Saturday, July 07, 2012

Life at Pema Choling - Part II

Little monks play houtza - a marble game - on the terrain below the school house.
I love this little village so high up on the hill, that we can barely see from
the monastery.  Yesterday Pasang was looking through the photos on my
camera and said, "Oh! My parents live there during the summer!"
He zoomed in and actually showed me their house.
I made him promise to take me there to meet them and see this
magical little village!
Little monks line up for breakfast
Ngatar, one of the cutest and smartest little monks!
Only a week or so into monsoon season, we were awakened by a
loud noise around 11:30 PM. There was a landslide behind our
rooms - this wall on the right is my room! Luckily only a stone
stairway was obliterated and the alley walkway filled with rock and mud.
It could have been much worse: Today on our way to Lukla Namchok
pointed several houses which were completely crushed in a landslide
five months ago. Among shattered doors now lie 8' x 10' boulders that
must weigh several tonnes. This happened around 7:00 PM and three
people were killed.
Samten and Pemba play WWF
English class: 1 dry erase board, 1 marker that works if we're lucky,
no desks or chairs, notebooks with just a few blank pages left,
a pencil or pen if they can find one, and 19 beautiful boys eager to learn.
I brought out Hershey's Kisses (hand carried from Oregon)
as a reward for a big scavenger hunt, and Ngawang
(the school teacher) immediately exclaimed, "Oooh, temple
candies!" My perspective has been forever altered by my
time at Pema Choling. I'd never before have associated
Hershey's Kisses with the shape of temples. These
simple chocolates proved to be a huge hit. The monks -
both young and old - were enthralled with everything
from the shiny tin-foil wrapper to the white "prayer flag"
tucked inside.  Sapana and I laughed as we watched many of
the younger boys lick their chocolate and then tuck it into their
pocket for later!
O' Serpa treasures his first Hershey Kiss
Namchok, our cook, is equally excited
Ngawang and his temple candy
My teaching partner from Singapore, Sapana, teaches the boys a Chinese
game called "Eagle catches the little chicks."

Living in the shadow of the great Himalaya Range
There is one outlet to be shared between four volunteers. I'm so glad I
picked up a three-way splitter/converter as an impulse purchase in
On Friday nights the little monks are allowed a special treat - TV! They
crowd into Dorjee's little room and literally cover every horizontal surface.
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