Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sights and Feels of Nepal

This post is merely some of the interesting things I saw along the way...

The dog couldn't resist the smell of this meat shop... I however would be fine to never smell it again. ;)
Now this is a "FRESH" meat shop... Goat-to-go or the basket to the right had live chickens!
Motorcycle shop out side our apartment. I thought of my cousin Chad when I saw this!
This is an embroidery machine found at many 't-shirt' shops in town. They were beautifully crafted.
Lights coming on in the streets... while the power was on.
A temple in the middle of the markets.
One morning (Amanda and I were waiting for a ride to the airport to go see Mt. Everest) we were out before dawn. This woman was starting up her fire. I am not 100% sure but I think she was making some sort of food to sell. I am also not 100% sure but I think she slept here... was this her home?
While we stood and waited for our ride many vans like this one drove by. They would stop and a man with a bandanna (probably for the cold) would open the door step out while yelling something in Nepali pause for a moment then get back in shut the door and drive away. This seemed to be part of their "public transportation" system. We stood in the dark and cold for a long while before we asked a cabbie to use his phone to call the person picking us up... I was glad we finally called because our driver was on the wrong corner... We would have been waiting for a long time.
Construction: Hammers, chisels, cement mixed by hand, breaking large stones into smaller stones by hand... That's one heck-of-a-way to build a retaining wall!
Many of the cabbies had Hindu prayer wheels on their dashes.
This was the breaker box to our apartment... outside in the stairwell... We were told if the power wasn't working  properly to come out and flip these up and down a couple of times... We were told that usually worked...
That didn't usually work!
Of course the power in Nepal is only on for about 6-7 hours a day at intermittent times.  When the power was actually on we only had one outlet, and one light in the bathroom which worked. We became good friends with flashlights and lots of blankets! :/
These are the electrical lines running up our street. The first day we were there all the lights worked in our apartment (when the power was on). The second day (and the rest of the time) only one outlet and one light bulb worked. We were told it was probably messed up because they had been "working" on these wires!  Supposedly the workers know where all the wires go... But they will also cut multiple wires at a time and then splice them back together saying they got all of the "splices" done correctly with the correct wires... Apparently this is common which makes electricity even more hay-wired across the city.
This is a view from the rooftop of our apartment.
There is no industry in Nepal except tourism. Therefore there are no jobs for the young generation. ALL over Kathmandu you can see signs like these; Study in Japan, Study in USA, Study in Australia... An estimated 1,000 young Nepali's are leaving Nepal every week many never return to bring industry back to their country. That is alarming!

The US charges $160 for Nepali's to apply for a tourist VISA into the US. That is A LOT of money for the average Nepali who may only make $1 a day. The US gets hundreds of these applications a day. I was told they only accept 4-5 of them. :( That is a lot of people naively throwing the US government money for nothing.
 One day I went to the 'DMV' with one of the missionaries there. She needed her licenses renewed and had to go get her picture taken. I was shocked at how crowded the place was. Cheryl pointed out all the US VISA applications tucked under their arms. These people were there to get their pictures taken for their application. It was crazy! There were at least 50 people there at that moment trying to get a US VISA. Cheryl said it is like that all the time.
I talked to many Nepali while I was there. Most of them were interested to hear about the States and/or were excited to tell me that they have a family member who made it there. I would say "Oh cool, have you ever been to visit?" The response was always the same. "No, I can't get a VISA". Several told me they knew it was because they are too poor. "The US thinks I couldn't possibly be coming to 'vacation'... I am too poor. They think I must be coming to illegally hide."
 That made me feel sad.
I have always been fascinated by Asian architecture. Even though this is a temple to false Gods it is constructed beautifully.
Pigeons love the architecture too!
The Hindu culture has many false gods and statues. They are everywhere.

Rickshaw anyone?
The local markets were full of beans,
dried fish, flower necklaces,
and clay pots.
Need a haircut? No appointment necessary! :)
marionette versions of false gods.

Fresh fish! :/
The street vendors really are beautiful displays.
The dogs appreciated it too! haha. Your not going to see dogs running through Harris Teeter anytime soon.

Buddhist prayer flags. Nepal is 60% Hindu and 40% Buddhist.  Less than 1%Christian or "other".
Buddhist prayer wheels.
A few Buddhist monks walking through the markets.
Construction at it's finest! I am not sure what they were doing, but they were definitely doing it "by hand"!
In the evenings lots of people sat on the streets around small fires to keep warm. (remember there is no heat there) This young guy almost melted his cotton candy! YIKES

I hope this post gave you a small glimpse of Kathmandu. It really is a fascinating place! Filled with kind fascinating people. There is much work to do for the orphans and the people of Nepal but I believe God is opening doors there to do just that!


Mama said...

Fascinating. Praying for God's answer to helping the orphans and the poor in Nepal.

Kristi said...

Thank you for this candid glimpse into what life in "the big city" of Nepal is like. My heart joins you in prayer that more are willing to be involved in making a difference there and in other places around the world...