17.05.2014 - 22.05.2014
The school wide picnic in my honor took place as scheduled. We walked a mile or two up the road and then climbed up a bit to an open pine forest.
Groups of kids went off to create their own cooking areas as did the teachers. As the honored guest, I wandered among the various groups sampling the momos, chicken, and other pre-packaged food they had purchased.
There were hundreds of hungry and aggressive crows that would dive bomb for any available food whenever they could. They would practically grab it out of your hands if you weren't paying close attention.
Tashi and a few teachers preparing momos
Elementary grade teachers
Many of the groups had picked small wild flowers and and put them down on the forest floor like welcome mats. It was all quite endearing.
A bit hard to read, but it does say welcome
At one point some of the older girls began dancing to music on a cell phone and I showed another group how to play hide and seek.
School wide photo
Later in the evening Tashi and Puti gave me a few handmade gifts. Here I am wearing the hat and scarf.
The next day, Tashi and I left for Jammu. As with any road trip in the mountains, it was not without its adventures. We had to spend an extra night in Kisthwar because the road beyond was blocked by a landslide. It was cleared overnight and we got to Jammu the next afternoon, where I spent a few days in comparative luxury in a decent hotel.
Clearly I was now back in civilization.
Shop on main street
Before heading back to Mumbai, Tashi showed me the house he was building and we visited the boarding school where his boys are studying. After so many years it was a privilege to meet his whole family.
NOTE TO MY READERS:
This is the last post you will see for several months. We are heading out once again, to southern Europe this time, and as usual I will take notes and photographs, but will not blog until after our return in mid-April.