* This update was written yesterday but sent to us today. The group has returned to Kangding and will soon be back in Chengdu.
Now that the project phase has ended, we as instructors have been reflecting on our project in Yolonshi. To start, the experience was incredible. The homestay was intense and conditions were challenging. But from the outdoor latrine to heavy rain and a huge language barrier, our team remained strong. We were very impressed with all of our students. By the time we left, we (our Tibetan teammates and ourselves) walked away having built two great structures that will have a lasting impact for the community.
Today we spent a day decompressing in Dora. We had a slow morning and then Tenpa and his brother took us on a wonderful four wheel excursion. We four wheeled up several miles to a grouping of temporary houses at 13,000 ft. The temporary housing serves as shelter for locals when they are hunting for caterpillar fungus, a prized commodity in the Chinese medicinal market. Upon our return to the homestay, students paired up to work on the five lens curriculum. They all have gained a lot of personal insights regarding Tibetan life. Tomorrow, we will continue our march home with our return travels to Kangding. At this point, we are retracing our steps on our way home!