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Reflection by Minh Pham

This Thursday we took advantage of the wonderful weather and headed over to Rishikesh, a town not too far from the orphanage. After a 2-hour bus ride, we finally got there and enjoyed a breathtaking view of Ganges river. One of the Indian rituals we had a chance to perform was lighting up a candle in the paper basket with flowers and putting it into the Ganges River while making a wish for something good in your life or dedicate to someone significant. It was a truly special moment and I am grateful we had a chance to experience it. Afterward, we walked across the Lakshman Jhula, an iron suspension bridge across the river. Although the path was pretty narrow I found it amusing to see cows wandering around or taking an afternoon nap right in the middle of the bridge. On the other side of the town, we visited a beautiful garden full of gorgeous flowers. Surprisingly, we appeared to be the major entertainment there as Indian people stopped us and enthusiastically asked to take pictures with us. Then we headed up to the Beatles Ashram, abandoned former meditation ashram the Beatles visited in 1968. There were lots of amazing graffiti and messages on the walls written and drawn by artists from all over the world. After wandering around for about an hour and encountering the whole family of monkeys, we left the ashram and walked about a mile to the Little Buddha Cafe where we had delicious Indian cuisine for lunch while enjoying the view of the Ganges River. After getting some rest, we spent 2 hours shopping! At around 7 pm we drove back to the orphanage where we had dinner. Exhausted from the heat and long walks, all of us went to bed pretty early in order to recharge our energy for classes next day.
Posing by a statue of Shiva at the Parmarth Ashram, Rishikesh

Sending flowers and blessings down the Ganges

 Flowers and blessings float down the Ganges

Chianna stands near the Beatles meditation hut 

The monkeys entertain us.