Day of Clay and Play in Kathmandu Nepal 

****~CLICK HERE to SKIP to MINI MOVIE~****


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. 

****~CLICK HERE to SEE MINI MOVIE~****


setting: Pottery Square Bhaktapur Nepal, Bhaktapur ride through town, Kathmandu Neighborhood, Pragya Kunja School Winter Break Camp 

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Celebrating in the Streets of Bhaktapur Nepal

Everyday brings a new surprise here.

CLICK HERE to WATCH!

Celebrations in the mystical #Kathmandu Valley are seemingly endless, very lively (think lots of music, bells, drums), stunningly colorful (think red!) and amazingly unchanged (think #nationalgeographic). 

I hope you enjoy this compilation of several events I just stumbled upon in the streets of the ancient royal city of #Bhaktapur #Nepal. 

CLICK HERE to WATCH!

I highly recommend a visit of at least a few days here in this lesser known UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

It’s much more peaceful than nearby neighboring Kathmandu and has so much to offer. Rich culture, great shopping, lots of places to eat and things to see. 

Want to know more? Please message me. I love to share travel advice.

Have a question? Please ask 🙂

Enjoy and Namaste! 

Celebrating in the Streets #Bhaktapur #Nepal #rhondarecreates Rhonda Effron Brown


CLICK HERE to WATCH!

4 years of travel and the road has lead us to Nepal! 

Hello dreamers of the world! As a self proclaimed “global dream champion”, a term I coined when trying to figure out how to explain what the heck I do, I’m reporting on some exciting months that lay ahead.

I’m the kind of person that needs a sense of purpose and needs to feel that I’m helping others to feel contentment and bliss.

I’ve learned this about myself. I love to travel, explore and share insights but to be able to go well beyond that by staying somewhere for an extended period and get involved in projects helping bring others dreams to fruition. now that’s extremely satisfying.

This is My new “home office”, the patio of a coffee shop right in front of our guest house and just steps away from Bhaktapur’s Main Street that leads between two magnificent temple Squares and was the route of the giant wooden chariot pull that Ryan participated in here back in April . There are multiple exciting projects I’ve been asked to help with by one of the most exciting visionaries that I’ve ever met that’s pulled together a team of 13 from around the globe who are deeply vested in it. To say that the goal is to change the world for the better, addressing every key challenge, is in no way an exaggeration.

I’m so honored and fortunate get to take a small part in it. The first project I’ll be focused on is simple in concept yet magnificent in scope. It’s just breaking ground on a mountain top near Pokarah Nepal. It will take quite a bit of doing to communicate the vision, but that’s mostly what my role in this is so look forward to details. Will be ready to throw it down when I get past an intense bout of digestive misery. Worst I’ve had in over 3 months. Was it gluten, dairy or potato? Where, when, how? I have no idea. I try so hard to be careful. Great time to have access to a Western style toilet, TP and the most soothing thing of all, a hot water shower. It’s day three and actually getting worse instead of better. That’s a sign that it will probably take a full week or so to recover. Dang. I’ll be all right but it does leave me weak and a bit beat up. Now if I can just not catch this sore throat, runny nose thing our host and Ryan are suffering with. Have a little fever but otherwise no symptoms of that grunge. Fingers crossed. 🤞🤞🤞🤞

Peace and Love

Rhonda Effron Brown

#inlightnepal
#globaldreamchampion

#bhaktapurnepal

#nepal

#pokharanepal

#nomad

#nomadicliving

#exploretheworld

#liveyourdreams

#bethechangeyouwanttosee

#dreambig

#globallove

Board the ferry from New Orlean’s French Quarter to Historic Algiers Point for affordable adventure

On a hot muggy Sunday afternoon in New Orleans, finding a refreshing adventure can be challenging!  Lucky us, locals had recommended this authentic experience as an affordable treat and the moment felt right.  All Aboard!

