I awoke yesterday morning at 5.30am to the delightful sounds of Payma’s mum gobbing up outside my bedroom window. But my day really started when she came into my room at 6.00am to clean The Dalai Lama’s altar and light two large incense sticks. She disappeared for a couple of minutes, to reappear with a … More Just another ordinary day…
Teaching English to Tibetan monks is one thing, but to see the Dalai Lama in person is quite another. From Thursday to Saturday here in Dharamsala, he has been holding twice-daily open audiences at the Temple. As 6,000 people are expected at each session, I was thrilled when Kunchok, a senior monk who runs the … More A Teaching with the Dalai Lama
My time in McLeod Ganj is already half way through. So far it’s been a mixture of what I expected (this is my third time in India) with a lot of surprises thrown in. McLeod Ganj is a bustling town full of Indians, Tibetans, Westerners and goodness knows who else, living in peril of being … More A fish pedicure, a trip to the post office, and to the Hope Mission
I knew the average age for an IVHQ volunteer is mid to late twenties, but I hadn’t expected older volunteers (people over fifty) to be such a rare breed. Therefore I was delighted to bump into Rhonda, a gutsy fifty-five year old Australian, who has been volunteering in different parts of India for several years. … More Rhonda’s advice for older volunteers
What with settling in with my home-stay family in McLeod Ganj (similar in size and vibe to what I image Kathmandu to be) and finding my feet teaching Tibetan monks, you could say these past few days have been one hell of a learning curve. I am staying with Payma and her husband Nyima, and … More Settling in with my Tibetan family
Okay, so the bus stop in the middle of a Delhi slum wasn’t exactly London’s Victoria Coach station, and the road certainly wasn’t a motorway, but this was a journey I’m glad I didn’t miss. It started for me (I was travelling with four other IVHQ volunteers) with two delicious potato cakes from a food … More A gruelling bus journey soothed by the Dalai Lama, himself!