We came across this painted sign in Panauti as we completed a day hike from Namobuddha through small villages and rice fields. Gratitude is what I feel during these final days in Nepal.
Gratitude for so many things…
Mark and I both saying “yes” to this rather spontaneous adventure;
Dragons Boulder staff (especially Aaron, Liz and Shannon) who inspired us and moved us from “maybe” to “definitely” in very short order;
The Amrit-Claire instructor dream team, who provided us with such an immersive crash course in wide-ranging spiritual, artistic, cultural and develop experiences;
An amazing group of fellow travelers. I’ve always shied away from group travel, but this group of exceptional human beings, ever-ready to “embrace the detour”, truly made this experience and I look forward to continuing out friendships;
The Newari family who welcomed me into their home, teaching me card games, inviting me on the early morning hike to the family temple with exceptional views of the Kathmandu Valley, teaching me a bit of silver metal work jewelry making, joining in on the Saturday momo making tradition and later inviting Mark & I to the family Indra Jatra festival with an endless stream of relatives (at least 30) and interesting conversations about life in Nepal;
Our 2 week “expedition” phase which included more time in Patan and visits with 1/2 of our groups host families, meetings in Kathmandu with young women entrepreneurs in climate change & development efforts, 48 hours amidst the monks at Namobuddha Monastery, 3 days at the peaceful Namobuddha and a little more time with Amrit & Claire when we returned to Bhaktapur;
This list could go on and on.
And here we are on our final day in Nepal. We awoke to the early morning sounds of Bhaktapur, starting sometime around 4 or 5am…temple bells, a musical cacophony, chanting, the square is alive with the daily rituals at the religious monuments just outside our guesthouse, and a little later, the nomadic vendors that frequent the square. I’m absorbing the sounds hoping to lock them in my memory. Oh, yeah and that King Curd yogurt! Truly the best yogurt I have had anywhere. I’m savoring that taste along with the sites and sounds of life in Kathmandu Valley.