Dharamshala
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Awaiting His Holiness
While working on a university study abroad project in Dharamsala, we got word that His Holiness the Dalai Lama would be returning from Australia and we could have the chance to see him drive by on his way back from the airport. We eagerly rushed to the main street leading up to the temple and found a street divided: Tibetans, mostly elderly, on one side and anxious tourists on the other. The Tibetans had been waiting for quite a while and sat visiting friends and fingering their mala beads, always appearing calm. The tourists (my self included) fretted about as though awaiting their favorite band in concert. As the motorcade approached the Tibetans rose and bowed, many holding out prayer scarves and kept their eyes down, not even looking to see their spiritual leader pass. I, like my fellow tourists, tried to find a balance between catching a glimpse and showing respect and as His Holiness and his Indian military escort flashed by I caught sight of his trademark smile and gentle wave. The minute the cars had passed the Tibetans scattered returning quietly to their business. As awesome as it was to see such a remarkable man in person, even for a second, watching the locals was even more memorable.
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