After Jhampre (the monastery at the top of AC’s hill) we went into town for the school concert. This was the first live music concert that the town had ever had. You can imagine that if helicopters had to carry equipment and stage personalities, that would be prohibitive in most situations. Leave it to AC to change that. He loves his home town and I get the sense that he would do anything for them. He has already put in a non-invasive hydro power project for them (about 5 years ago) and has plans to build a medical, dental and vision clinic by 2015. The nearest medical facility they have is two hours walk away, in the next village over (small medical problems) and the nearest hospital is 2 days walk away and it is the one that Edmund Hillary built in 1966. AC aims to fix that.
The concert served many functions beyond entertainment. It created a friendly forum for community negotiations (very politically intricate and difficult) as well as cementing relationships and reminding the people that there is more to life than work. They work really, really hard here.
I was particularly moved because Roj and Milan are good friends of mine from the Global Warming Concert Tour we did 2 years ago. The joke going around was that AC provides custom tours and adventures for his trekkers (he was looking squarely at me). I was in heaven and so happy to see them again. DJ Tenzing was supposed to entertain as well, but had a previous DJ engagement in Kathmandu on the same day so he coordinated the stage and audio equipment and put BJ in his place as the DJ for the Tapting show (keeping up with names?)
Roj Moktan and Milan Lama sparring on stage
They sang a song together as well
Before the show Mary Beth drew a crowd and we taught the kids how to play Rock, Paper, Knife (Scissors didn’t translate well). Soon we were mobbed with curious little faces.
Roj sang some songs from his new album and some well-known, oldies as well
Mary Beth danced with the kids from beginning to end. She had tiny hands in her hands endlessly. This is her kissing a baby in the middle of the crowd.
Teaching the kids Rock, Paper, Knife
The crowd intently listening