Monday, March 7, 2011
Lara Straub, a senior at the University of West Georgia, is a true adventure enthusiast. In her lifetime she has traveled to numerous countries, including Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Her most recent excursion took her half way around the world to Northern India with the Himalayan Health Exchange, which is a humanitarian service program bringing together healthcare professionals who give of their time, talent and resources to provide care to the underserved populations. She was there for 34 days on an anthropological expedition but also wanted to study Tibetan Buddhism and traditional nomadic life.
Ladakh, Northern India, located in the greater Himalayas, was the destination Straub was most fond of during her travels in India. Straub was touched by how genuine and kind the people of the Ladakh culture were.
“I have so many favorite memories it is hard to choose but I think the most inspiring memory was meeting with the local nomadic changpas of the Ladakhi country side and sitting with them inside of their tents drinking butter tea, trading jewelry and playing with the little nomadic children and baby pashmina goats,” said Straub. “The people are very gentle and happy to accommodate guests with the little they have.”
During her time in India, Straub observed the many different cultures located within the country’s borders.
“The cultural differences I observed are so great and vary depending on the specific location and religion. It would take a whole doctorate thesis to even begin to explain these differences,” said Straub.
“I would love to go back to visit again, it is a truly beautiful and unforgettable place,” she said.