It took universal peace and love for singer Janis Joplin to cry out Kathmandu. It took humanity for multi-millionaire John Woods to leave Microsoft and open 'Room to Read'. However, it was Dharmashala that made American tourist Asucena Sue Colon come to Nepal. Though Colon had come for Dharmashala, she ended up loving Nepal and enjoying Dal Bhat and Nepali tea.
"I knew about Nepal since I was young, and I always wanted to travel there… Tibet especially," wrote Asucena from Thailand. She has been staying in Thailand since the past two years, teaching in a local primary school. By the way Colon holds Master's degree in education from her hometown Connecticut..............
................................Back in Nepal, the family patiently awaits to see the Himalayas and what better destination to choose than Lang tang. It is the last of April and there are very few chances of seeing the Himalayas. Surprisingly, the family were not only closed in by tracts of snow as near as Kyangin Gompa, the peaks of Langtang Lirung stood tall and in its brightest possible. Along the trail, the three enjoyed playing by the boulders and splashing in pristine rivers, spending nights in wooden huts and eating dal bhat and pizza.
Indeed Langtang turned out to be one of the best places I visited in Nepal, admits Asucena. Other than that she also enjoyed the Buddhist Tibetan Festival and more so just the daily life of the people. "Our guides have been so helpful in showing us around Nepal. They took the time to bring us to local festivals and villages- we were able to see things that most tourists miss along the way. We were definitely taken off the beaten track-which was especially nice."
Each country has their own special qualities- I like them all, sums up Asucena adding, "The Nepali people have a good heart and the scenery is amazing."
Initially, Asucena had thought Nepal would be magical, pristine, clean and serene natural place. "I found the mountainside to be just as I imagined and better. I found the cities to have a great Indian influence and to be very dirty and suffocating. But after a while, you adjust and start to see a rich culture with magical moments. I thought it was interesting that all the infrastructures looked as if they were made 30 years ago and haven't been maintained since that era. Broken side walks, airport etc., looked like you were going back in time. There was obviously great potential and development…….somewhere along the way it was lost," opines Asucena..............
By Raman Grandon ( Published in The Kathmandu Post, 18th May, 2008)