thank you, nepal

I wrote this over two years ago, after my first trip to Nepal with Possible. I'm posting it here.

thank you, Nepal.

to Kathmandu, the city of small alleyways and roads too tight together, markets vibrant with pashmina and plastic watches and plastic buckets amidst temples old and concrete buildings seemingly older, stray cows and dogs next to taxis, cars, buses, motorcycles, fresh papaya and dried fish. thank you Kathmandu for Boudhanath, where I sat and watched the Tibetan monks move swiftly through prayer. thank you for the fresh oils and paintings of mountains I will take home, for the Summit Hotel and its amenities: showers, whiskey, meats and dessert.

thank you Dhangadhi for your airport. I sat shaking in the sky but out the window was a painting, the Himalayas rising above earth below atmosphere. I felt safe, Dhangadhi you are unapologetically hot and your planes are late but you are our connection to Achham, a place very remote, very simple, very poor. But very something else

the roads here are wild, Nepal. 11 hours in a jeep winding every six seconds, horns honking as we climb up in elevation, moving with a fractured grace, the view always of insane beauty, a landscape broken up in ridges, a maze of trees and dirt, fields and tiny towns with bright blue houses. 

to Achham: where to begin. a place that proves possibility for promised health, second life. where our hospital sits, where our clinics lie. where a tiny baby lays with a tinier IV in her palm, her father curled on the bed beside her, having walked two days to get there. to the stray dogs, and canteen with dal bhat three times a day. to roti, lentils, rice, and hardboiled egg. to teaching me many things without words. a place for hope, a sense of strong resilience. to the woman who gave birth the day another took her own life. to the temple we hiked up to only for the view, the cold beer we drank, the water that stopped running. how refreshing a bucket shower can be, or when the fans turn on, or when everyday I connect a little deeper with each new person in my life. 

to Nepal, you have taught me many things. I am more grateful for my health. I am more attentive to small pleasures, less distracted by constant noise. the feeling of challenge and contentment is always within me. to the tree I meditated under each morning, to the cow that once got in my way. to hope and grit and fear: consuming it all and running with it and never slowing down.