A Note From Joe: The Nepal Chronicles – Introduction
I was in Nepal two years ago last November. My sons, Aidan and Eoin, and my sister Mary, made the pilgrimage with me. It was the greatest trip of my life; changed everything about me and left me believing so strongly in the eternal beauty of the human spirit.
The people I met in Nepal are the greatest people I have ever met. Despite having little by our measure of things, they are so full of happiness and love and good nature, that I left Nepal wondering whether they have it right and maybe we have it wrong.
From the moment I landed in Kathmandu until the moment I left I felt completely at home. My heart was opened a little bit more every day and through every interaction I had.
While there, I kept an informal diary of sorts, hand written in a little book. At different times since then, I have slowly transcribed pieces at a time, always deriving incredible pleasure from reliving those memories.
I am about half way through the transcription and, in light of last week’s earthquake, it felt appropriate to share these memories and stories with you. I am going to try and continue to transcribe and finish over the next few weeks. I am also going to try and find my photos and repost as we go.
We will release a chapter every few days until we get to the end.
These words do not do justice to the experience and trip we had or to the amazing and beautiful people we met while there. Every time I saw the woman of the house where I stayed in Archale, she put her hands together over her heart and said the only English that she knew “You make me so happy!” This was said with such enthusiasm that it filled your heart with happiness and love.
Birag, her son, waited outside our door every morning for us to wake up. But it wasn’t only Birag, it was Birag and 30 of his friends, waiting for my sons and me to wake up so we good go and climb a mountain or play a game of cricket. He nestled into me to show me his homework, how good he was at math and English and everything else he put his mind too.
Archale, their village, was pretty much dead center in the epicenter of the earthquake and while not knowing how they are I know people are dead in the village; that houses are destroyed, that food, drinking water, and medical supplies are non-existent. The roads are gone and the only way in is helicopters.
We are going to have a benefit the people of Nepal. We assure you that all money raised will be personally delivered into the hands of the Nepali people we know. But right now, just as important as giving, is sending prayers, and love, and warm happy thoughts to these wonderful people.
They will bounce back from this and they will do so with a smile on their face and time for all of us.
To the people in my life, “You make me so happy.”
To the people of Nepal, thank you. You have given me so much, and my thoughts and prayers are with you in this very difficult time.