The Western media has greatly overplayed the damage caused by the earthquake and the loss of tourists has caused financial damage and unemployment in the country. Wherever we went we were greeted with, "Namaste, it is good to see you (tourists) again." For those of you who have thought about visiting Nepal, now is the time to do it. There are neat piles of rubble in some areas, but they are deliberate. Once new structures are fortified, old beams and bricks will be used restore temples and stupas so they looks as they did before the day the ground moved.
We spent our first few days in Nepal in a terraced countryside retreat that made up in charm what it lacked in convenience. It abutted a small, agricultural community and we visited the home of widow who had a huge heart which she opened to our group of eleven. Her home consisted of 3 small rooms with 5 foot ceilings. These houses have no chimneys and cooking is done inside the home. As you might guess, women who live in these constructs generally have lung problems before their 50th birthdays. All farm work in this area is done manually, but these folks are self-sufficient. We got to see them take their harvest to market during the feast of Dashain, a 15 day celebration that is the most important in Nepal.
Nepal is a country on the cusp. Once its hydroelectric power is harnessed and money flows to its coffers, the younger generation can look forward to a good life. It will be too late for those in their 40's and 50's. The infrastructure is near collapse, not because of the earthquake but because of neglect. If ever we are blessed with another visit to this country, I hope we will find it as thriving and vibrant as its neighbors. Wish you were here...Mary