Not all the stories that I brought home made it into the book. Some were just not complete enough or interesting enough to put in. Some were interesting, like this one, but really didn’t fit in any specific place without disrupting the overall story flow. Others I wriggled the best bits from and put them into others. It’s a lot like weaving. You pick the best threads and put the necessary filler threads where they must go.
Following are some of my notes, direct from my journal of a few visual experiences I had early in the trek.
There are close to 3200 photos now. 3 concerts to go and new landscape from here to Salleri. I have many more to take, but there are several that I have not taken and until I pound them out in words, they’ll haunt me. There are photos that I have resisted taking out of respect, but others I was not allowed. Words will serve to describe them when my camera cannot.
-There are signs on the outside of police buildings in Kathmandu that say “No photographs here” in English, of course. Just outside, near the razor wire and tall stone walls, stands a single officer in camo gear with a semi–automatic weapon across his chest.
-Along side a stream in a village, a baby sits alone and plays with yak dung and a crushed Snickers wrapper.
-A limbless beggar, crumpled up (probably from polio) near a stone wall at the largest Buddhist temple in Kathmandu, leans longingly out toward tourists with a string and bucket around his neck.
-My friends praying in monasteries, bowing to the floor multiple times, uttering words I don’t understand, but sentiments that breach all barriers.
-Old ladies in local villages, ever watchful eyes who seem so tired of cameras being pointed at their weathered, weary faces.
-2 ladies in dresses and fuzzy, fur, 3-flap hats (just like the ones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Nepal scene), walking into a lodge for a celebration.