I’ve been back in the Northwest since Christmas and, finally, there seems to be some good news to report from the beleaguered Nepalis regarding the Indian blockade of their southern border. It’s been going on since October, thrusting the country into an ever-deepening crisis. Over the past months I’ve posted several articles from the Kathmandu Post and the Himalayan Times about this complicated situation. Here is a recent one that tells how the protesters have been thwarted and things are getting back to normal.
When I left Nepal at the end of December, gasoline was $14.00 a gallon on the black market; cars, trucks, and buses lined the streets for miles and even days; and, since cooking oil was at a premium, people had resorted to cooking outside on makeshift wooden stoves as winter gripped the country. Lines of oil canisters were also chained beside the road, waiting for distribution.
I’m amazed at how few people in the West knew about this unconscionable situation, and how few Western governments even cared about it. We’re so busy with our primaries, our TV shows, and the many hotspots on the international agenda, that the suffering of a small earthquake-ravaged country that can’t even get U.N. shipments of rice to hungry people living in hard-to-access mountain villages goes all but unnoticed. You just wonder how much hardship one group of people can sustain before breaking. But, as the recent NOVA documentary, Himalayan Megaquake, pointed out, these are a people who abound in patience, fortitude, and courage. They work together, help each other out, rebuild as a community, and do not exhibit the fear or anger that fills most people when they observe their situation. That says a great deal.
In a lighter vein, I must excuse my long absence by blaming it on the worst jet lag of my life, which has led to many sleepless nights and foggy days. My children accuse me of a faulty memory, but they’re not the ones walking around in a coma! On that note, I came across an hilarious article in The New Yorker, which I want to share with you HERE. It is long and guaranteed to put you to sleep, though that is not its purpose. It also leads me to believe that I am not alone in my suffering! However, I am convinced that a visit to Mexico, Patagonia, Phoenix, Hawaii, or even Florida, away from the rain, mist, and cold of Whidbey Island in winter, would solve my problem. Living here, my body fails to see the difference between night and day. And neither do I!
But I shall stay put and suffer. After all, there is this blog to write….And isn’t April just around the corner? The sun came out yesterday and didn’t I see a couple of crocuses?
Lest you think me discontent with my surroundings, let me share a few shots of beautiful Langley. It has a certain mystique, especially at dusk. Rain or shine, I love to walk along the banks of Puget Sound and watch the ever-changing cloud formations, often being treated to rainbows. That’s the upside of rain! And the best part is that it’s five minutes down the hill from where I live. How great is that?