Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Sky Burial

This morning, we had scrambled eggs, mixed with potatoes.  This was new to many of the Tibetans.  We decided to have eggs this morning because the Tibetan diet does not have much protein.  Their main source of protein is yak meat, but we’re not eating meat here.  We have seen skinned yak meat hanging out in the sun with flies buzzing all around it, and I am sad for all the dead yaks. 

Also this morning Dawn, Drolma, and Phunsok left.  They are going to a town near Jeigu to recruit and train new CHWs (community health workers.)  We are savoring time at the clinic with few people.  Left here at the clinic are Wamboa, Drogra, Mom, Dad and I.  The day after Dawn, Drolma, and Phunsok come back (Wednesday), ten more people are coming to get ready for the Health Festival that begins on September 6th.  The ten new arrivals include Lee, his assistant, BeiBei, a film crew, an architect, and some public health professionals.  

Later in the day, Suna Ladja, the young monk who, the other day was learning English and examining our guitars, arrived at the clinic.  He came in to get some eye drops for his eye.  After he got his eye drops, he and I went outside to play basketball.  I taught him some English like “so close” and “good.”

Mom and I then went for hike up a stream drainage while dad went for a run up the road.  On our hike we saw many beautiful flowers.  We hiked up along a stream one valley over from the Retreat Center.  We crossed into the valley of the Center directly beneath it.  Below our crossing was another spiritual spot for the Buddhists.  It is called a Sky Burial, and it’s purpose is to dispose of the body of a person after he dies.  This is a platform where the Monks cut the body into chunks and leave the chunks for the birds.  This is a way of giving back to life.  You see, the human dies and the birds find life in the dead body.

Inscriptions on a Stone
A Bad Cut on My Hand

My Lovely Mom
The Sky Burial Site

We ended our hike right smack in the middle of the Stupa.  We walked home just in time for dinner.  We filled our bellies, and are now enjoying our relaxing evening. Martin just came over and we are going to watch a movie.  Harrison Ford, my favorite!

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!  `                           


  1. Great to see y'all on Skype. A super awesome Ford movie is Six Days, Seven Nights. Here is a review I wrote for

    Ford and Heche do wonders with the standard stuck-on-a-desert-island plot, and instead of being mundane it shines with real humor and unexpected twists and turns. Both actors display a true affinity for hilarious one-liners and unsuspected tender moments. A delightful movie. Highly recommended. Do not miss this one!!!!

  2. Hi Rohan - I loved your description of the Buddhist sky burial. That's quite a lovely thought. I have fixed the microphone on my computer so the next time you Skype me, we should be able to hear each other. The Rays won again today and are only 6 games behind the Yankees for the Wild Card. Love you, Grandmalish

  3. Six Days Seven Nights? Really Chopper? Of all the Harrison Ford flicks, this is "the one"? Wow! Really?

    I would probably put "Clear and Present Danger" near the top. I haven't seen "Patriot Games" recently, but I remember that's a good one. Of course Indy One is up there. The other Indiana Jones are not as good.

  4. Yikes! Apparently I unable to recognize the tongue in Chopper's cheek. All is good in Whoville - But who is this KnowledgeableFilmCritic fellow and what is his evil design? Some creative plot to infect the American public with whatever he/she is pandering? Say, since I was a bit dense on this one - Rohan *does* like the Blue Rays, right? Ha!