North Iceland

If Mother Nature had a favorite child, it would be Iceland.  Home to all god-made things spectacular, Iceland glows under the green light of the Universe.  It's aliveness gently brushes all of your senses. It's moist and healing with wind of moss and wild flowers. It's powerful and majestic with  waterfalls and volcanic rock formations.

 I am soooooo grateful to be a guest once again in this country.  Accompanied by seven lovely women, and one brave man, we headed on a small aircraft to Husavik, a small whaling village in the North.  For five days, we cozied up in small cottages aside an inlet of Arctic Ocean lined with purple snow capped mountains. Lupine and Loons greeted us every morning as we gathered for Yin yoga led by my dear friend Jenn.  We shared hot oatmeal with nuts and fruits, then headed out with our gentle and very knowledgable  local guide, Ari Paul to see the wonders of the land. 

 Being the middle of September the  tourist season had ended allowing us  to explore with peaceful solitude. Unhurried and uncrowded, as if we were the only guests to witness the awe-inspiring, medieval landscapes.  (think Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. )

 It was here that I turned another year older, bathing in a geothermal hot tub under the Northern Lights. 

 This will not be our last trip..... stay tuned as we plan to return in 2017.

 

Our sweet cabin in Husavik

Our sweet cabin in Husavik






Chhukhung Ri

Sometimes writing immediately after an experience is the freshest way to tell the story, and other times, reflection portrays the experience best. Since I was too lazy and too exhausted at the end of each day to type out an entry on my 4s. I'm going to to go with the later concept and recap the entire 13 day trek now- on day 13. I'll try to nail the highlights...

Our  Hands in Outreach Sponsor group began as ten, with about half of us sick with a flu/bronchial cold.  One partner in each couple was infected... I was the lucky one and my college roommate (my partner on this trip) Andrea, quickly stepped up as Nurse Jones and distributed her load of drugs and natural remedies to the entire group. She also worked with what was available, such as a bowl of boiling water with some drops of eucalyptus and a towel over the head- lots of steam baths going on in the tea house dining  rooms....

Unfortunately, recovery was slow going. Walking an average of 6 hrs daily in altitudes unheard of in  the ocean state, does nothing to aid healing 
YET DESPITE THE HACKING AND LACK OF ENERGY,  our courageous and "roll with the punches " pack of Trekkers,  trekked on and up- past stupas and slates of sanscript mantras, Tibetan prayer flags and vistas of high snow covered peaks.  Khumbu is the territory of the Himalyans where the Sherpa people have resided for the past 500 years. Moving south and east from Tibet , they have creatively connected to the mountains and valleys of the Eastern Himalayans. Our guide, Karsang Sherpa, was born and raised in a small village about 30 min walk from Lukla. He became a porter at 14 and carried loads of up to 60kilo (approximately 120 lbs) on his tiny back up the mountains to the developing tourist tea houses and shops in order to make a living for his family.

There are children today still doing this- mules and yaks and men as well -as no cars and roads have  reached this region. 

 Karsang is now a respected cultural and trekking guide and doing a tremendous amount for his People - including the building of a Sherpa museum in his village!  He has been the highlight of our trip- a Buddhist who has shared his heart with us in many ways.... There wasn't one day or one tea house where we stayed where a relative didn't pop up and serve us Lemon ginger tea. His "brother's cousin" (so his cousin too?!)  his sister, ( he has four ) his father's cousin's brother's daughter"... I could not keep the family tree straight and decided that he is just very connected - like the Sherpa Mafia- but Buddhist- so all good.

Nine made it as far as Namche Bazar, one man was sick and settled in at a tea house until the group returned a couple days later.  Andrea and I went on for 9 additional days. EBC was our original goal, but after two nights on that path, we decided to abort that idea, as it was soooo cold and crowded with other Trekkers, that we turned to another direction that was quieter and warmer.  We landed in Chhukhung- a wonderfully peaceful spot.  The following day, we took a trek to 18,000 ft  to Chhukhung Ri where a vista  of 20 or more peaks presented themselves with their snow capped heads  glowing Against the blue Himalayan sky.  

So now I'm beyond the highlights and rambling on- and will leave the rest to a few iPhone photographs,(below) and others from my point and shoot I'll post later -(when I get home ) cuz really, my words cannot do this part of the world justice- and nor can my crappy camera. So maybe you should add SagarMatha to your bucket list- no summits, just follow the paths that twist through these grand mountains- and get Karsang to show you the way. 

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Some of the mountains around Chhukhung. 

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Me and Karsang- with our lemon ginger and yummy chocolate from home - 

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Chhukhung tea house - 46 guests and only 4 of us were WOMEN!  Not sure why- 

The worst and most dangerous

The worst and most dangerous

So I learned today that Kathmandu airport is rated the worst airport in the world and Lukla, where we are waiting to go, is the most dangerous and most scary airport in the world- although this I think I figured out in 2010 when I last landed in the 460 meter long runway that ended in the side of the mountain and when taking off, you literally fly off a cliff. There is no navigation tower or radar, pilots rely on sight. Therefor the combination of conditions  has to be just right in order to get here or leave here.  

