“The Memories Remain”
Here is a list of top 5 experiences made possible because of the Third pole Education Base Fellowship.
#1: The Ladakh Marathon: I’d count this in the top 10 experiences of my life list. Imagine running a marathon at 12000ft altitude at 6:00 am in the morning with freezing toes and fingers, Oxygen devoid thin cold air piercing your nostrils with every breath, leaky noses, winding narrow paths with idyllic sites, fluttering prayer flags, Gompas, Stupas, fresh water trickling because of melting glaciers, a motivating 11 year old not letting you stop even for a second, finishing Top 20, the unbearably painful stiffness after and the dichotomy of it all.
#2: The International Buddhist festival of ladakh: Not only did I get to attend the internationally famous Buddhist Festival of Ladakh which is attended by followers from all over the world, I also got to be a part of the Organizing Team since Mahabhodhi International Meditation Center (my fellowship school campus) is the host for this magnificent festival each year. It was both grand in scale and impact and had reputed global and spiritual leaders from all over the world, like Baba Ramdev, the princess of Bhutan, the president of the Rotary Club Japan and my personal favorite Dr. Kiren Bedi, the first women IPS officer of India who gave the most motivating speech on women empowerment ever!! As a part of the organizing committee I was in the welcome committee with all other teachers and students in traditional Ladakhi wear to chaperon all the guests with a “Julley!” Hemis Monestary’s Mask dance was the cheery on the cake all the week long events, seminars, Buddhist film screenings and cultural nights.
#3: Field trip: This is what our field trips are about! Learning how to build Artificial Glaciers, Green Houses and Compost Pits in a beautiful village followed by a lunch picnic. Learning =100% Fun=100% Read more here.
#4: The Best surprise birthday ever: The best surprise birthday party ever (after my 17th birthday) planned and organized by the coolest principal ever, with a cake finger food and people’s unconditional love to make me feel at home! Not to forget the wonderful gifts, cards, birthday songs in every period of the day and the long distance wishes pouring in on Facebook.
#5: My first Teacher’s day: Yes I have been teaching for over three years yet surprisingly I have never attended even one teachers day. Except a Colombian teachers day which is very different from what we are used to here in India. It started with the students presenting each teacher with a Khatak followed by a series of games for all teachers till lunch time. We played every single birthday party game we used to play as kids from picking out floating vegetables in a bucket of water with only our mouths, to an obstacle course; musical chairs to modelling for a fashion show to catching a water balloons in teams. It was a lot of fun and a lot of bonding with all the other teachers. Dolma ma’am our principal was such a sport when it came to participating in all the games and she and I made a power team and won quite a few ‘Barone’ chocolates together and I also got the title of Miss. Mahabhodi, a crown and a sash for the best cat walk! Imagine that!