We were curious about this Tibetan Buddhist center, and made the hike to the Great Stupa shrine. It’s a strange place, with a few really attractive buildings, this grandiose shrine, some construction trailers, and hordes of white and green canvas tents. We were going to leave with the impression that it’s something between a retreat and a barracks, when the chef for the day saw us and convinced us to stay for lunch. They served gumbo, both vegetarian and shrimp and sausage, with organic salad from their gardens. We all agreed it was a fantastic meal. Then Ann lost her sunglasses. The chef asked if she’d been meditating. Apparently their students are very prone to losing things. An altogether unexpected experience.