S: Nepal 2011
FC: Nepal May 9th 2011 to May 28th 2011
1: Heart of Life Mission Trip: Nepal 2011 Wayne Close, Zack Bundt, Nick Wright, Jesse Skinner, Lara Fackrell, Kevin Miller Guru, Tahn, Won-Duk, Norbu, Pemba, Amber Stults, Larry Spangler, Janook
2: Two hour flight from Kansas City to Chicago, thirteen hour flight over the top of the world to Seoul, Korea, then a short five hour hop to Bangkok, Thailand and we were able to deboard and catch some sleep at Adelphi Grande, a Bangkok hotel. The next morning we flew three hours from Bangkok to Kathmandu.
4: Boudha District Kathmandu
8: A Buddhist god house
10: The desire to seek and find someone or something to worship can be so strong that people will turn up a rock at a road intersection and call it sacred. The heart is always desperate to find that which it was made for. The majority of the Nepali people are desperately seeking the satiation of this need.
11: Kristin brought us to a monastery where the Buddhist monks were chanting in a worship service. | Inside, we experienced some of the darkest, most ominous "worship" music. In the words of one of our teammates, If you picture an Indiana Jones movie scene of secret ritual and danger, you can probably hear the music in your own mind.
12: The Stupa in Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal. While this looks like a temple, it is actually a sculpture that is worshipped by the Buddhist community and foreign visitors alike. Another idol, made of stone. | As the Buddhists pray, they don't ask the idol to help their circumstances. Instead, they recite magic words over and over to build karma. It is the same if we stood before a stone statue and said "abracadabra hocus pocus open sesame" repeatedly. The desperation and the emptiness is palpable among the people.
17: Lara made friends with the director of the Nepali equivalent of the American Idol tv show. | Kevin was discussing something so interesting these three Nepali men pulled up a bench behind him to listen in.
18: - Nepalgunj - has potential as a new synonym for "sketch" sketchy –adjective, [skech-ee] 1. imperfect, incomplete, slight, or superficial: a sketchy meal. 2. informal uncertain or unreliable 3. mod. slang unsafe; illegal; risky. (Alluding to danger due to lack of knowledge.) 4. urban creepy, iffy, fairly unsafe, an air of uncertainty, not kosher, generally something or someone that you don't want to be associated with —Synonyms cursory, rough, meager, crude. ...Nepalgunj
21: We flew from Nepalgunj to Simikot in a twin turbo-prop where we could watch the pilot at work in the cockpit and sneak a first-person view of the runway as we landed.
23: Schoolchildren in Simikot were eager to speak to us and practice their English during afternoon break.
28: Simikot guesthouse where we enjoyed our hot milk tea, french-fried potatoes and dry accommodations.
36: Making it to camp in Dharapuri was like an oasis after the 5.5-6 hour trek. We rounded the mountain to find this amazing glacier stream in our path. The bridge and our tents were welcome sites.
40: The day after we went into the village to share the story of God, we hiked up to the school; roughly 1000 feet higher on the mountain than the village. We waited under a shade tree for the children to go on afternoon break. Even before the official break, we had children come up to us to see who we are. Once break came, we were met by at least 100 children who listened close to the God story. Larry and Zack colored with the smaller children. Amber was mobbed by the young ladies, and Nick, Norbu and I had a conversation with the principal.
41: The Principal asked our purpose for being there. We explained we are trekkers who are Christian and we wanted to share God's love with the people of Dharapuri. We explained we found the children to be brilliant and adorable and asked if there was anything we could bring back that they might need. He expressed a dire need for teachers - particularly an English teacher to come with a 3-4 month commitment to help teach the children English. He exchanged email addresses with us and sent us on our way with his blessing. What a powerful part of the journey this meeting was.
45: A greenhouse next to our camp in Dharapuri, upper left. The guest house at the campground, upper right. A lizard/gecko along the trail, right center. Woman working on the new house, bottom right. Pemba chuckling at those getting baptized in the icy water, bottom left.
54: Thamel is the tourist district in Kathmandu. There are shops down every street and alley, street vendors, sidewalk salesmen and so much going on it's almost overwhelming. Bartering is the way of business and some great souvenirs can be found at excellent prices.
55: After the trek, we were all looking forward to some American food at the Kathmandu Pizza Hut. All meat varieties of pizza are made with chicken with the exception of the $$ imported pepperoni. | Not only was it delicious with the imported cheese and actual Pepsi fountain products, but as you can see, this is one of the finest restaurants in Nepal. This is where you take your best girl on date night if you want to impress her.
56: Bon appetite! (okay, we didn't really eat the meat from the street counter)
58: Technology in Nepal Left: Much of Simikot is powered by a field of solar panels. | This is a water tank, heater and solar panels in Boudha. | Tall buildings are built using bamboo scaffolding. | Squatty-potties are common especially outside of Kathmandu.
61: Saying Goodbye to our new friends who already felt like old friends.