It was expected, twelve hours of sleep after a long flight and months of enjoyable hard work!
Back in Paradise!
The view from the flight to Leh was breathtakingly beautiful this time. Last year the thick clouds made it impossible to view the glaciers and snow, now it seemed like we were flying just above the mountains and you could easily touch the snow. Arriving at the airport in Leh makes one wonder every time how pilots precisely navigate between the peaks dipping or raising the wings ensuring not to touch them, without which it would be impossible to fly by the mountains.
Everything on the first day seems 'breathtaking' as the air is so thin here the slightest effort leaves you breathless.
Yesterday, during a walk around the village, I met a nun from Nepal who had lodged at the guest house with me in 2003, a monk from the monastery in Thiksey under which our Nyerma monastery falls, people on the street, shopkeepers all know you, even though you have never bought anything from them. I had to get two photos for my press card so I can photograph the Dalai Lama, who is already here, for the 33rd Kalachakra for which 150,000 people have already registered! The majority are Tibeten or Ladakhi but there also many westerners who have arrived for this special occasion.
There was also a wedding commotion. I was at the Millennium guesthouse where I met Waheeda who got married three days ago to a man chosen by her family, she was introduced to him just two days before the wedding for the first time. Also at the Guesthouse, Jogmet got married in a hurry and left for the Nubra valley. I had a conversation about this with two Ladakhi friends, both are in a 'love relationship' they say in general Tibetans follow their hearts.
I received an unexpected visit from two people who are from my neighborhood in the Netherlands, tomorrow I'm going with them to Basgo to see how far they have progressed with the construction of the convent which is to be inaugurated on the 4th of August.