Photo of the Week
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My God

God of one thousand names

A prayer for

Gratitude

Strength and wisdom

Emptiness

And a willingness to listen

And be filled

For others

Observations of a guest speaker

“Save the Earth” a man shouted with exuberance and conviction

“Ha ha” the other man laughed and replied, “The earth will survive my friend, it is the people that will go extinct.”

Hiaku

Nepali women

Lingering at the window

The streets come alive

Reflections from Pashupati – the ancient and holy Hindu temple and cremation grounds

Ancient traditions

Deliver dead bodies to the gods

Through wailing, fire and river

Bodies burned

Stoked

Disintegrated

And pushed into the river

Smoldering logs float by

Offering smoky prayers to the gods

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Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

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Thoughts from the cities

Kathy Millar,Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

Description

My God God of one thousand names A prayer for Gratitude Strength and wisdom Emptiness And a willingness to listen And be filled For others Observations of a guest speaker “Save the Earth” a man shouted with exuberance and conviction “Ha ha” the other man laughed and replied, “The earth will survive my friend, it […]

Posted On

08/2/11

Author

Kathy Millar

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Four attempts at a poem about love, humanity and rain

1) One: The Nepali rain

that hugs the sky and embraces the earth

sets the green aflame

2) Two: I stand with you in a mutual hug

My soul stirs, comforted, acknowledged, confirmed

Your presence whole, real, and beautiful

Cool lazy drops of Nepali rain share our embrace

Dancing in our connection

Humanity recognized in spirit and place

3) Three: Rain drops dance over our bodies in an uninhibited embrace

No pretense

Or intention

No expectation

Or withdrawal

Only genuine awareness

Two humans that recognize the other

Drawn to the beauty and possibility

Witness to the unknown hardships and trials

Witness to unknown love and hope

Embraced in the spirit of the nurturing rain

Needed, and blessed

Embraced by the spirit of humanity

Same, but different

4) Four: You cannot hate a man if you look into his eyes

And see his story

Hold his hand and feel his full potential

Do not hold man at arm’s length, but

Hold him in your arms and feel

His aching need to be loved by you

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Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

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Inspired

Kathy Millar,Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

Description

Four attempts at a poem about love, humanity and rain 1) One: The Nepali rain that hugs the sky and embraces the earth sets the green aflame 2) Two: I stand with you in a mutual hug My soul stirs, comforted, acknowledged, confirmed Your presence whole, real, and beautiful Cool lazy drops of Nepali rain […]

Posted On

08/2/11

Author

Kathy Millar

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Pre-travel

It hits me every time I travel: nerves, butterflies, anticipation, mixed with anxiety. The unknown. No matter how many airports I’ve been in, one or two days pre-flight, my packing, thinking, and organizing thoughts settle and my nerves awaken. I just ignore them, push on.

It hits me every time I travel. At some point I end up in a line or a terminal or on a plane and I am one of the few (sometimes very few) people of my skin color, my dress, my language. I am a minority. It is not a good feeling or a bad feeling, but it is definitely a feeling. I try to look inside it: feel my whiteness, feel my difference, feel my otherness and see the sameness as well. I try to identify it as fear, insecurity, excitement, awe, vulnerability, reverence, but no, I cannot identify it at all. I just let it be.

Touchdown in Nepal

I just arrived. It is dark, and there is a light drizzle. I cannot see around but it feels the same. Cities are blending; the “third world” has a distinct mark on a land, people and place.

I step out of the taxi in Thamal, Nepal, and I see more white faces than brown. The streets are chaotic and I can hear “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton is blaring from a nearby bar: Where am I?

Travel

If I say I travel and look forward to the unexpected

Then I need to embrace what that is

Whatever that is

If I am led to do something

I need to trust that is what I am to do and not regret, doubt, or fear

Recognize those emotions, welcome them as a human experience, and then move on.

Let it go.

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Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

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preliminary thoughts

Kathy Millar,Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

Description

Pre-travel It hits me every time I travel: nerves, butterflies, anticipation, mixed with anxiety. The unknown. No matter how many airports I’ve been in, one or two days pre-flight, my packing, thinking, and organizing thoughts settle and my nerves awaken. I just ignore them, push on. It hits me every time I travel. At some […]

Posted On

08/2/11

Author

Kathy Millar

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    [post_date] => 2011-08-02 00:00:00
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Post trip reflections

Things I am thankful for:

Safe (cold) water from any tap

Bug free beds with soft sheets

The ease of the known

Things I notice:

The excess of America

In food, waste and stuff

The obesity of Americans

Things I miss:

Claire Bennett

Village life

My Dragon Comrades and momos

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Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

