Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
When Jwala and Dr. Indra visited Baton rouge in September, a friend of mine sent a toy home with them for their kids that made pop noises. The kids loved it and we got to hear it over and over and over...So, now that I have come to visit Baton rouge, I brought a gift in kind. Shoes for their little girl. She loves them and can put them on herself!! :) Don't you want a pair of these shoes for someone you love?
By the way, Nadya's little sister, Arden, was born this morning!!! :) :) :)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
- Namaste from Anandaban! The cold is here.
- It looks like I may be able to get my laptop back soon. The repairshop in KTM has now said it may/possibly/at the very least take a month "or more" to get in a part at a cost of over 130USD. I found out a TLM rep from the UK is coming this week. He has mercifully agreed to place the tiny part in his luggage. Cost of part: 15USD. The laptop problems began in July. It is now mid-november. The anticipation is almost too much.
- Visitors to Anandaban have been phenomenal. There is a constant influx through the guesthouse next door. This past year has seen: Japanese, Indian, Australian, Sri Lankan, Dutch, Brits, Aussies, New Zealanders, Scots, Irish/Northern Irish, Italian, Canadian, American and then some others with mixed up origins from the multiple countries where they've lived. Some are missionaries/pastors, scientists, clinicians, tons of students, accountants and administrators, counselors, prostheticists, biologists, physios, nurses, surgeons, anthropologists, trekkers and fundraisers. Meals there can be unexpected meetings with people from fields and places you never imagined.
- This is a pic of Anandaban's staff taken in August (with a few extra visitors at the time of course). We have two expat staff right now: me and Elisa the Australian occupational therapist (middle of the back row somehow looking shorter than she actually is). The staff are great coworkers.
- This past week, a plastic surgery team composed of a hand specialist, anesthicist and surgical nurse flew in from the UK for a surgical camp at Anandaban. Surgeons from Lalgadh and Biratnagar came to watch and learn. Some patients were prescheduled and another busload arrived Wednesday night (~23 specialty surgeries total). They managed to fit them all in. All but one were leprosy patients. Yesterday, I went to the operation theatre and observed while Dr. Indra and the visiting surgeon performed a tendon transfer on a 14 yr old boy's leprosy-affected hand. It was very, very cool. A tendon in the palm was divided into four and then woven around the bases of other muscles. It will allow him to regain some useful motility in his clawed hand. I have great pics and some video. The boy was awake for most of the surgery (local anesthetic/block). He will need to stay at Anandaban for a couple months to undergo post-surgical physiotherapy and learn how to use his newly "rewired" hand.
- Just to highlight how things go here in Nepal: The surgical team arrived on Sunday with only their carry ons and the clothes they wore. No luggage. No specialty surgical tools. Nearly everyday that meant one of the team had to travel an hour or so to the airport to see if they could recognize their bags in either the morning or afternoon flight from Delhi. Monday: "Sorry, your luggage must have been left in Delhi." Tuesday: "Sorry, your luggage never left London. It is still there." Wednesday: "Sorry, your luggage is now in Phoenix, Arizona, USA." Friday night it arrived at Anandaban after the last surgery was performed. The team left Anandaban Saturday morning. Such is life here. High strung people will not survive.
- In clinic this week, a 12yr old girl came in with leprosy. She came from outside KTM, but we found out that practically all other members of her family have or have had leprosy. She was beautiful and very brave during her slit skin smears. That is a test where a scalpel blade makes a small cut to scrape skin cells from the earlobes, elbow and knee to run a test for leprosy. Kids still get leprosy.
- I attended part of a 3 day national nepal science and technology conference this week. The maoist prime minister and the finance ministeer spoke on different days. There were numerous talks by mostly Nepalese students on their projects ranging from Biotech, Bioinformatics, Korean methods for country development, what diseases are available on products from the local vegetable and dairy markerts to what local drugs are used by Nepalese to treat their sick cows. It was an interesting chance to meet people.
- The lab has been undergoing painting inside and out for the last two weeks. We've also been using the opportunity to try to reorganize and clean out pieces of equipment that are old and irreparable (many things are from the late 70's and 80's and are too outdated for today's science or to get replacement parts). A local group is taking the stuff so that Nepalese biotech engineering students can have a chance to work and learn on medical lab equipment. If they are able to fix some of them, we can have them back for reasonable repair costs.
