Preparing to leave
Dharamshala Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
As I wrap up the last few days until I leave, I'm getting excited! I'll be volunteering with an organization called Cross Cultural Solutions and will be working on women's empowerment with a group of Tibetan women. The curriculum is pretty flexible, so I can have free reign with what I want to work on with them. I'm going to come with a few ideas in mind, but I'll have to assess their needs when I arrive. I don't know if these women are victims of domestic violence, or if they are just below the poverty level and need guidance in getting control of their lives. I'll find out when I get there, I'm sure, but it's going to be intense!
The area I'll be living in is in the Himalayas. I'll be in Dharamsala, which is the home of the exiled Tibetan refugees. These people have been living there for over 50 years since they fled Tibet due to the Chinese oppression of their homeland. Many of the people are Tibetans born in exile and have never set foot in their homeland. The historical significance at this moment is important because the Chinese are holding the Olympics in Beijing - an event that represents freedom - and the Chinese are still keeping Tibetans at gunpoint in many areas. The inhabitants of Tibet can't even have a photograph of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, or they could be imprisoned. The Chinese are still suppressing Tibetan identity within Tibet and many of the inhabitants are forced to leave in order to live their lives in peace.
I am learning as much as I can about the community before I leave and gathering any material that I may find helpful on my trip. I know that nothing can fully prepare me for the experience, but I'm taking a proactive approach and doing what I can to mentally prepare myself for this adventure. I'll try and upload some photographs of the protests so you can visualize this a bit better.
Chat with you soon,