Rashmi's house

Rashmi's house

Tired, but surprisingly not cranky, after a record breaking 43 hours of no sleep, I arrived at the antiquated third world Kathmandu airport where chaos becomes my entertainment for the yet next 90 minutes.  Collecting my extraordinarily heavy bags which are packed with books and clothing for our needy Hands in Outreach girls, as well as seven pounds of beauty supplies which I offered to deliver to a hotel near where I was going to stay, I headed past the security screening devices where no one was even pretending to watch the screen nor stop you when the beeping was triggered while passing through the metal detector.

kathmandu

 

The most peaceful image captured today- such a complete opposite of what my day's experience was. After visiting several "homes" where our Sponsored children live on the edge of complete desperation, I just have no words that can explain how I feel.  I can smell the urine, sense the grime on my skin and see the faces of the children, the mothers and neighbors who come out to peer at the white faces of strange foreigners.   Be grateful, be happy that you have a clean bed and running water.  And if you are at all interested in saving a life of a young girl, get in touch with me.  

 

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3 days to go...

Leaving the country for 5 weeks. 2 weeks in Kathmandu, 2 weeks trekking to EBC (Everest Base Camp) then 8 days in Bali- and guess what I am doing? You would never guess, so I will tell you. I am in Newport, at our rental house here, and I am lighting incense in attempt to overpower the raw sewage smell seeping up into main floor from the basement which has a flood of crap and stinky water that overflowed from from an old pipe that is broken.  After 4 hours of calling plumbers, rootermen, cleanup specialists, Insurance company and the city of Newport water department - I am now waiting for the call back from the insurance company and  hoping that this will be covered, and will all be ready and cleaned and smelling like roses before the next crew of renters land here on Friday.  I should be packing, making sure I have all the equipment I need incase of an avalanche in the himalayans takes my life- (17 trekkers and sherpas died yesterday from a freak  storm that hit the  Annapurna Circuit)   speaking of which, I need to call our attorney who has not yet completed our will that will leave all these headaches to our children if Peter and I perish.  Yes, I had better get that signed by friday too.  Did I mention that our taxes are also due today?  As my dear friend Judy would reply, auuuummmmmmmmmm.  

Do you see why I like to travel to far away places where there is no cell service? 

 

 

Circus

 

My tent is hardly bigger than my sleeping bag but I am content as can be. I have it pitched by a river with a waterfall that I wash my cloths in and take cool soaks in the middle of the day. I even use it to brush my teeth rather than walking to the bathroom they have set up here. There are 48 of us plus the cooks and gardeners and handymen. This self contained propery that Arno has just bought 3 months ago, is still evolving into a dream he had when he started the circus here in luang prabang 3 months ago. It is quite an amazing place. We are situated in a papaya plantation, with a few rice fields they just planted, chickens everywhere , water buffalo roaming the river....and structures for us built from bamboo and wood. All open air, all clean and beautiful and simple - the stars are always visable and nights are christened with a bon fire where we hang out, hold kirtan or give massages under the stars.... Omg I died and went to heaven. After so many cities, I feel the energy of the earth cleansing my soul. 

Then there are the teachers who are from all over the world with  experience that extends in all directions of healing and bodywork. 

They are all without ego. That goes for most everyone here. I have so much to learn! The weather is warm but there is always a breeze in the "temple" where we work on each other. The food they cook is all vegetarian so I eating just wonderful !!! 

Gotta go - Xoxoxox

love

A Lao night

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Asian people must love sleeping on cement cuz at this beautiful thongbay guesthouse has beds are as hard as stone - maybe the earth tonight will feel like down... So a quick insight to the night noises: before bed a scurry of lizzards hinding in the bathroom when I flipped the light on- caught a look at one- small enough no problem - 12:30 am a rooster woke me up... I thought "oh it must be morning" hahah- looked at the clcck- 2:30 am or so- a pack of wild dogs howling...I reached for ambien. THEN at 4:00 am on the dot I hear DRUMS!!! And not in any rhythmic way- this got me out of bed and outside- there were several different locations of drumming...up and down the river - I figured it was time for the monks to rise and go pray....since I heard horns in Nepal around 6am while trekking. Much more sane time to wake up! Needless to say, the country is not as peaceful as I imagined- but I still love it here and want to organize a group trip for anyone who wants to combine yoga, sightseeing , treking and shopping! Maybe new business venture- any takers??!

It's too nice here and I already want to come back.

Oooohhhh the drumming has just started up again! 

My taxi is here! Going to the camp! 

