13 February 2013


I am in Katunje - in the Himalaya mountains in Nepal. There is a very clear view of the mountain that is named Ganesh Himalay from where I am sitting and it is breathtaking. It is early evening here and the sun is setting. It is very cold. The breath that is being taken from me is icy and when I exhale, wispy misty ghosts escape from my mouth and they float off into the darkening sky. They are like little clouds. 

Who am I kidding? It is not just very cold, it is freezing. Really freezing. There is silence up here and it is absolute. I had forgotten what it sounded like. There is always noise in Singapore - there is in most big cities I think. 

My hands feel the coldest. Maybe my nose.

I am upstairs on the rickety deck. I am sitting in a sagging wicker chair in the Future Village Visitor Centre and I am alone. If you have been here before should be able to  envision exactly where I am. If you have yet to visit Katunje then you should.

Everyone deserves these moments.

I ate noodles in the village earlier for my dinner - when I first arrived. I also drank hot black tea out of a battered tin cup. It was sweet and delicious. I picked up some eggs and tea and some more noodles in the village too. For the morning.

For my breakfast.

I am physically a bit battered and bruised myself It is a very bumpy ride up into the village - particularly that last stretch. My ass is sore. Very tough journeys are often required to reach the best destinations. I learnt this a while ago. Teacher and the children from the surrounding mountain villages will arrive at the school downstairs early tomorrow.

Very early.

Connectivity here is good and the signals are strong. The solar panels that we installed last year are fully charged for lighting and for hot water - and to feed my Mac. I too am connected, and feel strong and fully charged. It is very good to be back in the Mountains. It is perfect in fact. I am covered in Yak blankets.

I am swaddled.

I am swathed.

I am containing my body warmth beneath layers of soft yak - as best as I can.

Where I live in Singapore it is always 30 degrees - Celsius. Morning and night. It is always humid too. Sometimes it is 32 degrees and sometimes it is 31.

Clear and cold is a pleasant change.

I can see some lights coming on in the village on the other side of the valley. I can't remember its name. There are also a few appearing from some scattered farms down near the river. They are pale lights that are flickering from my vantage point. I think that they are lanterns. There is still no sound. None whatsoever. It is surreal and serene and it is very peaceful.

It is a good place and time for reflection and contemplation and consideration and I will do some of that now I think.

To get such moments in such places is very rare and almost magic. We need to snatch these moments when we can and make the most of them.

I will now switch off the light and I will close the lid on my Mac. I will sit awhile in the darkness and the silence and just soak it all up.

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