Friday, May 11, 2007

The Monsoon is Coming, Namaste!

Welcome to you from one of the five monks that joined our monastery last week from Ilam district in eastern Nepal!

Monsoon is pretty much upon us here in South Asia, it has been raining a bit each afternoon (raining right now in Kathmandu), and I'm happy as soon we will have cleaner air, real heat, and the bright green of the new growth all over the valley.

Hello! This kid is my friend's nephew. He was at the groundbreaking ceremony I attended yesterday at the site of the future home of the Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods, a Buddhist Studies research institution that I am affiliated with. An short version of the biography of the Khari Lama Lozang Tsultrim that I have been working on will be published in their forthcoming issue of one of their journals, Buddhist Himalaya. The groundbreaking mainly consisted of two Buddhist monks performing an offering ritual to local spirits that could possibly cause obstacles to the success of the construction work, and a feast (typical Newar style, delicious!).

Our youngest, at the tender age of four, who is currently recovering from a mysterious accumulation of fluid in his brain which nearly caused him to die a few weeks ago. He is alive only because of the dedication of some friends, who brought him to a number of different hospitals and dealt with the headache of the Nepali medical infrastructure, which is as disorganized as it is underdeveloped.

This personally demonstrates some of the difficulties of healthcare in the developing world. There is good work being done, like at the local Health Post in Chapagaon.


The view of the health post, across the road from our monastery in Chapagaon, taken from our roof. Photo courtesy of PHCRC.

The Health Post serves a large community with a variety of basic services. Here a local baby is gettin' shots. Photo courtesy of PHCRC.

Weighing a baby at the current well-baby clinic. The health post is currently involved in an ambitious fund raising campaign to built a new 10 bed birthing center (big for this area). Nepal has the second highest incidence of maternal fatality during birth. My aunt and uncle from Houston visited the clinic on their whirlwind tour of Kathmandu in December, and were touched by the good work (with such limited resources), so generously donated some money. Photo courtesy of PHCRC.

Some of the lovely nursing staff at a nutrition education clinic.


Yours truly engaged in a morning power-English session.

My bright young students ready to absorb the fascinating nuances of English grammar and pronunciation. They are progressing well.


A photo of the great stupa Boudhanath on Buddha Jayanti festival, the previous full moon day. Nearby this holy site is where I will make my home for the summer as I work with the non-profit Passage Project for International Education.


An exciting burlap sack race at yesterday's picnic with our 52 monks, at the beautiful Godavari Botanical Gardens, south of Kathmandu.

Some of the young ones.

One of our eight-year old twins, Jigme Sherab (Fearless Wisdom), brother of Jigme Nyingje (Fearless Compassion). From one source they become two!

Here one of the five-year-olds is looking clueless about pretty much everything. One day, with a little effort, he will come to understand so much...

A young one with our only monk from India, a Tamang from Darjeeling.

As if I haven't put up enough pictures of monks oozing with cute...

Goodnight!Last night's sunset from the roof of our monastery.

1 comment:

Dan Tierney Smith said...

I'm glad to hear that the bio is going out in print. I hope it is the first of many.
Any suggestions for SakyaDawa? It starts in two days I hear, and Tenzin and I are considering giving up meat, which is incidentally much easier than abstaining from booze.