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Life in Nepal

March 23, 2010

8th Karmapa thanka that hangs in our living room. The painter is a Bhutanese lama.

View of Boudha from my rooftop

Had our friends Changchub and Amchi Ngawang over for dinner in which they showed us how to make momos, Tibetan and Bhutanese style.

Changchub and the momo factory

Amchi Ngawang, Bhutanese momo-master

Patient from Dolpo

Daughter of patient from Dolpo

Inpatient at Shechen Clinic. Receiving treatment for tuberculosis which primarily affected the lumbar vertebrae and spinal nerves causing paralysis from the waist down. He receives twice daily physical therapy as well as acupuncture. I've personally learned a lot from this particular patient as he has a big heart and is very optimistic about his condition and recovery. He is now able to stand with assistance and performs his exercises with a big smile on his face. He flexes his biceps and says "He-Man" when I bring an herbal formula for him. He says it tastes like Tang, which is hilarious because that particulary formula has a, let's say, earthy aroma and taste. His brother in law is in the British military and gave him the full set of military fatigues to which he gave me his hat that matches the trousers in the photo above.

Another inpatient at Shechen. 22 years old, gave birth recently without any prenatal care. Malnourished and diagnosed with anemia and hypothyroidism during her stay at Shechen. I first treated her knee pain which gained her confidence in acupuncture as the pain was reduced. This allowed me to treat some of the deeper deficiencies with herbal medicine and acupuncture. She always had a bright face despite her physical state. It was enjoyable to watch her strength come back day by day. This photo was taken a few days before her release.

Saili, another inpatient. She was admitted for congestive heart failure and is doing well now. I treat the burning pain due to neuropathy in her legs which was causing her a great deal of discomfort. I come by and give her acupuncture and some massage for her legs which I think is what she holds out for. She hates taking the herbal formulas (the taste is usually something quite special) that I mix for her but takes them religiously.

Co-worker, Kelsang, Amchi Ngawang's assistant, stands next to the shelves of Tibetan herbal formulas which are prepared on site.

Changchub, Tibetan Dakini, working in the pharmacy (western medicine)

Lhakpa and I visited Sankhu, a Newari village on an old trade route between Tibet, Nepal and India. These boys playing and yelling 'hello!' as we walked by.

Woman working from window (Sankhu)

Dogs barking from rooftop (Sankhu)

Baby goats on the path to the Vajrayogini temple in the hills outlying Sankhu

On our ascent to the Vajrayogini temple and caves, we encountered an elderly lama carrying up this full 50kg gas cylinder. I have no idea how this guy was carrying it himself, as Lhakpa and I got our fair share of excercise lugging it up to the top, which made our visit to the temple all the more sweet.

Lama that was carrying the gas cylinder and looks after the Vajrayogini temple. He's lived as a monk there for 40 years, only going down to Sankhu once a month.

Meditation cave

Guru Rinpoche caves in Pharping where he reached enlightenment. Hand-print said to be left by him set in solid rock.

Inside Guru Rinpoche's cave in Pharping.

Drinking tongba (a warm Tibetan beer made from fermented millet) on a Saturday afternoon with Emily, a medical doctor from Shechen.

Emily imbibing. Doctors orders.

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