Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The green, green stupa of home

I got back to Kathmandu yesterday afternoon and as soon as I dropped off my bags at the guesthouse, I went over to school to say hello to my teachers and classmates. Being called by name and greeted with surprised smiles was an experience gratifying beyond words. It was like being welcomed home. Then I went for a walk around the stupa, the plaza-like area of Boudha where people meet every morning and evening for a social circumambulation. And again there were many smiles of surprise and welcome as I stopped by many of the shops I frequented when I was here last.

I feel now like I have two homes, one in Fukuoka, the other here in Boudha.

Previously I visited Nepal as winter faded into spring. Now I am here at summer's end and the raining season. Besides furry patches of green grass and fully leaved trees, there is on much of the city's concrete a thin layer of mold, as you can see in the picture of the stupa.

This is just now the end of the rainy season, which is quite fortunate, as I won't have to wade through rivers of mud or wear damp clothes that never quite dry out.

I took the precaution of visiting the clinic this morning to confer with a local doctor about inoculations or health concerns I might need to be aware of, and for which I received an inoculation for Hepatitis B. He also suggested ones for Hepatitis A and for Meningitis, but as they didn't have these in stock, I'll be visiting the International Clinic in the city tomorrow.

I also saw a few rooms for rent, but nothing yet that seems more attractive than where I already am. I've been told there's a very nice place opening up soon, a fully furnished flat for sublease from a western woman leaving the country for several months.

Tomorrow I plan to join my class, at least for the morning session. I'm looking forward to long hours on the floor, hunched over my drawing slate.



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