What is happening at the Pema Choling Monastery?

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It has almost been 6 months since I left Nepal, time is really going by fast. The weather is warmer over there which makes me glad because it means that the children at the Monastery will have some warm water and are not freezing all the time.

Before I left, there was a big event that the community of the Khumbu region and Monastery put together. They went from village to village, singing, praying and chanting in order to receive donations. When I spoke with the President of the Monastery I was told that they would use the money to give blankets and mattresses to families throughout villages who had no such things so they could make it through the winter (no isolation nor heating in homes) and that finally, they might make a new sleeping area for the kids at the Monastery. This all sounded very good but I had no bigger expectations – though I do know that the sum of money they managed to collect would be well enough to give the boys a new sleeping area.

Sadly enough when I followed up on this, I was told that the money would not be used for the “bedrooms” for the boys or classroom but to refurbish the Monastery in itself – which is fine and needed as well. But – when will the children get a new sleeping area?! I have just set up a simple plan of maintaining hygiene for the boys at the Monastery because this is something that really needs to be worked on and it will be even more difficult when they sleep – like they do. They have no heating above the classroom so winters are indurable and no lighting and it is dirty and to be honest, quite difficult to keep clean. But we can always try to make it better, right?

I have now spoken with Ashok, my friend in Phakding who runs a lodge with wi-fi (he only wi-fi so far after Lukla until Namchee). He usually visits the Monastery to pay his respects and pray every week. I asked him for these photos and about what we can do – what it would cost and if entrepreneurs in the valleys are interested in committing to the project. We will see.

On a slightly different note – the kids are receiving many volunteers this year and has so far had Greg and Mark & Jenn Wroe with family. Dane is currently at the Monastery now, staying for 12 weeks (fantastic!) and will soon have Maeghan, Shibani and Matt joining. They are also all interested in making it as good as possible for the children and are all trying to make sense of my notes and lists for them to use while teaching :) Maeghan will help to implement the “health-chart” for the kids and when she leaves, Shibani will continue. Keep your fingers crossed for that to work – that the boys will be reminded of and understand the importance of brushing their teeth and keeping the rest of themselves clean. Oh yes, I am trying to get started on something with the local hospital (closest would be Lukla) if the kids could go on a yearly health and dental check-up. That would be amazing.