Nepal

Re-Namaste Nepal!

sun doors After the rather cold, gray monotony of China’s cities, going to Nepal was like stumbling out into a blaze of riotous sunshine.storefrontI was pretty cranky that I didn’t get to make my planned trip to Tibet (no way is China giving a visa to a western blogger), but it’s hard to hold onto a grudge in Kathmandu. doorBecause of its decades of tourism with trekkers, Kathmandu can seem almost western in its food, shopping and pursuits of pleasure, but right outside the city (and even inside) the essential Nepal comes clearly into view. street lifeFrom the indomitable women who have been working Heifer International programs for the last 25 years and bringing entire communities of powerless wives into economic security…new water buffaloTo the caste system of untouchables who are likewise being included in Heifer projects and given a chance to succeed…

Beautiful Chepang girl, from an untouchable caste.

Beautiful Chepang girl, from an untouchable caste.

To the Hindu temples where cremations take place along the river (with biers divided along caste lines– even after death)..

A fancy sandalwood bier for the Brahmin class

A fancy sandalwood bier for the Brahmin class only.

..and milk is poured down in sacrifice to one of the 44,000 gods.milkNepal boasts all the majesty and mystery of the Himalayans hovering in the distance…

Yup, that's Everest!

Yup, that’s Everest!

…but still struggles with poverty, hunger, a chaotic communist regime, and a highly stratified society. Chepang childAnd yet, Nepal is one of the most lovely, likeable, unforgettable countries I visited.fish pond

A Heifer veterinarian

A Heifer veterinarian

beauty2

Rice fieldI want to go back: to walk the Annapurna circuit, to meet more of the women who so inspired me…

A woman in the cooperative at Shaktikor.

A woman in the cooperative at Shatkikohr.

…and to see more of the work Heifer is doing in this intriguing country.

That's some heifer!

That’s some heifer!

Plus, there are a few folks I need to say Namaste to. covered smileFor more Nepal & more Namaste, click on the posts below:

http://heifer12x12.com/2012/05/29/a-new-namaste/

http://heifer12x12.com/2012/05/26/what-i-ate-in-nepal/

http://heifer12x12.com/2012/05/24/she-works-hard-for-the-money-less/

http://heifer12x12.com/2012/05/21/caste-ing-a-stone-against-prejudice/

http://heifer12x12.com/2012/05/18/goat-ed-into-greatness/

http://heifer12x12.com/2012/05/16/divine-peaks-intransigent-maoists-or-welcome-to-nepal/

Categories: Animals, Heifer International, Hunger, Nepal, Philanthropy, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

It’s My Blog’s Day!

Last October, I proposed to Heifer International that I visit 12 countries in 12 months in 2012 to visit their projects around the world…. and they said yes!

Heifer 12 x 12 was born in January 2012, and today— 12/12/12 — I’m celebrating this journey of discovery & inspiration that is almost coming to an end. Thanks for coming along on this wild, joyful ride!!

Categories: Appalachia, Armenia, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Heifer International, Malawi, Nepal, Peru, Photography, Romania, Rwanda, Travel, Vietnam | Tags: , , , | 59 Comments

Thanks4giving!

Guatemala, January 2012.

The following faces have been brought to you by … you.

Haiti, February 2012.

You see, in 100,000 miles of travel to Heifer projects around the world this year, one thing has been utterly consistent.

Peru, March 2012.

People will take my hands, look in my eyes, and tell me to thank you.

China, April 2012.

Thank you for helping them to feed their children.

Nepal, April 2012.

…and send them to school…

Cameroon, May 2012.

….and stand with dignity…

Romania, June 2012.

…and have the chance to create a better life.

Appalachia, July 2012.

So this Thanksgiving, I’m bringing you their thanks.

Rwanda, August 2012.

Thanks for being so compassionate…

Armenia, September 2012

…for being so generous…

Cambodia, October 2012.

… and for your willingness to share your good fortune.

Vietnam, October 2012.

Look at the beautiful things you’ve done!

Malawi, November 2012.

Have a spectacular Thanksgiving weekend!

(And if you haven’t given to Heifer yet, I still love you ( : )

Categories: Appalachia, Armenia, Cambodia, China, Guatemala, Haiti, Hunger, Malawi, Mothers, Nepal, Peru, Photography, Romania, Rwanda, Travel, Vietnam | Tags: , , | 45 Comments

A new Namaste.

In my farewell post for Nepal, I thought I’d bow to the adage that actions speak louder than words. And the most common action in Nepal is the lovely Namaste (described in a whole bunch of words below).

When I was visiting the amazing women in Lamatol Village, Chitwan, President Nani Maiya Lama of the Self Help Women’s Group & Cooperative cut to the heart of the matter by describing what the Heifer trainings and animals had done for her.

“I used to be so shy and afraid to talk, I couldn’t even look at someone when I’d Namaste,” Nani said.

“But now that I can read a book, sign my name and earn my own income, I’ve got a new Namaste.”

For all the beautiful women (and men) of Nepal, here’s one final Namaste.

Categories: Animals, Heifer International, Hunger, Nepal, Photography, Poverty, Travel, Women | Tags: , , , , , | 11 Comments

What I ate in Nepal.

Ginger, Tumeric and Cassava … yum!

After (not) eating all the exotic food in China, arriving in Nepal was like coming back to Normalsville.

In crazy, touristy Kathmandu you could find every possible iteration of American food, including cinnamon rolls and pastries galore. (Obviously the trekkers are carb-loading.)

It was fun to see identifiable fruit and the tiny baby bananas.

Vegetarian chili and Everest beer was my boring but satisfying transitional meal for a day or two.

Then it was onto a beautiful dal plate of curry, rice and lentils, which is a staple of real Nepalese food.

And some super yummy corn & bitter greens we ate for lunch on the porch with the women of Devitar Village.

But my favorite taste treat was in Shaktikhor, Chitwan in a snack shop where the owner whipped up a concoction of peas, potatoes, spices, and corn served on a piece of paper with a cardboard “spoon.”

I loved that the paper “plate” had writing on it. Now that’s recycling!

For 5 rupees (about 8 cents) it was spicy, hot, tangy, salty perfection. He sells about 100 a day and if I were in town his sales would probably double.

The last day we visited the Heifer Dairy Cooperative in Haraiya and met the women bringing in liters of water buffalo milk.

From there we went straight to pure yogurt heaven.

Namaste, folks… next food stop, Cameroon!!

Free range yogurt.

Categories: Food, Heifer International, Nepal, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,248 other followers

%d bloggers like this: