Showing posts from September, 2008

Trip to Namo Buddha

A few weeks ago our first year class took a field trip to Kathmandu University and to Namo Buddha, a holy Buddhist pilgrimage site. They are both about two hours from Boudha. It was my first time to really see Nepal outside of Kathmandu. It is quite ugly and at the same time quite beautiful. 
There is so much poverty but there is also so much beautiful landscape. We passed through so many different environments: small country towns, crowded markets, breathtaking countryside. 
Kathmandu University is interesting because it is so small and modest but at the same time so ambitious, it really took a lot of struggle and work to get it to the modest capacity it is at now. The director gave us a talk and a tour and he seemed very enthusiastic about our program, and very genuine. He was educated partly in a monastery. After going to Kathmandu University we went to Namo Buddha, where there is a monastery and a stupa. It is supposedly the place where in a former life the Buddha came upon…

Living in a Tibetan host family

“This is Dorje. He’s a good friend of mine. He’s gonna be your host father… OK?”
After this short introduction by Gerry, I had to face my host parents for the first time, not speaking one word of Tibetan. To be perfectly honest, I knew the one phrase that everybody knows: Tashi delek!  But it wasn’t really sufficient to interact with them on an everyday basis! Therefore, during the first few weeks, body language and my host sister’s English helped me to get acclimated. 

However, day by day (or maybe I should say month by month) my Tibetan was getting better, and the conversation became a little bit more interesting during dinner. Because I was taking Tibetan language classes at the Shedra all day, dinner was really the main time my host family and I spent together. 
The family consisted of my host father, Dorje, my host mother, Tsering, my host sister, Tenzin, and me. Being able to talk about what I did during the day, or why I was going out, were small victories against this crazy lan…