Its amazing what a small gift can do.

One of our visits in Kathmandu was to a Buddhist  monastery where the monks make sand Mandalas.


Historically, the mandala was not created with natural, dyed sand, but granules of crushed coloured stone. In modern times, plain white stones are ground down and dyed with opaque inks to achieve the same effect. Before laying down the sand, the monks assigned to the project will draw the geometric measurements associated with the mandala. The sand granules are then applied using small tubes, funnels, and scrapers, called chak-pur until the desired pattern over-top is achieved. Sand mandalas traditionally take several weeks to build due to the large amount of work involved in laying down the sand in such intricate detail. It is common that a team of monks will work together on the project, creating one section of the diagram at a time, working from the centre outwards.

The destruction of a sand mandala is also highly ceremonial. Even the deity syllables are removed in a specific order along with the rest of the geometry until at last the mandala has been dismantled. The sand is collected in a jar which is then wrapped in silk and transported to a river (or any place with moving water), where it is released back into nature. This symbolizes the ephemerality of life and the world.

The interior of the temple was a stunning display of color and beautiful designs.




It was fascinating to see the process, but there is another story to be told.

One  of the ladies in our group bought a number of children’s story books to give away.

Just outside the temple gates were two little boys playing. Their faces were dirty, their clothes in rags, but they had the biggest smiles. They followed us for a short time. The other ladies had gone into the temple, but friend Pam pulled the two books out of the bag and gave one to each of the boys.



The looks on their faces were just priceless. They couldn’t believe it.

They took off running as if afraid that we would take them  back again.



Read your Grandies a story tonight folks.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. quiltshopgal says:

    Great post. An excellent reminder how fortunate we are, but also how those blessed with such travels can bring such treats. I have a friend, who stumbled upon such childhood smiles on her first trip to Guatamala, over 30 years ago. She has since helped to create a school and library, filled with books. She also visits, a few times a year (delivering books and supplies that have been donated from the US to this school) and brings her guitar to sing songs to the kids. She is also a retired school teacher and helps to read to the kids. There are many places in the world that can use such books and simple gestures of kindness and help, when we travel. But Kathmandu is one that I’m heartbroken to know that it has not gained greater attention for the need of assistance. Thanks for helping to increase awareness.


    1. Pam Holland says:

      I agree with you 100%. Its impossible to ignore and small things can make a huge difference in peoples lives.

  2. kaaren nowlin says:

    I love travelling the world with you via your blog. The faces, the colors & the air comes through in your photos. Thank you for taking the time to share with the world your adventures that most of us will never experience. You are truly a treasure. Yes, what a great way to go!
    Kaaren Harstad Nowlin

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Kaaren, thank you so much. I’m happy to share it all with you, but even happier that you enjoy it.

  3. Wendy in Kennewick says:

    What generous spirits you attract! Thank you for sharing your stories. If everyone had the goal to make one person smile each day, it does make a difference.

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