After more than three weeks “on the farm” – at the Good Shepard Agricultural Mission, we left early morning to cross the border from India into Nepal. Thanks to Eugene George, one of the key figures at GSAM, we contracted a driver to take us all the way to Kathmandu (via Bardia, Lumbini, and Pokhara). Here are some pix – Rick & Clifton seeing us off, sunrise over Nepal and sunset over Bardia, Charlie with monkeys at the border, and various shots from the car…
We arrived just outside Bardia National Park and my next post will be about that. After two nights and an amazing day there, we drove to Lumbini where Siddhartha Gautama – the Buddha – was born in 623 CE. However, some dispute that claim. In any case, there is a huge area dedicated to various temples, monasteries, and museums which is still under construction. We stayed right next to this large park, drove in and looked around, but simply did not have the time to visit the temples. I felt like Horse Badorties in The Fan Man by William Kotzwinkle when he doesn’t show for his big performance because we’d gone there to see the sights, but we’ve had to miss others on this trip. I’ve spent as much time thinking about what we don’t do as what we doodoo. Perhaps, referring to the famous koan, I did not want to meet the Buddha on the road? Perhaps its just a big tourist trap? Interestingly, that part of Nepal has remained Hindu (or returned to it?). I reckon the Buddha would understand. Here are some pix around Lumbini, from the road, and our driver Raju’s dinner…
After Lumbini, we drove to Pokhara. We went from flat plains to steep hills, straight roads to very windy ones. Here are some pix (most are just shot from our car, one is a spelling test found at rest stop)…
- Nepal basics: people, culture, religion, geography, bordering countries, capital, famous sights (check the link).
- Buddhism basics: history, founding, beliefs, tenets, followers, etc. Go beyond the link
- Check other links about Lumbini, and the articles about the debate over the site of Siddhartha’s birthplace. What does it mean? What do you think? What would the Buddha say?
- Research terraced agriculture. How’s it done, by whom, where, what, when?
- How do you decide what to do, what to see, what to experience? What are the opportunity costs of how you spend your time?