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September 30, 2007

Hi Gang,

As many of you know my mom is running the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco October. She is an amazing human being as well as a stellar mom. Here is her marathon mission statement and site and it would mean a great deal to me as well as to her if any of you could donate to her team. The son of one of our close family friends whom I’ve known since preschool, and who is a very kind and gifted fellow, was diagnosed with lymphoma this past year and this moved my mother to become an athlete.

This past week my group went on a walk with one of our teachers, Anil, in the ancient city of Patan. it was no ordinary walk however, because Anil is no ordinary fellow as I have mentioned many times before. Because he has headed such projects as digitlizing maps of kathmandu, preserving historic public spaces and spearheading a project to fortify kathmandus drainage systems and move them below ground, it is impossible to walk anywhere with him without A) meeting a million people who have worked with him or benefited from his work and B) Learn a TON. Patan has been inhabited for over 2000 years and Anil showed us how this vibrant city has been able to sustain life for so long. One reason is its ancient but still effective water piping system which keeps the water in constant motion which keeps it from festering. There are also many public spaces in Patan which serve community purposes. There is a large green square for weddings, hanging out and family parties. There is another space for religious purposes. All of these spaces are for and maintained by Patans residents. Its really quite astounding and pleasant.

Friday after class (one lecturer was a Fullbrighter who was studying child soldiers and mental health, the other was his wife who worked as a Project manager for CARE Nepal–very awesome duo) ten of us decided to go up to Nagrakot for the night. We all stayed in this little cabin at The Hotel At The End Of The Universe and ate delicious food and got drenched in the monsoon rains. It was great to breath fresh air and be away from the Kathmandu hubub.

Aarti and I returned early Saturday morning to attend the Prashant Concert at St. Xaviers school. It was pouring rain and the sports field was a muddy swamp. It was pretty wonderful to see mud covered and soaking wet Nepalis dancing and laughing and having a blast but as we got muddier and colder it became harder to dance and more than a little bit frustrating. A nice fellow dancing next to me remarked that “this must be what like woodstock was like” before comparing his mud soaked shoes to mine. “Mine are more ruined than yours!” to which i replied “well im wearing hiking books so mine of full of mud. At least the mud leaks out the sides of your sandals!” Prashant was awesome and truly has a very simple and kin demeanor. I hdnt really understood all the time when Nepalis or Darjeelingers said they loved him because he was “a simple person” until i saw him sing live. There is no superstar air about him, he is very gracious and shy and tremendously kind. Whenever someone shouted something ( i assume something along the lines of “we love you prashant”) he never failed to respond with kind words and acknowledge the shouter. Aarti and I then decided that we should meet him and thank him for making our trip so delightful–but getting backstage at a Nepali concert proved impossible. Despite wearing matching Prashant shirts and referring to ourselves as “The Foreign Friends of Prashant, Americas #1 Prashant Fan Club” we we not admitted backstage, but we learned a valuable lesson: if you are a Nepali policeman you can show up to a nepali concert, when you are really supposed to be on duty, and demand to be let backstage and no one will stop you. So despite needing to spend the rest of the afternoon bundled up in layers trying to stave off the chills, the Prsahant concert was very interesting, the crowd was happy and not at all deterred by the elements and Prashant managed to re-wow us with his kind and simple demeanor as well as his spectacular singing.



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7 Comments leave one →
  1. timgroom1983 permalink
    September 30, 2007 9:25 am

    Wow. Sounds like a great trip. Your mom sounds amazing. I’m just kiking now, starting in the east cost and will go until my soul says stop.

  2. Willow permalink
    September 30, 2007 4:53 pm

    A second Wow, about your trip to Patan with Anil. He sounds incredible! You are meeting such amazing people there!

    I’ve replied to your email with a few ideas for questions. Your project sounds so interesting!

  3. October 7, 2007 11:01 pm

    Hi Sarah, your mom and Hannah were just in here (Humane Society) and told me about you, your adventures, and your project. It all sounds soooooooo exciting. I loved traveling in Nepal and
    really fell in love with Kathmandu, and of course, with all of the countryside. We did a 28 day trek around Annapurna, went into the base camp of Mt. Everest and did a 5 day river rafting adventure. “No worries, chicken curry”–our river guide quoted us many times a day. Quick question: how do you download pictures in an Internet Cafe? The reason I ask is because I’m traveling to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos for 10 weeks in December and will be bringing my digital camera and usb cord. Then what? Keep enjoying… love and hugs, JoAnn

  4. beyondmountains permalink*
    October 13, 2007 9:38 am

    Joann,
    just having your usb cord should be fine. It would probably help if you had a website to store pictures on/upload them onto. I foolishly didnt bring my usb cable which has caused all sorts of difficulties.

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