Returning to Whidbey


(Post in progress)

Leaving Yaku

It’s odd that when I was traveling to Yaku I felt like I was going home; and now as I’m about to depart for Whidbey, I feel like I’m going home too. It was hard to leave Yaku. It is so beautiful and peaceful there. And I can contribute to that community more than I can Whidbey’s.

I had thought to leave my blog with the post about the computers. That’s what I came to do. Seemed good to leave it at that. But I’m sensing that my trip back to Kathmandu and then home adds context. So here:

Before leaving there has to be a goodbye ceremony:



This trip I learned to go slow and rest often. So leaving Yaku I walked 3 miles and stayed with a friend, in beautiful neighborhood called Jimmy gown.



I had a lovely morning watching local folk building a water distribution tank.




What I like is that working is not so very different from play. There’s lots of banter and jokes and good feelings. No hurry.
You will notice gender roles still have some changing to do. I have come to appreciate that folks have been living perfectly wonderful lives for millennia within cultural norms we find intolerable.

And my hosts,



who are as local as local could be, have two daughters living in London, a son studying in Japan. And after dinner sitting around the fire, they mentioned that her brother had immigrated to United States. And that his son had joined the American army and had been killed in Afghanistan. Brings home that there is no foreign country. We’re all in this together.


The next day I walked about 5 miles to Puali, the town where I catch the bus. Yaku is on the south side of a ridge, so you don’t see the Himals. Puali is on top of the ridge at a saddle, the headwaters of two streams, – one flowing south, one north. Splendid views. (The wide angle lens makes the Himals look small & far away. Better than no photo? Sacrilege? )


I walked this same trail six years ago on my way to the Tumlingtar airstrip. But the road wasn’t here. The electricity wasn’t here. And none of the buildings that you saw in the photo of Puali were here.


The hole is for septic. And the dish. Shocking. Shocking. The speed of change.


So, I got this notion that the bus ride from Puali to Pakribas, about 20 miles – 4 hours, would be more enjoyable riding on top of the bus than crammed inside. It was!

You don’t get it because of the camera’s wide angle lens, but on top, the views are breathtaking.

Again, surprising to me how quickly using the new Arun bridge has become “normal”.

Below is a clip of loading a goat. Amazes me how sanguine the goat was, and casual everyone is about loading a goat on top of the bus.

I like how democratic buses are. There’s no first or second class. I’d expected the roads to be used by rich people with cars. Very rare. Like, before busses, if you wanted to go somewhere, you walked. Everyone walked.

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