this ferry crosses the Mississippi for just $2pp each way to historic Algiers Point

this ferry crosses the Mississippi for just $2pp each way to historic Algiers Point

We fearlessly hopped aboard the ferry that soon arrived.  Watched the attendant expertly stuff our $2 each down into a see through box with jaws and a handle that helped it progress down its metal throat.  The ferry’s interior seated area was significantly cooler than the steamy reality we had just come out of.

famous muddy water

famous muddy water churning as we quickly rumble away from the French Quarter

But unable to resist the view, I scurried across the lobby and exited out onto the deck, watching and listening in awe to the groaning heaviness pulling away from the dock surrounded by deep churning brownness.

The endless action on and in the powerful Mississippi seen all around us bordered by stunning sky lines; the ride was over way too soon.

you can ride inside or on the deck- it's a quick trip

you can ride inside or on the deck- it’s a quick trip

you'll see lots Mississippi River action

you’ll see lots Mississippi River action

With no sense of our destination when boarding we were deposited at the edge of Historic Algiers Point.  What a treat.  A lovely riverside village with its own history and independent spirit, it’s a community well worth visiting.  I suggest allowing a few hours at least to stroll the lovely neighborhoods and visit some of the scattered local hangs.

As you exit the ferry in Algiers, watch for a big walking tour sign on the wall straight ahead.  It’ll give you a good feel of which way to head out.  We laced all in and out around the town and enjoyed all of it.

arriving on the Algiers side

arriving on the Algiers side

easy walk from the ferry to neighborhood hangs

easy walk from the ferry to neighborhood hangs

edge of neighborhood very near ferry landing

edge of neighborhood very near ferry landing

Algiers Point sign

Robert E Nims Jazz walk of fame is right near the ferry landing

Robert E Nims Jazz walk of fame is also quite near the ferry landing- just up a ways to your right along the river

stuff to see along the Algiers Point side of the Mississippi

stuff to see along the Algiers Point side of the Mississippi

beauty every way you turn- hard to go wrong

beauty every way you turn- hard to go wrong

strolling through the neighborhoods of Algiers Point

strolling through the neighborhoods of Algiers Point be ready for color

beautiful Algiers Point

the king is loved

the king is loved

we just followed the trail of sweet sweet shade

we just followed the trail of sweet sweet shade

view of New Orleans from Algiers Point across the Mississippi

view of New Orleans from Algiers Point across the Mississippi

the Algiers Point ferry landing

the Algiers Point ferry landing

sunset over the Mississippi Algiers Point

sunset over the Mississippi Algiers Point

Remember…check the ferry schedule before you go…http://www.friendsoftheferry.org/

If you do mess up by chance and miss the return ferry, the uber solution ended up costing us about $20 to get back to the French Quarter.  There were really no walking options as it’s illegal to walk across the bridge.

check the ferry schedule or you'll have to uber it back like us

check the ferry schedule or you’ll have to uber it back like us

Where in the world has Big Boy been? Here’s a glimpse…

Over hill and dale, hither and yon, our home away from home, “the Big Boy” has rolled and rolled and rolled. This links to my facebook “Where in the world is Big Boy?” album. You have to look closely in some of the pics haha

Click here to go to the album

the simple and spectacular Barraston Ponds free camping near Mona UT

as our story continues…

after an enjoyable night along Utah Lake (just a bit south of Salt Lake City) our adventurous caravan* moved a bit farther South to the wonderful wonderful spot of Barraston Ponds (near Mona UT just off hwy 15)

not hard to find- the landscape is generally quite open and the patch of green is evident even from Hwy 15

not hard to find- the landscape is generally quite open and the patch of green is evident even from Hwy 15

You can read more details on this spot here: http://freecampsites.net/#!8385&query=sitedetails

These pics are from when we first got there and started getting to know the place.  Vail went from site to site looking for the best waterfront spot where the puppies could play.