Xoxoxox

Laos

 

When I first decided to attend the "circus" (my massage training ) i assumed it was in Thailand- I was emailing arno (arnothehermit is his email name- the French leader of the circus entourage) for some time when I googled luang prabang and could only fin the town in Laos - well Being slow in the uptake at times, it was a while before I realized that I was to spend a month in a country I barely have heard of. So here I am. I the mountains, on a river, in a bamboo sided, thatched roof, on stilts, hut that I have to say Is paradise. Quiet and beautiiful. I arrived at 4 pm- the last to exit the visa line , to meet my red truck to the thong bay guest house (where I was supposed to be living for the month, but since the circus moved it's bigtop, I will be headed to my tent a half hour from here, tomorrow. 

On the plane I met three other circus groupies- fine from Israel south Africa, and Italy . I have got used to only hearing the English language table side coming from the mouths of people from every country other than America . 

The last couple of days in chiang Mai were spent hanging and exploring shops - lots of fun! Moved to the university edge of town foey last night since baan honeyban was booked. My new home was pretty funky and hip , and although I spent the middle of the night massaging my cramping intestines and going down the hall to visit the shared bathroom, I woke up on a good mood, met a woman from south new Zealand who I promised I would visit in the future. We had breakfast and shared our lives over a smoothie and then said goodbye. 

Well it's time to go to my riverside bungalo and listen to the crickets or whatever they are. 

It may be a while till my next blog - my new address is mettamytent. I will make it as cozy as possible foe the next 30 days and night. Martha, I could use your staff tomorrow! 

 

Here's hoping that the spiders .... And poisonous snakes -there are four kind here I just read in the lonely planet ) aren't attracted to me.

Be back in LP next Saturday (maybe) 

Sawadee kaah

jungle Jane.

 

Posted by carolyn at 7:18 PM 

motor bike, mountain bike, bicycle.

 

changed my venue... Baan Hanibah guest house, soi 8...the "mountain view" (which should have been named the "Busy Street View." was not doing it for me (did i mention that when you turned on the water in the sink, it just ran out onto the floor underneath and traveled along the edges of the 3x3' bathroom and into the drain that was in the corner tucked behind the toilet where the shower head was also located?) and for $14 more a day, i am in the most beautiful antique teak house with amazing details and luxury....free wifi, ac, hot water-HUGE SHOWER STALL, breakfast, free tea and cookies all day.. what a difference a day makes...met this woman at dinner last night from Shanghai and she educated me on where to stay,  what map to buy,   what to see and how to navigate around this city. she left today and I got her room here. thank you Suki! so i just returned from biking around the quiet city since 7pm when i rented this old bike for about a dollar a day (24hrs) and I am so happy not to be walking everywhere cuz you see much more on a bike.

it's a very safe city and full of markets, restaurants and watts... Buddhas everywhere by the dozens. Piles of them. Little side streets called "soi's" are so quaint, and on these tiny alleyways, you can find vegetarian restaurants, and lots of good coffee shops. clothing, jewelry and textiles... which makes them fun to explore....the hours fly. 

Monday I rented a motorbike to get out of the city and breath cleaner air, so i headed up a nearby mountain to visit the temple up there and wander around. the road was very snakelike and so I loved the ride! BUT today I went on a mountain bike group ride and up the same road in the back of a truck and almost threw up....from the top we road down 4 hours and it was a work out...Adrien, tell Matt I only dumped once and the single track was a ditch. me and 5 guys. hahaha. got a big bruise on my knee- and I was the one to complain about all the pads they made us put on in the 

beginning of the day. So I had fun. lots of biking. 

Tomorrow i will ride the bicycle around the city and visit more watts and shops for home decor that suki had found. She is a freelance writer and is doing a travel piece- she remembered names of everything. there is so much to experience here!

ended the day with an gardenia oil massage at 9pm. I could get used to this life.

starting to really love Thailand! GOOD night!

 

Posted by carolyn at 11:16 PM 

the night train and blind massage

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cozy like the forts we used to make with blankets under the kitchen table was the berth on the night train! With a little light for reading and fresh sheets and blanket, it was a really fun experience! The only downside was the smelly toliet. But hey I am used to them- with the rattling and clanking of the tracks I fell asleep easily and felt like I was on a real adventure in the night. Have a small feather pillow packed onthis trip and am always happy to lay my head down. Chaing Mai is a calmer city surrounded by a moat and remnants of a stone wall. It has more than 300 temples- visited a few today on my meandering 8 hour walk. One side of the old city had a long parade of flowers - decorating floats and in competition- orchids like I've never seen/ and if course food food food- it seems that the Thai eat all the time- I am never hungry because I am also always eating! There are some things though that don't bear the slightest likeness to foodstuff- of these something called black jello that was cut in worm shapes and put in a plastic cup with sugar water for a yummy drink- I filmed the guy dishing it out and asked "now who would eat this?" gross! She (cross dresser- there are many here) let me taste a tiny piece cuz the translation of "backello" was not computing- later on I read a sign on a brick pile of the nasty stuff, go figure - it was like edible creepy crawlers....I skipped lunch- 

