Thursday, September 1, 2011

More Work For the Festival

This morning, I slept in and missed breakfast, but I did not mind because I wasn’t hungry, and I’m thoroughly sick of oatmeal.  I had to do some reading, but my reading was interrupted because Mom said that I had to go into the courtyard and help get ready for the festival. 

The day before yesterday we put up big Chinese tent in which we set up beds.  Today, Lee wanted us to take the Chinese tent down and put up a Tibetan tent.  We had to move the beds from the Chinese tent and pack it up.  We did not yet put up a Tibetan tent, because the Tibetan tents owned by the Surmang Foundation are being fixed.  The Chinese tents here are blue with big, white Chinese characters.  The Tibetan tents are colorful, covered with large Tibetan symbols.  Sometimes the Tibetan tents are made out of yak fur.  We are getting a yak fur tent, and a colorful Tibetan tent. 

While we were taking down the tent, Wambao and Phunsok started building a stage to be used for talks and performances during the festival.  The stage was made of wood.  They placed long beams on the ground and leveled them with rocks   Then they placed planks of wood over the beams.  I helped carry the planks from the supply of planks to the stage.  When we got tired, Pansi and Ocho served us watermelon.  It was roasting hot outside.

After lunch, I went out to play soccer with the monks.  Today, I got my butt kicked because my team had only four players, and the opposite team had six players, and Wambao.  Wambao is a killer soccer player.  The kids know me now.   Whenever they see me coming, I am greeted with cheers and laughter.  It feels good to have some real friends with me on the trip.  When I was playing, I tripped and opened the cut on my hand.   The field is covered with rocks and trash.  Whenever I write about hurting myself, it is from tripping over a rock.

Later, Martin and I tried a hot air balloon experiment.  He made a bag out of Top Ramon wrappers.  We attached a burning Khata to the bottom of the bag.  The hot air from the burning Khata was supposed to fill the bag and make it rise.  A Khata is a holy scarf that one gives to people on special occasions as a sign of respect and honor.  I found it offensive that, for his hot air supply, Martin burned a Khata.  The experiment failed for two reasons.  First, the wrappers were too heavy.  Second, the hole at the bottom of the balloon was too big for the small source of fire. 

Today was so hot, that we decided to go to the bathing pool.  This is a small, partially damned off section of the river that is trashed and muddy.  It bothers me that such a beautiful area is transforming into a dump because people litter  In spite of the trash, the locals bathe there and so do we.  We went there today with Martin to wash our hair.  It felt good to be in the water, which soothed our skin.  On the way to and from we saw a group of horses roaming the grassland.  I observed two horses fighting.  The horses around here are very beautiful.  I headed home feeling refreshed and clean.   

When we got home we had soup for dinner, and I had to do my blog. . 

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!         

PS - Check out the on-line version of the Christian Science Monitor last week for an article about the Surmang Foundation and this clinic!             


  1. Hey Rohan,

    Another busy, event-filled day. Why are the soccer teams mismatched by number of players (6 or 7 vs. 4)? Why not 5 on 5?

    I read and enjoyed the CSM article.


  2. Dear Chopper,
    Tibet is a beautiful place, but things tend to be a lot less organized. I seriously do not know why the teams are unequal!

    Rohan Geographic

  3. Football football football, what Americans call soccer, helps Rohan feel more alive... When he plays vice Wambao, he finds himself in troublao, especially if its not five on five...

  4. Andrew, that one is my favorite!! Very funny!