By Brother Mason
We woke up early in order to get back to Agora with time to spend in the village. We had split up two days before – half of the group chose to stay in Agora and the other half went to Dodital, a sacred lake. The lake is a ten mile hike through the Himalayas from Agora.
After our water bottles were filled from the stream and the tents were packed, the hike back began. Fortunately the hike back was downhill, making it much faster than the hike up. The long hike was a powerful experience for the group as a collective and for each of us as individuals. It was challenging, but that made the arrival much more rewarding.
While looking at the mountains during the hike, we were all humbled. Most of us had never seen mountains of that size, with peeks reaching 20,000ft. around us. Although our two day trek took away from valuable time in the village, it was worth every blister.
Because we had less time in the village, I was motivated to optimize the time that I did have there. When both groups met up back in Agora, we discussed and compared each other’s time and experiences in different places.
From my time at the lake, one moment stood out in particular for me. One chilly night we all sat out by the fire and Mr. Cola played a song that said “god is present here.” He asked us to think about the statement given that we were next to one of Hinduism’s holiest lakes. I could feel the presence of Ganesh, the Hindu god who received his elephant head at the lake.
The pond was still and peaceful – the only noises were from us or splashes on the surface of the water from rising trout.
Our time in India has been truly special to all of us as a group, but also special in different ways for each of us.