Thursday, December 9, 2010


We are having a holiday here at Samtenling, a suspension of classes, and the nuns are enjoying the time to go to the market, to clean their rooms, to visit with friends and sometimes, even watching to movies in the dining hall! It is Ladakhi Losar or New Year for that area of Northern India where many monks and nuns come from, high on the border of the country. It’s quieter than most years as our prayers continue for those who perished in the terrible floods of August.

I was invited to tea yesterday at Khenpo Rangdol’s apartment at Kagyu College for the New Year and was invited into his wonderful. warm study filled with tankhas, which are the beautiful tapestries of Buddhas, and tons of food was laid out as we sipped tea that I think he makes especially nice. Meghan, an American who is a Tibetan translator and stays at Songsten Library and has so for many years, than joined us and we had a lovely visit in the afternoon.

Meghan and I then went down to the Tibetan settlement of Dykiling, enjoying an afternoon walk and visit and then stopped for lime soda at the Blossom, a restaurant in our village.

I did go downtown a few times to Dehradun, which always is filled with adventure, to find out why my internet connection had been disconnected within 2 1/2 weeks of service. For 5 days, I couldn’t get online, so thankfully, I grabbed the external drive I was given by TATA Photon, and headed to a shop to find out what happened. Guess why it was disconnected - they couldn’t make a welcome call to me! I laughed and said, if I am subscribing for an internet connection, why didn’t they email! The young woman who helped was awesome; she called the company office and they called her back on her cell and the deal was done and I was reinstated without further question.

Then, I admit it, I stopped at McDonald’s here at Astely Hall where Ronald the Clown sits outside on a big bench and little kids will climb on his statuesque self sculpted there and I can’t really believe what I am seeing with my own eyes. Even Kentucky Fried Chicken is down the road now and Dominoes Pizza. I had a cool soda, a veggie burger and fries and saw another American family there so that only made it a bit more surrealistic! Then, to the bus. What can I tell you! It shouldn’t be on the road, so tinny and decrepit was it. Two nuns from our convent then got on with me as they were leaving the market and as we made the first stop around the corner with the open drains running beside us and the dust and noise at its height, the bus completely filled up and off we went. Still, we kept filling up to a capacity unimaginable except in India and as we sped down the road (this is much slower speed understand than the U.S.) the bus would lurch and we would wave back and forth until I started laughing and saying, “Jai Hind! Jai Hind” which might mean Yeah India and we were soon all laughing and there was such an instant of just pure sharing and joy. We are all on this bus together and crowded there, such a sense of belonging. This is my humanity, all of it.

We stopped by the shop just outside our gate and there another nun is watching a terribly old T.V. with a movie or videos and we greeted the family who runs this stall attached to their home who is so good to us. The pictures are of them and I send this to you all with love, from Dehradun and from India!

1 comment:

  1. Hello my Dear Friend! You have been in my thoughts often as of late! Makes me happy to read of your escapades!