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Nepal

This category contains 12 posts

Nepal: Update

I’ve had many of my readers inquire about the monks after the earthquake, so I thought it might be a good idea to post a brief update. Imagine…when I first awoke to the news the day after I returned from Nepal, only 800 people were reported dead. I knew that number would rise exponentially as … Continue reading

Thinking of Nepal

I am usually a day or two behind my blog posts for obvious reasons (things have to happen first, then I need to write up the post), so my last post of any trip occurs when I return. Yesterday, after 26 hours of travel, David and I finally got home. As I walked through my … Continue reading

The Annapurna Circuit (Part 2)

So where were we? Ah yes, Day 5… Day 5: Lower Pisang to Manang (the long way via Ghyure Village) Time: 8.5 hours (includes 1.5 hours for lunch/tea breaks) Altitude: 3720 m (12,201 ft) at highest point of today’s trek; however Manang is at 3519 m (11,542 ft) My health is stabilizing at a not-quite-normal-but-still-vastly-improved … Continue reading

The Annapurna Circuit (Part 1)

Before I begin, let me share a little background on the Annapurna Circuit to provide some context to readers who are unfamiliar with it. The Annapurna Circuit is a trek that circles the Annapurna Conservation Area (part of the Himalayas) in Nepal. The original classic route is a 21-day trek beginning in Besisahar and ending … Continue reading

Of dust, deities, and trekking…

I’ve returned to Kathmandu and things seem back to normal here (to the untrained eye, anyway)—it’s just as loud and chaotic as when I first got here. It’s also very dusty. Face masks are popular in many Asian countries, but in places like Taiwan they’re mostly used for the purpose of protecting others when one … Continue reading

Pokhara and bandhs…

After leaving the monastery, I had a long, bumpy ride back to Kathmandu and then flew to Pokhara in an impossibly small plane that was just as bumpy as the car. I originally planned to stay in Pokhara for only three days and then return to Kathmandu, but then I discovered that the Unified Maoist … Continue reading

Leaving the monastery

Time moves slowly at the monastery. This is proof that the adage “time flies when you’re having fun” isn’t always true, for I’ve enjoyed every day, yet my three weeks here have felt like a few months. Perhaps time slows here because even though each day is full, there is a notable lack of stress. … Continue reading

A day in the life of a monastery volunteer (Part 2)

So where were we? Ah yes, puja… 4:00: puja, which means “prayer” or “offering,” is a truly glorious time of day. No one (except the monks) are required to go, but I try to attend every day. People who are close to me know that while I may have strong beliefs about being a decent … Continue reading

A day in the life of a monastery volunteer (Part 1)

In my last post I said the heavens would have to open and emit the mighty sound of OM before I’d have a chance to post some pictures. Well, it finally happened, although I had to leave the monastery to do it. Yesterday was a day off for us so another volunteer (Aksana) and I … Continue reading

Of monks and monasteries…

In the last post, I mentioned I would elaborate on the monastery and its inhabitants. The mission of the Namo Buddha monastery is to educate young monks grades 1 through 9 (another sister monastery handles the higher grades). Previously, the young monks only learned a traditional Tibetan Buddhism curriculum that included subjects like Tibetan writing, … Continue reading

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