Back in the land of Buddha, Snowy Mountain Peaks and Festivals

Greetings from the land of Buddha, mountains and the biggest smiles in the world.  Yes, back in Nepal and once again adjusting to monkeys, dogs barking, traffic horns and of course catching up with our Umbrella family…..I must also add the bureaucracy, meetings and hitting one’s head against the wall moments! 

On arrival at Kathmandu it was obvious that festival time has started.  We are currently in the midst of Dashain, the biggest festival of the year.  This is the time when families get together, eat lots of food, homes and streets are polished, the children fly kites and just for a short time many people forget their problems.  

Today I was reminded about what Umbrella was about and why I continue to give my time and effort to doing what I do.  For those of you who don’t know Kathmandu, it is an over populated bustling city that is over polluted, noisy and yet some of us can’t get enough of it……obviously have rocks in my head.  It is surrounded by mountains and an extremely busy ring road where no rules apply…..back to the story.

This afternoon, minding my own business as well as my life trying to cross the ring road!  I looked in front of me to see the biggest smile which belonged to one of our Umbrella youth.  He had seen me crossing the road (lucky I had sunglasses on and he couldn’t see the fear in my eyes) and I was welcomed with hugs and “wow sister, I can’t believe I just saw you….I was watching you cross the road….haha”

Having known this boy since 2012, watching him grow up into a lovely man and hearing how he had just finished year 12 and was waiting to see if he was accepted at university makes everything we do worthwhile.  We will catch up over my visit and I very much look forward to hearing all his news and his life plans. 

Over the next few months a few of our Aussie committee members are coming to Nepal.  We currently have myself and Tracey (secretary) who at this moment taking on the Annapurna trek, next week Gavin (our patron arrives) to scale another mighty Himalayan peak and in November, Geraldine.  Hoping our supporters follow us and read our different perspectives on this amazing country and the work we are hoping to achieve. 

Signing off,

Linda Harwood (President)