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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Library Remains Even Though I Do Not

Another hard day on my journey when I said see you later to all of my monk friends. My friend and fellow teacher, Ed, had set up a thank you presentation at the morning school. Not only did he say some kind words he helped the kids say thank you as well. Chimi Dorjee, one of the best English speakers from grade 3, gave the following speech after practicing if for the past week.

On behalf of Rigon Tashi Choeling Monastery, it is with great sadness that we'll see you go. You've been great teacher and will be greatly missed. Thank you for the teachings and thank you for being so nice. To us we have learned a lot from you and you have made an immense difference in our lives. We will miss you teacher, who had made English learning a pleasure. We wish you all the very best in life and we will be praying for you. So your life be flourished with great progress you'll be forever missed. Thank you!

As soon as he started the tears stated streaming down my face, which made a few of my young monks uncomfortable and a few others laugh at me. It got only worse when Pema "Snakey" gave me a piece of paper of a lotus flower he had drawn with the simple words thanks and nervously handed me a white Khata scarf, which is a sign of respect and gratitude. Then Tenzin, then Sherpa, then Sangye, then Gurma, then Yangor, then....until my vision became blurred by the sheer number of scarves around my neck and hands full of notes drawings, and flowers. Finally each student walked by said good bye and thank you Miss in English, and shook my hand since it isn't proper to hug a female. These goodbyes were harder than others because I will not to be able to communicate with 90 percent of the monks since they do not have emails, and I don't have a stable address for awhile. I can only hope when I return someday their smiles will be there to welcome me again. Thankfully I have thousands of pictures and a few hours of video to keep me company, until I see them next.

With my leaving of Nepal there is also a pause in my facilitation of the buying books and giving them to the monastery until I return home to the States. But before I left I was able to give them over 100 new and used books already, because of generous people that are reading about my journey. Special thanks to Tina Jensen, Dick Bolman, Shirley and Darren Olson, Kathy and Brian Scheppler, Sara Martinez, Jill Dumbauld, Linda Martinez, Abby Leitz and of course my parents for making me and the monks so happy. My favorite time with them is when they picked out a book during their free time and read or tried to read to me. A close second is when they saw the new books, couldn't believe they were for them and then were more surprised when they learned they were because people across the world knew and cared about them. I know they will treasure these books forever and I will as well because how happy they make them.
If you haven't had a chance to be apart of this library making project, you have three options:

1. Purchase English books yourself and mail them to the monastery.

2. Hold a book drive, collect some donations to cover the cost of shipping and mail the books to the monastery.

3. Still send money to my parents knowing it will not be used until I am in a place I can purchase English books and be able mail them. Might be able to before I return to the states but there is now guarantee.

If you would like to send books to the monastery please email me the number of books and when you expect to send them. In return I will send you the monastery's address and forward your email to the school's director so they have a heads up.

Together we can help these monks be fluent in an international language so they can communicate to a large percentage of the world.

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