wandered in the scorching sun- stopped for an ice coffee, then spent an hour on a little shop with the coolest cloths! Talked to the designer and walked out with a skirt and scarf for $20 that in NY would go for 250/ so chic! Stacy I thought I should get you one but they are so fitted I hated to guess the wrong size! ( I'll pick up something for you though!) then on the same street the "Thai massage by the blind" sign for 220 bhat for 90 min ($7) lured me in. Got pummeled in all the right spots/ "max " knew his massage - and I felt great / of course my ankles were a mess cuz I did the elipticle in bare feet yesterday  ( I managed to leave my sneaker in one of the hotels somewhere along the line).

Max had no mercy- he just made  funny noises - like "tisk tisk tisk" when he hit a tender spot. I started to mimick him -

then wandered to another street market miles long of more shit for sale- I got some food- not sure what it was- but declined the crows eggs they offered me. Found my way back to the "mountainveiw guest house" that is on the busiest of all streets and boasts a sink that leaks all over the floor , no hot water, but what do you expect for 300 baht? 

I'm inserting my trusty earplugs and going to sleep early. 

 

Back on the low road.... 

Peter. Enjoy our soft clean bed! 

 

keep the candle burning....

 

 

 

 

captured on google earth

 

LET ME START BY SAYING HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DYLAN!!!!!!!!!! HE IS 21 TODAY!!!!!!!

and my love is all going to him today! have a great day dylan! I know you got my recorded song....and its still friday there...

LOVE LOVE LOVE TO YOU>

 

well back in back in bangkok at this moment and since i last wrote, peter and I have been flying around vietnam... we acheived high "crossing the streets and not getting hit" grades from our hosting country- as that proved to be the greatest challenge thus far (outside of Nepal) and we were feeling good about that....of the cool things we have seen,,, well Ha long bay was pretty amazing- sort of like Krabi with big rock formations jutting out of the sea - over 2,000 islands total. on one of them, there is a unesco site- a huge cave that is on the list of being voted one of the 7th wonders-Dong Thien Cung- check it out! the sky was misty and and the islands set a peaceful tone as none are inhabited... so all these tourist "junks" boats are drifting in and among them....we had a huge one to ourselves and were served a wonderful 6 course lunch.... heaven. I have been spoiled for the past 8 days since peter arrived. think i gained a few too... the car ride of 3,5 hours back to Hanoi the next day was filled with facts- our guide Lan repeats everything 3-4 times ( i think she enjoys poracticing her english, or she has early onset altzimers) but its just the ticket for history lesson retention. so i learned more about the wars, Ho chi Min, confusious, current political situation,...all much more interesting to know when history is three dimentionally laid in front of you- 

we saw farmers working the rice fields, with the water buffalo....and lots of small towns along the way. looks a bit like Nepal. but no mountains...

we got a city tour and although it doesnt have the art of Bangkok temples and wats, I am liking Hanoi far better. Its got character and a lot of French influence. there are two million moterbikes and 5 million people - and since they ride two or three per bike, you can imagine the streets- cars are a minority. we sat along one street having a beer and watching the bikes go by- and their cargo ranged from refrigerators to 10 ft. orange trees- boxes of foam, cages of chickens on their way to death...even a kitchen sink went by! all this strapped on the back of a little bike. kids packed between parents, and high heeled teens on cell phones- just magnifys the danger factor , but still no one yells or shows sign of road rage- they just press their horns CONSTANTLY. there are even special "move over- im coming" horns that are polite and fade away when done blowing. and you better move- cuz they belong to trucks mostly.

Got a pedicure for 75,000. Dong or $3.50!

on thursday we had the day free to ourselves and wandered around the old quarter and bought some stuff..... ate were the locals eat...on plastic little stools all together on the sidewalk - they plop a bowl of broth in front of you with sruff to pile in it.... there where two bowls of meat that I avoided- especially after learning that the vietnamese eat DOG< RATS< CATS, TURTLES AND GOATS...i tried to keep my mouth shut as peter ate the mystery meat. It was fried little patties of something.... OMG . i am so glad I dont like meat. 

so that night, on the plane again and south to saigon! it is a beautiful city and since the celebration of the NEW YEAR is on Feb 14th, there were tons of silk lanterns HUGE ONES hanging from all the trees on the main city streets... they looked so amazing.... we walked all around that night- till midnight as we only had a day there... CU chi tunnels the next day- where the vc hid during the war- that was something to see. gross traps for the americans to die in... set all over the ground... the whole thing strikes me as so bizzar.Humans are so incredible cruel to each other. I really dont understand the people who bring war to our earth.

