Thursday, March 4, 2010

Arrived in Kathmandu

You take the utmost care in washing the food you eat.
Have you ever thought about disinfecting the mental food you consume?

-I just found a beautiful little book of quotes called "Words of the Spirit, thoughts to live by" they are compiled from discourses from Para Pujya Ma.

I am here in Kathmandu and have brought my camera, though unfortunately, I am unable to use my USB port and have no card reader, so I will have to paint the pictures with my words for now.

Kathmandu, has changed very little since my last visit except that things are slightly more expensive and there is even less electricity and more garbage. People seem to have given up on the idea that government will be solving their problems any time soon. As a result, there are more electric generators at shops and restaurants.

I spent much of yesterday visiting with old friends and business acquaintances asking them questions like, "Why can't I find good turquoise any more?" The old charm of the jewelry is rapidly disappearing. I see far less solid silver work and more mixed metal combinations. According to one supplier, fewer Tibetan traders are able to get visas to leave Tibet. Only the very old people are allowed to travel. The result here in Kathmandu is that it is very difficult to find the good turquoise to make Tibetan style jewelry with. We see ugly dyed blues and pieces with out interesting veins and contrast. The change in the silver work is a result of the sad state of the world economy. The cost of silver is quite high right now and no one wants to pay what it is really worth so we see silver fronts on pendants and brass backs or just plain thinner lighter work.


Unexpectedly, a good friend decided to join me on the trip. She is a wonderful companion. She is well traveled and has that open minded flexibility that one must have for this kind of travel. I will have to ask her if she minds being a character in my blog before I tell you more about her.

Yesterday, we arranged our journey to the village school. My friends have planned what sounds like a wonderful trip. We will go by jeep up the mountains to the north and a little west of Kathmandu. We have to hike for 45 minutes carrying sleeping bags clothes and books. Perhaps it will take a little longer for me to get to the village school where we hope to talk with the children and arrange a letter exchange with the the children at my boy's school in Ohio, USA. We will stay over night in someone's home in the village. The next day, they would like to take us further north to a place called Tato Pani, the name means hot water and it is probably the highest hot springs in the world. It is not the same Tato Pani that is on the Annapurna trek. After that we are going even further north near the Tibetan border to visit a beautiful village and see a spectacular view of the Himalayas. I promise that I will take photos and if I am not able to upload them now, I will when I return.

If you have any photos of school children in your area, could you please send me a few photos to Don't forget to tell me which country you are in. I would like to have some images to share with the Nepalese students when I arrive. We leave for the village early 5:30 am Sunday morning March 7, 2010 in Nepal, so if you have them please send them today.



  1. What an interesting adventure ... I will be watching for the photos of the Himilayas.

  2. Wonderful to her from you while you're in Nepal! Can't wait to see the photos, but you certainly create beautiful word pictures.

  3. You do paint quite a picture. I, too, look forward to seeing the pictures.

  4. Travel well- lovely post! Lovely you!

  5. I'm so glad you traveled safe. Hope you can make the journey the village school without too many adventures. I'm wondering how you handle the change in altitude. DH and I spend some time at 12,000 feet in Peru. He ended up flat in bed from altitude sickness. I just had to remember to move slowly so I didn't pass out. I'm emailing you some photos of the neighborhood kids playing in the street.

  6. I've lived and traveled in lots of places, but have never been to Tibet, so I love reading your blog here! The world is such an intersting place!

    Look forward to the photos.

  7. Power is intermittent and internet service sketchy so I am writing quickly.

    We managed to get special permits for the Tibetan border areas. I didn't understand everything that was said, but I know that there was some gross exaggerations about my donations to students.

    I won't be too high, I think we stay below 7,000 meters.

    I spent yesterday at factories taking photos of the workers. Very cool to see a blow torch and copper burning green on the pendants.

    Got to go. A friend is picking us up for breakfast soon... rice, curry, lentil soup, barley porridge and yak milk tea. Yum!

  8. You are a vicarious thrill!! Thanks for taking us along...

  9. Your life is so very very interesting! I hope your friend is OK as a character in your blog, and I'm glad you're travelling with a like-minded person. Too bad about the turquoise and silver.

    Safe travels, Butternut!

  10. Loved reading this..sounds very exciting.Thanks for sharing it with us.

  11. Very interesting about the jewelry. I guess we can't expect the economy to not spread, unfortunately. Be safe and have a great trip. We all look forward to more stories of life in Nepal!

  12. Hope you get back soon! Miss your entries.

  13. The names you mention are romantic. I suppose the scenery must be too.

    I think its an interesting idea to actually log travels on the blog and be able to show children in remote areas the pictures.

  14. So sad to hear about the silver and turquoise and the general state of life.
    Nice to hear you have a compatible companion with you, that can make a world of difference. I look forward to seeing the beauty you are experiencing.