Kayce Smith '01
Introduction to a chapel presentation of the Walkabout

Trekking in Ladakh video
Fall 2000

    I believe and would think that in about four or five years from now, most of you would agree with me that a Baylor education does not solely take place and develop in the classroom. It could be in your morning math classes, your afternoon sports practices, the weekend camping trip you took, community service after-school, and it just as well might occur during the summer in the most obscure parts of the Himalayan mountains of north India.

    For 32 straight days this previous summer, ten Baylor students along with Tim Williams, Bill Liske, and four Tibetan refugee guides traveled to Ladakh, a northern region of India, on virtually the other side of the world. We spent our time trekking through the tallest mountains in the world, and experiencing a culture that has seen little change in centuries. We are showing this video to demonstrate how this particular Walkabout trip was a part of our education. On a daily basis we were faced with experiences that pushed us outside of our comfort zone and on a daily basis we had to figure out how to adjust to such unfamiliar environments. If you were to ask any one of the ten students that participated in this adventure to tell you about their experience, they would begin describing the unique and compassionate people of the Tibetan Buddhist culture long before talking about the mountains they climbed or the beauty of the Himalayas.

    In 1949, Chinese troops began invading Tibet - bringing to a sudden and violent end Tibet's long-standing isolation in their Himalayan kingdom. Since then, 1.2 million Tibetans have died of torture, starvation, or execution. More than 6,000 Tibetan monasteries have been completely destroyed. Tibetan culture as it has existed peacefully for centuries is being systematically destroyed by the Chinese communist government. A few of the faces that you will see in this video are of our horsemen who helped lead us through the mountains. Most of them live in India as Tibetan refugees because at one point in their family history, just a few years ago, their relatives were either killed, or forced to flee their homeland in fear of their lives.

    Throughout your Baylor education, and more importantly, throughout your life, each of you will find certain subjects that interest you and strike a passion inside of you. This video demonstrated just a few of mine and I hope that this account of a dying culture has struck some of your interests. I also hope that you realize that what you just saw was a glimpse of what any one of you could be doing with Walkabout."

Walkabout in India

by Chris Wallace (Ladakh 2007)

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