WHERE : Bhojpur District, Nepal WHEN : May - June 2013 OBJECTIVE : 6 Weeks in Kot Village as the 1st Outsider, ever DISTANCE : Many Hours of Trekking CLASSIFICATION : Walks, Holy Sh#t Moments
If you are reading this, you are either a very dear, very old friend upon whom I have imposed—well beyond what is tasteful or acceptable in polite society—to assist me in proof-reading and editing this website…
… you have arrived here from ports unknown, imagination rapt in told tales and captured images. (Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?) Perhaps you are trying to decide where you’re going to book your life-changing trip, and thought you might find a wise word or two to push you over the edge.
Whatever brought you here, you have landed just a jinth—a wee tad, an iota, a smidgen—beyond the map’s edge. Meaning I haven’t quite gotten here yet. I am writing these travelogue introductions in reverse chronological order based on journal entries, memory, and probably an imagined detail or two. And I simply haven’t retreated this far into my own sordid past.
It seemed easy enough ten days ago. I thought: how long can this take? A short paragraph by way of introduction, and let the existing content do the rest of the legwork. “HAHAHAHA!” sez my OCD–screaming, gasping for air between peels of uncontrolled, mocking laughter. In place of a short paragraph, a string of 500-word essays springs forth from criminally compulsive fingers. Whole days are lost, god knows where, never to be seen again, nor remembered.
So here we are. Many deadlines have come and gone, and this website is begging to see the light of day. My efforts will out, and my other efforts will just have to wait a bit. Who knew that the Transglobalist was a ship’s captain, in command of Neurath’s Boat? Or was that the Ship of Theseus? And, well, who gives a damn?
Much Love (and Carpal Tunnel, too),
October 24, 2016
‘we are like sailors who on the open sea must reconstruct their ship but are never able to start afresh from the bottom…’
–some guy named Neurath
Although “once-in-a-lifetime” experience has changed its meaning for me quite radically since I left the USA, my first trip to Kot Village will always be profound and special to me.
Six weeks in an authentic Nepali village where one is the first outsider ever to visit. A village with no roads in or out, no running water, no electricity, no English speakers. It was the most intense and rewarding thing I have ever done in my life; and the most injurious to my well-cultivated ethnocentricity and First World misconceptions about what “development” means.
Above, you see the woman who has become my Nepali Aamaa (mother), in her element. Ganesh Kumari Shrestha. She was to have a terrible accident a year later, falling from her upstairs balcony and breaking both hips and both ankles. Although she survived, and has healed, the accident stripped her of her mobility. Her spirit, on the other hand, remains undiminished.