Friday, December 24, 2010

News from Nepal: Tent Revival and Textbook Embezzlement

In a nearby village, there was a 7-day reading of the Hindu holy texts by a famous holy man. He interpreted the Sanskrit texts for modern Nepali audiences, but he used such high, Sanskritic language that many people had difficulty understanding him.
[Click to enlargenate]

Puja outside the main tent

Celebrations during the last day. I am standing on a pick-up truck filled with musicians playing music and followed by several people on motorcycles. We visited the home of the holy man.

The ceremony raised money for a school and a temple through donations. This man, a jovial ex-soldier, offered up his land worth rupees 14 lakh (about $20,000)

School Fieldtrip to the Buddhist Monastery Namo Buddha

We sacrificed a goat for the school picnic. Action snapshot.
[Click to embiggify, but mildly graphic]

Sunset silhouette of Namo Buddha

Here's some news:

The former Crown Prince is in trouble for allegedly brandishing his gun again, firing in the air and making tiger-related threats against the son of a deputy minister. There were protests and traffic blocks against his imprisonment all over Kathmandu last week. I find it difficult to understand where the loyalty comes from, but then again he wasn't going to be my king.

Nepal ex-Prince Paras Shah Arrested Over Gun Row

This week has been a testing week at all of our schools. So it was interesting to see a story about textbook embezzlement on the cover of the Himalayan Times. The article seems to blame teachers and headmasters for the irregularities. My headmaster says that some schools might engage in this sort of scam but of course no one really talks about it.

Schools, Teachers, Not Playing by the Book

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