Bringing the travellers to Birtamod is one of my very favourite parts of the trip Bishnu Rai and I have put together. Somewhat bizarrely, this dusty, non-descript highway town is another home for me and the ladies the travellers meet are a huge part of my life. Anyone who knows me knows that being with them is one of the great joys of my life and something I never take for granted.
We arrive in Birtamod almost half way through our journey and promptly have a fabric feeding frenzy where travellers become shoppers and the serene Mr Jagdamba and the man with the cute dimples from Kathmandu tailors (so I’m told-ahem) become significantly wealthier. This highly focussed behaviour is essential if we are to get our fabric purchases done in time to take them to tailors to be made up in time to take them home.
To the chorus of shutting roller doors as darkness fell, and with wallets lightened, hearts gladdened and wardrobes brightened, the trippers left the shops to have a restorative night’s sleep. In some cases serenaded by dogs celebrating the full moon. They needed their sleep in preparation for their polymer clay lesson at Samunnat. Read a little more about this here.
As a result of culturally related time management issues and unexpectedly prompt rickshaws, the travellers arrived a tad before many of the ladies but it gave them a chance to discuss who had water from the hot tap that was a different temperature to the water from the cold tap. A few as it turned out! But the really exciting thing for some was that Hotel Heaven had advertised AND actual WiFi. A winning combination that catapaulted Hotel Heaven way up there into seriously heavenly realms regardless of tepid water. And some of us would nearly have killed for tepid water.
The ladies arrived (some come from many kms away and cycle for nearly an hour) and the welcoming and sharing began. It was a wonderful time and I feel so lucky to be there to be part of this exchange. Many of this group of travellers are artists and for the ladies to see bold experimentation, a spirit of exploration and the delight of working with a new material was so good. In Nepal, much artistic energy is channelled into replicating designs that sell or are traditional and so feeling comfortable to go out on a limb, or to try and express something you feel with something you create is new. There was much laughter, a few quite tears (doesn’t take much to get me going the blub) and a real sense of connection that we have experienced with each of the groups that have come to visit.
The travellers are heading to Kanyam and tea gardens and I spend today with the ladies doing some training for a project with Paulette. Until next time, go well! And Happy Birthday Kate!!!!