(Photo: Dorje Wangyal returning from yet another trip to Gaya.)
For months leading up to the Great Kagyu Monlam, Dorje Wangyal, a Monlam veteran employee, had been actively gathering supplies, contacting food vendors, picking up deliveries, carrying shipments, coordinating with the 40 cooks he supervises and so on. With so much responsibility, it would seem that he rarely has time for a break, but surprisingly enough, he takes breaks while working. He is spotted among his staff folding napkins, carrying boxes of shipments, and serving food. Truly a hands-on worker, Dorje is a protean man who sees broadly and is concerned with the big and the small.
(Photos: Hammering food vats, weaving teapot handles.)
The Dining Team employs a large group of staff. Nearly 150 workers prepare meals for over 4,000 monastics, hundreds of Lamas and Rinpoches and the international pilgrims. There are also the daily tea and bread offerings at the Stupa for which the staff has to prepare, ensuring that there are enough teapots and bread baskets in advance. Many from the dining team arrived early in Bodhgaya to prepare materials and supplies and also to help feed the many staff already on hand.