- 2 Graduate students in our lab at anandaban are finishing up their thesis for graduation from Tribhuvan University. It's alot of work. Imagine correcting multiple drafts of ~300 pages of science writing.
- In December, I will leave on the 4th to go to Delhi for a TLM south asia science meeting and then I will fly to Cebu in the Philippines for an IDEAL meeting (Initiative for Diagnostic and Epidemiological Assays for Leprosy; http://www.turingfoundation.org/lepra_uk.html#ideal). Hopefully, I will also be able to spend some time at the TLM hospital there in Cebu where they also perform leprosy research.
- Elisa has gone trekking outside Pokhara with an Australian "Trek for Treatment" group that arrived last week. Trekking = hiking/camping for days in the mountains. These groups really help to raise funds for TLM sites around the globe that practically minister to those afflicted with leprosy.
- Please pray for us. The season is very busy, but that also means that there are many opportunities.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Christians face attacks in India - Violence flares as Hindu militants accuse missionaries of stealing followers
Friday, October 31, 2008
- OK. My laptop is still somewhere in KTM. Anandaban's secretary is probably very tired of me asking about it. The repair shop says they need parts from abroad. Singapore, maybe or maybe not...nobody knows.
- It makes a huge difference when evictions are performed on occupants that you did not know were there. Apparently, I was late for my routine deworming/anti-protozoal. Let's just leave it at that.
- Tihar was an interesting festival. We (Elisa and I) stayed in Bhaktapur with friends for a couple days of it. We'd grown used to the relative quiet seclusion of Anandaban. Sorry, I have. Elisa travels frequently into villages etc to help organize community based rehabilitation groups, so she's slept in many different areas of Nepal. More densely populated village/city life is different from Anandaban.
- On different days of Tihar, people worship the crow, dog, cow, bull and then a day for sisters to worship their brothers. The city shuts down, kind of like Christmas back home. With narrow streets maybe centuries old, there are strings of lights and candles on, around and in front of village homes. The dogs, which are mostly street mongrels (no animal control), are wearing marigold necklaces and have the red tika (dot) painted on their foreheads. Ditto for the cows (which roam free). We saw motorcycle rallies (parades); during which it occurred to me that if I were driving a motorcycle without a helmet, I would not want the guy riding behind me smoking a cigarrette. There is also the wonderful neighborhood vehicle that parks in front of your home at night with large speakers connected to the car battery. This is so the entire neighborhood can simultaneously share in the joys of a bunch of young guys' favorite Hindi tunes. There was one particular song they really liked; but for one or reason or another, the party-mobile moved on around 10pm or so.
- Don't ask me what the dogs did all night. I did get up at first to see. They were acting as if they were on the most important mission in the world - having meetings, conferences and then spreading out over neighborhoods while maitaining communications. It culminated in an early morning (4am) festival in front of where we were staying; which Elisa says finally drew out a neighbor to pitch some rocks at them. People start moving in the streets around 4:30am, ringing the bell at the neighborhood shrine everytime someone completed their morning puja (worship). I recognized some of the dogs the following day when walking the streets. They were sleeping REALLY good. There is also a caroling tradition associated with this holiday, except you're expected to give money to the performers. The second night was much quieter. There were some more carolers that worked the neighborhood; but from the sound of it, the group eventually petered down to one groggy guy. They also had a favorite song (ie, one song).
- We really had a good time and enjoyed the visit. We got to play games with our friend's kids, ate daal bhaat at least twice a day (cooked and seasoned exceptionally well). We walked around and saw places. It was beautiful. We had great company. We did not suffer. :)
- We had another free medical camp last weekend in a nearby village. We had 10 doctors and a couple of volunteer nurses. In roughly 5hrs, 820 people saw a doctor, 500 received medication. Some were referred to surgery. I would love to show you some pics, but you will have to wait with me for my laptop.
- The temps are already dropping. I'm using thermals on some days already.
- Hey, if you read this, drop me a line (or a comment, at least) and let me know how you are doing!
- Remember the medical camp this summer with the dentist? Well, it looks like a couple from that crew went home to Indiana and was then interviewed for their local paper.
