibetan Uprising Day, which commemorates the 1959 uprising against the Chinese presence in Tibet. The Chinese responded with a violent crackdown of the protests causing the Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans to flee to India. During our time in Dharmsala we have met with many organizations that are helping Tibetan refugees and working to spread awareness of the gross human rights abuses in Tibet. We have been inspired by their hope and dedication, particularly against the tremendous obstacles they face.
We finished our time in Dharamsala with a trek into the mighty Himalayas. The group set out on a three-day journey that included trudging through mud and snow to reach Triund Pass, which is roughly the same height as Mt. Baker. Triund offers spectacular views of the Dhauladar Range that jut up over 17,000 feet from the valley floor. The trek, both psychologically and geographically, is a turning point for many students. At Triund we are farther away from Washington than at any other point during the trip. Everyone step down the mountain then becomes a step closer to home.
We will send one more email once the group arrives in Thailand on March 13.
Talk to you soon!
Charlie and the IVS group