Saturday, July 07, 2012

Life at Pema Choling

Pasang and I were in the kitchen working on the Tibetan alphabet after breakfast when Cook came in and told him his assistance could be used at the woodpile out the back door. We peered out, and sure enough, a line of little monks with chopped wood piled high on their backs was pulling up to throw off their loads. From the rock walkway above, they'd toss their firewood down into the wood-stacking area.

I get dressed up in monk robes with little Pemba. Everyone starts
calling me "Ani" - nun!
Everyone was quite involved and it was obviously a community effort. Naturally, Joanna, Nate and I were eager to jump in and get our hands dirty. It's fun how every day here brings something new, sometimes an unexpected activity or tradition. I wake up every morning with a great sense of anticipation for whatever the day might bring. I love that the Sherpa people love photos, videos, and every type of memorabilia; when I pull out my camera to capture a moment, someone always tells me to jump into the thick of the action while they film. Everyone I've met is so incredibly warm and inclusive - for the first time I have a nice collection of pictures that actually portray my involvement in daily life and community events!
 
Little Pemba shows off his strength.


 
 
 
 
Namchok, our cook and formerly a porter, holds an empty doko - a
reed-woven basket which Sherpa porters pile high and lug all over the
Himalaya. Namchok carries up to 120 kilo - that's almost 250 pounds!
Nate helps without a doko
My best monk friend, Pasang Temba Sherpa.
Learning Chinese from Sapana with older monks Colin, Kagi, and Dorjee.
laundry day!
This oxygen bottle was left at Pema Choling by Sir
Edmund Hillary, who visited the monastery on his way
to summit Mt Everest. Today it hangs from the corner
of the school house and serves as our bell.
Looking into the auditorium, you can see the entrance to the monastery.
Sapana and Colin sketching
the kitchen
the school house - the little monks sleep in the one huge room
above the classroom, on two long lines of mattresses littering the floor.
A Tibetan circle of life: Om Ma Ni Ped Meh Hum Ri
108 bronze manis line the perimeter of the monastery. Inscribed on them
are prayers in Tibetan. 108 is the number of their Lord Buddha's teachings
and also the number of prayer beads on a Buddhist rosary.
Purple flowers line a path leading from the school house around the monastery.
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