Trip to Nepal is eye-opener Educators studied schools, hospitals, way people live By Julie Young / Star correspondent Posted: October 30, 2008 It might not be everyone's idea of a dream vacation, but for New Palestine residents Betty and Bill Widbin, traveling to Nepal was an experience they will never forget. "We received a teacher's creativity grant through the Lilly Endowment to go to Nepal for a month. Our son, Kyle, works as a missionary over there, and we wanted him to lead us on a journey though the schools and churches of the region," said Betty Widbin. The Widbins and their daughter, Julie, traveled in June, loaded with care packages for children put together by the students at Belzer and Craig middle schools in Lawrence Township. Betty teaches at Belzer and Bill is athletic director at Craig. Not only did the trip give them a chance to see their son, it also gave them a deeper cultural understanding. "It was a renewal for us," Betty said. "We hadn't seen our son for a year and a half, so we relied on him to get us around, understand the currency and communicate." The Widbins spent their time in Nepal visiting schools, orphanages and a leprosy hospital. Betty said the hospital had a dirt floor and poor conditions, but it didn't stop the spirit of the people. Even the poorest of the poor were willing to open their homes and extend kindness to the strangers in their midst. She said it was a humbling experience to see how much people in the United States take for granted. "Education is the highest priority for parents in that region," Widbin explained. "It really makes you stop and think about what we have here in America." In Nepal, if students do not pass an exam after the 10th grade, they are not allowed to continue their education and are destined to work in the fields. In fact, she said, suicide rates among teens greatly increase when test results are released. Students are taught English, and they loved practicing their second language with the Widbins. "They all looked so dignified in their uniforms that it was easy to forget the poverty they come from," Widbin said. "We also learned that physical education is not taught, but rather students get their exercise walking miles to school each day." In the orphanages, the Widbins distributed the presents they brought from their students, who were given a dollar and challenged to "Pay it Forward." The Nepali children enjoyed the Frisbees, stickers and stuffed animals but also took the time to show the Widbins their games, which they have since brought back to their students. Since returning home, Betty said they have spent hours viewing more than 4,000 photos and eight hours of video footage they shot on their trip. They have shared their experience with family and friends and have even managed to stay in touch with several Nepalis through e-mail. "We will never be the same after this trip," she said. "It definitely had an effect on our roles as teachers and how we see students in America. The feelings of being an American in a Third World country made us realize how blessed we are."
Saturday, October 18, 2008
- (I still have not figured out how to make paragraphs work in blogger, so just imagine the bullet points as paragraphs, ok?)
- Well, since I last posted, Holly has come and left. It was a tremendous treat to have someone from Baton Rouge in my house here in Nepal. We speak the same language, like food from the same culture and can crack jokes in south Louisiana slang. I cannot show any of the marvelous pics taken during her visit, since my laptop died again the day she left. The laptop is in KTM, but it is the biggest festival time of year and it can be difficult to get things done here in Nepal. Somewhat similar to the Christmas season in the US. Somewhat. Multitudes of turkeys and pigs "discreetly" die in the US during our Christmas season. In Nepal, it seems every family that can afford it sacrifices a goat or a waterbuffalo. I will spare you the details, but the details of the ceremonial dispatch and what to do with the remains are a little more "open" here than where you may live. So, it was my first Dashain festival. There was a definite dent placed in the goat population.
- The hospital closed during the week of Dashain. The day the lab reopened, staff worked feverishly (some literally) all day. So many people had problems. Stomach and fever issues. What happens in a culture where refrigeration is not necessarily common, but festival cooking for large gatherings is made? Some do not eat meat all year except during this holiday. Great aftereffects. It would put me off meat, too. Someday, I may tell you about my experience with beef gel served at a feast we attended...
- In the paper the other day, I saw that 47% of the Nepalese population cannot be accessed by roads. 50% do not have access to a toilet. It is easy to come to Nepal and stay in the tourist places accessible by roads. But those places do not give the whole picture of Nepal.
- Elisa, the Aussie occupational therapist, is the other foreign employee at Anandaban. Her work is very different from mine (lab work in hospital). It is her job to travel out to communities and villages and organize small support groups among those afflicted with the after effects of leprosy or other debilitating handicaps. She helps them learn and maintain self-care so they can potentially limit their disabilites from getting worse. In a culture where most jobs involve alot of physical labor and career changes to suit disability are not a common option, Elisa's work is critical to helping leprosy patients live the rest of their life.
- Anyway, it means that when Elisa travels to the field, she often returns with great stories.
- A few weeks ago she had to go to Chitwan. During the community work, they found a family with six members affected by leprosy. Elisa stayed in the health department's quarters, a several story building. She heard noises at the bedroom door, so she opened it. Three goats came in. They were wandering upstairs in the building.
