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Monday, July 9th

I woke up a tad bit late this morning (7:40) at Angmo’s guest house and frantically packed all of my things before breakfast at 8 where we enjoyed eggs and my favorite milk tea in Ladakh so far. Then, we were given teams and a list of interesting places and people to visit in Leh. Jacob and Elliot were on my team, and we were given from 9 to 2 to explore the town. We explored Old Town Leh, uphill from the main bazaar. The Palace had amazing views of the town with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. LAMO, Ladakh Arts and Media Organization, was a centuries-old building just below the Palace with Ladakh-focused exhibits. The courtyard held many yak skulls and indoors we saw pictures of herders from the 1800s. They even had a library where I read about Tibetan Buddhist Tanghas. Our team was very relaxed and enjoyed some sugar fried dough balls at Neha Snacks, where we met a cool dude from Dubai. Then, we enjoyed some apricot juice and asked some nice young Ladakhi ladies for directions. Later, we enjoyed some lunch at Chopsticks Noodle Bar. We shared delicious honey chili fries and chocolate momos. We continued our food tour at Lala’s, an adorable Tibetan art cafe. Jacob was adventurous and tried some local seabuckthorn juice-we all agreed it was comparable to orange Gatorade- and Elliot bought a couple original postcards. This day made me want to return to Leh and drink apricot and seabuckthorn juice for eternity.

The 15 of us hopped into two taxis to head to SECMOL at 4. The campus is entirely student-run, and it is beautiful. Ladakhi teens are awesome! We are lucky that we have until Saturday to stay here. I can’t wait to learn more from the students about their local education.