Since several group members had flights home a couple of days later, I invited them to join me at Maya Guest House near Boudanath in Katmandu. This was my third year staying there and feels like home. Hans and Ingrid left for Chitwan and the rest of us were dropped off at the guest house. I was happy to see Sid and his parents again. At Sid’s suggestion, there have been upgrades to the guesthouse like lights beside the bed, updated bathrooms and wifi. We were sad to say good-bye to Carol and Barbara that afternoon. After they left the rest of us walked to Boudanath to have lunch and wander around shopping. During dinner that night, Kip turned to me smiling and said, “Nepal really grows on you after awhile.”
Elizabeth and Dave were happy to roll around with me after Kip and Nikki left. We visited a temple and sat listening to chanting, cymbals and horns. We discovered a new art gallery and enjoyed talking to the artist who owns the gallery making our way to the offices for Shakti Samuha. I was relieved I remembered where it was!
Once I showed up to the office, arrangements were made for me to give a 1-day follow-up to the How to Manage Stress workshop that Bharati and I gave the previous year. We made plans to go back to Sarangi the next day for the workshop. Everything fell into place and ten staff member attended including Charimaya, the founder. I was a little nervous about pulling this off by myself but Elizabeth and Dave eagerly helped me out. Plus, I had a new video from Lauren Stempler demonstrating Synergy Yoga and the dance videos from last year. The group participants told me:
- They were using the skills they learned last year and felt better
- They were teaching the skills to other staff members
- They were using them in the homes where the rescued girls live
- They found the information presented in the follow-up workshop would enhance their programs.
- They wrote wellness plans for themselves.
- They decided to put their wellness plans where they could see them daily.
- They decided to check and encourage each other to follow their wellness plans at work
- They will put post-it notes on a bulletin board at work to help motivate each other
- During their weekly consultation meetings on Friday, they will check in with each other.
- They liked the idea of having a closed facebook group to communicate with Bharati, Priya and me during the year.
Like last year, we concluded our day together with live music. Everyone danced and enjoyed themselves. Charimaya spoke with me and thanked me for our continuing relationship and emphasized how much the workshops have helped her staff. She hopes to improve communication with me and to work with Bharati, Priya, and me in the future again. As the day came to a close and I watched the joyous dancing, listened to the lively music, my heart swelled joy and appreciation for this deserving group of people.
Dave left for New Jersey at lunch time and Elizabeth and I had a driver take us back to Maya Guest House. The 40 minute trip took two hours because of the traffic in Kathmandu. Often, the driver turned the car off and we just sat there. The roads are being widened and there are just too many cars and motor cycles on it. When we were within walking distance, we just got out and walked back to the guest house.
When we finally got back, the owner invited us to go to a small restaurant nearby for Sherpa Soup. Off we went in his tiny electric car around the corner. The cook works in Germany for a successful Nepalese restaurant. We enjoyed a beer together and loved the Sherpa soup made of peas, carrots, homemade noodles, buffalo meat, and broth. We had a lively conversation about Nepalese and USA politics and learned about his adult children. Two live in NJ and New York and two are in Kathmandu. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal and our time together. Sid, joined us towards the end of the meal just to say good-bye because I was leaving the next day.
The next morning after tea in the garden, Liz and I spent time in a temple. We sat on the mats listening to chanting. My eyes were closed and I was immersed in gratitude for the abundance in my life, for having a great group of trekkers, their safety and for everything we did in Nepal, when a young monk tapped me to give me a banana reminding me of the abundance in my life. Afterwards, Liz and I went to one of my favorite cafe’s for Masala tea and yoghurt. Elizabeth made plans to return to Shiva Puri Cottages for a few days and then to meet a friend in Singapore before she returns to the states. Right on time, Buddhi and Niru, picked me up to take me to the airport. Before saying good-bye, they each expressed appreciation for all the help my groups have given them. The privilege is mine and I can’t wait to go back next year!