Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good Bye Surmang!

Tomorrow morning we will leave the Surmang Clinic.  This will be interesting because I have mixed feelings.  We have never been in the same place for a whole month, and it will feel weird leaving.  I have loved being in a relaxing place for a long time, but have missed the feeling of travel.  I loved the peace of Surmang.  I am excited to relax in the relatively big city of Xining.  I also will enjoy not having as much work.  Here in Surmang, there is a ton of excess time, and with that comes excess work.  I hope we will have a nice hotel in Xining. 

Today, Maxime (my photographer friend) and I took pictures and played video games.  We started in the morning by taking a tripod to a cave outside of our clinic.  To get to the cave, one must cross the river over an unstable plank of metal.  This was a little bit scary with Maxime’s valuable camera in my hands.  We made it to the other side and walked up into the cave.  We mounted the tripod and started taking pictures with creative angles and composer.

After the cave shots, we crossed the crooked bridge and headed back to the clinic. It was raining hard outside so we spent the rest of the day inside.  I imported my pictures and played some video games with Maxine on my iPad and his iPhone.  We were interrupted by my mom calling me to see something extremely interesting. 

Sitting in the upstairs of the clinic was a Rinpoche.  He was an older looking man dressed in fine yellow and red robs wearing a pointed red hat.  He is the brother of Lee’s famous teacher, the 11th incarnation of the Trungpa Rinpoche.  He had two Buddhist brothers who accompanied and took care of him.  We in the clinic, all took turns presenting the Rinpoche with a Khata.  We bowed forward for him to place the Khata around our neck.  This was both interesting and scary because the rules of behavior were so complex and unknown to me.  I was afraid that I would screw up in some way!

Normally for dinner, we eat a small amount of food at the upstairs dining room of the clinic.  Tonight we were invited to gorge ourselves with food at two different Tibetan households.  First, we went to Pansi’s house and had a huge dinner of Tibetan vegetable noodle soup with the gang.  We returned to the clinic only to be invited to Atchey’s house.  There, we were served watermelon, eggs, stir fried vegetables and bread.  Atchey’s house was full of good energy, happy toddlers, and light.  I get a warm feeling when I think about all the love coming from all the Tibetan elders.  This is a wonderful way to end the Surmang experience.

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!


  1. Great idea, actually! I just asked him and he didn't know that word. A belated word of the day tomorrow!