Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day Two in Kathmandu

It's hard to believe it's only day two.  It's amazing to be back in Kathmandu after all these years.  It's hardly changed.  The sounds, the smells, the filth and beauty, still captivate the senses.  Our little guest house sits across from an ancient temple in the middle of the walled city of Bhaktapur.  The orphanage is about a 20 minute taxi commute from here, which makes it closer than being in Kathmandu, but unfortunately too far to walk.

I met my child!!!   Pukar is a truly sweet little boy.  Actually, he's perfect! He is much smaller than he appears in his photos, but very healthy and extremely well cared for.  There are only 5 children at my orphanage and two Didi's 24/7 who love them, sleep with them, and care for their needs.  They are held when they cry, fed when they are hungry, and taught how to play with one another.  The children are attached to their caregivers and though the orphanage itself is tiny and extremely spartan, it is very clean and full of love. 

He didn't know what to think at first and while the other children played with Joy and I, Pukar accepted his books and toothbrush and kept his distance, but with much awareness and curiosity.  We stayed and played for 2 hours, and he eventually started to warm up to me.  The Didi's had been telling him his momma was coming and he had been pointing at the sky a week before and saying he wanted to ride on an airplane.  It had to be a very scary day for him. 

After spending time at the orphanage and asking a ton of questions, in which all the answers matched perfectly with everything on my paperwork,  I am convinced that he was indeed abandoned.  There are a lot of decisions to make this week, and it is still very confusing here.  Business is conducted in an unfamiliar manner, it is difficult to understand my representative's English at times, but I am being taken care of and escorted to the places I need to be.  We met a couple mothers who are living here with their adopted Nepalese children and waiting out the decisions of the US Government.  It was wonderful to visit with them and meet their beautiful children.

I had nearly forgotten just how intense the chaos is, and the poverty.  It is really unlike anywhere I have been since I left here 12 years ago.  The roads are free for all, and every time we get in a taxi it feels like running the gauntlet, where only through trust, surrender and luck can you arrive safely to your destination.   Yet there is so much beauty and magic here as well, and Joy is capturing the allure of Nepal through her photo lens, as it seems everywhere there is something worthy of being caught between the slice of a shutter.  Check it out: Joy's Slideshow

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