Monday, September 26, 2011

Sarangot - sunrise

Sarangot - sunrise, originally uploaded by veggy.

Continuing to live by the seat of my pants i hitched a ride up to Sarangot with the paragliders, not to para glide at 100 euros a ride, but to spend the night and watch the sunrise over the Annapurna mountain range. It has been cloudy the whole time i have been in the Pokhara valley, but for some reason i knew it was going to clear. I spent the night in the Mountain view hotel whose owners had 4 daughters and one baby boy. WOW was the view amazing when the clouds parted the next morning. I spent two hours sitting with people from all over the world watching as the clouds blew away, planes took off to Jomson, and ultralights buzzed by.

Some things i have learned while talking with the local:
School is free for children in Nepal, but you still have to buy them the uniform. I have noticed an abundance of girls going to school which contradicts some of what i have read about girls being the first to have to quit school because they need to help support their families. Education is now seen as a way to get a better job, and in turn be in less poverty. Girls and boys are both valued, but i am sure that the age long impression of having a boy is more important to a family is still alive.

I visited the Hijan Tibetan settlement outside Pokhara for the afternoon chanting, a magical experience in itself. I was able to get some video before i realized i wasn't able to record. Repitive chants continued for an hour and a half that cumulated with banging of drums, blowing of horns and clanging of symbols. Small monks (boys), sat in front of us and joked and played while some of the more serious ones tried to keep up with the prayers.
I learned that Tibetan women are allowed to have more then one husband. She will take a husband who is farmer and busy in the fields most of the time, a soldier who is away serving most of the time, and a business man and collects all the money, and works out a schedule for them. Often brothers will share a wife when there has been shortages of women in the pat, but rarely anymore. Tibetan women are smart business women, working hard themselves and selling their beautiful trinkets for tourists all over town. Women are known to work harder then men, and you will often see them hauling heavy bags and baskets of dirt or rocks in bags that wrap around their heads and down their backs. Obviously this work is not preferred but if you want to eat you will do it.
Another thing i learned is that 15% of the world goes to bed hungry every night, another 35% goes to bed hungry a few nights a week. These people who work so hard look like they go hungry often. So skinny, often dirty, struggling in a culture that gives some people no opportunity to get out it. Their options are limited if your children don't get a good education and help to support you. I met one women who invited me to her home and showed me all her childrens photos. Her daughter got a good education and moved to NYC and married there as well. Her son was studying in India on a scholarship. In her home she had all the things she needed, thanks to children. Her husband on the other hand was not welcome back in her home for cheating on her. So it happens everywhere. Suffering from attachments, lack of basic nutrition, and other ailments.

There are many people who are doing good things here though, more to come on that later.

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