Monday, June 04, 2007

hello!!!

Hope everyone is well!! Arrived in Katmandu a few days ago, forgive me for the time lapse, i have composed this thing over three days because the electricity keeps going out. Like Sovahn said Katmandu is like stepping into history, there's more carts and bikes on the road than cars yet because of the new ridiculous investments in vehicles made by the King there are extraordinarily expensive cars like Rolls Royces going around the cows and yaks in the road. There's open fires everywhere and people cooking Dal Baht, which is quite delicious by the way, many of the roads are lined with tents and makeshift homes. unlike in Lima the shantytown is actually within the city and their is only a few pockets of wealthy areas, mostly around the Palace and Prime ministers home. The only way to really describe Kathmandu is that the rural villagers and farmers have basically brought their farm to the city in the mists of dilapidated post-colonial homes. Right now i look out my window to a good size maize, bean and potato patch and am woken up at 5 every morning to the neighbors rooster. Scared the shit out of me the first night to see a yak staring at me through my hotel window. Also its completely normal to see a herd of cows laying in the middle of the pseudo highway. But i love it really, it has such depth and character. its truly unlike anywhere I've ever been. I live with my program director Badri, his wife and their two year old daughter, Arati. She is darling and I love her to death, she calls be Didi which is 'older sister' and i call her 'Bhohini' which is younger sister. Her mother and father both work, so until i start my work i look after her along with Badri's nephew. I never knew it was so difficult to go to the bathroom with a 2 year old around, i finally gave up shutting the door! Ill send pictures soon. But the house is actually on the third floor of a very rundown old colonial house, a Sherpa, Hartaga, i have hired carries me and my wheelchair up which is incredible! I also can't easily take the taxis which are rickshaws or tiny one seat cabs, so i am driving my chair literally across the city. On average i do about 15 kilometers which is tough because i am in the road fighting for roadspace along with the motorbikes, rickshaws, cows sheep, Mercedes, and tractors. Quite a sight. But Hartaga goes with me which is really nice since there is no signs or decent maps around. over the past few days i have visited the temples around Kathmandu, which are truly remarkable. Yesterday i went to the Monkey Temple, a huge Tibetan Buddhist temple overlooking Kathmandu, it was so gorgeous with the prayer flags cascading from the top of the temple down the mountain. I had to walk with Hartaga to the bottom of the steps and it was a little shocking because tens of people started to crowd around me and touch my hair and try to lift my legs and pull me this way and that. Quite hilarious sight it must have been. But then a young man picked me up and started carrying me up the millions of stairs, and his friends started carrying my chair up. Hartiga said it was the nepali version of thew 'white night' fairytale. Anyway, he was very nice and it was lovely talking to him in broken nepali atop this mountain. At this point i am visiting different orphanages and disabled homes to see of where i might be of best use. It looks like i will be teaching in this very poor disabled home on the outskirts of Kathmandu for 5 days a week then a local orphanage 2 days a week. Both are in these basic cow sheds with a hole in the ground for the toilet. I am quite shocked that i have managed to figure out how to go to the bathroom here, it is far worse than peru and needless to say very organic. The one where I'm living is a very small room that has a open faucet for the shower and the toilet is off the ground but doesn't flush.
The food here is good but heavy, i have bhat(rice) three times a day, and i have dhal bhat (rice with lentils) at night and bhat with eggs in the morning.
Anyway before the power goes off i will save more for the next blog.
Namaste

6 Comments:

Blogger Jack said...

Stop having such a good time,,Ho HO. Following with interest from Doreen and Jack in Canada

7:05 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Lots of Luck....Jack & Doreen

7:10 PM  
Blogger smish_75 said...

You go girl . . . Glad to hear you are out there in the world experiencing everything it has to offer. I'll just stay here in GV working away in my American cubical (ha ha on the working part). Michelle W.

ps. you are definately no longer eligible for our services (tee hee)

1:16 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Hi Megan,
I am so glad to hear you made it ok!Pictures ... I need pictures to truly live vicariously!

1:29 PM  
Blogger Elany said...

from your stories I am reliving my travel adventures. I also traveled alone overland from Istanbul to Afghanistan. I hitched a ride in an open truck from India to Katmandu.(miserable)! Traveling alone forces one to integrate into the culture. It makes you alert,alive and like a child again, in awe of the wonder of it all ! Its so hard coming back. I couldnt relate so I saved money and did it again. Still can't get enough of it!
Keep on "rolling" on!
Love Elany

11:43 PM  
Blogger helen said...

Hi heard about you from BARbara MAHAJAN. Happy that you had such a great time, I would not have been able to do what you have done
Good luck to you . from a friend HELEN
PS I LIVE IN DELHI AND AM FROM SCOTLAND

11:00 PM  

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