Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Reflections on Nepal

Well I have been back home almost three weeks now. I am still digesting everything that I saw and did in Nepal. Looking at my pictures and seeing things I never saw when I was there in person. Some places (Durbar Square in Kathmandu comes to mind) were so overwhelming and so full of people, colour and activity that it was impossible to take it all in. That is why I take photographs. It is a fine line though between being in the moment and enjoying where you are and taking a photograph to remember. You have to take the lens away from your face and "just be" (as my meditation teacher says)

I loved Nepal. Would I go back? Probably not...but never say never...I have learned that. There are too many other places in the world I want to see. I loved the people and loved their greeting "Namaste" (pronounced Namastay) Usually with a small bow and your hands together in prayer.

The street children in Kathmandu were disturbing however it is difficult to help them. There are places they can go to get off the street but they run away back to their gangs. That is what they are used to. Su told me that one of his clients who comes to Nepal a lot collected clothes for the boys and gave them to a group - he went back the next day and they were wearing the same rags. They had sold the clothes for drugs. As I mentioned in an earlier post they are usually stoned on drugs or openly sniffing glue. It is not safe to wander around Kathmandu after dark as the boys roam in packs and will mug you. Very very sad. I just hope there are a few that can make that transition and make something of their lives.

The animal sacrifice bothered me however they eat the meat and if we saw what goes on in slaughter houses I am sure the animals that are sacrificed are treated much better and are at least thanked for giving their lives. More so than the cattle that are now wrapped in plastic at our local grocery store.

My photographs are more urban than a normal tourist to Nepal would take. Most tourist go on a trek for several days - walking between villages. However I knew my knees would not be up to that challenge - and my vertigo would not like it either. Just doing the "easy" walks on the tour was enough of a challenge for me.

What is next? Visiting family in Lethbridge, Alberta for Easter and then a walking conference in Whistler, B.C. at the end of May. Nothing major planned for the foreseeable future.

Stay tuned - that willl change I am sure!!

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