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  • Writer's pictureVoita

Hanging out in the monastery

Life in the monastery is chaotic. It's the pinnacle of now and not now. I remember in my times of teaching there we'd do ... half a dozen classes in a week. The rest was meditation, wood collecting, shower time and other lesser distractions from teaching. It sort of feels like working in Italy. After a while you're excited to go to work to take a breather from all the coffee breaks.

This has not changed. The one thing you can count on is the 6AM prayer, which serves as a wake up call for some and an extra hour of sleep for others. The latter lot may get few friendly punches from the former group, but all in all you're left in peace to your course of action. I love these prayers. They're very naturally disharmonic, but served with vigor of children who're living above their families' stature. Plus you get the trumpets and drums providing a healthy dose of excitement and rock concert like elements. Tibetan is a string of syllables chained together and sounding like an alchemic ritual. I think it's part of the design.

The morning was spent on writing thank you cards for the various foreign donors supporting either individual children or providing for the whole school. Yes, you can buy a little monk for few hundred $ a year. Told you Nepal's getting expensive. Local donors provide goods: half a tonne of rice for few weeks' worth of food or such. Foreigners send in money to trade for the rice. Palden was telling me it's not so simple. Even they get targeted by scammers! He nearly turned down the piping grant money, until a friend of his in Izrael called up the university in California. And they still have to somehow get the money into the local ecosystem. It's not easy, bringing money in from abroad as local banks don't work with the world well. Palden is now getting sponsors in Malaysia to build a website for him to streamline the process...

The kids nearly killed me. During their playtime I got to play chess (barely managed to set the board), and jumping rope (twenty jumps and I was out); stuff I haven't done in decades, sad as it is. It's a very small school, two dozen souls or so, which has everyone interacting and working as one organism. Major difference from the 400+ public school in Thosey.

I'll be going back there to film later in the week; always, if possible, I ask before bringing a camera in. I wasn't planning on staying: Saturday, in fact, is a laundry day and I was essentially without clothes! Spare shirt on, no underwear...


Riding on a bike in heavy rain, turns out, is a good lesson. Even with a killer rain jacket and holding the hood down to my face, I couldn't see a thing. No choice but to lean in and feel for the driver's moves.

gathering clouds

wanted to hide in Vince's French Creperie, but it was closed...

Back in Rambler. Shalik is visiting his village over the weekend and his old father is holding the fort. When I go sit at the office, as I do, as that's the only place with a good enough wifi, he always suspects I need something from him. And tries to talk to me and figure out, what do I need?! And I must admit that with all the years of practice, I'm yet to learn how to mime the internet and my work to the elderly!

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