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Ajaya Drall (Aka Anita Le), San Francisco, United States, (April – June 2014)

I cannot begin to describe the journey of self-growth that I have undergone during volunteering. To come home and describe my whole experience as "life-affirming" is the closest I can get to relay the gratitude I felt for everybody and everything I worked and experienced in LEH. It allowed me to reassess my strengths and weaknesses and made me realized that when the will is there, one can achieve a lot more than one has ever dreamt of.

My journey began when I came to LEH in April 2014 with a purpose or in other words ‘travel with a purpose’ with the hope to do voluntary work with any NGO, schools or monasteries. I was lucky to meet Mr Sonam, owner of Landscape Explorer who got me connected with Rangdum students and Mr Tashi the chairman. They were happy to accept me ….

I got the opportunity to teach english to 9th, 10th and 12th grade students. It was an extremely rewarding experience yet eye-opening to see how these kids are growing up. They are living in sub-par conditions, miles away from their homes (home is a remote village in Zanskar) walked 4-5 km every Day, and yet were always smiling and enthusiastic to learn. It was such a joy to teach and hear them say ‘ our english have improved’ or ‘can you please teach us poems?’; I felt very proud to see their confidence grow from the first Day I met them. Our SaturDays were spoken English Day where I asked them to speak on various topics. It allowed us to have some fun and create a friendship. Some of the topics made us very emotional especially ‘Memorable Moments (Happy/Sad). When of the student talked about her father who was no more and the memories of him made her sad; It was an emotional for all of us but at the same at the same time brought us very close…..We also had picnic Day where I got to see other side of the girls – happy, funny, dancing, joking……I would like to share some happy moment pictures --

I am back home now in United States. But my heart is still in LEH ☺. I feel there is much more to experience outside of the corporate world and I was happy to quit the corporate world in July 2012 to have this amazing experience