Monday, April 11, 2011

Since my Buddhist Monks are away...

• Light is up and men are hanging laundry on lines, bringing home groceries and clanking gates open and closed • In the hostel we get locked up each night with a squeaky accordion gate and two padlocks • Yesterdays rain has cleared away all the pollution and I see a blue sky • Little yellow goldfinches? fluttering outside my window • Water is an issue in this part of the world, so to use it sparingly • Nepal's time is off by 15 minutes from India, to show their autonomy (hence me not knowing what time it really is) • Views of rooftop terraces with potted plants surrounding them • Spaghetti junction of wires along every street and alley • Explored the Chobar Gorge, allegedly chopped out by the sacred sword of the Buddhist deity Manjushree, to allow the water to flow through • Keshav, our teacher of the cultural program here in the hostel gave us a great tour of the area and explained the different temples • Both Buddhist and Hindu temples happily reside side by side • Buddhist prayer flags strung over the gorge • Men and women chipping away at stones & hand making gravel • Kashav says "Nameste" as we cut off a driver • Nameste is the traditional Hindu greeting, meaning "I salute the god in you" • Nepal is 90% Hindu, 5% Buddhist and 5% other religions • Religion is the cornerstone of life here, as Temples are on so many corners • Price of gas is 75 rupees per litre (say $1 per litre) • Had tea at the Kathmandu Guesthouse (where the Beatles stayed in the 60's) • Kathmandu Guesthouse is also our drop off point for our cab rides into town • Kitti is an excellent negotiator, as every purchase is a negotiation here • Continue to learn more about the different grades of cashmere: the percentage of silk to cashmere content - the higher quality is softer and the wool from the goat's belly and chin and & higher percentage of wool to silk • Power is off as the sun goes down and flashlights are donned by 6:30 • Daal Bhaat (cooked rice and lentils) for dinner on our rooftop patio • Daal Bhaat is the staple food item in Nepal, happily eaten twice a day, everyday by the locals • Our cooks, Prakaash and Ram, always have smiles on as they cook our meals • Camaraderie among the volunteers • Comparing programs and durations of trips • Women outnumber the men in the hostel volunteers • Having a growing fondness for Masala Tea (served daily here)

Typical architectural feature on homes.

View from the rooftop  terrace - the Kathmandu Valley.

Kashav and I at entrance to Chobar Gorge.

Walking down the gorge. Kathmandu is one hilly area.

Hindu temple in Chobar area.

Kitti and I with the foothills of the Himalayas in the background.

Local corner shop above the gravel area.

All the tents contain someone making chips of gravel.

Chipping away making gravel by hand.

Our little group, Shea, Bagwan our driver, Kitti, Chris & Kashav
with Kathmandu Valley in the background.

Door to door salesman.

Our local shop lady, and Tea proprietor.

Our hostel is the large blue house.

Our cook, Prakaash.

Prakaash's assistant, Ram.

Typical artwork on the back of large trucks.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.