So another action packed day- back on the plane that night (fri) to land us back in Bangkok- where we spent peters last night eating at a really good thai restaurant and staying in a five star hotel (but just $80.00) the most we have spent on hotels- peter got a woppping 4 hrs of sleep and left at 4 am. ready to sleep on his 30 hr flight back home....(hope it was ok honey) 

so i got to SLEEEP IN AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE HOTEL! did yoga and a long meditation, had coffee, worked out in the gym (needed that) and showered and now on line.... I take the night train at 6pm zooming me up to Chiang Mai in the North. land there at 7am... Now my yoga leg of the trip begins....as yoga and body work is bigger up there and I will hook up with a friend of a friend who is tied in with the yoga community. 

so to end this loonnnnggg post with a thought i had last night..

 

if you imagine google earth, but google YOU instead of an address, and you zoom in closer so you see the state, (or country, a bigger picture)where you are walking around, and you are a little light, and you imagine how many of your friends are around you, in your community, you would see lots of other little lights of those you know... so I imagine myself here and I dont know anyone (yet) and I am a lone light making my way through thailand....well its just an image i had and I found it somehow scary and somehow fun -like a light seeking light game... I figure by the middle of March, I will have lots of lights on that google map in my head and they will all have made my life so much richer then it already is - cuz your lights are there at home on the other side of the world, and i see them and I am connected to them... and they definately energize me.

 

so let your light shine and keep my light burning.

Jen- light my alter today if you are in prov. for the day dylan was born!

 

love you all!

 

peace.

carolyn

the energizer bunny 

hummingbird.

raw spirit.

the bomb.

(yes ive been called these by you guys.haha)

 

Posted by carolyn at 1:38 PM 

the cyclo ride

 

In kathmandu they are called Rickshaws, in bangkok they are Tuk Tuks, here in Vietnam they are Cyclos.

So- here we are in Hanoi the capital of vietnam- we are staying in the old quarter of the city which reminds me of Ktm- not as dirty- just tiny piles of garbage on the roadside.... but the energy is the same. Busy streets with sooooooo many motercycles going every which way- not shy about using their horns either...."its Kraisssyy" as Gephart would say!(our german trekking friend). So peter and I grabbed a map from the front desk and headed out around 9pm to find the restaurant that our guide Lan reccommended. Of course there are no visible street signs (like Ktm) and fearing for your life from lack of traffic rules, we opted to take the cyclo that was beckoning us at our heels. Well needless to say, the driver took us to the restaurant of HIS choice, ignoring our slow clearley pronounced words "LITTLE HANOI". WE quickly notiticed the absence of stop signs, traffic lights and traffic police as he gayly peddled us right into a 4 way intersection with traffic coming in all directions, never really hitting the brakes but rather depending on the oncoming cars and cycles to do the stopping. I figured that he figured he was safe being in the rear of this surry like contraption that I was sure we would die on. BUt then again, remembering Kathmandu, people do infact aviod collision by some miraculous fate! I just kept laughing like when Im on a theme park ride praying for it to end. 

WE made it to a restaurant finally where we were served in the same manner that we had arrived. Chaos. We let the adorable 15 yr old looking waitress do most of the ordering for us as they were closing soon and we had no idea what was on the menu. In less than 5 min we had several dishes in front of us and a bottle of wine (I thought I ordered a glass) a warm beer for peter, and about 4 or 5 teenage servers hovering- all smiling. Peter felt like a novelty. In thailand and here, when they serve you soup, they give you little dishes of spices and vinegers, and hot sauces to mix in with your noodles and what not. In Bangkok I made the mistake of dumping WAY too much hot stuff in mine and my lips were burning for hours. 

Tonight I managed an inbetween dose. Fried tofu and some kind of shredded salad with cilanto- hope it was safe to eat- I am much less careful about food now that i have been sick free for 4 weeks. I think I have buildt up imunities using the tap water to rinse my toothbrush...

The cost of dinner- 178,000.00 dong. which is under $10.00. our driver waited outside the restaurant, as peter had given him a 100.00 bill vs the 10.00 he asked for (first mistake) and so we figured we were set for the ride back. Not so. When we got back to the hotel (with a brief stop at his friends candy shop where I bought a bag of some discusting tasting things that I thought looked like lemon drops) our guy argued for 50,000 more on top of the additonal 100.00 peter ended up giving him! well, as our Lonely planet guide book had warned us, negotiate the cost before the ride! Vietnam has the record for the most scammers in SE Asia. Beware.

