I listened to The Clash today in the Himalayas and it was freakin’ awesome! - Thomas Just

Hooray! We got to sleep in about 30 minutes longer on Saturday. We went to an all girls high school in the middle of town where we participated in a cultural exchange in front of about 500 people. We walked in and hundreds of students were all lined up, staring at us and they started to clap like we were movie stars or something. It was kind of ironic because the event was supposed to be a cultural “exchange” but the majority of their performances were American pop songs that were in English. I guess you could say they were well prepared but the accents made it absolutely hilarious for us to listen to. The audio system was really terrible but we, obviously, killed our performances! Afterwards we were swarmed by the school girls, being told we were amazing, beautiful, and handsome. It was a crazy feeling but it was definitely the highlight of my day.

    After the cultural exchange, we went down to the market. I wasn’t planning on buying anything but I found something for 2,880 rupees that is really awesome. (Hint: it’s for you mom!) The market was fascinating. There were endless shops, random cool alleyways, and sooo many weird smells. We arrived back at the hotel and me and the majority of everyone else was exhausted. I was planning on taking an awesome bucket shower but sadly I fell asleep from about 4 in the afternoon until dinnertime at 7. After dinner every night we do bonfires outside in the back courtyard of our hotel until it is time to go to sleep. Although we get nice and smokey every night, it is my favorite part of the night because everyone is together talking, and telling stories. It is so much fun!

    Today we went to Khajjiar. The drive was absolutely amazing. The road climbed so high up into the Himalayas that our ears were all popping like crazy! I got the AUX cord and we were totally jamming out the entire way there and back. When we got to our destination, it was a giant field with a bunch of super fun activities to do and all of the Indian guys who work there try to rip off all of the clueless tourists. Luckily we have Raj. Anyway, Matt Gessel and I payed to get in these giant inflatable plastic hamster ball things that they strap you into and roll you down this hill. It was so much fun! (Except our ball was a little under-inflated so we got a little bit of whiplash but it was still fun) We then had lunch and there were french fries!!! They were awesome… 

    After Khajjiar we came back and we had a gratitude meeting. The meeting was really special and set a really good mood for our last few days in India. I was also really surprised because they gave us letters that loved ones wrote to us. It was totally unexpected and I was so happy when I read them all. They definitely are going to help me finish off this week strong and with a good attitude. I love everyone and miss you all so much! I can’t wait to see you all on Saturday.