￼Today, we went to visit a nunnery and took this amazing hike to get there. All around us were prayer flags, which are flags that have prayers written on them and when the wind passes through them, it means the prayer has been sent out. The hike was amazing. We climbed a mountain, but not to the top. It was really beautiful, because we could see all of Lhasa, including the nunnery. We ended our hike at the Chupsang Nunnery, which was filled with many nuns dressed in red robes. First, we had butter tea with the nuns, which is made from the yak butter and very common throughout Tibet. It tasted sweet (actually, I put a little bit of sugar in my tea), but also tasted a little salty. I liked it.
After tea, we went to see the nuns in their main hall while they were chanting and praying. In this room, they all sat on these individual rugs with their legs crossed. Their chanting sounds like they are singing. It was a very relaxing and pretty sound. Once we sat down, one of the nuns waved for me to come sit next to her, so I did. She seemed very interested in the color of my skin, like she had never seen skin like mine before. It made me a little uncomfortable, but also made me a little happy, because it was such a peaceful place. Then, another nun waved for me to come sit by her, and all of the nuns were looking at me and smiling while they were chanting. The nuns were super sweet and I felt special being in the middle of all of them with me.
In the afternoon, we went to see the monks debating at the Sera Monastery. That means a standing monk will ask a question to a sitting monk about the lessons they learned in class that day. Once they are done asking the question, they slap their hands together like they are clapping and wait for the sitting monk to respond. I thought it looked like fun, because they looked like they were having fun. From there, we went to the temple and saw people re-painting the walls that tell the stories of Buddhism.
Our last stop was to the Rampoche Temple to see the statue of the Buddha when he was only eight years old. The statue was a gift to Songstam Gampo from one of his wives from Nepal. He had three wives, one from China, one from Tibet and this one from Nepal. We were the only ones allowed in this temple, so it was really special to be in the temple all alone.
All things considered, we learned a lot and it was a phenomenal day.