Nun For A Day

Nun For A Day

This is the first of hopefully a few more ‘Day in the Life’ projects that we are developing to bring additional sources of sustainable income to some Spiti locals. We chose this as the first Day in the Life based primarily on two criteria: one being that there is a real need for additional revenues because the nunnery has grown to over 50 nuns and second because of how badass/awesome/sweet/amazing these women are.

It was 1984, three nuns decide to start living in a cave on the outskirts of Pangmo. Their cave had no door, rocks were the best they could do for pillows and even as their numbers swelled to 12 they still only had two traditional sheep skin ‘mattresses’ and two blankets between the lot of them. When the time was right, the 12 Buddhist nuns built the first nunnery in Spiti. They are still in the same location, although their accommodations have had to adapt to accommodate the 50 nuns, ranging from 8 years young to five of the original nuns from the cave. These woman have survived for longer than I have been alive, and now there is a growing need to increase revenues to support the number of nuns they are taking in. Nun for a day will be one of the micro-enterprises that EcoSphere is helping to set up with the nuns to bring in the funds they need to keep on keeping on.
The grand tour of Pangmo Village

The grand tour of Pangmo Village

The nuns started off our mediation session in the mountains with a prayer. Something I wont forget soon...or ever but I cant tell the future

The nuns started off our mediation session in the mountains with a prayer. Something I wont forget soon…or ever but I cant tell the future

These are five of the founding Nuns, incredibly sweet, wise, and strong people.

These are five of the founding Nuns, incredibly sweet, wise, and strong people.

Pure love, I am so thankful to even have been in the presence of this.

Pure love, I am so thankful to even have been in the presence of this.

A brief overview of what we have developed for a one or two day trip that will allow travelers who are passing through Kaza and the Pin Valley a chance to hang out with some super cool nuns and have a truly unique experience. Part of what makes this special is that the nuns are not used to visitors of this sort, they aren’t jaded by tourists coming in droves but they are excited to share their culture and make some new friends. Upon arrival there will be tea, introductions and guests will get to hear the story of how the nunnery was formed, told by a founding member, all taking place up in their original cave, only a 5 minute walk from the newer buildings. For this part alone it is worth the trip out there, but they day to follow is just as exciting. Afternoon prayers go from 12-1230 and then its time to cook with the nuns. After a deliciously traditional lunch you can take a stroll over to their library to either hold a short english lesson, an overview of using Microsoft Word or Excel (the nuns do their own accounting so these short lessons will go a long way) or anything else that you’d like to share. I did a brief photography lesson and then they taught me to write my name in Bhotti (Tibetan). If my day hadn’t been made prior to this, than it definitely was at that moment. A stroll through the village was next, escorted by a few nuns who shared some local knowledge about their agricultural lifestyle and local cash crop. If time will allow this to be an overnight trip then around 530 is when the nuns take a walk to their Green Pea fields where the view is more breathtaking than the walk itself.

We walked into a village meeting and this guy may or may not have had a few drinks. He was one of the eldest in the village so i guess he could only take so many village meetings....cant blame him.

We walked into a village meeting and this guy may or may not have had a few drinks. He was one of the eldest in the village so i guess he could only take so many village meetings….cant blame him.

3 Comments

  1. Andy · September 3, 2014

    Hey mate loving the photos! Hope Nepal is good to you – are you off to Maya? Lads.

    • VinnyMo · September 3, 2014

      Possibly off to Maya to lad it up with Manjil but ill be in Katmandu for at least a month, then maybe another 20 days or so to do Annapurna Circuit or Base Camp? you’ll hear about it either way. Lads.

  2. Erica · September 3, 2014

    Wow first of all amazing photos. I love the brilliant colors of the textiles in contrast to the nature that surrounds the people who wear them. Its amazing that you get to interact with these people and trade skills and knowledge.

Leave a Reply