Tag Archives: travel

The writing’s on the wall

5 Jul

The tricky part of public service announcements – reaching the public! Public communication can be especially challenging when large segments of the public you wish to reach live in poverty and lack education.  In Kathmandu several awareness campaigns have circumvented problems of illiteracy with clever and colorful graffiti displays.  As you walk by many walls of the city – ringing parks, schools, government buildings,etc. – you can see graphical messages inspiring everything from health practices to environmental concerns…

Wow!  Who knew hand-washing could inspire such creativity?!

Wall murals for World Handwash Day ring the walls of the central parks along Drubar Marg

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Pachyderm-perched perspective

27 Jun

The elephants lumber down the main drag of Sauraha.  On their way to work – on their way home from work – on their way to a refreshing river bath.  Their job?  Schlepping tourists around the Royal Chitwan National Park in Nepal’s Terai Arc region.

“Traffic” in Sauraha

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Peaks of Pokhara

14 Jun

The road to Pokhara is one of the best traveled highways in Nepal – but a sleek expressway it’s not.  The pavement is worn, the bus bounces as it careens around mountain passes.  The sun glares in the window.  The black exhaust and dust of the traffic billow in.  After just the few hours’ journey from Kathmandu you arrive in Pokhara sweat-soggied and soot-covered.  Nothing in world could be more inviting than the lake that shines in the bottom of the Pokhara valley!  Brightly colored row boats welcome you  to town and beckon you into the water.

Wooden row boats line the lake shore – invitingly colorful, deceptively innocent!
Photo credit – NOT ME – thanks E.P.

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Hard farming in the high country

10 Jun

Seemingly solid rock seems to yield to the plow.

I escaped the Kathmandu valley this weekend and set out for Pokhara – renowned for quaint mountain valley lake, mountain top temples, and the gateway to Himalayan trekking.  As the bus takes off on the winding mountain highway toward the north, we begin to leave behind the city haze, and I finally get to see the country side of Nepal!  The mountains are striking, the mountain life is astounding.  We curve and careen up and up through rocky mountain passes, looking over the precipitous edge of the highway, the valleys are filled with towns, the hillsides dotted with red clay brick farm houses, and entire mountain sides terraced for farming.  It’s hard to imagine the person power involved in forming and farming terraced gardens around 5,000+ ft elevation, on slopes reaching 60 degree angles!  And some of the valleys are so dry you have to wonder what reward is reaped for all that work anyway?!

Greener valleys.
Photo credit – NOT ME – thanks E.P.!

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An olfactory tour of Kathmandu’s streets

6 Jun

The streets of Kathmandu are crowded!  Not just with people, or traffic, also with smells.  Walking the narrow stone-tiled alleyways of a Kathmandu neighbor is like a roller-coaster ride for the nose.  One minute alluring, the next disgusting.

No rules and no right-of-way. Traffic in Kathmandu is jam or be jammed.

Overwhelming on main roads you notice the traffic!  Motorbikes zip in and out between motor-rickshaws and cars as buses barrel down the road belching pure black exhaust.  The smog gets so bad it’s actually hard to see the mighty Himalayan mountains ringing the Kathmandu valley. Continue reading

Ancient religions rise out of the thin air of Kathmandu

30 May

Ask a Nepali whether he/she is Hindu or Buddhist, and the answer you are likely to get is simply “yes”.

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El Yunque Rain Forest

25 May

The sky drips with water and the forest drips with green.  The coqui frog dominates the forest conversation and tiny colorful birds flutter by.

Bird watching in El Yunque

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