Wednesday, August 11, 2010
the people we meet
Sometimes two people cross paths in an unlikely and fortuitous way, that you can't help but feel the universe purposefully collides people into one another. I met Melissa on that first night at Shree Mangal Dvip, when it still wasn't certain I'd be able to volunteer there. Melissa is a primary teacher who was also volunteering for the month, and once we got to chatting over bowls of chilli momos— delicious spicy dumplings and my new obsession— we found we had much in common and became fast friends. When travelling alone, you feel lucky to meet someone who you can enjoy a coffee or a walk with, and imagine how delighted I was when she pulled out a sketchbook. Sketching with another person is a real joy— many of my friends are not sketchers, and I tend to feel a little awkward when I get the urge to draw something in the middle of a conversation. It's not that I'm not paying attention, I can carry on a discussion while sketching, but when you're trying to talk to someone who isn't looking you in the eye, it can feel kind of weird. Luckily my friends appreciate me in all my me-ness, and I love them for it, but it sure is wonderful to sit silently with another person who's scratching away at a paper with a pen too.
After a day at the school, we went on a little walk into the hills behind Boudha discussing theta states, meditation and time, while clicking away at our cameras. With a smile and a namaste— the Nepali greeting that translates to
"I bow to you"— we were met with warmth by the people we passed, and were able to snap some lovely photographs. As we wandered, we came across a low wall by a small field where we decided to sit down and open up our sketchbooks. Three curious little girls crept over in giggles and peered over our shoulders singing namaste and various pronunciations of our names after flurries of "what is your naaaame?" "where are you froooom?" and "what are you doiiing?"
We were soon surrounded by singing, cartwheeling and giggly little bodies.