|One of the photos from my exhibits: The Boudha Stupa, Kathmandu.|
Soon again I found myself hopping onto planes which would bring me to the Indian business metropolis of Bangalore. Having arrived there in the middle of the night, a high standard bus (the only kind of bus I’m taking in India after my accident last year) dropped me off in Kushal Nagar after a five hour drive. A fifteen minutes rickshaw drive led me to my final destination, Namdroling Monastery or the Golden Temple, as the local Indians call it. I arrived later than planned, yet still in advance to help set up Rigpa’s second Tibetan Translator Training. Despite some previous correspondences with the monastery, a good amount of organizational work was still necessary. After a few days and in time for the training to begin we had arranged a class room, a khenpo to teach, and monk and nun lobpöns who would be our conversational partners. Now the second week is almost over and I am happy with the format and schedule of the programme.
|The Tashi Delek Restaurant Gang|
Here at Namdroling, in the early mornings I am speaking to a lay Tibetan, a friend of ours, practicing my colloquial Tibetan. Later on a khenpo teaches the group on a text and we take turns attempting to interpret. The khenpo’s dialect pronounciations are different. For instance vowel sounds are different than how they are taught to be pronounced in books. But after all, not a single Tibetan speaks according to them anyway. After lunch I have another tutor session with a lobpön from Khenpo Jigme Phüntsok’s monastery of Larung Gar in Tibet. He and I are getting along very well but his accent is so strong making it a challenge. One of the exercises that we do is to go over the part of the text which was covered in the class, using a mix of colloquial and classical Tibetan to describe its content. The whole point is to concentrate on Dharma Tibetan. In the afternoon my last class is a grammar class for colloquial Tibetan after which I have time for my personal studies. Our small group, which currently consists of three students plus two teaching members, resides in two guesthouses, one which is in Namdroling, the other is close by. I make daily circumambulations of the massive monastery which takes twenty minutes but which incorporates my walk to the surrounding restaurants where I eat and practice my language skills with the locals.
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