my first monsoon

June 3, 2007 § Leave a comment

We don’t get storms like this in California. The thunder rattles everything and the wind is strong enough to pick up small stones and whip them around. Lightening literally makes it seem like midday for a brief second when it strikes.

The power has gone out several times tonight, which is pretty typical for the area even without the storms. Our house has a generator so we don’t have more than a minute or two of darkness. A few of the homes nearby don’t have electricity at all.

Our first full day here a nationwide strike had been called, which basically meant that there were no cars on the road. We walked up to a temple on the next hill over. At the top there were men selling bright pink cotton candy somehow coexisting with the hungry monkeys running around. The monks were blasting techno music at the top. Over the music, we could hear small bombs going off in the valley below.

Yesterday we walked up the road behind the house for a few miles, until it turned to dirt. The further out we got the friendlier everyone was. At the last village we walked through, a group of children approached us and wanted to take photos with us, to show us their homes, to know where we came from and our names and our mothers’ names. Their English was impressive, and apparently my very limited Nepali is bad enough that they didn’t understand me when I tried to say thank you in their language. As we left, they thanked us for visiting their country; it made me think about the way that I interact with visitors to my home.

Today we lazed around the house recovering from a late night out with Mr. Man’s sisters. I appreciate the opportunity to experience the way life is for the people who live here (or at least the long-term international residents); not so different from home, except that smoking is acceptable everywhere so I come home smelling like smoke and feeling a little stuffy. We’re lucky to have a community who loves the girls and is eager to bring us into their fold, also, and treats us like friends already.

Tomorrow we’re going to explore more, either heading up into the hills (their “hills” are almost twice the elevation of Mt. Diablo) to hike or going to the older sections of town.

Right now it’s 9pm and I think I’m going to bed.

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