So our visitor center for the Buddhist school is coming along swimmingly despite it being hotter than anything . . . ever. We finished the mud brick layers and just had a crazy day of pouring a concrete beam. Let me just say that poking drying concrete with a rebar “stick” to make sure it sets properly over a rebar cage is as tiring as it sounds. It did, however, leave us all with a huge sense of accomplishment.
The silliest part of that day by far was lunch. Usually we eat on carpets in the beautiful lunchroom but due to miscommunication, there wasn’t any lunch for us that day. So everyone headed to the newly opened “Live to Love” café next to our construction site. The cafe is basically a small room where Buddhist nuns sell and serve treats like King Tat bars (India’s alternative to Kit Kat) and homemade momos (a delicious Tibetan dumpling). The nuns are super sweet and totally rock the shaved head look, but alas, they have not been to restaurant school. So needless to say, when 45 hungry people showed up demanding momos, they were understandably overwhelmed. As the troops began to get more and more restless and the nuns more and more flustered, my classmate Cheryle came up with a great idea: help the nuns cook. I jumped in, along with 4 others, and began kneeding dough, folding momos and stirring thupka (yummy Tibetan soup) under the watchful eye of the nuns. And while I can’t say I memorized the recipes, cooking with those small red-robed nuns was a pretty fantastic experience.
– Samantha Rose