Asia | Nepal | Kathmandu Valley | Kathmandu – The days after the massacre
I know it has been a long time since you have heard a report from me, but I was waiting for a grand punch line to share with you. alas, it never came. Instead, the story has played out in a fashion that only Shakespeare himself could have devised. The royal family lie dead on the floor, the crowd protests, the curtain is drawn and a bewildered hush falls over the audience.
The peaceful Kingdom of Nepal seems to have returned to its normal calm. We were left to mourn for 15 days without any entertainment. The television broadcast only news, the radio played only funeral music and the bars stopped playing music and serving spirits. Many a night we sat in eerily quiet bars and discussed the latest conspiracy theories over the only available entertainment a pint of beer!
Now that the mourning is ‘officially’ over and the investigation completed, it seems almost as if nothing has happened at all. It may seem a bit odd, but I figure the Nepali people have more to worry about in their own personal hardships than those of the royals.
So, life goes on. The souvenir hawkers are back to hassling the few tourists who have stuck it through and remained through the hardships and the monsoon rains. Their latest hot sellers are framed photos of the now deceased royal family. The rickshaw drivers have put plastic sheeting over their cycles to protect the dainty and the umbrella sellers are making a small fortune. School has resumed and I have just finished writing exams for my classes. This has been my first real experience with teaching children and even with all the hardships, it has been quite rewarding.
As my students take their exams this week, I will be taking off to the hills. After a two month separation, my husband has come here to visit and we are heading off on a trek through the Langtang Nation Park area to a holy lake called Gosainkund. This will be a huge challenge for me on many levels. The first is that I am running a fever and have come down with a horrible cold, but this is par for the course for me. The second is that I will try to get some information on education in the rural areas, but past experience has taught me that this will be hard to come by. Lastly, I have never hiked to such a height in my life. The lake sits at approximately 4500 meters above sea level and I get winded climbing the stairs! If I manage to complete this trek, it will be quite an accomplishment for me. I have already made rookie mistake number one in that I bought a brand new pair of boots for the hike. I know the blisters are coming, but it seemed a better choice than climbing slippery rocks in monsoon rains with a tread bare pair of athletic shoes. I am leaving in the morning and will be incommunicado for about a week. I will write again when I return and let you know how it all went.