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Nepal- Holie Festival & Dust!

Met up in Bangkok airport with Leigh, Mark & Skip for breakfast after overnighting it from Australia. Flying into Kathmandu was amazing - lots of mountains ( which we later discovered the locals called hills as they were not the Himalayas!!), flat roofed 3 story buildings & terraced agriculture. We were met by Pastor Raju who put freshly made flower leis around our necks as a welcome.

Mark & Skip went to the domestic airport to fly to Chit wan where the 3 day conference was being held & Leigh & I were dropped to the Hyatt. Beautiful hotel with generators. - very necessary with 16 hours of blackouts a day!.

Just in the drive from the airport was amazed at how different Nepal feels from what I expected..... Very Indian, middle eastern feel, narrow, dusty roads, lots of traffic & slow to get anywhere, not as many food street stalls or markets as I expected, but so new & exciting!

Youngita was looking after us & suggested a rest but we wanted to get out & explore. First we went to their church & office to check it out. They have a great church of 800 & many around the country in the provinces.

Nepal is predominantly a Hindu country & It was only a few years ago that freedom of religion was allowed & Christians could not be openly persecuted. They can still be ostracized in smaller village communities, which makes life very difficult. Then she took us for some shopping in the Thamel area, where we found lots of different great stuff & Leigh decked herself out from head to toes in hemp - shoes/top/jewelery/hat!! She looks great as always in her distinctive Leigh style!

It was a quick trip & then we went to dinner at Pastor Raju's house with his family. There are about 3 generations in the 1 house & we were seated to a divine Nepalese feast. None of the women sat with us, only the men. We found out later that the women eat separately in the kitchen but that Youngita was able to sit with us as she was our host & looking after us. The power was off we ate by candlelight - all part of the great atmosphere!

The next day was a festival/public holiday called "Holie" where water balloons ( some filled with bright pink/purple or red dye get thrown). Even the afternoon before we were the victims of the water bombs , with Youngita getting hit from a balloon dropped 3 floors up as we walked down the street. She wasn't impressed & told us it is illegal to do it before the actual day. She didn't want us to go out this day as rocks are sometimes put in the balloons & she was worried we would get hurt. It has spiritual significance as well & the place felt quite oppressive that day.

So, we had to suffer the day out at the Hyatt!!! Yeah.... I know! It was a great chance to catch up on work on my computer, but we would have preferred going out!

The next day we visited the the temple area - Durbar Square -in the city.

The sky is smoggy & dusty & we only saw 1 day of blue sky out of 7. The roads are dusty as it has not rained for nearly a year & they are in a drought. We got their by rickshaws from the Thamel area. There were lots of sardus ( holy men) with robes, dreadlocks & painted faces with a vacant look on their faces

We wandered around the narrow streets, with low brightly coloured doorways on the streets, with people selling all kinds of things on the footpaths & shop fronts to earn a living.

We then went to meet 3 different organizations working with trafficked Nepalese girls , both in prevention & aftercare. It is estimated that between 150,000 & 300,000 Nepalese girls are in Indian brothels. It is easy for them to be moved there as India & Nepal have an open border & no visas or passports are required. Some girls are sold by their families but many are tricked into going with people they meet with promises of good wages employment/promises of marriage or friendship. It is both women & men that deceive them & sell them to a brothel in India. Some girls are used as sex slaves in Nepal in Cabin Restaurants, but the majority are sent to India, only to return in shame with HIV some years later & seen to be a disgrace to their families. We met up with a beautiful lady called Bimala who runs Higher Ground Cafe & a bakery to employ girls that have been trafficked. While visiting her we also met some other great people all doing their part God has called them to do, so was some great divine appointments. We are keen to do something in this very poor country, but will wait on God to see what that looks like & for His timing

Beautiful Youngita is such a treasure & we couldn't have met with as many people as we did & seen what we did without her!!!

Late afternoon we visited Patuputni ( don't think I spelt it right). It is the most famous & sacred Hindu site in the world. Discovered that Nepal was the birthplace of Hinduism & Buddhism. This site has many temples & also has platforms where the dead are cremated on these outside platforms beside the small sacred waters of the river that runs into the Ganges in India. There was several finished when we arrived in the afternoon & one still burning.

Tomorrow we are off to Chitwan!

Local Lady making cement with her hands

Local Lady making cement with her hands


Church Office

Church Office


Tourist/shopping area

Tourist/shopping area


Buddhist Temple from our Hotel room

Buddhist Temple from our Hotel room


Local Shop

Local Shop


Skip, Mark & Leigh with their welcome leis

Skip, Mark & Leigh with their welcome leis


Sunset from the Hyatt

Sunset from the Hyatt


Durbar Square

Durbar Square


Sadu or Holy Man in Durbar Squaee

Sadu or Holy Man in Durbar Squaee

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Nepal

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