11 June, 2010

Bitter Sweet

I have less than 2 weeks here in Dang before I head to Kathmandu and then to the US. I am really feeling sad about it. It seems that I am always saying goodbye… This is the life I have chosen. I revel in the Hello’s and torture myself with Goodbye’s. It doesn’t seem possible that I have been here almost 3 months! Life passes by so quickly. As I reflect upon what I have experienced during my time here I find that I have witnessed over two and a half months of no negativity (aside from some stuff I read on Facebook; which I now only check weekly instead of daily).

Maybe that is why I choose to go to faraway places. To experience life without complaints (or complaints voiced in a language I do not understand), while I constantly try to remain in the now. I have begun to meditate; it’s not going so well as my mind has a problem with stopping (imagine that…) but I will keep it up. My mind will get it sooner or later; I have learned the art of patience and waiting!
As I sat in the shade of the mango tree watching the comings and goings of the home, I thought of Bhola and Jaya. I really sank in that they have devoted their life to vunerable children. They used to live in Kathmandu and then the town of Ghorahi. A comfortable life with probably more modern things. They then moved back to Bhola’s village and in the home he grew up in. He mentioned to me once that others thought he was crazy! He’s giving up the life of luxury (so to speak) and will be ‘going backwards’ as they say it here.

Let’s see, they moved back to a small village. They gave up materialistic things. They gave up a fast-paced money and comfort driven life. In turn they have opened their hearts to children much less fortunate then their own 2 children, who are grown and currently living in Kathmandu. They are now surrounded by 31 sweet amazing children. Children who otherwise would more than likely be statistically dead, prostitutes, alcoholic, child laborers, beaters or beaten, etc… For the life they have chosen to lead, some view them as ‘backwards’. I guess it all lies in priorities in life. Inner and outer happiness. Fake and genuine happiness. Stress or relaxation.

I guess it is no different in any country. Success is measured materialistically and financially, but without both, I am richer than I have ever been! I have traveled across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans by private plane and across Nepal by public bus. I have lived in a gianormous mansion with a full house staff and a fleet of security guards as well as a congested children’s home with a ‘security staff’ of 4 mangy albeit friendly dogs. When I left the “lap of luxury”, I too was told by “friends(?)” that I was crazy; they questioned why I would want to give everything up (even though these “friends?” knew that I wasn’t happy). At the time, I couldn’t articulate why I needed to change my lifestyle; why I needed to escape the materialistic clutches that had imprisoned me for many years.

In reflection of my ‘jet set’ life, no one told me “You are doing a wonderful job” or “You are changing the world one child at a time” and NO ONE said that they were proud of me…and why should have they, I wasn’t proud of me then, either. I felt empty back then. I tried to fill that emptiness with more things (or different boyfriends). I didn’t appreciate many things (or even people) back then like I do now. For me simplicity is the spice of my life. When I’m sad, I cry. When I’m happy, I laugh. Sad-happy, goodbye-hello…facts of life. I am not yet ready to make the commitment Bhola and Jaya have, but I am doing what I can to find my place in this world.

For now I will just look forward to seeing the wonderful faces back in the US that I love! (before I tell them goodbye once again…sigh…

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