By child sponsor Susan Beekman 

Once again we were treated to the contrast that Nepal offers. Skies were blue as we met the younger children at the pungent Kathmandu Zoo. They were dressed in their holiday best as they collected to sing for us and then take us by the hand, bounced around happily, and used English names for their favorite animals. Some of them met the elephant up close, and the hippo was a big favorite. It showed off its enormous mouth and tongue for everyone before its carrot lunch arrived, and many of the children stood by fascinated while it ate a big bag of carrots. Then we all feasted together on human food of mo-mos and pizza. It is so heart-warming to share their joy and their appetites, knowing they are being cared for and fed and loved by the wonderful staff at the Contact Center.

The biggest holiday of the year in Nepal, Dashain, begins in a couple of days, so when we left the zoo we faced some serious traffic. Petrol lines were blocks long, and diesel fumes were heavy in the air. We donned our air-filtering masks and, undeterred, we headed to the shopping district, where most of the women spent a couple of hours diving into colors and fabrics and being fit for custom-made sparkling kurtas.  We dodged jackhammers, traffic, and serious construction sites as we headed back to the hotel.

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