Three of my most interesting friends are the three wives–Nyondo, Joy, and Lena. I nickname them “The Three Fates” because Joy is a spinner, Nyondo a weaver, and Lena is a crazy butch dyke who really ought to have a pair of shears. 🙂 They’ve all been in a three-way marriage for years.
In proper Bay Area form, Lena is an acupuncturist/Chinese herbalist, Joy is a psychic/astrologist, and Nyondo is a sysadmin for a worker-owned-and-operated sex toy shop, Babes in Toyland. Their little house is always overflowing with interesting books, people, and crafts–Joy and Nyondo and I often geek out together over fiber arts. (We met through Spin-List, and finally got together when I gave Joy a Babe Fiber Starter spinning wheel.)
Anyway, Lena’s “other” job is as translator for Lama Wangdor Rimpoche, one of the senior Tibetan lamas. Lena traveled extensively when she was young (she was the one who got me started on my own travel adventures), and spent eight years meditating in a cave with Rimpoche and the rest of the yogi community there. She eventually came back to the States to take care of her mother, but since then has acted as translator for Lama Wangdor whenever he comes to the U.S. She and Lama Wangdor fly all over North America (U.S., Mexico, Canada) doing teachings, and Joy stays at home and does all the bookings.
Joy also coordinates all the donations for Rimpoche’s refugee project, which seeks support for Tibetan children, monks, and nuns who have walked out of Tibet–usually on their own, with the Chinese armies hunting them. Children in particular try to walk across the border, usually sent by parents who don’t dare leave themselves, but will send the oldest or the brightest to try to escape. When they arrive in India, they’re destitute. Rimpoche seeks to make sure that they are fed, and that the children are educated (education isn’t free in India). Twenty or thirty dollars a month keeps them fed. So little money.
What boggles my mind about that is parents sending their ten, twelve, thirteen-year-old children to walk across the border, knowing they’ll never see them again. What must it be like in Tibet, under the Chinese??? It’s horrifying.
Anyway, this blog is Joy’s notes on life amidst the arrival of Lama Wangdor, and it makes excellent reading–if you have time, page through the entire thing. It’s got a lot on Tibetan tradition and customs, too.
Here’s the start of it: