Warm greetings from Nepal!
Things are good here, its been nearly 3 weeks now and we are getting used to our work, getting to know the friendly colleagues, clientel and weird & wonderful Nepali customs, such as the friendly greeting of "Namaste" with hands held in prayer position, and the morning ritual of clearing out yesterdays pollution from ones lungs with a few hacking louder-the-better coughs and spits.
A country of animal lovers, scabby, flea ridden dogs are given the same affection as "Fido" back home, despite biting children and keeping us all awake at various times each night barking, barking and barking some more. Pigeons are not the "flying rats" i used to know, but fellow creatures to buy feed for to gain "merit" as an act of kindness. Rats are a deep fried delicacy enjoyed by unsuspecting KFC loving tourists (urban myth?? Annies guts don't think so).
We joined 4 other workers on a lovely trip out of the city last friday, to a place called Nargakot. We took a taxi half way and walked most of the remaining 12 km (hitched the last 1.5 km in the back of a pickup, which they insisted was a free ride). We had booked the top floor of an interesting octaganol building, which was on top of a mountain with amazing views of the himalayas. Our room had a fire and its own viewing point on top of its roof. We had dinner downstairs where 6 drunken Nepalese were dining and occasionally dancing to the music on one of their mobiles. In the morning we all woke before dawn, climbed up to the view point and watched the sun rise over the snow capped mountains - beauuuutiful! We walked about 16 km back to where we're staying, through a huge green valley and along a high ridge, via an old town with Hindu temple, before hitching a ride in the back of another pickup. We were all stood up enjoying the wind in our hair, when we came across a crowd, some police and an overturned pickup! But our anxiety was soon erased by the fairground feel of the potholes we were bumping over.