Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Day of Play!

This morning, I went with Martin (the Swiss Buddhist staying at the monastery) to teach English to the young monks.  It is amazing to me to see the friendship between all the little monks.  They all treat each other like brothers.  In the morning when Martin and I entered the monastery, I got the vibe that a sleep-over had just happened.  Martin and I walked up the stairs to a mediation room, where we set up to teach.  Near the back of the room there was a big green gong.  All of us sat on traditional carpets.  We started class with meditation.  Then, Martin set up a black board with Tibetan script and English lettering.  We tried to teach them how to say “my name is.”  That was tricky for them because they had practically no focus.  They were all roughhousing.  We tried to teach the monks “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”  They lacked enough focus even to sing the song.  Some sang other Tibetan pop songs, others stared into space, some shouted completely random things.  

After we finished the English lesson, I went home and had lunch. I filled my belly with a delicious meal of rice and veggies, and quickly ran down to the field to start a soccer game with the monks.  The kid’s ages ranged from ~ 5 - 12.  I was one of the best players on my team.  It was a nice change from playing soccer in Germany, where I got my butt kicked. 

When I came home from soccer, I had played until 5:00!  I first played cards with Drolma,  a translator at the clinic.  She taught me some cool Tibetan card games that I did not already know.  I taught her the classic English card game, “War.”   After that Drolma and I played bad-mitten for about half an hour.  When she got tired, I practiced kicking the soccer ball in the courtyard of the clinic. 

Pansi and Ocho, the Tibetan ladies who clean and fetch water, just made a delicious batch of hot bread.  They first roll out the dough in round shapes the size of one’s palm.  They then fry the dough on a stove heated by Yak dung. I am going to go get some!

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!

Pictures from around the village:



  1. Rohan,
    What a day you had! I laughed when I read of Martin's and your struggles with keeping (getting?) the attention of the students. I imagine some of your own elementary school teachers experienced a similar problem!
    I look forward each day to see your pictures and read about your activities in Surmang.
    love, Grandma Doris

  2. Hi Rohan,
    I just caught up on all your travels, it sounds like you are having a great time. Your experience teaching sounds just like mine when I substitute teach here in Anchorage!
    Do you get much English news there? TV or newspapers, or do you need an internet connection?

    I remember reading the propaganda paper in Beijjing where it looked like a regular paper, but all the news was happy.

    Have fun, hi to your mom and dad,

  3. Hi Rohan. A new follower just arrived! Your writings are great, I look forward to reading more of your adventures every day. Thanks for sharing the world and your world with us.
    Love from Istanbul.

  4. Students roughhousing and not paying attention?? Say it ain't so!!

  5. Hey, Rohan!
    Sounds like a great day... I now have a craving for freshly baked bread! Have fun playing soccer!!!

  6. Fishing and visiting the slope for a few days and it is great to get back to your adventures.

    Always find a local to be your tour guide...if ever there Josie, I will remember..good of her to take time away from the Pussycats and lead you all around.
    The Wall is and was amazing! I walked on it once and wondered why they built it???Is there a drug cartel on the other side or something?
    Your pics remain great and make me feel like I am there with you..especially liked th pigeon between the pains. Did you get a glimpse of Mike Tyson??
    The gas station adventure had to try the souls of typical Americans....I can hear the cursing. Much better choice - sharing a meal - and waiting for Tibet to happen.
    You will be quite an athlete when you finish training over there...even now it is like you are on the forth day of the Tour de France. Real life, fair blood doping.
    My suggestion is put those Monks on Ritalin and then teach them the sky hook.
    More to your dad later on the group

    How many degrees of separation do you want between new blog followers.