Vocabulary Lesson From Mom:
Nepali understanding of concepts you thought you knew
…”I’m coming around the curve”…”I’m passing you –on the right, left, gutter, at the edge of the mountain”…”You passed me and we made it!” ”You fool; I’m here!”… I’m turning right or left… & to pedestrians, animals, bikers, rickshaws…“I’m inches behind you so you better jump out of the way!!!”…
Something only the very lucky, wealthy ,blessed can use without thought…in third world countries, something which can bring life, suffering or death due to poor sanitation; cool, blessed relief after time in dry, dusty, filthy conditions. Many rural villages have only one fountain in the village square where everyone gets their water, washes, brushes their teeth, etc. These are some of the more fortunate ones…others have to walk a significant distance for their water, using a common well or spring in the mountains between villages.
A good and noble endeavor which may carry the power to remove dark, vacant stares from the eyes of God’s children; a myth-Something anyone who seeks it can have. A newly learned word: DOKO. Close your eyes and imagine a tiny man of late middle age, perhaps the size of Ghandi, dark-skinned, seemingly made of iron, with a wide strap across his forehead, attached at the neck to a six-foot high bookcase, approximately four to five feet across. Bethany has witnessed a similar sight of a man with two nearly full-size refrigerators making his way down the dirt road.
Huge smiles, a slight bow, and “Namaste*” from virtually everyone with whom you make eye contact. We are, however, learning not to make eye contact with every shopkeeper, as this has a tendency to lead to “Ah, Madams, Sir! Come…See beautiful pashminas…only 500 rupees…”. Joy is evident everywhere: Gleefully dashing down a long, poorly lit hall, these words heard from the mouth of a dirty 7-8 year old boy… passing us by & hollering “AWESOME”, “AWESOME”!
*Nah-Mah-Staaaay: May the gods within me greet the gods within you (or as the tour guides say: Hello)