1 December 2014

With a rainbow colored flower and a Khadak in my hand

My friend Jess and my brother Richard and me  - and a few others - have been coming here to Nepal for more than 5 years now. We have watched little kids turn into little adults.

Big people.

Some are now making big decisions about their further study and careers.

These kids at the tiny Snowland School in Kathmandu are doing things that no-one from their very far away mountain villages has ever done before.


Getting an Education.

Having an Opportunity

Our little adults are becoming Teachers





It is pretty exciting and uplifting observing all this.

Participating in it.

It is excellent.

I work with more than a hundred people who help how we can.

Compared to the big NGO's we are very small potatoes.

We all love the beautiful Nepali children – and the Nepali people - and the beautiful Himalaya itself - however we hve a particular soft spot for the children of the North West mountainous region of Nepal. The place where the Snowland Ranag School children come from.

These kids come from very remote regions called the Upper Dolpo and Mustang and many of their villages are now in Tibet. 

It is not on any tourist map. 

The Dolpo and Mustang are very high regions where the Tibet and Nepal borders have always been blurred. The Chinese Army seized border villages and redefined borders when they invaded and occupied Tibet nearly 20 years ago. 

What was once Nepal is now China.

These are very high and holy places to Tibetan Buddhists who are descendants of the Bon.

I have written about the ancient Bon before so I will not repeat myself here.

Google them.

Their teaching pre-date Buddhism and Hinduism.

So the Snowland children are political refugees from places very far away. The families in these regions have very little – and there are no roads, electricity, telephones or the Internet. They have some goats and yaks and they scrape at arid and often frozen soil to grew crops in very harsh and tough conditions.

To say the least.

The Dolpo and Mustang mountain people are survivalists whose lives have remain very much unchanged for the last 1000 years.

Village life is a tough gig.

There is no parity at all when it comes to opportunity through education for these kids – when compared to what we have in our comfortable western worlds.

It doesn't seem right or fair.

So my hundred or so friends and me do what we can.

With this school we do this in cooperation with my friend the Guru Rinpoche Dolpo – the Lama and Holy Dude who is the fifth reincarnation of a Buddha Master. He is the founder and patron of the School.

I am a friend - not a follower - and he is a very nice and kind and decent bloke.

As all Lamas should be.

My brother and Jess and I and many of the people who have journeyed with us to Nepal now have many student and teacher friends from all of our schools. 

We have been friends for more than five years.

We are on Facebook.

We swap emails

We write letters.

We use Drop Box.

We are connected.

On my way out of the Snowland school yesterday afternoon I chatted awhile with a group of girl’s who were former students. Thinley is studying art, Karma is in year 11 and Sonam is doing nursing – however I think she wants to be a doctor.

And I think she will too.

Nice huh?

I have known them all since they were about 12 or 13.

Sonam passed me a letter when I said goodbye.

She did it shyly and she hugged me as I left.

I like to write and I love to read and there is great beauty in words. When they are put together in just the right order like Sonam has, they are incredibly powerful things.

The letter from Sonam delighted me and humbled me and moved me in a way that is difficult to describe. Stuff like this knocks the petty out of Peter and it puts my privileged life in perspective.

It is more precious to me than most of my possessions and it is something that I will treasure forever.

Here it is:

Dearest and respected Peter Ji

With a bunch of rainbow coloured flower and khadak in my hand I would like to say thank you very much from the inner core of my heart. I had been in my heart Snowland for 7 years. All the devotion, compassion, assist, education and happiness are very previous for me. Everything had gone very smoothly for me due the grace of yours. Today even though I’m away from Snowland was beautiful as Rhododendron. Sir today I am very satisfied toward Snowland. I will never forget your great virtues until my last breathe. And promise I am also going to do something very good in my future as you.

Well once again I would like to say thank you very much for you. I hope you will always have a easy and comfortable movement in the life.

Yours Responsible Student
Sonam Lhamo

A khadak is a colourful Tibetan ceremonial scarf used by Buddhists to welcome and bring luck and joy to its recipients. 

One receives it with a blessing and warmth and often in a ceremony of song.

Particularly at schools.

I have many now.

They are gorgeous.

They really are.

1 comment :

  1. Made me blub. Good things, Heppilicious. Very good things x