Back at SECMOL

Greetings from leaders Jonathan and Sarah!

Sunday we returned from our trek through the Sham Valley. We visited five different villages over eight days, staying in beautiful and hospitable homestays along the way. Each day yielded different highlights – remote monasteries and nunneries, a 500-year-old ancient well (discovered just last year), snow leopards (!), and the kind of sleep that only comes after a day spent hiking in the open air. With our homestay families, we learned how to make momos, do laundry, and tend to cows, kitchen gardens, and barley fields. Most importantly, we learned the fine art of non-verbal communication — it can be a breakthrough to spend an evening playing games, sharing photos, entertaining young children, and sharing a meal without the benefit of a common language.

We are now settled back at SECMOL for a final week with our Ladakhi partners. Unseasonable rain throughout the region has disrupted nearly all internet connectivity in our area, so it’s likely that this will be our only update until we arrive in Delhi on July 26th. Once in Delhi, we hope to share many updates and photos of our adventures in Ladakh.

Everyone is happy, healthy, and learning much, and we’re all excited for more adventures!

More soon,
Jonathan and Sarah

p.s. Here’s a recipe for Sonam Angmo’s Tomato Chutney (taught in Teya village on July 18th)

Fry 3-4 medium onions in 2 T vegetable oil for 4-5 minutes (do not brown)
Add 1.5 t chili powder and 1 T salt. Fry for 1-2 more minutes
Add 200 g tomato puree and cook for ~15 min
Add ~½ cup of chopped cilantro. Remove from heat and stir.

Serve with momos (or any dumpling). Actually, serve with anything. Good warm or cold!