- A recent foreign visitor in KTM had an earache. Someone offered to take him to a clinic (this is a very loose term here). Whoever the doctor was told the foreigner this advice: "Do not blow your nose or your brains will come out. Take these three medications. "
- By the way, want to trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp? Imagine 21 days without bathing. Water for some washing can be heated in a bucket over burning yak dung chips, if you like.
- How about unwinding bandages from a wounded foot in a clinic and having a frog jump out and scamper across the floor? It happened.
- Anandaban is a haven, a quiet secluded refuge with clear air and beautiful trees. Patients can come here and receive good treatment in a accepting environment. But you do not have to go far off the compound to see the difference.
- Next Saturday, we will be performing a free medical camp in a nearby village. Next month, we will have another one at village more remote. Holly brought donations that are going to help fund this one. We will drive partway and then have to walk the last 3 hours carrying whatever gear we need to treat the people (part of the 47% not accessible by road). Due to the travel time, we will also leave the day before and return the day after the camp. Sleeping bags, etc. I will take pics for you. Hopefully, I will be able to post them by then! As always, your prayers are greatly, greatly appreciated!
Friday, August 22, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
- Well, there will be no pics for this update. Here are some news briefs. Unfortunatley, I have not been able to figure out why blooger will not recognize my separate paragraphs. I will try bullets.
- Saraswoti's father passed away suddenly two weeks ago in the hospital. It was unexpected, as he was just checked in and was talking to people. He had a serious infection, but it all happended so quickly. Within minutes, the body was taken. Cremation is normally within the day or so. So, I did not see Saraswoti for two weeks after that, as that is the standard time for funeral traditions.
- Cholera is here. When we go to Patan Hospital, some halls are lined with the extra patients. It's a bad deal.
- The rains are beginning to lessen in frequency. During monsoon, it can take days and days for laundry to dry. I'd never ironed my socks before now.
- Got another leech (thankfully much smaller, and I interrupted his meal this time).
- There was a snake incident at the lab. I have pics but cannot post them...
- My laptop fan died. Therefore, my laptop will not turn on. A computer repair place (rare find) just let us know 2 & 1/2 weeks after inquiries were made that they may be able to fix it. I am to give them my laptop (on which my clutch is pretty tight), they will take a look, see if they can order parts and then see what they can do. Ho long do you think that may take?
- We sent a -80C freezer to a repair shop in March. They just notified us (August) that they cannot fix it. That is a reputable and good repair shop.
- I like my laptop.
- Anyway, the snake (maybe 4ft long; grayish with slight yellow bands; 2" diameter) was hiding in the overhang above the back door of the lab. I was able to watch as two of the guys used sticks to pop it out. Then Ganesh with a stick and Dil Bahadur with a brick rendered it dead within seconds. I was impressed with Dil Bahadur's aim.
- As we are a lab staffed with scientific thinkers, the bulge in the snake's abdomen incited curiosity.
- Yes, we did. Silwar used a scalpel. It was a baby bird (rather large - a bit bigger than a mockingbird).
- This is the season for drying kursani (chili peppers). The people somehow weave the stems to form long bundled chains of peppers that are hung to dry out second and third story windows. Beautiful. But of course, I cannot show the pics to you now.
- You would not believe the size of the slugs here. Think snickers bar.
- Which brings me to language. The other day, someone was talking about eating "slud."
- Wanna guess?
- Australian for napkin (serviettes). :)
- However, I'm probably the only one for some distance that uses the word "ya'll".
- Also, this week for journal club, the clinicians had wanted to have a special talk on "flu therapy". Someone else told us that there would also be discussion of "research station". It turned out to be "Fluid therapy and resuscitation".
- I can almost count to forty in Nepali. This is a big deal, since the number system renders practically every number 1-100 a different word. The second digit is actually hinted at by the first word.
- A baby has been born within the last 24hrs to Abidan and Muna, compound staff. Yes, there is a pic. A really nice one also with Jwala - but you cannot see it.
- In the previous post, I asked what you thought Dil Bahadur was doing. He is mowing the lab lawn. I have other pics to show you the small area that he spent the morning mowing in that position. It is not an easy job, and he was not even half way finished. No envy. If any one I knew from home did that, they would not be walking right for days. It was good thing the next day was Sunday and he was off. I've heard a rumor that someone in KTM has a push blade lawnmower (manpowered). I've yet to see a gasoline run lawn mower.
