The branch of our humanitarian family involved in our earthquake relief efforts is Global Karuna. Below is their description of the Tsum Valley:
"Tsum Valley is one of the hidden cultural treasures of Nepal. In the northern Gorkha district bordering Tibet, it is tucked away between the four great Himalayas : Himalchuil, Ganesh Himal, Buddha Himal, and Sringi Himal. Because of its remoteness, inaccessibility, and high altitude, the Tsum Valley has remained virtually unaffected by the global chaos of commerce, development and exploitation of nature. Indeed for centuries, Tsum valley has been known as a hidden valley of happiness, rich with ancient art, culture, and spirituality."
"The earthquakes of April 25th and May 12th, 2015 caused immeasurable destruction to the Tsum Valley. The temples and monasteries that crumbled were not meaningless constructions: they were a heritage. In every stone, a story, a thought, a feeling, and a lifetime of perseverance and knowledge. Perched precariously on the side of a mountain, Gompa Lungdang, or, the Lungdang Nunnery, was an eight hundred year old story. As a place of tradition and a place of liberation, it is worthy of acknowledgment, remembrance, and reconstruction."
"The proximity of Tsum Valley to the epicenter of the April 25 t h earthquake resulted in catastrophic damage to the Lungdang Nunnery. Dharma hall, kitchen, retreat building, storeroom, nun’s living quarters, statues, scriptures, paintings – heritage, history, and home – broken and buried. At the foot of the Ganesh Himal, the Lungdang Nunnery is a five day walk from the nearest road under normal circumstances. However, landslides triggered by the earthquakes and their aftershocks have created impasses limiting any hope for relief or rescue to air travel. As a result, assistance has been scarce. Gompa Lungdang in particular is dependent on surrounding villages for survival. Although the Tsum Valley has received some tents, food, and medicine, with limited food and resources for themselves, villagers can spare little to support local nuns. If the harvested barley cannot be properly stored this season, all inhabitants of this devastated region will be under threat of famine."
Now over a year after the earthquakes, the inhabitants of the Tsum are still badly in need of assistance. The climate is harsh and the life style difficult, especially during winter. Our ANM nuns have learned to adapt:
Our young ANM nuns have made it their mission to help. Mudita, Dhammadina, and Sudharma have been working hard at the Compassion Clinic. We are so proud of their determination and the serious skills they have acquired
Take a look below:
The Tsum does have its incredible rewards - not the least of which are the spectacular scenery and the warm-hearted people. Please enjoy the photos and check back as we gather some of our ANM's favorite stories to share.