Eighth Graders on the Tibetan Plateau
After a quick two-hour flight to Xining the following morning - which included fantastic views of the Gobi desert and Qilian mountains - we arrived, met our guides, and went directly to the 16th-floor Lete Hostel. After settling in (for which most students meant playing pool), we walked into downtown to get lunch in our chaperone groups at a local market. The students filled up on various traditional foods and snacks: beef noodles, buns, pumpkin cakes, ‘burritos’ (a tortilla of sorts filled with delicious veggies and noodles), yogurt, and more. Full to the brim, we headed back to the hostel for a relaxed afternoon.
|Georgia & classmates planting trees near Qinghai Lake|
8th Grade Trip: Qinghai Lake
|Trip Leader Debbie Talbot|
|Trip Leader Alice Woodman-Russell|
8th Grade Trip: Erthi to Guide
|The boys and their host mother in Erthi village|
|Snowballin’ on the road to Rebgong|
|Ollie tries his teaching skillswith his new Tibetan Friends|
|Wading in a stream in the valley of Janglung|
The last day in Rebgong saw the group departing for the village of Wutun/Sengeshong, a site famous for its long history of producing Tibetan arts of the highest quality. The village, which speaks its own unique hybrid language (the Wutun language), is particularly famous for its thangka, and receives commissions for these paintings from all over the Tibetan Plateau and beyond.
We drove the remaining distance to the town of Xiahe/Labrang and settled into the hotel. I took a group out to get a lay of the land (the monastery, the town’s one main street…the monastery…the main street…) before people decided to surrender their wallets the the vast array of goods available in the town’s stores. Feeling the airiness of my pocket, I decided instead to go on my favorite area run. By the time I had returned, students had purchased all manner of tchotchkes. Ms. Talbot and I decided to hang out at a monastery viewpoint before rounding up the group for dinner at the Tara Guesthouse restaurant.
|Jet, Ollie Grace and Evan whoop it up on the guesthouse roof|
|The boys strolling around Labrang Monastery|