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Trip Report Namaste--Nepal trip report November 2015

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This is the Nepal part of our November trip to Nepal and Bhutan. We are glad that we went....and our time there was very much shadowed by both the damage from the April 25 earthquake and the current political disaster which has left Nepal almost bereft of fuel and short of medical supplies. Petrol lines were literally miles long, earthquake damage can be seen everywhere. tourism is way down and everywhere we went, people,thanked us for having come to their country at such a difficult moment. We never once felt in any physical danger.

In the midst of so much tragedy both at the hands of nature and of humans, the Nepali people were warm and resilient though traumatized. We took the early morning mountain flight with great views of Everest and the high Himalayas, walked around the damaged but very moving Boudnath stupa at dusk, were "adopted" by a knowledgable lyoung student who guided us through back streets to the art school where he was studying to paint tangas before leading U.S. On to the busily reconstructing itself Durbar Square. We did buy a painting as well as groceries for the young man's family, ended the day feeling fortunate and manipulated both.

Perhaps the highlight of our stay in Kathmandu was an evening party where we met some of the leading people who have dedicated themselves to helping and changing Nepal over the past years--the field director and major officers of the American Himalayan Foundation, a Nepalese woman who has devoted her life to Stop Girl Trafficking, a pediatric surgeon who for years has treated the poor, an American aid worker. All lovely, all tired, all carrying on,moving forward and stopping a night to relax, play and be with one another and great food.

Finally, our six nights in Nepal were spent in hotel heaven, 5 at Dwarika's in Kathmandu, where wearer upgraded to a junior suite, and one at its sister resort in Dhukhiel, where we were upgraded to an executive suite. The rooms at both places were stunning,and in Nepalese character, the service and food were both excellent, the public space was beautifully designed. Their websites, if anything, understate their beauty and their prices, though above our usual limit, we would again pay to stay there. we were also glad, during difficult times. To be staying at a Nepalese owned and operated hotel, one which has created a whole refugee camp for a neighborhood of Kathmandu that was destroyed by the earthquake.

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