Down to Dehradun

Yesterday (1/9), Adam and I, plus some new staffers, took a trip down to Dehradun. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is coming to Woodstock on the 16th, and two of the new staffers (Melanie and Kelly) wanted Tibetan outfits made. Unfortunately, the school’s trip isn’t being planned until the 22nd–well after he’s left!–and the “general” trip is on the 8th, when there might not be enough time to get something made: so we planned our own trip.

We mostly went to Clement Town, the Tibetan colony on the far side of Dehradun. A lot of the shops were closed, but we checked two out; one new to me, and one where I’d bought my stuff previously (and thus felt more comfortable with). The first shop we were at had me speaking nothing but Hindi (those 3 hours a day at Landour Language School are paying off!), but Melanie walked out with her apron-piece and a length she can use as a chuba or a kurta. While we were in that area, we stopped at the Mindrolling Monastery, which has the world’s largest stupa. Most of the shops were closed, but we did see a couple neat things – including what I’m almost 100% certain is a fire-tailed sunbird, and some red dragonflies!

After that we went to the cloth shop, and Melanie and Kelly got their clothes ordered, and I ordered a new one as well. Nothing super fancy – I really don’t need a crazy-fancy chuba until I’m expecting to attend a wedding or something! – but my new blouses are shot synthetic, one black/dark green and the other gold/rose pink. They’ll all match my existing apron piece and chuba, and the orange blouse I already have will work with the new chuba, so I essentially have 5 new outfits for under $50. We’ve arranged to have the outfits delivered next Sunday (9/9), too!

All in all, it was a good trip — I’m pleased with how it all came together, and selfishly very happy with real proof of my Hindi being absorbed and used. The man at the second clothshop also complimented me heavily on my Hindi; my classroom learning and the regular forced practice drills are definitely having a positive effect!

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