Spiritual awakenings are expected on visits to Nepal. (Have you had one? I’d love to hear about it). I think most of us imagine these bright moments of contentment, clarity and oneness to occur as they have for many others before, on beautiful mountaintops with endless vistas of peaks and fluttering prayer flags. Standing before the face of God.
Mine was on the back of a motorcycle in heavy traffic. On the way to a kids’ camp, an invite from a new friend and local potter, my heart nearly exploded as I listened to him share his most sincere and lovely thoughts on the true meanings of life and purpose.
Hope you enjoy my mini movie ~CLICK HERE~from that day. In the beginning you’ll ride with me down narrow streets and alleys of Bhaktapur, through its majestic gate and then on to Kathmandu. I took out the main highway and the traffic jams we endured but I do show a bit of winding around through a more affluent neighborhood on the outskirts of town, getting lost a little and needing directions.
The rest of the film gives an inside look at a private winter break camp enjoyed by some of the wealthier kids here. It was a bit like going through the looking glass. My friend’s role in this is to share his love of mud and pottery with the children. Ceramics is a very significant part of their heritage and culture.
I had a fantastic time and may go on another outing with him to donate art supplies to a school that can really use them.
Here’s a little more about him and his story:
Seventeen years ago, my friend, Srijan Prajapati’s father and provider was in a terrible accident at the age of 35 and lost his ability to walk and work.
This brought great challenges to the family but they managed to survive and continue the family pottery business of several generations.
Opportunities in Nepal can be hard to come by but Srijan was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship and spend six months in China to learn Mandarin Chinese, a very useful language here in Nepal for both business and tourism. China is a neighboring country with considerable wealth.
Many of his peers were seeking higher-paying jobs and opportunities abroad but he realized the best option for him and his family was to stay home and bloom where he was planted.
Over the years his love of pottery and mud has continued to grow and he and his brother have very ambitiously met the challenges.
They’ve done their own rebuilding post earthquake and have taught themselves many skills useful in creating a very appealing and successful shop.
Genuinely warm and friendly people when they welcome you in to not only see their wares but also to try your hand at making one, you can tell that they share in your delight.
I was caught very much by surprise when Srijan invited me to join him on this adventure as we had just met but he told me later that when he mentioned in conversation that he would be going, he saw the light flash in my eyes and he knew that I would love it.
It’s that kind of open heartedness that I love discovering. This day of clay and play with kids in Kathmandu was a really special one for me. A peak memory.