In the Himalayas: The Nuns of Zanskar

It almost seems inevitable that venturing into the Himalayas would lead one to wish to forge a deeper, more enduring relationship with the region – beyond simply being a mere visitor with some gorgeous pictures to show.

After searching for an excuse to return, I stumbled upon the Jamyang Foundation, an organisation that supports Himalayan nuns by providing opportunities for education. A friend and I wrote in and found ourselves getting a volunteer placement in Zangla, a small community in the heart of Zanskar, one of the most isolated regions in the world.

Six weeks of adventure ensued, beginning with the 2-day jeep journey from Leh to Padum, with an unfortunate overnight stay in Kargil which included a clogged toilet and upset stomach.

The stories from this journey are plentiful and I will surely recount them as I go along. In the meantime, I leave you with pictures taken by the wonderful nuns of Zangla village themselves.

We left for India with thirty disposable cameras in tow, just enough to hand out to each one of the nuns. The younger students, aged 4 to 13, and the full-fledged nuns, the oldest being 85 years of age, were armed with their own camera to document snapshots of their lives. The results were charming, to say the least, and I hope you enjoy the stories they tell.


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