This simple campground was close enough to humanity to make it very convenient.  It was surprisingly beautiful and serene.  There were very few other campers who showed up during the days that we were there.  It was a bit warm during the day but having spent so many summers in Orlando, couldn’t complain.

Home is where you’re with family.  This spot made a wonderful home for us while we were there.

*Ryan and I, Vail our daughter and her boyfriend Blake, and the two extraordinary pups Melon and Bear

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America’s Magical Soaks: #1 in a series of articles about our adventures finding natural hot springs

A Hot Soak in a Crashing Waterfall!  Are you kidding me?  

This wonderful place is just straight up on another level.

 

An easy hike with an exciting reward!

An easy hike with an exciting reward!

 

The scene is a beautiful cascading waterfall

crashing down on series of small falls and pools at the base of a red rock canyon in Utah.

Yesterday I had the peak life experience of sitting comfortably nestled in a tumble of rocks, slightly reclined with my eyes closed and only my nose and mouth exposed to the delicious mountain air.

Perfect, soothing, hot mineral waters cascaded over me enveloping me in the most incredible embrace.  The light danced through my eyelids.  My nose was filled with strange and comforting smells coming from the water.  The wet magic not only rained down on us from the falls, but was joined by hot rushing springs at the face of the waterfall creating a thermal blend as it found its way down to us.  My left arm experienced a steady cascade of brisk cool mountain stream as my right enjoyed a nearly too hot light liquid pounding.

I felt as though I had become part of the waterfall.

Just move around the pools until you find the perfect soak for you.  Ry likes to start out in the hottest he can take then cool down gradually.

The spot just above Ryan is where I sat for the longest time.  If you want to totally relax, just move around the pools until you find the perfect soak for you.  They vary from make you hot enough to make pink quick to brrrrrrr. Ry likes to start out in the hottest he can take then cool down gradually.

 

While there was no steam, as it was a fairly warm day, there were other visual clues as to where the hot waters joined in and this special spot had several of them as well as several spots built up with rocks to create soaking heavens of different temperatures and depths.  Incredible.

These visual clues are primarily in the form of sediment of minerals and the various alien looking forms possibly mosses that apparently prefer these hot waters and gather around the openings.  There was a great rainbow of buildups here that leads me to believe that these springs may be richer in minerals than the others we’ve found.

I’ve always loved to float in the ocean on a warm calm day (like you find on the sound side of Pensacola Beach where I grew up).  Leaning back into these warm spring waters brought back those happy memories of buoyancy.  All you have to do is close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly.  The mineral rich water does the rest.  Weightlessness feels so wonderful and healing.

Our daughter Vail and her boyfriend Blake who joined us on this and several other adventures.  They also brought along the delightful pair of 4 month old puppies, Melon and Bear.

Our daughter Vail and her boyfriend Blake who joined us on this and several other adventures. They also brought along the delightful pair of 4 month old puppies, Melon and Bear.

 

The hike to get to this delightful

soaking paradise was easy and short.

Easy mostly shady hike along a beautiful waterway.

Easy mostly shady hike along a beautiful waterway.

This great spot is a short drive from Salt Lake City followed by a gentle hike speckled in shade and banked by the babbling waters of the Diamond Fork in the Uinta National Forest. It was recommended to us by a local but for actual written out directions and more info check out this link: http://www.utah.com/hike/fifth-water-waterfalls-and-hot-spring-trail

Looking forward to coming here many more times in the future.

Next time I’d like to go at sundown and bring a bunch of votive candles.  There are little waxy puddles about on the rocks and I can just imagine how incredible it must be to soak the night away by the light of candles and starlight.

Aaaaaaaah.  Lucky Utah. 

 

get-attachment copy

This place was recommended to us by a local but for actual written out directions and more info check out this link: http://bit.ly/1ldm1XU

This is where you're going in the Uinta National Forest.

This is where you’re going in the Uinta National Forest.