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Friday, October 7, 2011

My simple life in Nepal

I can hardly believe I have been gone from the monastery for 3 days. It seems so long ago already, which is weird since life almost stands still there in some sense. It was only night turning to day and the gentle changes that make realize another day has pasted in these bricks wall. I wake every morning around 6:30 to be at breakfast at 7, which always consists of fresh roti (bread/flour tortilla) with butter, honey or jam, a bowl of lentils and milk tea. Each day except Sunday, a gong hurries the monks to school to be ready for role at 9. Then they start with a morning prayer that is actually a song. Namka Sambo and his brother Namka Mingma are my favorite at this time because not only do they sing the loudest you can always see they joy in their faces.

The majority of monks know what an honor it is to be in school when over 70% of the children of Nepal are not. I have to say the youngest monks are the most fun to watch learn, but the older grades brought me the most joy since their classes are small and I can teach them one on one. Outside the classroom they are shy with their English and paying attention to what there peers are doing. I have offered many of them help outside of school, but I have to trap them to try even though once I have them in my clutches they are eager to learn.

Each monk is amazing in there own way and I wish I could share a few tibits about each, but for now I'll write about 10 of my 80 students.

-Chimi is a helpful, thoughtful monk and one of the best English speaker who tells me about his life in Nepal

-Tenzin Namgye "Ugyen" who talked my ear off when we walked down the hill to release the snake, but in class barely says a word. He not only loves hip-hop dancing as much as me, but actually quite good at it especially considering that he only sees it in movies here and there

-Gompa Sherpa who wears a watch but cannot tell the time and finds great amusement in our fake telephone game

-Karma Wozer who is the best built and silently uses his strength to help others, like when one of the other monks had a seizure and he carried him to bed

-Sangay Phuntsoki who hides his mouth and smile with his robe, and who draws landscapes in his notebook and then labels everything in English

-Pema Tenphel who is always running and us English speakers affectionally call Snakey because he sticks down his tongue whenever he is nervous

-Tuklu the "prince in a little chair" who is a reincarnated Lama who loves to dance, eat, and take pictures

-Choeing Dirmed the monk who is throughly enjoying his reading if Goosebumps and turned beat red when I made him dance with me because he didn't ask me three questions during our game

-Rabin my monkey monk who has a nose that is constantly running, is a champion at English, and always climbing, cartwheeling and flipping when we are outside

-Pema Galtsen the monastery shopkeeper, who has a heart of gold but will never admit it and who is making one of the biggest decisions of his life to make his vows as a monk or simply have a Buddhist life

-Pema Norbu who I constantly tried to make smile since he does it when he absolutely means it and loved to read books to me when none of his friends were around

For all the monks I wrote about and the ones I didn't get I can say they will hold a special place in my heart, I miss each one dearly for some of the same and different reasons and hope one day in the future see them all again and to find about what became of them in their monk hood, life and with their English.

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