A relaxed day taking in the city of Bhaktapur. Aleesh Baniya, a six-year staff member for BSF, takes me out on his scootie for an admirable exploration inside the eldest city of Kathmandu.
We take an extra few minutes to jut around Bhaktapur’s made up borders, taking streets even taxis can’t fit through, to end up in the in the city, without having to pay the 1500 rupees it costs an outsider to get it, a perk of experiencing the city with locals.
Not to worry, I quickly pay my dues and give back to the Nepali economy as I stop in many local shops and buy a few things. We leisurely stroll around the ancient city walls made from clay, keeping us cool from what should be a hot day. After a while we start to run low on energy and make our way to Aleesh’s brother’s restaurant, a gorgeous five story building in the center of the city. We sit and take in the view, talking about American culture and the vast differences in our lives, and the uncanny similarities that seem fabricated. How our connections to art and thoughts on society have slim to no differences, yet we grew up on polar opposites of the world, raised by completely different people. And yet we have a mutual understanding of each other and the world. If there were one thing you should take away from my experience from this day, and the trip as a whole, it’s the vast amount of undisputed respect that the Nepali people have. It seems to just flow out of them like a child wanting to tell a story. I haven’t seen really much of the world when I start to break it down, but the few places I have been, none has compared quite to that of Kathmandu, and defiantly no people have come close to showing me more drive and heart than the people of Nepal.
Disclaimer: Didn’t bring my camera out much this day with Aleesh, not until we were sitting down for some time at the restaurant. But important to note that these photographs were taken on a mobile phone. Ironically as a photographer, when I’m really enjoying the moment, and day, my camera doesn’t see too much light. But don’t worry my phone was still at the ready, I couldn’t just not take photos.
— Issac Schmitt