Solidarity…the beginning:

Monday June 2nd 2014

We are thick with volunteers now. Two women and one man at the monastery and a woman at the orphanage and school. We women are all staying at the lodge. I’ve been so cooped up with being sick I had not had the opportunity to do much talking or meeting for that matter, but today I woke up wonderfully rested with half a course of antibiotics in me and ready to go. Our new addition is from the US, but was born in Kathmandu, so to her benefit and disadvantage, there is no language barrier. The long and short of it is, we have all come across the same hurdle with being detained at the orphanage and school. The poor kind woman who is actually assigned to the orphanage and school has been working 14 hours a day and has now caught something from the kids as well. She was told, as I was, to eat some soup and come back to work. We girls had a little shoulder to shoulder and explained that one must really put their foot down around here. Our new addition was having a conversation with her mother, explaining that I was sick and she was unsure as to whether she would make it to the monastery because the solution offered was to stay here and work the guess what. Fortunately, her mother caught on right away, and asked to be put on the phone with the people in charge. In Nepali, her mother explained to our host, that she had paid for the monastery and that is what her daughter was going to experience. We seem to be straightening things out around here! But wait till I tell you about the marriage talk!

Fortunately for me, I’m wearing a ring and am out of the question…thought that might come in handy. Well, I had a warning. I read the blog of a girl who spent 3 or 4 months here and said towards the end, they insisted she wear the traditional clothing. Well, once she had that on, she was paraded around and offered as available! She said simply that it was very awkward. Well, our poor kind young woman with the school and orphanage assignment was given traditional clothing her 3rd day! It is now being insisted she wear it every day, so we hipped her to the meaning behind that. The girl who speaks Nepali was told in no uncertain terms that she was to take a Nepali husband and take him back to the US. Now mind you, we’re in a very isolated part of the country. Anyway, we were talking with the male volunteer at the monastery today, and he said they were fixing him up with a specific girl, but when he told them he’d want to stay here in this beautiful place and live, they became uninterested. Very funny considering the one girl who actually did run away with a Nepalese…monk, is the reason us girls can’t stay at the monastery anymore!

If you want to come here, I certainly wouldn’t let it stop you, but for me, it did help to have a warning of the things I might encounter. Now to bed as I’m not fully recovered yet. Oh, and they apparently turned the internet off for the rest of the year! So, I can only post simple things through the cell network. All pictures will be through Instagram and writings will be here…when they will go through!

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