We brought our only child Adam back to Nepal for the first time this June. We had been bidding our time for Adam to reach 18 months to embark on this journey.
It was an emotional yet spiritually enriching trip for both of us. We met in Nepal in my first visit to the country, fell in love, and now our child is walking the path of where his parents had been. Most importantly, he was finally back in his homeland, where daddy came from.
I specially like our ‘pilgrimage’ to Bouddanath, one of the world’s largest stupa, where Shrestha junior roamed about freely and with so much happiness around the Stupa. Of course he did not understand it was supposed to be a sacred place. It was a huge playground for hide and seek! It was here that I bought him his first Nepalese shirt and he looked really handsome in it – thank god for his daddy’s good genes!
Deepak and Adam at BouddanathBack home, Grandma could not wait to carry her grandson. He was swarmed by uncles, aunties, cousins and everyone from the office. Everyone was curious to meet this Nepalese-Chinese boy. Although he did not have many toys at home, he certainly did not lack attention from people coming in and out of the house. And Pasang had upgraded to ‘Grand Papa’ status.
Adam with mommy at Nepalese restaurant
We also brought our child to a Nepalese restaurant housed in a traditional structure. Adam happily roamed the entire restaurant and even fascinated the doorman. After more than a year away from Nepal, it was really really good to sit down for lunch with our family friend and having our son with us. I guess by next year, he would be able to have a first taste of Nepalese food. I look forward to see his reaction when he has his dahl bhat and kukara masu (lentil, rice and chicken)…..
Few days into our homecoming, the Divine family were invited up to the resort in Nagarkot. The boss was gving a Welcome Party for Adam. It was not too cold although the winter preparation was useful for Adam. It was Adam’s first huge party with more than 30 people including staff and family. The seniors sat down for tea to catch up while the Sherpa uncle and aunties were busy having fun with Adam. So much joy with just one ball. In the late afternoon, the extended family took a short trek down Nagarkot hill, passing the Tamang villages. The villagers were harvesting fruits. Along the way, we picked apricots and different berries which Deepak popped into his mouth without hesitation. It was Adam’s nature encounter at its best when we stood facing the unblocked view of the great Himalayan range at the top of the terrace fields. And guess what, he actually had a poo poo and we had to change him in a small hut in the fields!
Some of the village school students were on their way home from school and most recognised Deepak from all our community service trips. We brought Adam to the school which we had collaborated with many Singaporean teachers and students to build up for years. It felt good to know we are able to contribute in our small way due to our relations between Nepal and Singapore. Soon Adam will be able to understand and begin his first contribution to the village school when he grows up a little more. Nepal will be his classroom beyond Nursery Rhymes, numbers and shapes, we hope.
We made it to the Kathmandu Durbar Square hoping that the World’s living Goddess would appear to say Hi to Adam. But she did not. So we left the palace after a short tour within the courtyard.
The Durbar Square was crowded as usual with locals and tourists. Adam was running about excitedly as usual in the big space around him. We wonder if he knew he was in Nepal and he was away from Singapore. Or maybe there is no difference to him as long as there was space and everyone played with him. The photo opportunities were fantastic and plenty. I wished I had invested in a DSLR!
This is my favourite shot of Adam outside the temple. Ask anyone who took pictures of children and they will tell you the challenges of taking a still photo. I was lucky although I simply shoot shoot shoot regardless of his action. He has extremely short attention span and guess what, this shot was successfully taken because he heard the herd of pigeons took off from the ground. No prizes for guessing what Adam did next. Yes, he was busy chasing pigeons in the square for the next 5 mins!
Pasang loved having Adam. It reminded him and all of us of his Nepalese-French grand-daughter Aline. Aline lives with Papa Mama in France and like Adam, visits Nepal at least once a year.
For now, we are all looking forward to trek in Nepal soon. The children would be able to experience nature at its best – the mountains, the donkeys, the trails, the vegetation, the villages, the language, running in the wild….and simply spending time together in Nepal, their homeland.
And since we have the best trekking team, we have no excuse, do we?