But I digress—and I know you don’t need an earthquake briefing because it’s all over the international news. So, please let me take this moment to assure you that the monks at Namo Buddha monastery are safe. The monastery complex still stands, albeit with some structural damage to some of its buildings. I’ve been told that they have been sleeping outdoors in tents for fear of more aftershocks. Even with this danger looming, the monks have been very busy in their communities distributing food. You can keep up with what they are doing on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/namobuddha.lobdra
With regard to some of our other friends: volunteer directors, guide, porter, and so on—we’ve been able to confirm they are all safe, but sadly a few of them lost their homes. In at least one case, their entire village was destroyed.
I hate to use my blog to ask for donations, but Nepal’s need is very dire and their government both inefficient and ill prepared, so the only way they will rebound from this disaster is with help from the international community. If you are in a position to make a donation, please consider doing so. If you’re interested, here are links to organizations I trust, one of which is directly affiliated with Namo Buddha monastery:
I’m a big fan of donating to smaller organizations that have more of a local presence in the communities they serve; however, sometimes disasters are on a scale where more is needed. Mercy Corps is one of the few large charitable organizations that I trust. They have a great financial track record that you can research yourself. More importantly, they work with local people to ensure that help really gets to where it’s needed. Right now, they have a network of people in Nepal who are providing aid. Link: https://www.mercycorps.org/
Himalayan Children’s Fund (HCF)
This fund, which is a registered 501(c)(3) charity in the U.S., was created to help raise money to support Thrangu Rinpoche’s (the founder and guru of the Namo Buddha monastery) charitable activities. HCF has very low overhead costs, so 98 percent of your donation will go to helping those in need. Since the fund is directly affiliated with Thrangu Rinpoche’s monasteries, you can also designate your donation to go specifically to Namo Buddha monastery or the SMDBS School (the school for monks where I volunteered, which is part of Namo Buddha monastery). Link: http://www.rinpoche.com/hcfindex.htm
Note: If you prefer to make a more direct donation to the monastery via Western Union (which would get to them a lot faster), let me know and I will put you in touch with someone at the monastery. You can also contact them yourself via their Facebook page (link above).
Lastly, thank you so much for all of your e-mails, messages, and texts. I am grateful that I have so many thoughtful, kind, and like-minded people in my circle. You are all wonderful.