David goes to sMenri Monastery (Part 3)
After our audience with HH, we went down to the BCH. The entire village of Dolanji is built into the side of one of the foothills of the Himalayas, a steep hill or mountain. The monastery is nearly at the top of the mountain. The guest house is built a bit lower than the monastery, outside of the monastery walls. It is a five story building built into the mountain with terraces and beautiful views of the BCH, the school the BCH children attend, the village of Dolanji, the river, and The Redna sMenling Convent across the river.
The mountain is steep and the roads are switchbacked. The last time I was here, the path to BCH was a steep, winding dirt path. Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche told us that when they were building new dormitories at the BCH, the trucks would drop loads of building materials at the top of this path where it met the road. People then had to carry the building materials down the dirt path on their backs, or by oxen. Nyima Rinpoche decided to build a concrete road to allow vehicles to haul the building materials down to the BCH site. This concrete road remains today. It is only one lane wide and full of switch backs, so getting up and down, even in a four-wheel drive vehicle, is a bit of an adventure.
At the end of the path is the entrance to the BCH. We were greeted by the children and the staff with kataks, and clapping. We were overwhelmed with the warmth of the greeting.
Next was a tour of the BCH facilities. We saw the administrative offices, which are now housed in what was the “new” dormitory built back in 1988 or so. The Director, Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche, has an office there, as does Kelsang, the Secretary, Phontsok, the sponsorship coordinator, and the accountant. The administrative offices have computers and wi-fi, which they admit is slow and intermittent, but functional.