Day 3 (Friday) Kathmandu, Nepal
We met the third trekking team for breakfast before they headed out on their high-altitude adventure. It wasn’t as early as the day before which was nice, but I still woke up with plenty of time to sit and take in the noises in the city again. This time I sat outside and enjoyed a nice quiet time in the morning air, which did seem to be a lot fresher than in the afternoons or evenings. Shortly after breakfast, the guys got in their vehicle and were off. Now it was just us ladies and our guides.
We started the day off by visiting a Buddhist Temple. We needed to make it there before 10 a.m. because there was going to be a driving strike. The government in Nepal is very unstable and there are several strikes for them to make a statement. If someone would have been driving, rocks and other items would have been thrown at the cars. We made it inside the temple and stayed there throughout the strike. This temple was probably the cleanest place in the city. Which at first was refreshing until you started to look around at the people worshiping, spinning the prayer wheels and looking at the idols. Despite what you may think about Buddhism, they are not peaceful. They pray to these Buddhas that pretty much act like gods. These idols look demon like and are usually depicted crushing a human. This is not peaceful. They say all of these prayers to Buddha, or not, because by spinning the prayer wheel or hanging up prayer flags the prayers are said for you. You do not have to work for it at all. Some Buddhist choose to say prayers on their own. The flags look gorgeous as they covered the entire area, but because of what they are it destroys the beauty. I learned more about Buddhism in this temple than I could have ever learned from a text book. As we were leaving the temple, a group of Hindu women showed up at the entrance to worship. This was very interesting to see. Hindus and Buddhists both will worship things from other religions and also take beliefs from other religions. This was very clear in this instance.
We left and the strike had ended early. We were kind of hoping that we could see it, but we were too late. We walked over to a Chinese restaurant for lunch and had some more delicious food. We then took a walk over to where our van was located. On the way over we decided to take some time to hand out tracts. In the process, we lost one of our leaders. He saw some street kids and has a huge heart for helping them. He was able to get them food. While we were waiting, half of our team decided to keep on handing out tracts. Watching these 20 year olds have this huge desire to share the gospel was really encouraging. I decided that I would go help them out. They were able to have some really good talks with some of the people. This was my first time on the trip taking the time to do this. People were so receptive. They wanted to have what you were handing them. Before you could say anything to them, they were already reading through the tract. Some of them even wanted to have more. It was a great learning experience for me and I thank these younger ladies for leading the way.
Our last stop of the day was a woman’s home. She wants to open up a safe house for women rescued from human trafficking. We were able to talk and pray with her and her mom for a couple hours. It was great because we were able to be in on some of the initial discussion on what she should do. It was also great to be able to help come up with ideas of skills they could start teaching the women. They need to teach them a skill so that they do not go back into being a sex worker. Another lady who works at another safe house/rehabilitation house came over and was able to tell us about the organization. They are helping these women and are changing lives. These women are doing things that are not easy and could be dangerous. We finished our time there with a visit to the roof top to look over the city. It was a view worth remembering and one that would have been spectacular if it were not for the haze.
We finished our day with our first taste of Nepals national food dish, Dahl Baht. It was amazing! The whole day had been a very eye opening experience. One that I will never forget. I wish I could sit here and explain all of the photos, especially the ones from the Buddhist temple. If you ever want me to, please don’t hesitate to ask!