Tuesday, January 24, 2017


The name Gurung is pretty common around here.  It is one of the casts that have become the Ghurkas.  The elite fighting men for the British or the Indian armies.  Although many of them live in England or India, they still have homes and land in the hills above Pokhara.  And let me tell you, it is amazingly beautiful land. 

Ages ago, when Andreas and I first started dreaming of this adventure, Andreas met a soon-to-be friend on Airbnb.  Ajit Gurung had many apartments available to rent and Andreas contacted him.  Then the devastating first earthquake hit Nepal.  As we were checking on friends to make sure they were okay, Andreas contacted Ajit.  Him and his family were okay, but he was trying desperately to raise funds so that he could get supplies into the most devastated areas.  They were many villages that were closer to the epicenter, but were receiving no help.  Our wonderful friends and supporters in Sweden and Norway gave and we were able to help buy rice, tarps and clean water.  Ajit made sure it got to the people that needed it.   

Last February, Andreas traveled to Nepal to check on the Family Home.  He also made a detour to Pokhara.  His motive was to check out the apartments for us.  He met with Ajit and looked at several apartments, including the one we now call home. 

Ajit has been extremely helpful and a friendship is growing.  We had the priviledge of being invited to see Ajit's home village.  So on Monday we set out on another adventure.  We started on paved roads and made our way to a man made stone road.  I believe that I know what popcorn feels like now.  The stone road is an amazing testimony to the hardworking people of Nepal.  I cannot imagine the time and labor it took to build it, but it was "slightly" buppy.  However, we were well rewarded with beautiful vistas and wonderful Nepali people.

All these stones were hand laid and there were many of them.

These stones are to hold bamboo fences in place. Made by hand without machines.

The Annapurna Range
It was a beautiful sunny day.  We took snacks and water with us.  I believe that might have been David's favorite part of the day.  Both David and Sam were troopers as we walked quite a ways.  They both enjoyed getting to know Ajit also.  (Love the pic below of David)

Chowing down on some chips when he thought no one was looking. 
Unfortunately for him, mommy has a long zoom on her camera!

This is Fishtail Mountain.  It is considered a holy mountain by the people and it is not allowed to climb to the peak.
We have the pleasure of waking up and seeing this grandeur everyday!
The other side of the foothills that look away from the Himalayas is covered in terracing.  Right now the terraces lay dormant, but in rainy season they will all hold rice.  It is astounding to see all the terracing and know that it was done by hand, not machine.  For hundreds of years the people have lived here and farmed this land.  Now, not nearly as many live up on these hills.  There is little water and Ajit says it is a harder life on top. 

Handmade stairs and road. 

No filters needed!

Ajit has a love for his village, even though he did not grow up here.  His ancestors and dad are from here and he claims it as his own. He did not even know his village had such amazing views of the Himalayas till he was 24 years old.  Now, Ajit and his father are trying to buy land to start a farm.  It was beautiful land and we were priviledged to get to experience it. 

Ajit's new admirers.
Both Sam and David took this time with Ajit to ask many questions that they would not be able to ask a stranger.  I loved listening to their interactions with him and the indepth questions that flowed.  Ajit was patient and wonderful with the boys.  I think Sam really liked that he was just about as tall as a full grown man!  Thank you Ajit for this wonderful day and the experience of seeing your village.  It is a special and awe inspiring place.  Pictures can never do it justice, but I tried. 

In whose hand are the depths of the earth, The peaks of the mountains are His also.  Psalms 95:4

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