Since I didn't find a photo of Paul on my phone I included this photo of Harrison. Paul took excellent care of us volunteers, from giving me an orientation to including us in any adventures. I enjoyed talking with Paul about his experiences with Zen Buddhism and hearing about all his many jobs. Paul created a welcoming atmosphere that enabled the volunteers and visitors to the monastery to bond.
Harrison is such a joy! I don't imagine I would've been so calm and happy to be brought to Nepal when I was 13. It was great to watch him play soccer and hear him talk about his unique school classes (stock market).
I wish Paul and Harrison a smooth and healthy journey. I can't wait to see the photos of their treks and to continue to follow their journey.
This is my roof buddy, Jiwon! We ended most evenings, staying up late talking on the roof of the guest house. We talked about everything from movies to our hopes for the future. Jiwon woke up early the day I was leaving to walk me down to my cab. Her energy and openness were really inspiring; I wish her clarity as she continues her journey.
Here is a photo of me with Drolka and Alex.
Alex is actually one of the first volunteers I met. We met very briefly in Kathmandu when he arrived at the hostel. He left the next morning, since he elected not to take the language course. He was a comforting face my first night at the monastery. I loved hearing about Alex's travels all around the world, and I look forward to seeing his photos from the Annapurna circuit. Alex and I spent an evening looking through bookstores for a fantasy book. I was a little disappointed I wasn't able to find "The Name of the Wind," hopefully the Wheel of Time series is completely absorbing. My wish for Alex is that he continues to find the magic in life and that his college applications go smoothly with the internet situation.
Drolka was our meditation teacher on Tuesday and Thursday nights. She inspired me to start teaching Qigong, so I promised her when I come back next year I will teach classes at her center. I really enjoyed her story about becoming a Buddhist and finally ending up in Nepal. I look forward to staying in touch with her and seeing her next year. My wish for Drolka is that she stays happy, the happiness and peace is simply infectious.
Here are two of the monks at my final dinner, Jiwon, Tenzin, Tsepal and I went eat at a place down the road. (The funny thing is Paul had warned me not to eat there, since some volunteers had gotten sick in the past. I was fine!)
The Monk in the puffy jacket is Tenzin, one of the Buddhist informers. He gave a class on Buddhism every morning. Unfortunately I didn't attend all the classes, that was prime time for Adam and I to chat using the WiFi a little bit. I really enjoyed his classes, I ended up writing a lot about the different questions and idea that he brought up in class. I love his fire metaphor, it doesn't matter how many windows you open in your mind, if you don't put out the fire (suffering) the smoke is still going to build up. I wish Tenzin students with lots of questions!
The Monk with the smile on his face is Tsepal. You can learn more about him on his blog (http://teenmonks.com/). Tsepal greeted me every morning with a smile and I am grateful he was so open with me about what it is like to be a teenage monk. I wish Tsepal certainty as he continues to walk the road.
Question to consider: What are some of your wishes for people you have met traveling?
Here are all the posts from my time in Nepal, in case you missed one: