A few of my favorite things – 2013 in review


Thanks to all who have been following my blog, commenting on it and actually enjoying it.  I really appreciate your comments.  I mean I really, really do.  I have enjoyed and have been inspired my many of your posts as well.  Thanks again to all who have stopped by and even nominated me for special awards. In honor of the end of an old year and the beginning of a new year I am going to highlight the past year with some of my favorite, favorite photos from 2013.

I left Venezuela in December of 2012 and from Venezuela went and visited my children in Washington State, from Washington, I took a train with my youngest daughter and her son to Chicago and then went on to New York.  After a few weeks in New York I traveled down to DC and on to North Carolina for a week.  After North Carolina I went back to DC and began an 8 month Nepali language course.  During the course I had several old friends visit me in DC.  Some friends were from the military and some were from high school.  I took trips to New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Richmond, VA.  I went to wine tastings and food festivals.  Finally I passed my Nepali test and WOW.. ended up in Kathmandu, Nepal.  Those are the nuts and bolts.

What happened emotionally for me was some beautiful births from family and long-time friends.  My sister got married and the wedding was such a touching and emotional event for me. I can’t adequately describe to you now nor to my sister at the time at how proud of her I was and glad I was to be her sister. I had emotional break downs with my older sister who got me to laughing and re-thinking my state. Man I love that girl.  I was able to meet up with family and friends I haven’t seen for so long and it was like time had never passed.  There was a completely unexpected death of a very amazing young friend that shook me to the core.  I’m still dealing with some of the emotions that came from that. I was able to find a very old and dear friend that meant so much to me for so long and from that I had to come to terms with some truths about life and love.  Letting go and reconnecting, meeting new friends and re-affirming long time friendships. I have spent a lot of time this year coming to terms with who I am and what I’m willing to accept and realizing that there are some serious changes in me that need to take place. There was awe, joy and great satisfaction at people, places and things and personal accomplishments.  There was shock, horror and extreme emotional despair at people, places and things and a new-found understanding of life in general. I put up way too many photos here but there were tons more that could have been used.  No photo can clearly express how I am feeling at this moment of remembering all of these things and right now there are no more words to say.

To all, have a prosperous and happy (focus on happy) New Year. Stay safe.

I hope you enjoy.

A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.  ~Edward de Bono

Have a safe and happy new year.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Attractions in 2013

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Some of your most popular posts were written before 2013. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

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Birds of a feather.. well you know..


“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”
― Stephen KingRita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons

I had to participate in this week’s Travel Theme: Birds from Ailsa.  In my last post I mentioned loving taking random non-posed pictures.  Sometimes this goes very good for me and sometimes it results in me having to delete about 300 of my 500 random shots that didn’t produce anything.

HOWEVER, on the last hash I attended while walking through a field we startled a flock of birds and i clumsily grabbed my camera and shot off 7 photos and didn’t expect a thing.  (Refer to “On On” post if you do not know what a hash is).  Out of the 7 photos I took, the following photo came out pretty well.  Thank you point and shoot.

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A few other birds on this hike..

But really, the reason I love this theme is it reminds me so much of an old, old movie that horrified me as a child.  Enjoy.

Yeah horrible graphics but still frightening.  So to leave on a happier note..more birds.

Just People – Still Shots


What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? What’s the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood?
Buddha

I was talking a few weeks ago to a friend of mine from the states.  She asked me about the photographs I had taken of bodies being burned in cremation at the Bagmati River.  Her response was, “How sad!” I asked her why it was sad and told her it was just the custom in this country and was actually a custom in many cultures.

Ethnocentrism is judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one’s own culture.

We are all guilty of it.  Even when we think we are not doing it.  We all judge other people’s actions and attitudes based on our own “schema” or standards. It is all based on how we are raised and the values we are taught.

I am also guilty of it.  As I take the pictures I take, I sometimes laugh to myself and wonder what the people are thinking when I’m snapping their photos. Photo’s of them doing dishes, laundry or even bathing themselves in the street or their front yards.  It’s always interesting to me, but really it is just people being people.  I can’t imagine someone walking by my house and snapping a picture of me at my sink or worse, in my bathroom.

I try to be respectful and ask if I can take the photo or at the very least try to to be discreet when I am shooting.  I love pictures of people doing things in their natural environment.  I’m not fond of posed pictures.  The following pictures are all randomly shot but I like them because they are just people, being people.

I took Ailsa’s Travel theme “Still” this week and sort of changed it to fit my own idea.  It’s people who are already in a still and pondering pose, or people who are in complete action frozen still by my camera.  I hope you enjoy.

Just some people in Nepal

Land of Confusion- perspectives of people and regret


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“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
― Patrick RothfussThe Name of the Wind

I constantly have a story running in my head.  It might be about myself, a person or sometimes even an object.  Physical posture and minute facial expressions cause my mind to whirl into motion creating entire histories about a person’s happiness or sadness and the entire story behind the slump or jump of an individual.

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The following photos are of people that caught my attention in motion or manner.  I’m sure you can imagine some of the stories I made up about them.  Of course I have no real idea of what’s going on in these pictures but oh the stories I can come up with.  I hope you enjoy.

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“Tell the story that’s been growing in your heart, the characters you can’t keep out of your head, the tale story that speaks to you, that pops into your head during your daily commute, that wakes you up in the morning.”
― Jennifer Weiner

Yes, they are sweeping the road which is 90% dirt

6:00 a.m. Saturday morning.  Sun barely up and YES, they are sweeping the road which is 90% dirt.  Did I mention it was a dirt road?

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”
― Brandon SandersonThe Way of Kings

Daily Prompt: Land of Confusion;  Perspective; Humble Pie – Regret.

“I could not stop talking because now I had started my story, it wanted to be finished. We cannot choose where to start and stop. Our stories are the tellers of us. ”
― Chris CleaveLittle Bee

Daily Prompt: The Power of Touch


Finally I can highlight some of my favorite most recent photos from my lowly travels here. Texture form the Daily Post nails it. I am a very tactile person and Nepal is full of some amazing tactual statutes, walls and even people.  (Though I have been keeping my hands to myself).

I hope you enjoy the following photos from the Maha Buddha Temple and Patan Durbar Square area.

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Patan is one of the oldest royal cities in the Valley and it is a world heritage site. There are apparently 1,000s of Buddhist monuments scattered throughout this area.  DSC05227

It was crazy interesting.  For example you can walk down these teeny, tiny alleyways and through these even smaller doorways and come into a Buddhist meeting place.

DSC05230When you enter any area with a temple or shrine you need to walk to the left to go around it.  Even if what you want to see is 3 feet to the right of the entry way.  There was so much history here. And such tiny places to crawl through to get to them.  Very few of us could enter into an area without ducking to get through the doors.DSC05148

The dedication to texture, structure, history and peacefulness was amazing. I will in a future post highlight some of my favorite people shots from Nepal so far, but for now I will leave you with one of my very favorite people shots from this day.

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“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh

I hope you enjoy.