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Photo by Scott Diekema, Nepal Semester.

Initial Reflection- How am I going to survive?

As I stepped off the plane in Kathmandu, before my eyes zoomed over the bustling streets, before my ears rung with yipping dogs and honking horns, my nose was washed in a smell. I think I did know right then, but now I’ve began to live it, that the smell with its sweaty sweetness and pungent spice, mixed with lush foliage and rotting trash was a gift. This gift showed me a vast territory, a semester of experience in a quick whiff.

Now having begun to move through these mountain folds, I am struck by the danger and uncertainty of survival. Here I turn in faith, and feel the guiding hand of a madman, a mountain meditator with matted locks and a curling cobra, who loves the chaos and seeming disorder. Driving down the road I see and feel that the weaving of trolleys and buses and bikes and pedestrians, all of these lost strings, are being weaved by grace. This is a place of Puja. The One that is many has no choice for we take her name in our hearts, we place her many forms above our beds and doorways, these buses are painted with the medicine. I have felt this grace before, even thousands of miles away, and here again I find myself a small flower on an alter of a country. ψ Om Namah Shivaya ψ