I spent much of the weekend organizing and packing. My personal excitement is high as thoughts of being in Nepal surfaced. Traveling with students and enjoying the wonder of Kathmandu Valley and its many sites is most joyful. Bringing out my travel bags, outdoor gear, and airplane comfort items triggers good thoughts and feelings. I recall walking through medieval squares, smelling fresh roti, drinking sweet chai, and hearing the chants of religious devotion all swirl through. Saturday just 5 days away now....early meeting at PDX and we'll be off.
In the haven of Sattya Media Arts Collective on a hazy Saturday near the end of our stay. Our gang and young Nepalis shot footage yesterday around the busy Patan district of Kathmandu Valley. Now they are putting it all together, mixing sound and image, and adding titles. The theme of the interconnected pieces done by five small groups is waste management, a huge issue in this once pristine valley of many millions.
This simple greeting is a wonderful symbol of how Nepal worked its special magic on all. I’ve heard the word translated as “I salute the spirit within you,” a brief, yet eloquent way to recognize another’s humanity.
How does a trip feel 10 days out? As a traveller, there's all kinds of details to work through: passports, airport food and hotel overnights are just a start. Now, multiply that by 13 when a student group is involved. It's fun, hectc, exhilirating and exhausting, all at the same time.
We meet on March 6th at 6:30 AM at the Portland Airport. Two days later, we'll be at Tribhuvan International Airport, a one terminal stone structure in Kathmandu. Check back for more blogs.
Under a month until departure and the group eager to go. We spent time recently at a small shrine in Portland, one built by a couple that teaches Traditional Nepali dance forms. Prajwal is part of a priestly lineage stretching back 35 generations. He and Helen settled in Portland and their shrine reflects the distinct architectural elements of the Newari culture of the Kathmandu Valley. Intricately carved windows set in painted brick, anyone who has travelled in Nepal will instantly recognize the influence.