85 Hugs and Immeasurable Things Like Love

Amma the Teacher

I arrived at Jhamtse Gatsal a bit nervous and not sure what to expect, but when I left a year and a half later, I felt as if I was leaving my home and my family.

What makes Jhamtse Gatsal so special? Is it the eighty-five hugs that you receive every day? Is it the all-embracing environment where children are taught to love and care for each other in a way that becomes second nature to them? Is it the warmth and friendliness of the staff that accepts you unconditionally? It’s hard to say! What I can say is that the specialness of Jhamtse Gatsal comes from those immeasurable things like love, acceptance, and caring, which we often take for granted, that flow so consciously and naturally here.

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Tashi & The Monk—the Back Story

photo of Lobsang and Tashi

Excerpted from filmmaker Andrew Hinton’s Facebook posting on May 14, 2014

Here’s how it happened:

A couple of years ago I was in India researching a project and I received an email out of the blue from a production company in San Francisco looking for a filmmaker in India to visit a remote school called Jhamtse Gatsal. They asked me to film an American student installing educational technology there and told me the best way to reach this place was to fly into an airport called Guwahati.

Jhamtse is a two day drive from Guwahati along bumpy winding roads and tracks dotted with groups of women breaking rocks down to gravel with hammers. By the time we got close my internal organs felt displaced. All I could think was “how on earth am I going to get back?”.

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