2009 – Week 12 – Home

Greetings from Salt Lake City!

I have traveled safely back to this side of the world…and am enjoying having electricity, running water and a steady supply of hot water. My main struggle now is to adjust back to this time zone. I crash early and find myself awake in the wee hours of the morning.

Before leaving Kathmandu, Bel, Bishnu and I did a major whirlwind exploration of the valley. Last Sunday, we headed south and visited Dakshinkali and Pharping. Sangita’s friend Soni joined us as we visited several sacred Hindu and Buddhist shrines. I took them out to eat at Fire and Ice … an Italian restaurant run by a chef from Italy. Bishnu added pizza to her list of firsts: first airport, first plane ride, first hotel and first elevator ride. Monday, we visited Swayambunath, the hospital where Sangita had her heart surgery, Boudhanath, Pashupatinath and the Kathmandu zoo. Each evening, we gathered in Bel and Bishnu’s room for the raksi we had brought from Pokhara. Early Tuesday morning I put them in a taxi to the domestic terminal so they could return home … and later in the morning I met Ram Capad at the international terminal so he could, once again, swiftly sweep me through the airport gauntlet and seat me at the gate. One nice change now is that you do not have to pay the airport tax. It is included in our place fare. Boy is that a long flight home … but I gained the day back that I lost on my way over. And both flights were uneventful. I arrived on time and with both checked bags and caught the shuttle to the hotel. Due to changes in Thai air’s schedules, I ended up with an extra day in Los Angeles … so Denise … a dear friend I know through the Adopt-A-Native Elder program drove up from Temecula and we spent Wednesday putting around. I got my first Starbucks fix and we took a shuttle to Manhattan Beach for lunch. Flew home on Thursday and have been settling back in…doing laundry (nice not to have to go to a river and beat them on a rock), checking two and a half months worth of mail and reacquainting myself with my home. Cara, the woman who house sat for me did an amazing job, which made re-entry much easier…for which I am deeply grateful.

Indigenous Lenses was able to do a lot of good work this year in Nepal. We are now educating eleven girls and two boys (the boys are from a low caste family). We are providing food and shelter for eight Tibetan elders. We are providing cultural support for two Tibetan shamans and one Magar shaman. We purchased medicine for three individuals. We are supporting two Tibetan women in the continuation of their cultural crafts. We helped with eye care for one Magar woman. We helped to upgrade Pau Rhichoe’s toilet. We helped cover the cost of cardiac surgery (balloon valvuloplasty), gall bladder surgery, hearing tests and the purchase of a hearing aide. And we are purchasing an artificial leg for one man who had his leg amputated. Not bad, huh? For all who have supported us this year … thank you!

I am already starting the fundraising process for next year … so please keep us in mind during this season and in the coming months. This will be the last email until next summer, when I get the ball rolling once again. But please feel free to keep in touch with me in the months between now and then.

Thank you for your interest in these weekly messages!

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