Our plane descents trough thick layers of clouds towards the Kathmandu Valley. Sometimes we see a little part of Nepal below us, but it isn’t much. It doesn’t matter, we are familiar with the views below us.
The rows with ugly buildings are countless and together they form Kathmandu. As soon as we have landed we see more of the city where we feel ourselves at home.
It’s easy to arrange a visa, the bicycles arrive safely and we spot the sign of our taxi driver quickly. We are embraced by the Nepalese warmth and the chaos is still the same. Cows, monkeys, kids, dirt, overcrowded and colourful busses, everything is lively. Everything is there and everything is there in full presence.
I think back to the ride we had with my sister Maaike and Eric two years ago. It’s such an arrival from a western country into Nepal.
When we arrive at the guesthouse we are greeted by happy rickshaw drivers, who still remember us from two years ago. “How long do you stay?” “When did you come?” and “Good to see you again!” are questions we hear a lot the coming days. We spend two days in a room we don’t know and then we hear we can go back to ‘our’ room.
Kathmandu remains wonderful, the people are friendly, there is always something to be amazed about and it’s full of live. On every street corner is something happening and old fashioned traditions go together with new western inventions. Marlous and I spend our time with strolling around through the small streets of Thamel, the tourist part of Kathmandu. We walk through the monsoon showers to Swayambunath, the Monkey Temple. As always the Tibetans are walking around the hill and the Hindus are climbing all the stairs to make their prayers. From Pashputinat, the holy place where the corpses are cremated, we walk to the Tibetan Boudhanath with its enormous stupa.
We listen to the stories about live in Nepal. The king is gone. Nepal is a republic, but what does it mean for the people. Nobody really knows what to expect and parties keep on arguing about how to reign the country. There is a lack of water and fuel. Food prices are rising every time and demonstrations are a part of daily life.
We are going out for dinner with Joyce, Krishna en Marjon. We met Joyce en Krishna during our time in the Noble House. They started the project of Suvadra, where they help handicapped children. Marjon is a volunteer there and the funny thing is that we met her before during our travels in Tibet. It’s great to see each other again and we make a date to watch soccer together in Bhaktapur.
Of course we go to the Noble House. It’s fantastic to see all the kids and how well they are doing. The Noble House stands like a castle and everyone who made some effort for it can be proud.