Archive for Katharine Bowen

A poem for our journey

Up at 530 we awoke to a moist sun

the light from behind the kathmandu buildings

stacked like Jenga pieces allowed just enough rays to peek through and help invigorate our bodies

We walked to our transportation
A public bus with people other than our own
And we drove
Drove for what seemed too long
Past breakfast
Past lunch
Past the rolling hills
We approached a barrier which our sole bodies had to carry our weight and cross the bridge on foot
Passing locals
Passing colors
Simple passing bodies
We reached pohkara and were lead by exploratory minds that lead us to see outside of our temporary home
We left with the sun waving us goodbye, the rays now hidden behind trees with generous roots.
Waving us a good nights sleep and a wish for another peaceful morning to come

Leaving Doti…

Today we left Doti, Nepal.

This is a far west village in Nepal that is very isolated from urban life and struggles to maintain their rural, traditional ways in a technologically advanced world. We left a village that needed so much more help than we could give in one week’s worth. I ran along with Hannah the art sessions in our camp for the children at Balmadir School.

Art is something that I feel can always be a direct connection to any people, especially when language is a barrier. You give kids paper and pencils and they create.

It was interesting to see something like a flower (“fool” in Nepali) being drawn. They draw completely different flowers from the children their age in America because they see completely different flowers everyday and interpret a completely different world. This world was interesting to see transcribed onto paper and the various crafts we gave them to fill the class sessions. The children were always excited to draw or to make the masks and paper flowers we set out for them.

The teachers were also wonderful to work with because they loved seeing the communication without words and the success and positive aura it brought. They were very enthusiastic about their jobs and worked wonders with the children, who loved them in return. I loved the teachers as well, I co-gave a shawl to a teacher with Sarah that we purchased in a market near Kathmandu. They were very grateful!

The children, due to the teacher’s love and attention were easy to work with; very well behaved and respectful of their elders and anyone in an authoritative position. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them and always left the day craving the next.

Doti was a place I will never forget. Out of all of the days we have had in this trip so far, Doti was the most illuminating one. I think I am more humble, especially coming from a place where when I flip the light switch on, I know the light will come on. In Doti, this was not the case. Something that to me, seems like a simple treasure.

I am happy to be headed back to an urban place, however. Coming from America, it is hard to be without things I am used to- constant electricity, clean water, clean air, and easy travel. I always know I have Doti as a place I can spend time in where I will feel welcome and know that I can help in any way. I hope I do not seem selfish but I have been humbled immensely by this trip and by this place (as I know we all have).

I will live in a different America. I will live in a place that I will no longer allow myself to have things I do not need. I will become alive again in the place that gives me so much, yet made me realize how much I was missing.

Thank you Doti for being the place where I could find my missing piece and thank you MLB doctors and Rollins community for making that happen.


A colorful journey!

The journey so far has been colored
with vivid images of life
and lives that thrive on
Namaste offerings
Prayerful hands

these mountains these rice fields these markets
Create colors
images i take with me that cannot capture the way our eyes
Squint in this sun
With blaring colors
Road smoke from tires
Saris blockading our travels
Stray dogs miraculously safe distance from
These colors

I want to remember this journey
i want to take my images and experiences
And make my home