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09/07 arrival Geshe Pema Dorjee La

Today I'll try to make my story short because like every night it is already too late 23h30 and tomorrow we have to wake up at 5h20 to follow a very unique ceremony in the temple. We won't be allowed in the temple but we are invited to follow the ceremony from the inside balcony. It is called "confession" but it is not what we understand by it in our Catholic way of thinking.

Today was our last day of sports in the monastery. Because it was raining a little bit we limited sports outside by basketball only, because the monks are crazy about it. (Every second of their free time, also between the sports they are playing basketball or some other sports, their energy has no limits... unbelievable).

Olivier and Melodie teached English lessons, Sofie and Jonas Dreesen gave Ping Pong and juggling while Jonas DL made movies and I was giving Yoga. At the same time Hans was organising our pictures on the computer. I am so thankful to him for doing this very annoying job.

Because it was my last yoga lesson today I made it really really hard. The monks yoga skills are becoming very good, so I raised the difficulty level in combination with doing all my fitness exercises the result of this all was that after my second class I started to see stars and black spots. So also earlier as expected I drank my first high energy boost drink that I brought with me. I drank some more water and salt and I was again on top of the yoga class ;) . After our lessons all monks had to clean the monastery because Friday is cleaning day. So we also cleaned our guest house (yes yes with water!).

After cleaning I went with Karma to the airport to pick up Geshe Pema Dorjee La. He came specially from Dharamsala to see us and to thank us for all the work we have done the past year for all his projects. Normally he would have been on a trip to Finland but because he still had problems with his visa - in India it takes a very long time to get a new international passport- he changed schedule.

We arrived in the monastery at 16h40 and he would meet our group to have a conversation at 17h30. So we had the time to prepare some questions. Until 19h00 he had a very intense conversation with us (afterwards he had to go and meet other people, but in the morning he would be back). He spoke with us about the importance of the monastery why it is standing here in Nepal, why most of the children come from India, why he wants to help revive the Bodong tradition, why the children get this Buddhist education. It is too much to explain here but we -the whole group- now understand very very well why this education is so important, why all our work we did to collect money is so needed. I think he convinced most of our team when back in Belgium to start another full year of hard fond raising in order to help all these very poor and neglected children. These children really deserve a good education like the one they are getting here in the Porong Monastry.

Pema Dorjee La also told us that there are some younger people in Rathankot who sold a kidney in order to have money to pay the school fee for their children. He told about other villages in India where people have to sell their daughter and where girls are already pregnant on the age of 15. I really had to fight my tears when I heard him speak of all these horrible things. He as well shed a tear when he was thinking of all these children who are suffering the worst nightmare.

Tomorrow after the confession we are going on a pick-nick with all the monks (this is something we are going to pay to show our gratitude for our nice stay). Geshe Pema Dorjee La is joining us and there we will further discuss our future plans and how to divide the 25000€ we transferred to the monastery.

We ended our day with playing some very very nice games in our group together with Tashi (the accountant) Tinlee the 27 year old monk and an other monk who's name I forgot because it is to difficult to remember.

So now I want to have 5 hours of sleep if the dogs keep quite...
Sunday we leave for Rathankot at 10 o'clock. I think we will stay there for about 12 days instead of 14 days because we still have to arrange so many things.... So I will update our adventures after our return from Rathankot! I thank you all for following this blog and I wish you a very good night!

Ps.: for my parents my stomach is healed :)