- I heard a story of a previous patient from a nearby village. She was working a threshing/grinding wheel (rotating stone on stone - probably by water buffalo). Her braided hair got caught up in the wheel. She carried her scalp in a plastic bag while she walked hours to the hospital. Dr. Wim Theuvenet, a plastic surgeon, was med superintendent of Anandaban at that time. He was able perform surgery on her.
- Today we had some new patients come to Patan clinic in KTM. Two of them were women. One wept as she did the preliminary tests to confirm her diagnosis. Another young one was 8m pregnant in reaction. Her husband came with her for this visit.
- But it can be very hard. Husbands can cast them out over this diagnosis.
- Please pray for them.
- Dhanyabad (Thanks)
Sunday, July 13, 2008
(Spotted sock courtesy of Mrs. Rita and Mr. Eddie)
In typical blond fashion, I spotted one inching across my bedroom floor and wondered where that thing came from. Blondly, I threw it in the toilet. It promptly crawled out of the water (stupid, they live in water, and their grip resists flushing). Someone told me that one can put salt on them to make them drop off when they are attached. I quickly dumped salt on it. It began to spit up blood and fell back in the water to once again begin its crawl upwards. Where did the blood come from? It must have recently fed!! On what??? It was only then that I decided to pull up the cuff of my jeans to look - and there was the bleeding wound.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
But...let me back up a little to tell the story properly. Friday afternoon at 4pm, when the hospital offices close, I looked out from the lab to see a group of buhdeshies (foreigners) walk by the windows. Apparently some group had come by unexpected again for a tour. It is a very common occurrence. Imagine what would happen in your country if people just walked into the hospital main office and asked for a tour of the hospital?? It happens alot here. Anytime. So, I went out to see who this particular group was. Americans!! One was working as a short term volunteer for a year in KTM, while the others were friends that had come to Nepal for a ~2wk visit (Indiana and Alabama people). The group had met one of our short term volunteers at church. So, late on a Friday afternoon, they show up for a tour to see what happens at a leprosy hospital. I gave them a tour of the lab. They asked what was happening on Saturday, and I told them that alot of us would be going to do a free med camp in a village. They wanted to come. I made a phone call and arrangements for the 7 extra people to go with us. One was nurse and another was an engineer/doctor/dentist. Of course, on vacation, he was without tools. The other 5 were non-med people. By the way...a frozen shipment arrived minutes later for the lab containing some interesting packing materials. I had to find some children!! The kids here, not to mention the adults, had not seen anything like it before. The kids at home will know what this pic means!!! The next morning the hospital staff hurried about to find some dentistry tools and sterilization fluids, just in case there was opportunity for the dentist to do something. If God had sent a dentist, it was probably on purpose. There must be some"one" who needed a dentist that day. Well, within minutes of setting up inside the community school, the dentist had his first patient...and then another, and another... While we saw altogether roughly 310 patients that day, the dentist was the busiest of them all. The other doctors had to wait for him to finish before we could leave!! Another amazing fact was that the people were so happy to have their teeth pulled. And that dentist pulled teeth all day. The lady on the far right was the first. Seth Chandler's flashlight has now been used in two camps. It is a tremondously bright, engineer-approved flashlight that serves doctors and nurses here very well!! I keep it in my backpack. Thanks so much, Seth!!
