November 6, 2012
These are just a few bits & bobs from the past two weeks or so.
Pictures from the Dasain celebrations that took place in October at J House and the past few days that I've spent with my placement supervisor; traveling by motorbike to rural villages and outlying schools. The people you meet along the way are amazing - every single one of them inviting us in for tea and food. Nepal is a country of 'welcomes'.
People living in these remote areas, secluded valleys and high up on mountains almost appear nomadic. Although they all have homes - of course basic - it all feels somewhat fleeting. The constant irony (like with most things in Nepal) is that they all seem like rolling stones, yet the wrinkles on the faces of the old look as if they've been a part of this tough landscape and it's challenges all their lives. The more rural it gets the more close-knit families, and the community around them, become. In a world like the one we all live in today, it's a very special thing to witness.
Posted by Jessica Kempton-Jones at 1:25 PM
November 1, 2012
Pictures from the night of October 24th, the 'victorious tenth day' of the Dasain festival in Bungamati:
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This past weekend we visited the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara. Rolling hills of rich green frame the ever grand Annapurna section of the Himalayas. The iconic peaks of the Annapurna - Nepal's crowning glory besides the ever famous Mt. Everest - poke just above the line of clouds that gather throughout the day, making this epic view more impressive and majestic than any famous city skyline. A passing ground for trekkers attempting the Annapurna circuit, Pokhara is a hub for tourist activity and the thoroughfare boasts quaint cafe style eateries and souvenir collections. Featuring the welcomed addition of pavements, or, sidewalks (a concept not extremely popular throughout Nepal, i.e Thamel) Pokhara is therefore a pleasure to walk around and explore in.
The bumpy, and, truthfully, uncomfortable eight hour bus ride to the lakeside paradise was worth it for the two days we spent on the shores of the glistening body of water. Away from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu mania, Pokhara is the perfect balance between natural beauty and traditional Nepali charm.
An absolute must-do is hire scooters (or, for the more daring and brave, motorbikes) for a day. As with most things in Nepal, this venture is immensely inexpensive. We discovered parts of Pokhara we ordinarily would not have, lunched at remote lakeside restaurants and spoke animatedly with locals.
Besides gorging yourself on the delicious food on offer along the main stretch of road, another popular (and with reason) pastime is sailing upon the lake itself; hiring a canoe for four with a driver and visiting the picturesque island shrine of Tal Barahi (I love little islands!). Paddle boats, made famous in cheesy tropical holiday resorts, are extremely cheap to hire too and are ridiculous amounts of fun. Watching the sun go down with a deck of cards, four girls and a bottle of cheap semi-sweet wine definitely goes down as one of my favourite Nepal memories.
Here is a short video about my past week:
Posted by Jessica Kempton-Jones at 4:49 PM