 

Krabi southern Thailand

 

The smells of a foreign country constantly remind you that you are in fact away from home. The aroma of strange spices cooking in the street sides, the Vegetation , the air, the Andaman sea even smells different. I love that about another place. But jen- the moon is still the moon. And boy is it full! So we are loving it here after Bangkok -beaches , 150 islands jutting out of the sea like flinstone boulders....sooooo coool!!!! A boat took us out to the Phi Phi islands (like in the movie The Beach)- and we went scuba diving! Some marine life and corals that we haven't seen in the carribean - we saw a large leopard shark- Dylan and Chloe YOU NEED TO GET CERTIFiED! We were inthe water and in the water all day! ok ok I wo t rub it in....I know it's freezing at home ... Even at unc! So a little 100 degree weather for you along with this blog- I complained about the cold in the himalyans and now I'm in a country that's equivalent to a bikram studio / one extreme to another-...ahhhh . Slathered in sunscreen. Peter and I are in the pool on stools in the water at the hotel bar having margharitas yum ! So loggin off for now. Love and warmth to each of you. Xoxoxo

 

Posted by carolyn at 5:46 PM 

Bangkok

 

One day in bangkok is enough. 

Transitioning from kathmandu to bankok is pretty major. I was amazed at how white to hotel towels and sheets were / how clean and comfortable the bathrooms are. Appreciation abounds. great to have a part of home join me! Peter got in aroind midnight- and we are doing a whirwind tour.... 

I  kept thinking about Nepal though as I was fading into sleep and realized that the rawness of that country is what makes it so beautiful. From the himalyans to the burning garbage in the streets- it's like no other place I've been.

 

Posted by carolyn at 11:16 PM 

my new skills

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hi all! Thank you for all your emails! And I'm glad I'm not boring you. Now that I am leaving Kathmandu in two days, I feel like I have jus learned the ropes- I am used to the crazy traffic so not to get hit walkin down the streets- they drive on the opposite side of the road- (if you can call these gravel pits roads) I have learned to bargin big time- got an awesome room for half price at the Kathmandu guest house- jen- you would be proud!!!! Got a much better room! I can stratigically Hung my laundry all over the place....I know where to go for good food cheap and free wifi!!!! I'm at a restaurant now by candle light eating dinner and having an everest beer for under $10. I can even ward off the rickshaw drivers with one glance- hmmm what else - oh most important- I can hold my breath, Not touch anything , while using one of the varieties of smelly (smelly doesn't even begin to describe the public toliets) while taking a pee. And I can get to my. Blog in under 5 min. 

So- for the latest happiness blog- I went to jyoti's school today and played word games with her class- she is 8 yrs old and is pre k. She is very shy and has the worlds most cutesy smile. I brought cookies for all 13 kids- and we had lots of fun- after school I walk with her and 6 other sponsored girls to Bal Kendra - the center that is supported by HIO. Here they are fed a healthy snack of dal bhat and they do their homework. I packed the cookies.... I taught joyti how to play tic tack toe- she finished her hmework early- I brought her colored pencils, craypas, an eraser and sharpener. I met her mom today- she's not all together there- but smiled big at me. Tomorrow I go back to the school to lead the class in some more fun learning. (good thing they are prekindergarten ) Lesley and clair- I could use you!!!! Then off to bangcock to meet Peter on Wednesday !!!! Did bickram again this am- up at 5am took the most god aweful busride from rams house back to ktm - almost puked-between the exaust and the condition of the bus- I shut my eyes and told myself all thngs will pass. Yoga and a hot shower cured me!!!!! Felt like a million as soon as I hit the mat and the 95 degree studio!!!! Happy days! Rams home was freezing! His girls are used to it. Last night I read to his 9 and 14 yr old a great story by rohl ? (Dylan I forgot his name- your favorite author when you were little) under a huge quilt- by flashlight- the stupid power comes on after everyone goes to bed- really useful! I woke up in the mddle of the night and the bedroom light was on- I had no idea where I was. I have changed beds every night or two- am actually looking forwRd to camping for the month at my massage training! One location! 

Ok well that's all the blabbing for now. I am a little homesick .

Xoxoxoxox so extra hugs to you all! 

Metta

somewhere in a dirty town

 

HI all. well its saturday and I have come to Rams town to spend the weekend with his familyu. He has three beautiful girls and I live them all. they just hang out with family- the oldest is 17, then 14 then 9. his wife is lovely too. the power is out for 19 hrs a day now, so life is very different for them. the food has been soooo good though- his wife is a great cook- all vegitarian indian... so i am in heaven in that respect. no hot water... i am learning a lot about how people live on rainwater, batteries, generators. farming, no frige, no stove, small home.,.,. etc etc. man, my life is all cushy in the US. but they seen pretty happy. this morning we wlked down the mountain/big hill to see there young cow- they keep in a clay house locked, they let hime out., and we spent 2 hours or more collecting leaves and weeds for the cow to eat. his wife mucked the stall with her bare hands,.. cooked some kind of vitamins mixed with water over a fire for the cow to then eat... Ram watered the potato garden along side the terrraced hill side, and thats about it. the kids with us played with sticks- and by kids I mean an 18 yeasr old cousin, and ram's 9 year old. they amuse themselves with the simplest of things. though they had a cell phone with thenm that they played music on- stuff from the US that my kids listened too a couple years ago.,..at one point this morning Anjan climbed a tree in order to cut down lots of branches cuz the cow likes the leaves from this pareticular tree.. he had a hand made sycle (sp?>) in hand. when we ghathered the branches I had my own sicyl to cut the leaves off... then Kalpana, Ram's wife loaded the basket up on her back wioth leaves and we hiked back up to the cow house...Im not feelinmg very sorry for the animals here (as I would normally) as the life the people live are just as hard.

