Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ladakh


If anyplace is the opposite of Delhi it is Ladakh. It is much quieter and the air tastes much better. We're staying in the city of Leh which is at 11,000 feet. I felt fine the first day, but after that the sickness came. I spent two full days in bed, as did most of the group. It was probably a combonation of altitude sickness and food poisoning. I am feeling good now, though. The people here are very friendly and their favorite word is jullay, which means just about whatever you want it to. You will even see people walking by themselves just muttering it over and over again. We are staying in a guest house (small hotel) just outside the main part of town. It is nice, it has toilets and electricity (sometimes). The town is mainly little shops, restaurants, and trekking offices. This is probably just about the most beautiful place I have ever been. The mountains are magnificent and the scenery is scattered with stupas and prayer flags because most the people here are Tibetan Buddhists. Foriegners didn't really come to Ladakh (which by the way is the region that Ley is in and itself in the state of Jammu & Kashmir) until the seventies when they built the road. So the culture here has been very preserved. It is often called "little Tibet" and is considered to have the purest form of Tibetan Buddhism. It has modernized rappidly, though and there have been a few problems. It is much dirtier now, and people's living conditions have declined. Right now we are waiting for the group to recover so we can start our trek. Until then we are just hanging out enjoying the town, last night we saw a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, in Ladakhi. Hope everything is good in the states.

6 comments:

mom said...

Thank you for sending a picture! Good to see you there! I have a feeling that I would love Ladahk too; maybe you could take me and your dad sometime! Love, Mom

mom said...

Jess, Dad and I rode our bikes to Chris and Pat's cross-country meet yesterday. Alot of the parents asked about you and send you their best!! It was fun to say that you were in the Himalayas (that is correct, isn't it?), wish I were there!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jesse,
I keep thinking of you on your big adventure as we hear feedback on so many adventures these days! It was great to read your postings and imagine your experiences. Ray John and Anna all seem happy and I will email them to look at your blog. Our house is way too quiet and big. Stay healthy.
Cindy Larsen

Patrick Kilgallon said...

jullay! Patrick

Anonymous said...

Jesse! Your adventure sounds so amazing! I am so excited for all of the incredible and life changing experiences you are having! I'm really enjoying school...UW is so much fun!...But with a new school comes a lot of hard work and studying! I'm pretty jealous of you right now! It's always hard to work really hard on studying when you don't see an immediate effect. What I mean is that I'm working really hard right now on Calculus and Chemistry hoping to someday take medical knowledge to areas like you are in right now. I wish I could just bypass the whole work part and just go take care of people. I'm taking this class on Global Health (which I think you would really enjoy) and its making me want to be across the world right now! I do really love it here though. Have you made any new, insightful friends? I keep thinking of you having deep and meaningful conversations with cool people. Is there anything I can pray for you about? I'm glad you aren't sick anymore. That sounded yucky! Email me if you want to @ annalar@u.washington.edu! Jullay!
-Anna Larsen

Anonymous said...

dude you have a huge beard!!!
-Harvey