From the eyes of our sponsor and board member Pam Caraffa on her first sightseeing experience in Nepal. Enjoy!
Today, we visited Swayambhunath Temple, braving the hundreds of steep steps and dozens of monkeys. We were thrilled to have Ishwori and Anita, two of our older kids join us for the day. Warned to not look any monkeys in the eye - they are quite aggressive - we snuck careful sideways glances and camera lens at them. After huffing and puffing, the top of the stairs revealed innumerable large and small temples or sacred spaces, crowds of people, and a spectacular view of huge, sprawling Kathmandu. The weather was beautiful, but the haze thick and smoky, gave only a faint sense of the close foothills of the Himalayas.
It’s impossible to describe the quantity of humanity maneuvering through the streets on foot, bicycle, carts, motor bikes, rickshaws, cars, and trucks, motor bikes moving at frightening speeds within what seemed like a fraction of an inch of us. The Nepali are a kind and friendly people. But life is clearly very difficult here and most everyone is impoverished.
Next we visited old Patan Durbar Square. The earthquakes are so very evident here, with 1,000 year old buildings in shambles. The good news is that there were so many photos taken before the quakes and so much original material saved that reconstruction can be accurate and truly authentic.
Our last stop was a Nepali clothing shop in New Road, the local shopping area, where most of us chose from beautiful materials to have a traditional “Kurta” or “Punjabi” made to take back to the US. Fashion show coming up!
Rooftop restaurant patan