we had a great lunch of Dal Bhat and veggies, sauteed soy beans are my favorite. the spices are all wonderful. and the Massala tea Kalpana makes is the best zive had in nepal... Jen! i have the recipie! 

we took a bus into the next town to get food for dinner that i am making. I am going to attempt stir fry and also pizza on the stove top since they dont have an oven. they have given up their bedroom for me to stay in and I feel bad about that. they have three bedrooms though so everyoine has a bed. but i have the biggest room... I did some yoga- handstands and backbend and acro yoga with Kriti, the 9 year old and their other nephew who is oved all the time- he is 5 yrs old... the girls are here with me at this internet place- it is packed mostly with young people typing away in cubbies. a generator is buzzing behind me.. the bus was a trip and a half to get here. the local buses are jammed packed and you can barely get off when yhou want. people ride on top with goats and all. we will head back to kathmandu mon at 5am. i want to make a bikram class at 8am. I went to a class on friday and It felt great to finally do an asana practice. the hotel floors have been not very inviting to roll my mat out, so i have just been walking for my yoga...what else? I am hjeaded to thailand to meet p[eter on wed. I am Looking forward to that!!!!! so for now, good night-0 its late and I have more emails to write. I may try to download my photos somewhere too. my camera card is full. 

till monday or tues.. enjoy the luxuries of life for me. especially a soft bed and hot water and clean air.

namaste.,

On my own

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jen left, I cried. very sad to see her go- we had a great adventure together....

I've downgraded my hotel expense by half. now at $18 per night. at first it didnt seem like a big sacrifice,maybe just the absence of a tv- but now that I have attented to settle in for the night, the difference is quite apparednt. And not sure its worth the 20 dollars savings.

Imagine the worst college bar band you've ever heard- now incorporate the song "I shot the sherriff". turn upthe volume 10x- no soundproofing in this hotel- thank god I packed ear plugs. 

Next the mattress quality, rapidly declined- may as well be on the floor.- and of course there is no power. house rules hanging by the door state no loud music played in rooms....no doing your own laundry...(mine is soaking in the waste bucket turned washing machine at the moment.... oh now "My woman from Tokyo is leaking into my ears somehow. gotta find my ipod. Been here in Nepal 16 days - tonight was the first night i forgot about tap water danger and put my toothbrush under the stream and then in my mouth. quickly spit out.... stay tuned on the giardia (sp) front.. meanwhile, i get an email from Dylan that his new cushy job in Cabo Mexico has put him up in the most amazing hotel- the best he's ever seen....something wrong with this picture...hahaha

today we went to Kopan MOnestary-and then walked all over the city- faster than the buses since demonstrations from the Maoists were blocking traffic-which reminds me that Sunmday they are threatening to strike- which shuts down all transportation in which case Ram and I will be hoofing it back from his hometown... two days. packing light for that trip.,

soooo- on the tourist front- yesterday, Jen and I saw the largest Buddhist STupa in the world Bodhanath- where thousands of pilgrims make their ritual circumnavigation around the dome. mostly tibetan Buddhists.-it was great- we hung there and people watched for a couple hours. had lunch overlooking the square... hit a couple shops, then Rasm took us to Pashupatinath...This is where the most important Hindu temple in Nepal-built 1696- which sits on the bank of the holy Bagmati River-We were not allowed in this Shiva temple, but certainly got the feeling of its devotees by watching and milling around. there are hardly any tourists here. the riverbanks of the Bagmati is the Napali equivalent of Varanasi on the Ganges in India. The open air Cremations Ghats were in use.... burning dead bodies with family standing by and religious ceremonies in full force. Ram fills us in on the rituals, and how it all works... very interesting. Monkeys roaming around always makes these scenes even more surreal than they already are...... Jen has a sensitive nose and almost lost it. These are exhausting days.-we are wiped by the time we take the bus back to central Ktm and walk past leopars, begging mothers and children... 

well enough for now- I have spent most of this day catching up with emails.... Ram is meeting me in 5 min and we are going to see Joyti! I picked up some books and crackers and will read to her and her friends after school today.... I haven't seen her since before trekking.... I am excited. will hope to get back to the computer tomorrow- but not sure- may be gone for the weekend. and Ram doesn't have internet at his home. No electricity 9 hours during the day- so who knows when ill be back here.. 

hope you all are enjoying the luxuries of the states/ Eat salad for me. love and hugs and Namaste.

