Others Before Self: Feeding Oxford's Homeless, Part II

When I first met Yeshi in India he was sharing a room with a friend in central McLeod Ganj. It was a very humble abode with two single beds in it and a small kitchenette, but no bathroom. You had to go outside to find the toilet, a shared hole in the ground, and shower, a separate room with a tap in it, which had hot water if you were lucky. All the appliances in Yeshi's small room had been given to him by a friend, Gyaltso, who had left McLeod Ganj for Delhi. Gyaltso no longer needed the few possessions he had called his own when had lived in McLeod, so he passed on his fridge, pots, and pans, beds etc. to Yeshi. No money changed hands. And so it was that when Yeshi left India for the UK, h

Winter Is Wonderful In Tibet

Baby it's cold outside! Probably not the best time of year to visit Tibet, the so-called roof of the world. Or is it? Don't tell anyone, but winter is actually a great season to travel to Tibet. By December, the hordes of Chinese tourists have gone, hotel rooms have become more affordable, and the only people on the move are Tibetans, making their regular or once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimages to the capital Lhasa and other holy places. This makes winter a great time to visit just one or two places in Tibet, but to see Tibetan people from all over the region. The best part is that it isn't even cold at this time of year. Well, during the daytime at least. Winter is the driest season in Tibet, and

Feeding Oxford's Homeless

"What do you do with all the leftovers?" People are often amazed at the amount of food we have cooking at our regular stall in Oxford's Gloucester Green market. Every week we cook up huge vats of chickpeas, chicken, tofu and dal, not to mention several hundred momo dumplings. Amazingly, we usually get through most if not all of it by closing time. But there are days when it rains, and days when it's too cold for people to come out. This is England after all. What then of the food that is leftover? People often think to ask. Gloucester Green is itself a magnet for the dispossessed and the lonely. In the mornings, while we are chopping veg, cooking chicken, frying momos, there are always peopl

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