This fall, I stopped in at the nunnery to see everything hooked up, in place, in use. The stove has been a welcome addition. They cook morning tea and lunch on it and keep the big wood-burning hearth for dinner. I asked if it’s been helpful, and here’s what I heard:
Nun: “Oh yes, it saves us lots of time.”
Me: “What do you do with that time?”
Nun: “Now we go every day from 12-4 to study Buddhism with the high lama at Tengboche.” (Tengboche is the main monastery up the hill–all men.)
Me: “Does chopping firewood take 4 hours a day?”
Nun: “Sometimes, yes. It’s a big hearth and takes a lot of wood.”
Me: “Did you study with the lama before?”
Nun: “We went occasionally, but not regularly. Now, when he is there, we go every day to study with him. We like the gas stove very much. It’s quick and easy to use and now we have time for other work.”
There you have it, in mountain math: 1 gas stove = 4 hours of daily Buddhist studies.
Special thanks to Mountain Madness Spring EBC trekkers for making it happen!!!