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  • David


Updated: Dec 5, 2022

It was nice to see such a remote and devout area's temple was still standing, though heavily supported by timber beams. Tibetan prayer flags flew overhead along nearly every path as we scaled the mountain to Nang-Le-Bhare. There had been a festival a few days previous and the majority of these communities had found some respite in their traditional observances. In a four-wheel large jeep we tried to follow the convoy to the school at the summit however, highlighting the severity of the slope and the road quality local people deal with every day, we got stuck.

Performing several difficult manoeuvres, with some pushing and a lot of slipping the jeep managed to turn around so we could return to the temple and wait for the rest of the convoy to return.

In the interim, whilst attempting to attend to certain biological imperatives I wandered off and came across a man carrying a lot of bamboo up an adjacent slope. I tried to convey my messages but despite trying to turn back twice he insisted I walked further on, well away from my companions. Having been in Nepal for a little while now I figured “If drunk young Nepali men just want selfies more than fights with me, how much of a risk is a rural village elder?”, so I followed his directions past more tin shelters, small bamboo thickets until eventually I turned the corner and got a reward for my faith, the view of the entire valley with the midday sun highlighting every contour and settlement.

He stopped next to me, named the regions, hills and communities and after inviting me for lunch, (which I was forced to decline) he carried on his long journey uphill. I will never see this man again, I didn't even think to write down his name...but I'll always remember the picture he wanted to show me.

In that picture, through the beauty of the landscape, shadowed by the multitude of ruined buildings, twinkles back the reflection from dozens of tin sheets and odd jarring squares of orange and deep blue tarpaulin. The echoes of a future disaster just waiting to unfurl amongst the temporary shelters that may be insubstantial homes for years to come.

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