A nine hour taxi ride over 250 Km of winding mountain road from Shanti Niketan Childrens' home to Manali, a small town in the Beas River Valley, the gateway of an ancient trading route through the Himalayas to Ladakh. Arriving in the dark was an adventure as we had to hike up a dirt path along a rushing stream with just a tiny light on a cell phone to guide us to the YWAM guest house village where we were booked for 4 nights. What a glorious sight greeted us the next morning as we opened the curtains.
We walked from the guest house into this lovely valley, through a farming village with unique houses of wood construction and slate rocks on the roofs. Villagers were friendly to us white tourists and even enjoyed posing for a photo.
A weaving loom for the heavier, colourful Kulu shawls renowned in this area of India.
Our purpose of traveling to this remote village was to visit the Dar-ul-Fazl Childrens' Home which is sponsored by Child of Mine here in Canada. This place has a long, rich history of caring for children mostly from the Ladakh area in Kashmir across two high passes in the Himalayas.
A beautiful people group with Tibetan features
The Rainbow School serves not only the children that live at the home but also a large number of village children like these sweet girls enjoying their bag lunches.
Solar panels provide hot water.
Dar-ul-Fazl home sits on a compact campus in comparison to Shanti Niketan with it's sprawling acreage.
After school the young boys were hand washing their clothes and then taking bucket baths in the chilly courtyard.
These children love to perform and our visit gave them an opportunity to dance and sing just for the four of us. What an honour - we were given Ladakh welcomes with a ceremonial white shawl to wear around our necks. Our time here was short and mine sadly interrupted with a day in bed with 'Delhi belly'. It was a privilege to meet this wonderful family and our prayers for them will now take on new meaning.
These beautiful ladies are the new and original directors of Dar-ul-Fazl who visited us in Canada just days after we arrived home. They were here to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Child of Mine which is their lifeline of support to raise up all these children.
NAMESTE, this travelog has come to an end.