Kullu - Jesse Cowden

Kullu is incredible! I’m in love with this town and the culture here! The people here in Kullu are so happy and humble. Kullu is filled with color everywhere you look and I will be sad to leave in a few days. 

The kids we teach are amazing. There are between 70-80 kids at school each day which can be a difficult task to handle that many kids. They definitely keep us on our toes. Being a leader for the expedition it is very different from my experience in Chamba 5 years ago. It’s awesome getting to know so many kids as well as see the progress of our group. It seems everyday the kids become more comfortable with us, and we become more comfortable with them, as well as better teachers. 

Saturday was extremely tiring with our service project. Sandon, Dylan, and I spend hours mixing and pouring cement. I was exhausted by the end of the day so I was in bed by 7:30. 

Sunday morning we went to the Hindu temple to watch morning prayers, and we then received safety bracelets from the priest in the temple as well as a bindi which was a very neat experience! Raj’s cousin was getting married, so he brought us to the wedding Sunday night. The wedding was absolutely amazing! We were welcomed by the whole family and they gave us all a bindi. We met the bride and groom and the bride was absolutely gorgeous in her red gown. The dancing started and they taught us all an Indian dance which was so fun. We danced with them for 2 or 3 hours and had the time of our lives. After dancing we were taken up to Raj’s childhood home where his wife and cousins had prepared us dinner. Their “dinner table” is not a table at all, but they have mats around the edge of the room with a wooden stove in the middle to stay warm. They served us the most delicious food I have ever had, and Ina, our translator, taught me how to eat it all with my hands. I felt so Indian the whole night. Before we left, Raj and his family gave us all a gift. The girls received a traditional shawl, and the boys received a traditional hat. To say the least, it was a night to remember. 

I am totally in love with India! It’s so amazing to be back here! We have one more day in school tomorrow which I am looking forward to, then on Tuesday we head to Manali. The group is doing great with the exception of one sick member of the group, but we are all loving India and our experience here. Kullu is a wonderful place to be and I’m so grateful for the amazing people I am here with! 

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