What about the other extra five people that also came at the last minute to help? Do you know that we had a post for each one of them to work? We had not one person too few nor one person too many. We had exactly the right number of people for the camp to run very smoothly. Most did door patrol like me, and we had just the right number to cover every door!! God is good. The malnutrition was not as bad in this community, so most of the little ones had the right color hair. But there were several people identified that needed surgery. It is absolutely amazing to watch patients who have to be in tremedous, unbelievable pain walk distances to come. One woman had fractured her shin bone with a huge visible lump from 15 days ago. She walked there. A 20yr old girl came. she was 9 months pregnant with pre-eclampsia and very high blood pressure. Her husband had left her for another wife or woman. Her inlaws were not really taking care of her - which, in this culture, they are supposed to. In this culture women can't/don't remarry. They typically aren't educated. What prospects would she have for living? How? She was in a pretty bad situation, and only 20. She needed to be admitted to a hospital. Both she and the baby were at risk of dying. We sent her to the city hospital, which could perform a ceasarean if necessary, with a letter to bill us for all of her needs. From the dentist room, I could hear a child screaming and screaming and screaming. Nepalis flocked to stare in the windows. The dentist pulled an infected tooth, and fluids came draining out. Afterwards, a doctor commented that bad infections like that can often turn into meningitis. They said the child could have died without the treatment. This is no lie. The poverty is very bad and people are very uneducated. Therefore, they often do not seek medical care until late. Especially, if it is just a girl... So, today is Wednesday and we went to Patan hospital in Kathmandu to perform the weekly leprosy clinic. We went up to the maternity ward to see the 20yr abandoned girl. We held the so tiny one which was born Sunday. The mother's slightly older brother was there. Someone asked when she would be going home. She could not answer. She will leave the hospital in a few days, but it is a difficult situation. There is so much desparate need here. But in the midst of that, God does very good things. He arranged people to go to her village and put her in a place so she and her baby would not die. The doctor said that we came at just the right time. It had been critical. God did that. He sent a dentist to an area. There were so many there who needed it that day. Now that Dr. Indra, the surgeon, has come to Anandaban - we see many who need surgery in the camps. And he loves to do surgery. :) There is so much that goes on here at Anandaban. These camps only happen once every couple of months when some missionaries scrounge some donations together for us to go. But every day, the people at this hospital treat so many people. I will have to post some pictures and stories from them sometime. It's just that I get to go to the med camps; while on regular work days, I'm back in the lab doing behind the scenes work. :) Those last minute volunteers just showed up. They weren't altogether sure what they would do on Saturday. Maybe go to Nepali church or shopping. Instead God drafted them to the unexpected and employed them. During lunch break at the med camp, I overheard the dentist comment, "This is alot more fun that spending the day shopping..."
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
During clinic, two new graduate students from a local university came to discuss possible projects for next year.
WARNING: somewhat graphic wound photo is next! Don't worry, I will probably never post the really bad ones.
Leprosy patients can lose the ability to feel in affected areas, often the hands and feet. It is common for patients to come in with wounds from rats that come during the night. Sometimes these patients live alone. The patient does not feel it and is unaware until they notice the wound afterwards. This man's toes and heel had been knawed on by a rat(s). Dr. Paul Brand used to recommend giving these patients a kitten. What is sad, is that this patient may have been cured years ago; however, the nerve damage from the disease can cause permanent or ongoing problems.
During clinic, patients come from all over Nepal. This man was particularly hard of hearing but our dr's tried to find some way to communicate. He just smiled and said he still could not hear them!
During a national holiday (everyone was off from work), Jolien also visited a leprosy colony on the other side of the valley. I have not been there yet. Here are a couple of the people who live there. Saraswoti and Jolien (who took all of these pics). Jolien will leave next Thursday to return to Holland.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
For the 50th celebration, some of the kids dressed in traditional clothes and performed a dance. This is Rebekah, Samen and Mumtah.
These are some pics also taken at the celebration.
Dr. Rachel and Elisa dressed for the occasion.
Rachel, Murdo and their kids James and Esther in front of the main hospital building.
Murdo and James.
Some of the kids dressed in traditional clothes to form the welcoming party for the honored guests and officials. (Left to Right: Samen, Alisa, ?, ?, Rebekah, Mumtah, Esther and Ankit)
I could never get the two of htem to look at me simultaneously!!
There is no way to do justice in photographs to the Himalayas. Anandaban is in the foothills. On clear days, the Himalayas miles away become visible from Kathmandu. These videos are taken on the ride from Anandaban to the Kathmandu city, which is in the valley usually about an hour's drive away (16km). The road is "rough", but I promise you I am trying to hold the camera as still as possible. Even though, we could see the himalayas on these days, you cannot see much but maybe a seemingly insignificant white line of stuff in the photos. Because there are only a few places on the drive through which glimpses are good through the trees, some videos may have duplicate locations on different days. One has the gravel pit where women and men work from dawn to dusk. All those big trucks on the road are carrying rocks to gravel pits to be crushed. The actual crusher is a machine, but everything else is manual labor.
These next videos are clips from riding through some of the, I think 7, contiguous villages we go through before entering Kathmandu proper. Life is a little different.
On a Saturday, Saraswoti invited me to go with her and some other women on a "walk" to see some monkeys. We walked for about an hour and half, seemingly mostly up hill, before we reached the destination. It did yield some nice pic opportunities. This video is taken about halfway to the moneky place. The last mountain seen, covered in pine, is the one Anandaban is on - where I live. So this is part of the valley my workplace overlooks...every day. Beautiful.