Beautiful Nepal | My Family Travels
Author Cradles Goat in Nepal

Author Cradles Goat in Nepal
Cradling a Goat in Nepal

Ohm mani padme hom.

Ohm mani padme hom.

Ohm mani padme hom.

Mantras sold on Kathmandu street corners. For 100 rupees, you can find enlightenment. Incense in my eyes and the fish stand smells rotten. Beautiful white temple, pristine in the rubble of people’s lives. Burning trash piles, and marble. And beggars, one hand on your foot, one hand in the air, a plea for money, and maybe a better life, but who am I to judge their happiness. Fat white tourists buying t-shirts emblazoned with stereotypes. Stereotyping themselves. Kids who never went to primary school speak three languages from watching TV. Bollywood, Kollywood, and VH1. A kid with a worm-filled belly is making me feel stupid. Is making those 12 years of quality public schooling seem…just a little bit…pointless. Grandmas who have never left their village watch wrestling and CNN on television that they saved their whole life for. Feet planted on dirt floors, and teeth falling out, they know more about American politics than you do. Women who have endured suffering that maybe you have read about. Only probably not, because who like to read those sorts of books. Who have learned what really matters without privilege to complicate lives. I’m not attempting to glamorize the third world. Sitting in my Kathmandu house I missed hot running water and Mexican food. Froot loops are different there. Arranged marriages are rarely happy ones. Sometimes there’s no electricity, you can’t drink the water, I recently saw a dead woman lying on the sidewalk, and it’s really really hard to find good spaghetti. However families who can barely feed themselves welcome strangers for tea, and a meal if you’ll let them. Sleep on the floor so that you can have their bed, sometimes their only bed. If they don’t leave you alone, it is only because they don’t want you to be lonely. Milking machines don’t exist, neither does MacDonald’s, and fresh yogurt is unbelievable. I met a 93 year old woman who told me that I was her daughter, that we all were, and so even though she had nothing, how could she be unhappy with so many beautiful children? I’m not a Buddhist, but on meditation retreat I learned a lot about suffering, and have found that those experience it are often the most compassionate. So maybe if we were a little bit poorer, we could be a little bit nicer. Our food could be a little bit fresher, and our cows a little holier. We could share our homes, and share the wealth. We could change our clothes less often and the world more often. We could complain less, and appreciate more. We could have a little less money, and be just a little bit, richer.Nepal, you are a country of many contradictions, and the place that I owe my eternal gratitude. You transformed my life, and have given me more happiness, and filled me with more love and hope than I could ever have dreamed of. This is dedicated to you, and all the wonderful teachers and friend’s that Where There Be Dragons has given to me. I hope to someday be able to return some fraction of that gift to the world.

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