visting the biggest stupa in the world...or so they say.....

Friday, June 28

A few weeks ago when our friends were visiting we took them to Bodhnath temple. It is one of the biggest buhdist temples in the world (the biggest according to some...), and from an architectural standpoint is really beautiful. Surrounding the temple is a circle of very old and colorful buildings that were a joy to stare at. Really, I think I walked around the entire circle a few times just mesmerized by the bold colors and the fabulous details of the ornate buildings!
I think Kevin wished he had a leash on me that day! 

I have been to Buhdist temples before (both when I lived in Thailand and at home in LA in chinatown) but the sheer size of this temple made it a pilgrimage site for many buhdists around the world. Therefore, many devout buhdists were circling the temple, spinning the prayer wheels with their hands as they went around. Monks around every corner! 

We found a cozy little rooftop restaurant where we could take in the spectacular views from up high and watched as people milled around the plaza. Suddenly it started to rain, harder and harder, and we left our post on the patio and crowded inside the restaurant laughing and talking.
{notice how the sky gets darker and darker in the pictures!}

 That particular day we spent some time sharing our future hopes and goals with one another. Things like having babies, traveling to south america, starting a masters program, getting a teaching job, etc were spoken into being around the table. It felt good to dream with good friends.  

I love visiting all historical and spiritual places in Nepal,
but every time I do, I'm reminded of the one true God who gave himself for us
and set us free from the bondage of making merit.
we're covered in it.
no need to work our way to eternity with the King!
hallelujah, amen!

enjoy the colorful pictures!

Also, word on the street is that google reader is going away. I'm pretty non-techy so i'm not sure what all that means, 
but I would be so very honored if you would start following me on bloglovin' here!

have a beautiful weekend lovely friends,
tomorrow i'm off to a water park with the girls. 
they've NEVER been in a pool, much less a water park with slides, and it is their very first time in a bathing suit, so suffice it to say, I cannot WAIT for tomorrow. I am going to be all giggles, I know it! 

love Katie 

chitwan national park

Wednesday, June 26

so our trip to Chitwan national park was really delightful. That place is gorgeous. 
however, we got off to a rocky start,
and by rocky I mean the freaking boulders just kept falling....

to begin, we had to catch a bus in Thamel at 6:30am in the morning. 
When we woke up that day, it was not only torrentially downpouring (hmm..I spot a trend in our weekend)  but there was also a Bandah happening. 
Now if you don't know what a bandah is, well, lucky you. 
It's a ridiculous thing that happens here in Nepal where some group decides to protest about something, and the military acts like it's WWIII and sends like, oh...I don't know, THEIR WHOLE NATIONAL SECURITY out to pulverize the puny little protest.
so on bandah days, the city shuts down and no one goes outside.
fittingly, there is a slogan in KTM that says "bandah ruined my life"

so we're chuggin along in our little taxi (which had holes in the floorboards, so the four of us are getting soaked) and then the taxi mysteriously stops 
and the driver is like "finished" 
and we're like "uhhhh we're not in Thamel" 
and he's like "finished". 
we took that as our cue to exit. 

so we've got like 10 minutes to catch our bus, we're a 20 minute run from thamel, and you guessed it, it's still raining like a cat on a hot tin roof.  
talk about a hot mess...we're literally sprinting through the streets of KTM, splashing through puddles (which i'm sure consisted of about 100% germs, a fact that ran circles in my mind), and by the time we found a bus going to chitwan, you might as well have thought I had just got baptized by the entire pacific ocean. 

oh the joys of a 5 hour bus ride when you're in wet clothes, the bus is leaking more rain water,
and there is a women banching wailing the whole trip. 
A serious hindu praise and worship sesh right there. 

so yeah, we arrived. 
and it just kept getting better and better. 
and by better I mean we found a massive ant hill in the bathroom,  a tarantula on our wall, and a toilet that leaked water on your leg if you got anywhere near it. 
immediately I ran over to our friends bungalow to see if theirs was any better. the minute I walked in a giant caterpillar was crawling across their pillow. 
{I was so traumatized by the spider that Kev had to accompany me to the bathroom in the middle of the night to make sure the spider didn't attack me.} 

the next morning, the fun continued. We went out onto the crocodile infested river in a canoe. 
it was pouring rain. our guide stopped the canoe and the four of us got out onto land to do a "safari walk". 
now granted, we are in a WILD animal reserve (emphasis on wild)
at any moment we could have seen an elephant, tiger, rhino. 
in fact, we are given these directions 
"if it's a rhino, drop your things and run" 
"if it's a tiger, they can outrun you and climb trees so just look them in the eye" 
"if it's an elephant, they can outrun you and knock down trees, so pray to your God"
those are the directions? 
like seriously, look a freaking jungle cat in the eye and pray? 
ummm...are you sure there's no plan B? 

and to top it off, our poor guide was a sweet guy, but he was holding a stick. 
a stick! 
as if that was going to ward off a herd of wild elephants. 
after hiding behind a bush for 25 minutes in the crazy rain, we started our trek through the swamp. 
as a souvenir, kevin picked up a leech on his foot. 
good times. 

the rest of the day continued in this fashion...
rain dumped on our "elephant" safari and poor kev had to sit with a stick in his crotch, which...anyway, you get the point. 


 for as much as the place we stayed was a piece of crap and it rained non-stop,
we still had a blast. 
we were with our best friends, in a wild animal park, and it was absolutely stunning.
{oh and we did have a few hours where God turned the rain off, so we celebrated!} 

God is creative, and we had so much fun enjoying his creation in Chitwan. 
if you are in Nepal, this is a MUST do! 
{just...whatever you do, DO NOT stay at the Jungle Safari lodge. consider yourself warned!} 
{at the elephant breeding center...obviously these are not a herd of wild elephants!} 
{let's not forget my obsession with elephants!}
{men holding hands in nepal is a sign of friendship.  a sign that kev and patrick are trying to get used to as a random man comes up and holds BOTH their hands at the same time. hahahha} 
{don't mind the awkward water bottle grab. hahaha}