Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Settling In at Namo Buddha

At 5am the gong sounds and the monks start their day, full of joy and energy - John too springs out of bed for yoga while I laze about in bed for a little longer.

We all gather together at mealtimes to eat food that has been cooked over an open fire (for 180 people!). The food is great - lots of rice, dahl and curried vegetables. We even get curry for breakfast!

John is kept busy running the clinic six days a week. Three evenings a week he is teaching a course in health care for 17 young monks - they are ideal students
eager to learn, genuinely kind and compassionate, smart, energetic and curious.
This week they are learning how to take patient's history and check vital signs. The monks also get clinical experience by assisting John and Jamyang Dorje in the clinic.

The new hospital building is not yet finished but due to generous donations is back under construction - looking at a completion date of fall 2008. So for now the clinic is still run from the small 2 room complex, with no running water and poor ventilation (only 1 window). John says it gets a little close in there, but it is so rewarding. The folks are resilient, and strong they get better!! They are grateful and gracious.

Monsoon season in Nepal is over now so we are enjoying lots of clear views of the Himalayas. When we arrived we watched as the local villagers harvested their corn, and now bundles of cobs hang from the rafters of every home to dry. The terraced feilds are now being prepared for the winter crops. It is a beautiful, rich landscape.

We are surrounded by monks and are settling in to the simple and quiet rhythm of life at the monastery.