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American soil reflection

Kathy Millar,Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

Description

Post trip reflections Things I am thankful for: Safe (cold) water from any tap Bug free beds with soft sheets The ease of the known Things I notice: The excess of America In food, waste and stuff The obesity of Americans Things I miss: Claire Bennett Village life My Dragon Comrades and momos

Posted On

08/2/11

Author

Kathy Millar

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A people once was

A people once was

Born on a hillside

Raised in a basket

Balanced on Aamaa’s head

Their feet owning the land and their hands meeting their needs

Worshipping life all around

Change happens slowly

To a people so proud and embedded in place

A generation passed down the tradition

To a generation in quest

Of a big city draw

And a promise of prosperity

The land goes untilled

A generation smaller than the last

Struggling to survive

Competing with a road

That promised ease but brought with it

Inflation and aids and crime

A generation smaller than the last

Dependent on charity to feed their hungry

And they are all hungry

Waiting for the drop

Farming practice gone

Land bought out

The living gone down the mountain

Or stubbornly disintegrating with their homes

The hillside still stands where a people once was

The mountains pay tribute

To the people who brought life

When the land was alive

In a rhythm and harmony

Deep in the soil the story is told

Of the feet and hands that loved this land

And built generations

The generations before

The archeological site was erected and

a snapshot was placed in a book on a shelf

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Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

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Thoughts on development per dragon discussion

Kathy Millar,Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

Description

A people once was A people once was Born on a hillside Raised in a basket Balanced on Aamaa’s head Their feet owning the land and their hands meeting their needs Worshipping life all around Change happens slowly To a people so proud and embedded in place A generation passed down the tradition To a […]

Posted On

08/2/11

Author

Kathy Millar

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Random thoughts of a place

Silence rises to the sky

An inviting beauty

Filling the valley with peace

A simple nature loving people

A complex and invigorating eco system

Perfectly blended in harmony

Wicker baskets strung around the heads of strong, limber, and focused bodies

Ambling up the rocks, steady, consistent, and knowing

Village life

There is no temple here

The world is their temple

The trees, the mountains, the rice, the cows that graze, the rocks that hold.

I see her in the window and we catch each other’s eyes

Dancing aammaa in the window

Adorned by yellow and red beads

Amid the drying garlic cloves and corn

Your smile is radiant

A simple love of life

A moment shared with me

A poem

Evening falls still

Mixing melodies with nature

A lone flute plays

Chaukati Village

Your weathered hands embrace my open heart

Adorned in the simplicity

Of an un-simple life

You teach me rhythm

You show me beauty

You radiate love

Cloud Dancing

Thick clouds roll into the valley making a floor of hidden green

Lifting up it dances against the hillside

Opening windows displaying the wonder

Terraced fields and distant houses

Creeping further it mingles with the peaks in puffy pockets and sinks again

Hidden displays of white then green then white then green then white then green

A poem

Living in a cloud

White mist rolls in the doors

A constant damp

Village Life

There is a pace in village life

It is not fast

Or slow

But deliberate

Feet on the ground

Keep moving

Steady

With heavy loads and short breaks

And tea

But always moving

Deliberate

Rhythms of the land

And its people

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Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

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Random poems from the country side

Kathy Millar,Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

Description

Random thoughts of a place Silence rises to the sky An inviting beauty Filling the valley with peace A simple nature loving people A complex and invigorating eco system Perfectly blended in harmony Wicker baskets strung around the heads of strong, limber, and focused bodies Ambling up the rocks, steady, consistent, and knowing Village life […]

Posted On

08/2/11

Author

Kathy Millar

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    [post_date] => 2011-08-02 00:00:00
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A long journey to a small village with big spirit – our village homestay

This was as near to a perfect day as possible.

We started in Patan, took a long, long van ride then ended in a border town.

We ate lunch, packed our gear and hit the trail, and oh my, what a trail.

Stairs and mountains and trees and rivers.

Rice terraces as far as the eye can see.

Glorious day!

Glorious day.

We got to a swing bride, over a gorge, planked and wobbling, not to hold two people at once, we walked across - daring and common at the same time. Glory and beauty, challenge and reward.

Then straight up for the rest of the day.

Past Nepali people standing in the corn, camouflaged and peering, “Who are these white faced people overloaded with gear, and wide eyed at our world?”

People working on rice terraces, oxen, pick axe, back and hands.

My spirit soared

Tears drew upon my face,

Unable to comprehend the beauty,

The simplicity,

The life.

To the village of Chaukati,

Greeted in the dark by many faces and

Children eagerly greeting us with namaste or

Hiding behind their aamaa’s skirt.

They call our name and introduce us to our family and Dhanmaya Tami

Waits for me to grab my things.

She takes my hand and leads me home.

