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Hello! Thank you for checking in. It has been a while since my last blog post-sorry! I’ve been busy traveling around Nepal and haven’t had a chance to actually sit down and digest it all. I was able to make it to a refugee camp and interview with Bhutanese leaders, doctors, and camp secretaries (more on all of this later). On to the less depressing story!

My trip to Namobuddha took place June 30-31.

We spent about 2 hours on a bus to get to Kavre Bhanjyang and began our trek. The path to the monastery was mostly on the road, though there isn’t much traffic. Much of the area is rebuilding due to damage from the earthquake and new resorts-overlooking the mountains and valley- are popping up to accommodate for tourists.

We trekked in silence; too tired and too sweaty from carrying our packs while our mentor told us, “just 3 more kilometers”, we knew it was more. The trek is by no means difficult (don’t let it deter you) but monsoon season can be so humid that the heat surrounds you and you just never. stop. sweating.

The winding roads took us to a small intersection in a town consisting of a few shops and small homes, signs for Namobuddha pointing downhill taking us farther away from the inevitable climb up to the top of the hill where the monastery rests.

Luckily enough, we made it in time for sunset. Monsoon season creates a lot of cloud cover making the mountain peaks difficult to discern on the horizon. But what they don’t tell you is that cloud cover makes for some heavenly looking photos. Sunrise is another story (but you win some you lose some, ha!).

Sunset in Namobuddha, atop a small stupa.

Time for dinner! The monks have a very regimented schedule. The monastery has at least 150 monks (and nuns). Many of the young ones sent because their families are too poor and monastery will offer them regular meals, a home, and a good education. The little ones run to their seats, their robes falling off their shoulders and the older ones stop them to help wrap them properly. There is prayer before every meal and the young ones are so boisterous they can be heard over the mono toned prayers of the older monks.  Now, I only had two meals during my short time but everything seems to be some kind of soupy food so it can be eaten quickly and breakfast is not your typical breakfast. Of course you can’t forget the giant steamed breads! I don’t particularly recommend the morning tea. It was so…salty? I think? Just very different than anything I’ve had in Nepal-and we have tea every day. But don’t knock it til you try it, right?

Potato and onion soup for dinner (cell phone)

The next day….

The monks have prayer every morning at 6. Definitely go. All the monks gather in one room that is decorated to the nines. Red walls with gold, purples, blues. Tapestries hang on every wall  and from the ceilings painted with clouds. Murals on the wall of every Buddha following Gautama Buddha. Mandalas depicting the four noble truths and the eight fold path of Buddhism. Pictures of the Dalai Lama and a statue of the Buddha.

Prayer is mesmerizing. I can’t understand a word but it is a spectacle to behold. Some monks play instruments- some horns, maybe a didgeridoo (or something like one) and a huge drum to keep beat.

No pictures allowed inside but you can imagine how extravagant it is based on the outside.


Buddhism is fascinating to me. And if you have the time to get to Nepal go to Namobuddha. But if you can’t, Wikipedia tells me there are even stupas in Washington state and Canada (for those of you back home)

Just remember to enjoy the view





Author: Jamie

A student at the University of Pittsburgh. New world traveler; global social justice advocate.

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