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Graveney School

Trips and Journeys

Graveney RS and Philosophy Trip to India 2017 

On Tuesday 4th July, 25 students and 3 members of staff set off on the trip of a life time to Leh, India.

Leh is the capital of Ladakh, a stunning region in the North of India, nestled amongst the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges, which is home to a thriving community of mostly Tibetan refugees and Ladakhi Indians. The group were looking forward to embracing a culture vastly different to their own, understanding the beliefs and practices of Tibetan Buddhism, and maybe even gaining enlightenment! The first day involved 24 hours of acclimatisation to the altitude of 3500m and therefore doing as little as possible.

On this day, the group caught wind of the Dalai Llama’s presence in a nearby town and so plans were made to travel to Choglamser the next day to join the festivities and see the Dalai Llama on his 82nd birthday! There were thousands of Tibetans there, along with people of all faiths and none, all sitting out together under the strong Ladakhi sun, enjoying the songs and dance. Those with optical zoom caught fantastic shots of the exiled spiritual leader and the rest of us settled for identifying a figure dressed in orange robes!

Other highlights of the trip included the visit out to Lake Pangong, a stunning crystal clear, blue lake at a height of 4500m, the trip around the local monasteries, and the morning with Tibetan monk Khanchok Phandey. An epic, and at times tantalising journey through the mountains and across the Chang-la pass (the third highest motorable pass in the world) brought us out of the mountains to see the

It was such a memorable trip and for many, I am sure, one which will remain with them for the rest of their lives!

extraordinary manifestation of nature that is Lake Pangong. The students loved it and for anyone who has seen Three Idiots, this is where the final scene was shot! The group felt particularly zen after spending time at the monasteries, the peaceful atmosphere and the mesmerising surroundings instantly resulted in inner calm, and many students were seen spinning the prayer wheels to enhance their good karma! Extraordinary statues and artwork further added to the magic of the monasteries as students were immersed in the Buddhist philosophies of the 4 Noble Truths, the Wheel of Life, Trikaya and Bodhisattvas. Our morning with Khanchok, a Buddhist monk,  was also fascinating as he sat with the students, answering their questions and teaching them the great truths of Buddhism.

It was such a memorable trip and for many, I am sure, one which will remain with them for the rest of their lives!

Year 8 and 9 students visit the Goethe Institute 

Last week Year 8 and Year 9 German Twilight students made their way to the Goethe Institute in South Kensington to watch a German film and have a guided tour around the impressive German library.

The film 'Der ganz große Traum' (‘Lessons of a dream’) was enjoyable and told the story of Konrad Koch, a young visionary teacher who not only changed his students’ lives but also introduced football to Germany!

Everybody had a great time and the tour around the library gave every student the chance to browse through comics, books and magazines in German. An enjoyable and motivating day!

A big thank you to all members of staff who came along.

Ms Meyer