 

Posted by carolyn at 2:51 PM   

back in Kathmandu

 

SOOOOOO- Luxury is a hot shower! when I think about all the luxuries we enjoy on a daily basis that people here don't experience, it makes me wonder..... so life is simple and I got a shower and all is good. Im clean. even got a 90 min massage for $20 at the kathmandu guest house in Thamel here where we are staying. central location in the tourist district. flew from Lukla this am. the runway there goes off the edge of the mountain. very cool- a twelve seater plane- Agni Air.... ( agni means Fire) dont know who named that...the guys next to me on the plane smelled so ripe - dont think they showered for weeks. I was gagging.... so I have finally thawed out and JEn and I went out to the market, got harassed to buy shit, and looked at lots of textiles....then had Indian food in a restaurant called third Eye. hahha. it ws good. shared a bottle of wine. most alchohol weve had. laughed a lot. as always. the air here is so thick with pollution, a big shock from the Khumba region. Last night we hung out in the kitchen of the lodge we were staying in. we ate popcorn and pizza that they cooked for us and played with the kids who lived there.... Indian Tv was on- a crack up... I had a huge quilt over me while I sat on the bench while eveyrone huddles around the stove to keep warm. darnk a beer with our guide Babo and our porter Phurba... they were happy to get their tips and be done with the treck... jen and I Im sure drove them nuts. constantly changing our mind about what and where we were going...... we nicknamed them bilbo baggins and frodo.....they looked just like the characters in the Hobbit. tommorrow we taking a daytrip outside of the city.... ill write more tomorrow or tues... 

loving the luxury of the city dispite the dirt and pollution.... we got a latte today and clean cloths... who could ask for more?

 

Posted by carolyn at 11:43 PM 

8 days later

 

back in namche 

HI All!!! it takes me sooooo long to figure out how to get to this blog that by the time i do, my fingers are FROZEN! omg- WE HAVE BEEN IN THE MOUNTAINS AND ALTHOUGH IT HAS BEEN SUNNY DURING THE 5 HOURS THE SUN IS SHOWING OVER THE MOUNTAIN TOPS, THE nights are freezing cold- there is no heat in the teahouses except for the dining area where everyone hangs out- then we go to our 8x8 box rooms and climb in our sleeping bags-(YES JOANN) your bag is AWESOME! we put a hot thermous of water in the bag everynight so our feet are warm. ANYWAY enough about the cold- We have seen EVEREST- Sargamata- and its pretty amazing- ALL THE SURROUNDING mountains are just as beautiful- jagged peaks- snow topped- my favorite mountain is Ama Dablam- check it out on line- very cool peak.  Jen and I have reached 5500 meters- about 3 miles high- Everest is 5 miles high- No thanks.

So, we extended our trek 3 days- total of 11 days. we hiked all the way to Dingboche- about two days from base camp- and from there we did a day hike straight up- got great photos at the top.,we havent seen any other americans- just Ausies and brits and japanese.  Jen and I are the only crazy ones. lots of people are going near base camp- to say they did it- I'm over it. A hot shower is all I want- and they are impossible to get,. I write every night in my sleeping bag on my i phone- though its dead now and I havent paid to charge it - the himalayans are amazing and we have enjoyed walking several hours a day past sherpas and Yaks and Stupas and beautiful views. the food is getting a little boring- My favorite is veg steamed momos- I am staying away from meat of course.  we havent gotten sick yet.... the toilets are basically holes in the ground and Chloe- I laugh when I imagine you here.... you would be mortified! I wash out my own clothing every few days. and dry them by the fire. Jen and I laugh a lot- and she is making friends with all the local children- she brought her mexican flute and is like a pied piper.... the kids are so adorable- they all work hard- gathering firewood, sweeping, carring chairs for us when we stop for lunch at little rest. and the babies are carried by their siblings on their backs. Tourism seems to be the main stay here. But in the winter most people leave the mts. for warmer KTm. I am ready to climb down- my knees have been pretty good considering. today was the first cloudy day and it is much colder- we dont know the temp but i am guessing that it is 20 degrees at night. ice is on our windows in the am. we have two more days of going down to Lukla and then we get our plane to KTM sunday am. did I mention that our beds cost like $1.50 a night? and our tea costs twice as much? the other night I got a chocolate bar to share with the group- we were playing banana grams (like scrabble) and after I unwrapped it I heard that it was $9.00!!!! I died.   It was very unsatisfying as it was  very stale.... 

my hour is almost up- gotta write a couple emails.... stay tuned for the Rhythm of the Road posts.

Namaste.

freezing my ass off.

Posted by carolyn at 5:24 PM