This area is not like the Mahoosuc’s with Maple trees, Pines and Birches. This is a jungle where we had a bit of an adventure today with the small creatures that live here on the jungle floor…. leeches. As we started our hike up to a meditation site not far from the Taktse campus, the little creatures came out in abundance to greet us. Squeals, wiggles, kicks and scrapings were witnessed with both amusement and a high “ewww” factor. Fortunately the situation was remedied with small bags of salt which seemed to help at stopping the leaches advancement from shoe to sock when touched with the wet bag of salt. As we gained altitude, the creatures were left behind and all of us hiked happily along. At the top we had the opportunity to visit a Buddhist Monk’s meditation site. Monks come to this site to spend anywhere from 3 months to 3 years of meditation. We were fortunate enough to be invited in to their place of worship; a very rustic camp-like structure and where we made offerings of Kadas. One of the accompanying Taktse teachers instructed us to write letters to ourselves to put in a time capsule (tin box) that we carried with us and later buried. The letters would always be available for the students to dig up and take with them at any point in their lives should they visit the mediation site again. That got minds thinking of return visit to India.
The second part of the day consisted of a trip to M.G. Marg with the Taktse ninth graders. M.G. Marg is a shopping area in the heart of the city which has many stores. Our schedule has been so full our students were glad to have the opportunity look for gifts and goods to bring home.
Tomorrow will be a day spent with host families and will be our last day in the city of Gangtok. Fog, mist and cloud cover has kept us from seeing the Himalayan Mountains. Our group is hoping that the skies will clear either tomorrow or Sunday to give us a magnificent send off. With or without the view of the mountains the sight of prayer flags fluttering in the wind is a beautiful sight to behold.
For some reason this Youtube did not publish. You can view by cutting and pasting this link…