• Like clockwork, Gudu brought us breakfast in our room at 8:00 am - fried egg on white bread with toast & jam & tea • The bulk of the morning was taken up with class planning, now that we have a basic sense as to where the boys are in their English skills, we think we have something we can build on • Maybe? • Teaching English, on a volunteer basis, when neither of us are teachers, is tricky to say the least • What is even more tricky is that there is no assigned curriculum - we have to establish it as we go - us, and every other volunteer that rolls through here • If only there could be a set curriculum to follow, I think both the Monks and volunteers would benefit that much more - note: must tell someone in authority that! • Like clockwork, once the main power came on, Kitti and I hit the Internet cafe • Boys in the cubicle next to me were singing along to Celine Dion & Beyoncé on the radio - they were actually pretty good • I smiled at them and they giggled with embarrassment back • Before we knew it, it was time for 11:00 Daal Bhaat • Finished our final lesson planning and Karma was waiting in D.T. and Anjou's room to escort us to the Monastery • The Monks, even the little ones with all their energy, walk a slow steady pace up hill, up the long row of stairs to the Monastery • At first I thought it was for our benefit, but no, that is how I think everyone around here tolerates all the hills • Only the crazy European & North American tourists are moving quickly up the hills - well, not this North American - I learned from Karma & the boys about the slow steady pace & embraced it • We were greeted by some of our Monks when we got to the entrance to the Monastery, which lead off the stairway • We thought we had our class worked out, but these boys are not disciplined and sitting in a class is not their thing - Enter plan B • Class started at 12:45 today and by 1:30, we were wiped • Plan B: a Field Trip to the Monkey Temple (the young Monks are not allowed to wander up to the Monkey Temple on their own, so it would be a bit of a treat) • At 2:00, we would take the six winners from the day before up to the Monkey Temple, if they wanted to go (we gave them a 5 minute break and said we would be leaving at 2:00 if they wanted to join us) • I cringed when Kitti told me that Pema, the most disruptive of the bunch, had completed his work the day before, and therefore was allowed to join the Field Trip • Pema was a kid who acted out, in all the wrong ways, trying to get attention • When Pema wasn't smiling, he could look down right scary to me (and yet, I knew he was a Monk, albiet a lama in training - much training I thought) • At 2:00 Pema, Rabi, Rin Tsering, Dowa Lama, Singhe, Kitti and I traipsed up to the Stupa at the top of the Monkey Temple • Wow, these trouble makers turned into happy fun little boys • Pema became my sidekick and said we were nice - again, wow! • A breakthrough • Pema was just craving attention & wanted his photo taken, as they all did • These young Monks were as good as gold, listening to me on the walk • We counted Hindu Temples, discussed the colour of monkeys & told them the English words, "Prayer Wheels" • Rabi was the photographer in the crowd & took our group shots - you couldn't get him to stop snapping once he started - I couldn't get mad at him, he was having such fun • 3:00 came so quickly, as we were all having such a good time • Once back at the Monastery the boys, even those that didn't join us, performed wild Kung Fu acrobatics for us - wanting it all photographed of course • Karma, and the lucky 6 all got chocolates • Karma seemed relieved when we told him we didn't need an escort home, that we would be ok • Kitti and I happily walked down the stairs and along the wall of the Temple, watching monkeys cavort and chase each other • Who would have thought that I would be dodging monkeys on my way home from work? - fun • Our 4:00 snack of noodles and tea was waiting for us as we got home • Sitting on our beds and eating, we were discussing the success of our field trip, still learning who is who & their different personalities • I did however, have Pema's name learned on the first day - what does that say? • My bad boy stood out • D.T. has been at school all day, revising a brochure and Anjou has been entertaining with her sister & friends • Anjou is relaxing as she is about to head back to the country, Chitwan, to be head of her family during farming season • Anjou will be in the country for 3 months, walking 2 hours into the jungle each day to get what she needs & come back and plough the land by a hand pick and axe • The family is completely self sustaining in the country • Kitti and I have given ourselves a budget of 1200 rupees each, for the week • The Internet only cost us 10 rupees, how could it not last? • Kitti and I went for a walk to check out our neighborhood further • I managed to find an interesting prayer necklace in a shop down the street & a chap that had wooden carvings - this ate into my budget a bit - but I was still on track • Back in our room I could hear the sounds of dinner being made • The hiss of the rice pressure cooker, Gudu pounding the veggies on a stone with a stone to make a pesto & the friendly chatter of Anjou and Gudu in the kitchen • Dinner was served precisely at 7:30 - Daal Bhaat
|Our field trip up to the Stupa.|
|Group shot at the Stupa|
|Like my fancy men, the Sadhus,|
these guys love to pose.
Left to right: Rin Tsering, Dowa Lama & Pema.
|Pema asked for this photo to be taken|
with the Buddha.
|Photographer Rabi gone mad,|
taking 20 photos 2 seconds a part here.
|Kitti showing the boys their photos.|
|Walking down from the Monkey Temple|
with Kathmandu in the background.
|Our Kung Fu boys.|
|They were absolutely fearless in jumping off railings & spinning around.|
|Kitti called this young Monk, the littlest Angel.|
Don't let that sweet stare fool you,
he was the most passive aggressive little guy.
His real name is Nyma Setar.
|This smile so captures Singhe's personality.|
It makes me smile.
|Really guys, we have to go...|
|Mom & baby.|
|It really was a treat to see this on our way home.|
|Not unusual to see this - dogs curled up on the cement in a cluster.|
|Did I hear necklaces?|
|A house in front of ours.|
|The house at the end of our lane.|
|Kitti started photographing the boys.|
|Then they were coming at me so quickly.|