I am staying at a wonderful Guest House in the “Lakeside District” of Pokhara, Nepal. The name of the guesthouse is “The 3 Sisters Guest House and Trekking Adventure”. The three sisters are the Chetri sisters, remarkable, award-winning women with love and compassion for the people of Nepal and all who come to visit. It overlooks Phewa Lake, a reservoir filled by multiple streams coming down from the Annapurna mountain range just north of here. The lake is formed by a natural bowl of foothills, with rural dwellings scattered around the hillsides and alongside the lake. The 3 Sisters Guest House and Trekking Adventure is an NGO organized to empower the women of Nepal, giving them support and training to further their lives. They help young people who are disadvantaged in various ways through education, housing, nourishment, and medicine. They have won many awards for their outstanding humanitarian endeavors. They also offer many services to tourist, including all manner of guides and porter for trekking throughout the area. They are one of the few companies that offer female trekking guides for women wanting to trek in the company of other women. When you come to Nepal, please consider staying with and utilizing this wonderful life sustaining and growth promoting endeavor.
I sit on the outdoor deck of the restaurant as I write this, having just competed a fine cooked breakfast of Masala Omelet, oat porridge, tea with milk, fresh juice and fresh fruit. My breakfast is included in the room rate. The room rate is relatively high at $ 15 US per night, including the excellent breakfast and hot running water for shower in my private bathroom attached to my room. The room is immaculate and comfortable, although there is no heating at all and it gets a bit cool in the nighttime. They provide plenty of heavy blanket covers, so I stay toasty all night long. The electric power is intermittent and goes on and off randomly throughout the day and night. For a few hours from 6-10 pm, they will run a generator to supply the guesthouse with power if the local utility goes down.
People here accept the power situation as a simple fact of life; no big deal, always with candles and “torches” (flashlights) at hand when needed. The internet/Wi-Fi goes on and off with the power, which can get slightly frustrating, but we soon learn to adjust to this changing dynamic. Most days, I go down to the tourist district, about a 20 minute walk, to my favorite internet café, where they run their own generator all of the time and have greater bandwidth for online activities.
I was greatly honored when the three sisters invited me to dinner at their family home for the day after Christmas. As a traditional Hindu family, they don’t really celebrate Christmas but do honor the traditions of many cultures. One of their volunteers, a young woman from Germany, and her parents, who were visiting for the holidays, were also invited. The family home is a beautiful home, close to the guesthouse. As is frequently the case, the local power was down when I made my way to their home. Candles throughout the home lit our way with a soft glowing ambience. We chatted for a while in the sitting room, then were called to the dining room. We enjoyed a wonderful, multiple course dinner of traditional Nepaly food with a few international items mixed in. Earlier in the day, I had tagged along with some of the Chetri women on a shopping trip for the dinner. The food was all prepared from fresh locally grown vegetables. The conversation ran through many topics, often regarding social phenomena and global interaction. We also spent a lot of time talking about the importance of meditation and its value in enhancing our lives and the lives of all we touch.
As our evening wrapped up, I enjoyed the glow of new friends, in a warm and loving environment. What a fine addition to my HolyDay experience in this fascinating and embracing land.