The Peace Mandala is now underway. Monday was a quiet day here. The monks left early to start the construction, Wesley went with them and filmed, Gerry went to work, and I washed clothes, changed bed sheets, towels, general hotel maid service, haha! When they got back home and went to their rooms, they came downstairs and bowed to me and thanked me for their clean rooms.
Never in my life.......
Monday night was quiet, just the four of us, Gerry had a game to shoot. I made a vegetable curry and rice and with some fruit and flatbread. Simple meals. Then we watched the Olympics and Jamphel showed us more photos of his family in Tibet.
Our days have moved into a comfortable routine. We are a family together. I get up early, warm the water, put out the bread and butter, make tea, maybe some fruit. They start moving around upstairs around 7:30. Prayer, yoga, talk to family, showers, then come down and eat with us. Jamphel has we chat on his phone, if you have family far away, this is a really cool app. He can record voice messages, send them and then his family can listen whenever. He listens to his we chats over and over. The other day, Wesley and I talked into his phone to his family and then he took a photo of us, and then sent a translation. Technology is a marvel!
Tuesday afternoon, the monks worked with the kids in the Artscenter's after school arts immersion program. They taught them how to use chakpurs and make sand paintings. It was so much fun. I helped out and Wesley came along and took photos. This is the classroom I taught in for so many years, it brought back so many great memories.
Wesley got up in the wee hours Tuesday morning, drove to school, went to class and then drove back home to be with her new brothers. There was no way she was going to get stuck in Winston Salem with a winter storm while we were all here. Good decision, later on Tuesday her school canceled classes for today and Thursday. Here comes more ice and snow. Can you say cabin fever?
Tashi and Jamphel rode home with us after the the class was over. They went up to rest for awhile, I warmed up noodle soup from a previous night, cut up some mango and made a chinese cabbage salad with toasted ramen noodles. Do you know this salad? It is zshimpo doog!
Again Gerry had basketball, so it was the four of us and a quiet late supper, then the Olympics again.
During breakfast and dinner, we practice our languages. They teach us Tibetan words, we help with their English. Last night we were teaching them to speak with a southern accent. I cannot tell you how hard we laughed when Jamphel practiced saying "git 'er done". We are learning the Lhasa words, a more intellectual dialect used by the more educated people of Tibet. I found some Tibetan translations online and practiced them, but they told me these were all wrong, and so we learned the right way from them.
I don't know what the next couple of days are going to bring. The weather says ice and snow, possible power outages, classes are closed, so we will hunker down here. We have plenty of food, firewood, and good company, so I'm guessing today will be a will be a quiet one here at home. I feel like I am living in a suspended reality, a dreamlike state of mind with new information getting pumped into my brain everyday. There is such a rich culture out there in the world, I wish everyone could have the experience of inviting someone with language barriers and cultural differences into their homes. It is an experience like no other I have ever had. I'm also glad that I have been using this blog each day as a journal. My days melt into one another and I can't seem to remember what I even did yesterday. Wesley thought that they had only been here for three days yesterday and I had to remind her that they got here last week. We have no concept of time right now!