by Angela Showalter
We reached Agora yesterday in time for our first meal with host families after a long drive through the mountains, an overnight stay in Uttarkashi, and a sunny two-hour hike from the trailhead. Splitting into groups of 4 and 5, we followed our hosts to their homes and enjoyed our first tastes of delicious, locally-grown food in the village. We sat on porches, in living rooms, and in cozy attic kitchens to eat. Girls from the village braided CCS girls’ hair and we all shared a lot of warm smiles and laughter.
In the afternoon we walked to a spot above the village with a view of the snow-capped mountains at the top of valley and talked about the way the people of Agora use and protect the resources of this place. Suman gave us a tour of his beautiful, nearly-finished new house. The stunning view of the terraced fields and the waterfall on the opposite side of the valley took our breath away. He promised that future groups can stay in his extra rooms. (We won’t forget, Suman.)
Spirits in our group are high. It is so good to be here.