She takes my hand, and I feel the weathered leather skin,

The gracious act of kindness,

The years of labor

The family loved

The joys and sorrows felt

I feel this woman’s story and strength as she moves me up the stairs in the darkness of night

Guiding me

Protecting me

Leading me

With that weathered hand

Into their home

A fire burning in the middle of the mud and dung space

A pot being stirred

Warm, smoky, dark, and lit by an oil lamp and deep hearts

Family gathered

Stoking the fire

Putting the logs in deeper or pulling them back out

To manage the flame

The sticks lay in a circular fashion

Temperature control

Grinding spices with a perfectly round stone on a concave piece of slate

Dhal baat two times a day, tea more often

The goats are brought into the house

Then the chickens

They stay safe

They warm the home

And then the rain falls

Blessed monsoon rain

(that graciously waited for us to arrive)

It hits the tin roof

In a Nepali lullaby

By belly is full

My legs are warm from exertion

My soul is still flying with the mountains and these people

My eyes are tired

and on my straw matt

I will sleep

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Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

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Our homestay journey

Kathy Millar,Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

Description

A long journey to a small village with big spirit – our village homestay This was as near to a perfect day as possible. We started in Patan, took a long, long van ride then ended in a border town. We ate lunch, packed our gear and hit the trail, and oh my, what a […]

Posted On

08/2/11

Author

Kathy Millar

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Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

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Nepal photo collection 1

Jon Morris,Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

Description

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150232217827136.317795.664372135&l=a201b4c628

Posted On

07/13/11

Author

Jon Morris

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After 10 days of homestays, some incredible hiking in the Himalayan foothills (mounatins by our standards) and a couple of unforgettable bus rides, we've arrived in Bhaktapur for the final stage of our trip. As with any time I am bombarded with new experiences, time has seemed to slow down on this trip. The 13 days we have been exploring Nepal together has already seemed like months. I'll be digesting this trip for a while to come--not just the new things I have learned about Nepal, but the perspective I have gained on the rest of my life by going through such a mind-opening experience.

It's hard to put into words the million vignettes and discussions we've had that have comprised this experience, but I am compiling some photo albums to help share some of fraction of them. I'll post the link on a separate thread.


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Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

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Back to Bhaktapur

Jon Morris,Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

Description

After 10 days of homestays, some incredible hiking in the Himalayan foothills (mounatins by our standards) and a couple of unforgettable bus rides, we’ve arrived in Bhaktapur for the final stage of our trip. As with any time I am bombarded with new experiences, time has seemed to slow down on this trip. The 13 […]

Posted On

07/13/11

Author

Jon Morris

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As I've gotten older, my motivation to travel and what I notice have shifted a bit. Instead of seeking out the deepest, wildest jungle with all its complexity and menace, I look for the complicated relationships between people, culture and economics. Instead of climbing mountains, I settle in more deeply to see how people live their lives. Of course, I have always done these "new" things, but they have taken on a deeper resonance now that I am a husband and a father, creating a home and family of my own. The rhythms of work and food in the house, the gentle touch of a mother to her son, a whispered word by a father, the little girl running to catch her brother; there seem to be a whole class of experiences that I can understand and relate to more deeply.

As we settle into our homestays here in Patan, I feel blessed to sit and talk with my family about their lives in a changing Nepal. The father of the family is a metalworker, like generations of men in his family before him. His eldest son, though, is about to finish school and wants to go to college for computer science. As we sat this morning in his workshop, talking about Buddhism, handicrafts and community, I asked him what he thought about his son's desires. He said he would do whatever he could to support what his son wanted, and if the day ever came that he tired of computer science, he would teach him to work metal. Every morning, the father gets up to make his offerings and meditate. He said that his son used to join him but no longer does. It seemed a beautiful and poignant illustration of the challenges of cultural survival in a developing economy. Will there be enough sons to maintain these traditional skills and beliefs? Is there the market to keep these old things from dying out?

We hope for our children freedom and choices that we cannot imagine, and in that, we have to acknowledge, I guess, that their paths might lead them away from us and our way of life. In that, there is loss of different kinds. At the same time, though, it creates a new world of possibility and opportunity. It is in that balance that many Nepalese families seem to find themselves, and I'm thankful to be here to witness and share in that powerful transition.

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Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

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New Paths

Michael Brown,Nepal: EDUCATOR, Summer 2011

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As I’ve gotten older, my motivation to travel and what I notice have shifted a bit. Instead of seeking out the deepest, wildest jungle with all its complexity and menace, I look for the complicated relationships between people, culture and economics. Instead of climbing mountains, I settle in more deeply to see how people live […]

Posted On

07/5/11

Author

Michael Brown

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