No Drought Here

September 16, 2014

in Nepal

Rain pours from the sky all night, and I wake up in Nepal. Trek logistics, meeting staff, drinking tea–a day is consumed and the rains drum all night again. Jewelry purchasing, nonprofit meetings, catching up with friends, and the relentless monsoon continues. After experiencing California’s worst drought in 119 years and heading into a high-altitude desert to trek, I have not a moment of complaint about the fertile abundance here in Kathmandu.

It’s Nepal…bells ring with morning worship. The internet won’t work for days. The power comes and goes and comes and goes. Everyone I know wants to feed me something. Sometimes there are ants floating in my tea (via the sugar), and I fish them out before I drink. People smile with ease. Gardens are in bloom. Crows caw through the early morning. Horns honk through the afternoon. The taxi driver discovers I speak Nepali and wants to know where I’m from, how long I’ve lived in Nepal, what kind of work I do, how many children I have, why I’m not married, how old I am, whether I plan to get married, and advises me to check Facebook in my search for a good husband. In fact, that’s the litany of questions anyone new wants to know about me (although Facebook is a new tip), and when I’m tired, it’s sometimes easier to use English to tell the taxi driver where I’m going.

I meet with Parshu about our organic cash crop programs and with Neel about the new children’s home construction. Both of them are unabashedly excited about their work and their recent progress. Their enthusiasm bubbles over infectiously.

Six clients arrive, and we begin a journey I’ve long wanted to do: trekking to the ancient Kingdom of Mustang, an old part of western Tibet that became its own kingdom and then part of Nepal in the 1700’s, protecting it from Chinese suppression and destruction through an artifact of history. Mustang is wind-swept land of Tibetan monasteries, horse-riders, and resilient people. I’m excited!

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