Today we braved the bus system to travel to some further-away places, namely a monastery and another temple. The jitney, as Jamey called it, was an experience, as we literally had to run and hop onto it, and it whisked us through Kathmandu. The jitneys are cheap, unregulated buses that keep this city moving. Usually when I see them, they look more like a van than a bus, but there are between 15-40 people crammed into them. And forget personal space. To illustrate the miracle of how they accomplish moving around so many people with such little vehicles I’ll use Cara as an example. When she sat down, a toddler landed right on her lap a moment later, as she was now sitting next to a woman with another toddler on her lap, and together they all rode for the remainder of our magical jitney journey. Was fun.
Our destination was a bit more rural, and beautiful. You could really see how we’re in the Katmandu Valley, as the tallest mountains I’ve ever seen tower above us all around in the distance, and a fertile rolling scenery extends in all directions. There was much property between houses, and the cottages were beautiful. The Nepalese were still as busy as ever, working away so hard on their chosen task, be it brick-laying, hoeing, paper-making, gardening. We walked for a long while, eventually up a big hill to a sweet Monastery where we could really see all around, especially the now more defined shapes and faces of the surrounding mountain range. Our two Austrian friends Raphael and Daniel were checking themselves in for a month-long meditation retreat, and we saw them off with a nice lunch and a relaxed walk around the manicured grounds.
Today was so great because I got a taste of the countryside and the villagers, and I love it. Tomorrow will be such a treat, I am positive, when we bike our first 60 or so miles towards Pokhara through natural Nepal. Which reminds me, I really should be getting some shut-eye as we’ll be up again in 5 hours! You’ll see pics of the temple and monk services we saw, and the cute village children, so I’ll leave it there. Also notable was our “going away” dinner with the other half of our Kathmandu peeps… it’s funny how after only 3 days I feel like we have a little family here, between our hosts and their sisters and other guests and friends. I felt like all day was a sort of farewell celebration, and much talking and squeeze-it-all-in getting-to-know-you transpired. After dinner we all came back to our little guest room and did a big pyramid photograph (Cara’s favorite thing). Then we sat around on the floor where we landed in our collapsed pyramid and exchanged information and hugged good night and good bye.
Like Ice Cube said, It Was a Good Day. But aren’t they all?