Nepal's Banksy was here!

Nepal's Banksy was here!
Strong message, Simple words

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Pictures speak a thousand words. Reflections and a big thank you to Nepal.

Panorama from the top of hotel in Besishahar, Lamjung.

Regular readers will know about our personal journey over the last 2 years in Nepal. I am planning to reflect, through photos, from our early arrival in Lamjung, a few from the mid-line then to final goodbyes. I hope you will join me on my look back.

As we looked out from the hotel rooftop we did not realise we were seeing our home to be.

We arrived in Lamjung in September 2014. Luckily, thanks to a wonderful family at the New Gurung Cafe, it took us no time at all to find our new home. If you look carefully at the photo you can see a Buddhist Gompa with flags flying (top, left). We moved in less than a week later.

We borrowed a local form of transport to move.
Sadly the chain of the three wheeler was a little unreliable but we managed to get everything on one load and push! The flat was perfect and we had happy times there. The views were wonderful and neighbours very friendly and kind. As you know Simon spent most of his time in Kathmandu, a 7 hours bus journey away, so I was mostly on my own. However I felt extremely safe and was surrounded by kindness, and a lot of noise, which helped during the lonely times.

Simon trying out the local method of carrying.

Our favourite thing to do in free time has always been walking, meeting local people and getting to understand life in Nepal. We often met this lovely porter. Like so many he was profoundly deaf and therefore unable to speak but he certainly loved our interactions.

Women breaking stones is a common sight near the rivers in Nepal.

Another great advantage of walking is that you come across so much raw life. It really helped us to understand and empathise with those who struggle to earn enough to feed themselves and family. Breaking stones is a thankless task. There is always another pile and the remuneration extremely poor. 

Crossing rivers can be adventurous. Simon smiled all the way, I panicked!!

A jeep crossing the cliff face (mid picture)

A bus to Baglungpani along the same road as the jeep on the previous photo!

One of our first terrifying bus journeys was to Baglungpani during the monsoon season. The photo does not show the sheer drop, the rough surface of the track, the waterfalls and water ways. At every lurch of the bus our panic was drowned out by the locals screaming out. On the many subsequent visits I always walked which was a much better idea, although extremely steep and hard work, it was better for the heart beat!

The views from Baglunpani were well worth the effort!

Sadly not always this clear.

A favourite tree on the way to one of the schools. It always made me smile.

Ladies digging out clay.

There is always something interesting to see. These ladies were collecting clay which is rolled into balls and used for cleaning their houses. At Desain festival the walls get a new coat of clay but many wash their floors with this to keep it clean daily.

The first sight of this work was a shock. The lady's basket is ready for her to carry.

We gradually got used to many of these sights but never took it for granted. There are many, many people in Nepal who work so physically hard. Is it any wonder that they suffer from health problems (please refer to a previous blog on Women's Health).

And this young lad is learning his family trade.
Back in Kathmandu. Saturday is washing day.

And thankfully most days are drying days in Nepal.

We soon settled into life here although as Simon has mentions there were many Ups and Downs. We have documented many of these. Lamjung Durbur became a special place for both highs and lows. We spent time here when missing special occasions at home but we all also walked up to the Durbar, with a picnic, with all of our many visitors. Our grandchildren made the long climb, about 2 hours and 800 meters, is a big effort for young legs. Well done to all!

Lamjung Durbur on a good clear day.

Once the monsoons rains arrive, from mid June onward entire families are involved in the work. Summer holidays from school do not include much relaxation here but the time is hectic. If the rains are late the crops and families suffer. Global warming is likely to have a huge impact here.

Wonderful to capture the lush green of a rice seed bed.
We have seen so many similar scenes of busy families at work preparing for the planting of rice.

Making bean bags!
I have done a few crazy things including sitting at a treadle machine and making bean bags. Not only were they fun to use but for a Bideshi woman to sit in a tailors shop caused a few people to stare. Tailors and other craftsmen come from low caste families so I really enjoyed this way of testing the cultural norm. I have huge admiration for anyone with such skills and hope that others can appreciate these craftsmen and women.

Poor old hen on a hot day being delivered to a pot somewhere.

Krishna up a tree harvesting a very special fruit for his lady companions.
We always enjoyed walks to and from schools. On this fine autumn day the gallant Krishna, our Professional Mentor, climbed a tree to harvest a special fruit. All young women are meant to "marry" this fruit and it becomes their first husband. A little late for me!!!

So our journey neared it's end and it was time for our many farewells. So many people have been part of this journey and none less than family and friends. It has been a delight to us that all of our children have been to visit us here. I hope that they have all enjoyed it as much as we loved their visits. Hopefully it will also give them an interest in our future chatter of "when we were in Nepal" times! We are immensely proud of them all and they have been a great strength to us here. Thank you.

We have also had many friends who have come to see us. Sarah has even been twice. Thank you all too. It certainly gave us something personal to look forward to at times when we felt a long way from home.

Simon has mentioned the many supporters at home, family, friends and VSO donors and special contacts. I will not repeat his comments but I can assure you that it has helped us both. Again special thanks to you.

Young Pawan has been a good friend and companion.

Thank you Pawan for your friendship and smiles. He loved to paint, draw and play games on my balcony. I will miss your smile.

At last we had a cake making staff training!

I have spent so much time with the wonderful Lamjung Sister for Sisters team. I am sure that they will keep up the excellent work. I will remember so many fun times and lots of tough walks. They are brilliant.

A tough climb up to the school. Raj chats to one young lady who does it every day.

Feast and Farewell from the team.

Most of the team.

So goodbye to Lamjung from us both.

Farewell to the Sister For Sister management teams from 4 districts. 


  1. Thank You for reminding me of your time in Nepal. You were brilliant. Nepal is better for your dedication. I loved the country and the people and will never forget my visits.

  2. Thank You for reminding me of your time in Nepal. You were brilliant. Nepal is better for your dedication. I loved the country and the people and will never forget my visits.