Kathmandu Day 4: Monkey Temple

It’s Sunday here, the children are in class and we have a day off. Lynn and Drew have flown off to Baglung to meet with Save the Children and check out their program services there. We made our way to the Monkey Temple in Kathmandu which got its name because of the “holy” monkeys that live in a particular part of the temple complex.The monkey’s roam freely and really own the place. One has to be very careful not to get to close as they are known for grabbing anything out of the hand or off the head. 

This city is full of temple’s but none as unusual as this one. It is one of the most holy and sacred among the Buddist faith.  It is a very majestic temple, 2000 years old, full of gold and smaller shrines carved from stone. Buddha eyes gaze out from all four sides of the tower of the main Stupa(temple). Between the eyes is something that looks like a nose or question mark. This is the Nepali number “1” and represents the “unity of all things”. The most wonderful thing we found here are the prayer wheels on the main Stupa. One is to circumvent the temple.clockwise, spinning the wheels ,and it is meant to bring healing and peace to the world. Needless to say, we all spun the wheels. I’ve posted a picture of Hanna doing exactly that. A really lovely concept that is ever present in this society.The idea of peace takes many forms here from amulets, to school children’s art competition depicting what peace “looks” like.

Today was also a wonderful day to spend with everyone without the stress of having to “get it on tape”. We have the very best group of travelers and colleagues I can imagine. Our intrepid camera crew, Patty, Janelle and Naom are more than patient, energetic and willing to do what is needed to get the work done even if it means standing with a boom on her hands (thank you Patty!) for hours at a time. Janelle was the first one to get sick but even after a sleepless night and pretty bad tummy, she was up bright and early to work all day with us. Noam is the quiet one that you never really notice until you’ve almost stepped on him . Sorry Noam. Stephanie,Steve ,Shreeya and Sammy have all done this before and are a wonderful resource. Thanks Steve for being the defacto “sitter” at most times. It ain’t easy! Sammy and Shreeya, you are wonderful playmates for Hanna and Noah and I know this experience will take you far into the next years of your life and I really hope you all remain such wonderful friends.

We wouldn’t be here without Stephanie and her wonderful Unatti Foundation. She is the one we all turn to when we need to find the best price, best food or a western toilet! (Few and far between). I could spend weeks writing about how much she means to me,us and this project. “Thank you” will never be sufficient.

Margaret and Alan had their 12th anniversary today and spent it with us. We should be thanking them for jumping in literally at the last minute to travel to the other side of the planet with us. Margaret has made fans and friends with her “Tootie Talk” and willingness to learn Neil’s songs in addition to playing her own. It’s a pleasure to work beside her here. Alan arrived, two days later than the rest of us, and dove right in with his typical high energy and good nature. Since Drew and Lynn weren’t with us today, I’ll write about them another time. They both need one whole blog to themselves.

Back to work tomorrow, although if I was lucky enough to do “work” like this all the time, I might find myself , as these children do, having a hard time feeling anything BUT Happy!

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