The morning after our finance meeting, Mon, Yoshie and me boarded a micro bus and headed for the hills of the Tanahun district, where both Aandhimul and Bandipur lye. Though our first destination was to be Bandipur. Many times had I made the trip from Dumre, a small highway town, on the Jeep up along the winding 8km road to the beautiful Newari, hilltop town. But for Yoshie this was her first time, and after all the photos and my descriptions she could see it with her own eyes.
It was lovely to see all the familiar faces, and greet them with the culturally respectful, 2 hands pressed together in a prayer like position and raise the hands high above the torso and say “Namaste”, literally meaning I give my respects to you, and with elders we also use “Namaskaar”, an even more respectful greeting.
Once in the bazaar, we sat outside a small café and had a cold drink to quench our thirst, and it was great to sit in the fresher air of Bandipur, a relief from the hot and humid journey from Kathmandu. After soaking in the relaxing atmosphere (see pic 1), we couldn’t have asked for a greater greeting. Whilst sipping my drink I saw 2 women not of Nepali origin walking our way, one of slight frame, and big hair and the other with a distinctive blonde cut. Of course it was Angela and Jolana, and straight away we were up to greet and hug them. This was also the first meeting of Yoshie with Angela and Jolana after many Skype video chats, they could finally meet her in the flesh.
We then were taken to our accommodation, a lovely house just outside the centre of Bandipur up on a hill with views into both valleys either side (see pic 2). Once settled, I went around the village with Yoshie and said my “Namaste’s” and introduced Yoshie to many of my Nepali friends and families. I was very happy to be back in Bandipur, I think we all were!