Momos, Monks, & Mountains

Daily flag photo at SECMOL. | Photo by Trivik Verma

Julley! What a whirlwind of a week. We apologize for the long silence but our schedule has been chock-full with incredible, remote adventures.

Likir Monastery. | Photo by Avery D.

Our students are in love with Ladakh and its beautiful people. They are already missing SECMOL, where we ended last night trying our hands at assembling momos (dumplings) with various degrees of success and dancing the night away to traditional Ladakhi tunes with the local students.

It’s hard to believe our time in Ladakh has flown by! In our first few days, our students got to know the local students through conversation class, began meeting in their On Assignment groups, and explored the local village, Phey. After a few rest days, we hit the trail on our three-day trek through austere desert mountains, quaint villages, and old Buddhist monasteries. Our students loved the stellar views, cuddling with kittens in our Snow Leopard Conservancy homestay, and taking in the centuries-old art sprawled over monastery walls. They also gave cricket a go, perfecting their bowling with our SECMOL friends accompanying us on the trek.

Chloe, Elizabeth, and Bridget taking a break on the trek to Hemis Shukpachan. | Photo by Avery D.

Upon returning to SECMOL’s campus, we rested and met with our On Assignment groups. The Photography group presented some great work from the trek while the Anthropology students debriefed from their assignment on place-based storytelling and discussed and finalized final project ideas.

Benjamin, our language guru, appreciating the prayer wheels. | Photo by Avery D.

The day before our departure, we had a full day exploring Leh, beginning with a front-row sighting of the one and only Dalai Lama, who was visiting Leh on the occasion of his birthday, and ending with a venture into the markets, where students haggled their way into trinkets for folks back home. During the day, we also visited the thousand-year-old Leh Palace and the Ladakhi Arts and Media Organization (LAMO), followed by not just one but two delicious lunches.

So tired! End of the trip massage parlour! | Photo by Benjamin C.

We’ve now safely landed in Delhi and are spending the day resting and eagerly anticipating the arrival of our expert, Sandesh Kadur. Until our next update, thuk che che!

— Trivik & Soumya