Friday, March 20, 2015

Peddie in India 2015: Day 8

Today's post is brought to us by Amina '15, with photos courtesy of faculty member Cathy Watkins.

Today we had a relaxing outdoor adventure. We first took a nature hike through a village learning  about how they live and some of the crops they grow. 

We then had the choice of either going to see the water fall or staying at the campsite and swimming in a pool and playing volleyball. I choose to go see the waterfall and it was beautiful the best was getting to put my foot in the cold water after a hard walk up to the waterfall. 

After the waterfall we came back to the campsite and had a delicious cookout dinner. We then got to go back to the hotel and get some rest for the next eventful day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Peddie in India 2015: Day 7

Today's post is brought to us by Marisa '17 and Maeve '17

We woke up early this morning to do yoga led by our good pal Gopaul. He led us in stretching, sun salutations, and partner exercises. Afterwards we ate a huge breakfast consisting of some chocolate chip pancakes. Then we took a drive to an ashram where we spent the rest of the day. After getting settled and a long trip to the bookstore, we ate at the ashram’s communal lunch. Following lunch, we had a long chat with a swami who talked to us about happiness and how it relates to Hinduism. A few people fell asleep as we meditated the following hour. We had some snacks and did some more meditation sitting instead of laying down. As the day drew to a close, we joined a larger group of people in listening to an esteemed swami give a lecture on faith and spirituality. A walk by the Ganges River was followed by dinner and ice cream at a hotel. After arriving back at our hotel, many girls got henna tattoos on their hands. It was a swell day!! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Peddie in India 2015: Day 6

Today's post is brought to us by Gabby '17 and Lauren '16

Gabby: Yesterday we embarked on a hike through the Himalayan Foothills.  We walked on steep trails covered with rocks, mud, and even snow.  

Lauren: At the beginning of the hike, many of us (especially me) struggled to up the steep hills. While the incline seemed unbearable at the time, the hike became less physically strenuous as we walked on.

Gabby: It was about ten miles to the top.     

Lauren: We trekked to the midway point which was a cozy little chai shop and stopped to take in the amazing view.

Gabby:  Then we had the decision to stay there or keep hiking to the top for another three hours. 

Lauren: At that point half the group stayed, and half of the group continued to the top. Although the path became less steep, we had to maneuver narrow pathways sometimes covered in snow. 

Gabby: We met a stray dog, who we named Bear, that followed us all the way to the top of the mountain.  This journey brought a lot new experiences to our group and many girls accomplished peeing in the woods for the first time!
Lauren: Overall, even when the hike was physically taxing, it brought the group closer together and it was and unforgettable experience.

Gabby:This journey gave us a greater appreciation for the beauty of nature and the villages of India.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Peddie in India 2015: Day 5

Today's post is brought to us by Janine '15 and Gianna '17, with a reflection by Sophie '15

Today, we were privileged to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama. 

After this honor, we toured the Tsuglagkhang  Complex with our guide Jeremy. He showed us two temples within the complex. One was a working Buddhist temple, while the other was exclusively for meditation. We stopped to take some photos of the scenic view and then walked to our hotel for lunch. After bowls of traditional Tibetan noodle soup, a Western birthday cake was brought out for Lauren’s 17th birthday! We checked into our rooms, and then went for a “light” hike to a Tibetan library. There, we learned about  how Tibetans translated traditional Sanskrit books. We then went to a museum about Tibetan medicine and saw instruments and ingredients they use. Finally, we spent some time near our hotel souvenir shopping. 

Reflection on meeting the Dalai Lama
by Sophie '15

When I thought about meeting someone as prestigious as the Dalai Lama, I was never expecting him to be so personable. From the second His Holiness walked into the room, he quickly humored the audience with his fascination with Amina Bright's hair. In fact, His Holiness touched her deadlocks and let out one of his heartwarming chuckles! In response to Amina's question, "how can someone as famous as His Holiness be so humble", he reminded us that he is just a human too.

My question, "how can we at 18 years old prepare ourselves to have a positive impact on society", prompted an unexpected response. Through education, a good partner, and plenty of sleep we can prepare ourselves to better society.  He also made sure to remind us of the importance of sleep- a much needed reminder for hard working students. Most importantly, His Holiness taught us that our happiness has a domino effect.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Peddie in India 2015: Day 4

Today's post is sent in by Daniel '17 and Trevor '17

Today the group enjoyed a variety of activities from visiting a monastery to 
playing games with local children. 

After a nice American breakfast, our group set out to meet Bob, an ordained Tibetan monk from Chicago, to learn about the basic principles of Tibetan Buddhism. 

We later traveled to the Norbulingka Institute to watch skilled Tibetan craftsmen who utilize traditional methods rather than machinery.
The visit was followed by a nice lunch and a trip to a nunnery. 

Our final destination was to the Nishtha Rural Health Education and Environment Center, which focused on teaching local Tibetans to more efficiently manage their garbage and also taught young children life skills that they wouldn't learn normally from school. We then played outside with the children before departing for some pumpkin soup, french fries and pizza to conclude the day.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Peddie in India 2015: Day 3

Today's post is brought to us by Arman '15 and Elliot '16

Last night after a 6 hour train ride from New Delhi to Amritsar we arrived at the Country Inn and Suites hotel. The hotel was beautiful and in a nice location. After settling in we went to the Golden Temple, a grand place of worship for the followers of the Sikh religion. The Golden Temple was absolutely stunning. The gold glistened off the dark  waters and made for quite a scene. The next day we went back to the Golden Temple. Along the way we stopped at the Jallianwala Bagh, the site of a massacre of innocent Sikhs by British hand. After seeing the remains of the bullets in the walls and the well people jumped down into to try and save themselves, we met up with my grandmother (Mrs. Dhaliwal) who gave us a it of background on the Sikh faith. We also were able to see the sun glimmering off the gold of the temple, making for a different yet equally beautiful scene as the night before.

The Golden Temple in the evening
Bulletholes in the wall of the Jallianwala Bagh, the site
of a massacre of innocent Sikhs by the British. 

View of the Golden Temple in daylight

We were able to take part in the meal that is provided
to the thousands of Sikh that visit the temple daily

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Peddie in India 2015 - Day 2

Today's post was sent in by Holliann '15 and Sophie '15

Our second full day was just that - FULL! We woke earlier to travel by train to Agra. where our first stop was the magical palace Fatehpur Sikri. After a delicious lunch we moved onto the Taj Mahal. We wrapped up the day with a walking tour complete with a rickshaw ride with The City Walk of Agra. 

We were greeted by a thieving monkey at security at
Fatehpur Sikri. The palace is made of red sandstone.

No visit to India is complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal

Amina was thrilled to be there!

Photo of a snake charmer (taken from a safe distance).

Sacred cow decorated with flowers in Agra

Spices for sale in the marketplace

A friendly merchant in the marketplace in Agra.