Delhi is our traditional first stop in Asia. We remember the confusion and state of disrepair of the old airport, so it’s great to fly into the new and beautiful Indira Ghandi Airport, even though it’s so big you need roller skates to get around! This time we didn’t stay at Majnu Ka Tilla, our favorite Tibetan enclave in Delhi, but went directly to the Tibetan Children’s Village hostel for Tibetan college students, located in the Rohini Sector, where we visited two students we have sponsored over the years.
Phurbu (left) is studying International Relations in Delhi and Shawo (right) just received a full scholarship to study Chinese Language and International Relations at Dongguk University in Seoul, South Korea.
The hostel is in a lovely, quiet setting, surrounded by trees and flowers, and buzzing with student activities. The lovely director, Tsering Dolma —an avid gardener, artistic landscaper, and longtime teacher—and her competent staff are in close touch with each student and his or her particular needs. They have created an oasis of peacefulness and support for the Tibetan college students.
We also visited Hindu College with Shawo, enjoying a long commute on the splendid modern Metro.
Several times we enjoyed walking through the extensive park adjacent to the hostel. People sat in groups, talking, doing handwork, picnicking, throwing balls (I was fascinated watching a teenage cricket match), and playing cards. Birds gathered and small animals played. And the sun shone.
The ride to the airport in the evening was even more chaotic than I remembered! Clogged traffic, delays at most traffic lights, daredevil drivers cutting in and out, horns honking incessantly, tuk tuks whizzing by, and all executed through a thick haze of pollution. I have to admit that the roads are greatly improved since my first 1986 experience in Delhi, but this only encourages speeding. The continual construction, however, keeps the driver on his toes, sort of….