Yesterday was the one day the monks will have off while they are here, and the one day in a while Gerry has been off, so we all spent the day together. Wesley and Jamphel spent the morning with English lessons, Tashi fasted for breakfast and meditated until 1 pm. Jamphel requested that I get books for Tashi also, so I went out in the afternoon and got more language books for Tashi. Wesley now has two students.
I made us a nice lunch of lentils, jasmine rice and I baked some bread. We had such a nice meal together, the monks chant a prayer before we eat, and somehow the food is just better for their blessing of it. Do you see how happy everyone is? I received the most wonderful compliment from Jamphel. He said our home was very good and he was happy here. It has been interesting to observe how attuned they are to aesthetic. They appreciate the hand crafted pottery, the candles, the birds outside, the peacefulness of our house, and they comment on it.
|In the 'Hood|
After lunch they wanted to go for a walk. They were invited to join the other monks for some shopping but they didn't want to go. They wanted to walk. So here we go, walking through my neighborhood. I'm sure my neighbors have never seen a couple of monks walking past their house.
As we walked we talked about where they have been and what they have been doing while here. Tashi has traveled to Russia and Holland and speaks many languages (except English) and Jamphel left Tibet as a young boy and walked over the Himalaya into India to escape the Chinese invasion. His family remains in Tibet as nomads.
Jamphel asked me if I knew the actress Sharon Stone. Yes, I said. He told me that they stayed at her house when they were in California. Ok...... never in a million years would I have guessed that! They also went to Disneyland. Can you imagine?
The boys bonded on our walk, as boys will do. Wesley and I walked behind them taking pictures and loving the sight of Gerry with these two guests of ours. On our walk, Jamphel said they are Wesley's brothers. This morning as the three of them studied, I told them how proud I was of all of them and he said, "now you have three children." So true, they feel like my children and I love all three of them that way!
At lunch we talked about Momos. They are Tibetan steamed dumplings. I was given the recipe by the coordinator but wasn't sure I could make them. I didn't know it until the afternoon, but Jamphel had planned to prepare them for us for supper. We took Tashi and Jamphel over to the coordinators house in the afternoon and found out we were invited to come back later to eat. When we came back, all of the monks were gathered in the kitchen making momos. They must have made a hundred of them. They served us first and made sure we had a seat and had all we needed and then we ate. They even prepared separate vegetarian momos for us. The coordinator said that having monks prepare momos for you is considered a great honor and a very special treat, they don't always do this. I am humbled and so honored and close to emotional tears constantly.
After dinner we had a tea puja and then brought my boys back to our house. As we walked out the door, Jamphel said, "lets go home". Can I tell you that having a monk refer to my house as his home is about the most incredible thing ever!
Tashi went straight to bed, he is the quiet one, I think he spends a great deal of time in meditation. Jamphel is the curious one. He wants to learn everything. He stayed up very late with us talking and practicing his English and we all watched the Olympics together. We tried to explain what was going on and he marveled at the ice skating and snowboarding and the skiing. He shouted out just as we did when a skater would fall and cheered with us when the scores came up. It was all so surreal.
Jamphel told us it was a gift to be here with us and to be on this tour, but the gift is ours, to have these two in our home, we are all learning.