This photo was taken several days ago outside my house in Washington.
On the night I arrived at the Pariyar home in Warchok, family and
friends gathered outside for a welcome dance. Here one of Ramesh's sisters
tries to teach me the dance.
The tourist section of Pokhara abuts Fewa Lake much like my hometown
of Ithaca overlooks Cayuga Lake. A differnce: Cayuga is surrounded by
hills and Fewa sits at the base of snow-covered mountains.
On my first visits to Pokhara, I rented a room in one of the cabins that were
part of Mike's Restauant. My favorite was this one which overlooked
both the restaurant's patio and the lake.
Eventually, I helped the Pariyars build this house, which included a room
with a Western-style toilet. It became known as "John's room."
Here I am with Ramesh, his wife Laxmi, and their son Rahil in the new home.
Rahil is ready for the first big event in his young life -- the celebration
of his first feeding with solid food. For boys, this event occurs
about five months after they're born.For girls, the celebration usually
occurs either in the fourth or six month after birth..
I'm giving Rahil tika, not food.
As part of Rahil's second birthday celebration, we went
to the temple on the little island in the lake.
A visit to a shrine. Famous Fishtail Mountain
appears right over Rahil's head.
And this isn't even the whole family.
Here's that guy again.
Mike had a unique house just down the road from ours. Here his
housemate and caregiver Surya is giving Mike a ride to the restaurant.
Mike was beginning to lose his long-time battle with cancer.
The green card we had been seeking for Ramesh finally came through for Ramesh in 2008. But Laxmi and Rahil stayed in Pokhara while he got established in the U.S. This photo of me with part of the Pokhara family was taken on my last trip to Nepal which was for the joyous Kathmandu wedding in March 2013 of Nimesh and Bhawana, my current and beloved housemates.
But I was also going to be joined on the flight back by Laxmi and Rahil, who were going to join Ramesh in in the Washington suburbs. Their imminent departure explains why this group doesn't look too happy.
Even sadder is this photo taken of Rahil and Laxmi and me as we prepare to leave for the flight back to the U.S. Standing on my right are Ramesh's mother and Laxmi's mother. Their look says it all.
But to end on a happy note, here I am with Laxmi's sister Saraswati,
whom I adore.We just learned last week that she has been granted a U.S. visitor's
visa good for five years!