Opening of New Monastery in the Himalayas
On April 19, 2009 the new monastery in Hinang, Gorkha district was consecrated. 23 of us travelled on board a Russian MI-17 helicopter left over from the Afghanistan war to the remote and spectacular region north of Mount Manaslu...the world's 8th highest mountain at 26,781 feet...for the opening of the Nubri Hinang Thrangu Choephel Ling Monastery by Thrangu Rinpoche.
The monastery was constructed over the past six years along the edge of a massive rock face, alongside a river with turquoise water flowing from the Himalayan snows. Thrangu Rinpoche was met by hundreds of villagers, some of whom had walked for one week to attend the elaborate ceremony. Prayers in Tibetan were accompanied by traditional drums, horns and cymbals.
Rinpoche consecrated the monastery and the health post in Hinang. We had a simple lunch, then flew 20 minutes to another monastery, a little higher up above a village called Lho. From there, we walked up a winding trail to Lho Gompa. All along the way, hundreds of nuns, monks and lay people had waited to catch a glimpse of Rinpoche, with the hopes of receiving his blessing. The afternoon crosswinds were picking up, and the pilots were anxious to take off before the gusts grounded us. Rinpoche did short prayers and blessings at Lho Monastery and we bundled into the waiting helicopter with some haste.
Roughly 30% of SMD kids come from Nubri. Here at the main school, we are training SMDears as health workers and teachers. Eventually, they will be able to staff the health post in Hinang. We hope, in the future, to see a school there, as well. The small children will then be able to stay closer to their families and their villages, and will not have to come down to the Kathmandu valley until they finish Class 4.