The program overall was excellent. The 5-week program began with culture week in Kathmandu followed by four weeks at Nala Gumba monastery an hour’s drive east of Kathmandu. Culture week was great. Lead by Abhay Shrestha, we got an intro to Nepali history, language, and religion. Several trips in the Kathmandu area for scavenger hunts, landmark searches, and trips to various sites. I arrived at the monastery on Feb 13, but being Tibetan New Year, there were no classes until March 6, and by then my time was nearly over. It didn’t matter to me since I came with my own reading and study agenda (read books, learn Tibetan). But I’d seemed like a funny way to run things. Life at the monastery was great. All the monks from little kids to adults were very friendly and helpful. The provided meals were very tasty and better than I had expected.( no stomach problems the entire 5 weeks). There is a little shop within the monastery which carries an amazing amount of stuff. The accommodations were fine, though you might want to do a little cleaning on your own upon arrival. I had arranged a shared room but due to the New Year holiday, I had my own room for much of the time. Since it was holiday I took off for a week to Dhulikhel and stayed at the Tashi Delek guest house just for a change of pace. The whole week, with meals was $146. With my T Mobile coverage I didn’t need to purchase a SIM card for texts, web pages, and emails, but no YouTube without finding Wi-Fi somewhere. My biggest disappointment had nothing to do with the arrangements, but was in the poor air quality. Never was there any view of the snow-capped Himalayas. The air was often smokey and smelled of burning plastic. When I visited here before in the 1980s is was beautiful and pristine in this area. The dogs at the monastery can be a little noisy at night. “We play all day we fight all night” as Dr. Seuss said. Fortunately I had good ear plugs. Some others indicated they had trouble sleeping. Overall a great experience! Though a Christian, I enjoyed the pujas and tried to make even the early morning ones. A great environment to read my Bible, meditate, and pray. Overall a big thumbs up!