Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
Trip End Nov 23, 2010

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Where I stayed
Garden House

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Last couple of days in Nepal I spent with this Dutch-by-way-of New Zealand guy Eric and a Swede named Herbert. Both were really good guys. We went to the Swayambu stupa one day and got lost in Kathmandu backroads the next. Dasain holiday, the biggest Hindu holiday of the year, started on 10/7 but the real celebration began on the 14th. I was scheduled to fly to Japan the night of the 14th so had all day in Kathmandu to catch the local sights. For some odd, macabre reason, both Herbert and I were excited to see some real animal sacrifices. Ive seen animals killed before for food but never for religious purposes. Apparently, we missed that and only saw the aftermath of blood pools. I did get to see some parades and whatnot.
All documented with pics.

Leaving Nepal, I feel a bit sad. I was just starting to get into the vibe of it all when it was time to go. Nepal is a beautiful country with beautiful, open-hearted people. At the same time, its a very disturbing place full of death, pollution and corruption. I guess what I liked best about it was its authenticity - much like Ethiopia (but no where as poor or desperate) - there is something very real and raw about the place. Theres no hiding from life here - people, animals, smells, noise, beauty, disease and poverty, its all in your face. I saw two dead bodies here on the street, the first ive seen since my fathers at 13. Children begging、old women carrying lodes not fit for mules, etc. But for some reason, I wasnt upset by it all as i was in Ethiopia and the onl;y reason I can think why is because there is hope here. Many people have some wealth - third world wealth but wealth i.e. roofs over their heads not made of corrugated steel and not 100 people to a latrine. Many people smiled at me who didn;t have to, there was some laughter and a vitality that Ethiopia did not have- there was hope, I think that is the main difference. I knwo I couldn;t live here - it would be all too much - but I think I could visit often.

Nepal is not for the faint of heart.
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