It is amazing how much I am learning here in Nepal. Today we left the hotel in Kathmandu and went to go visit a psychiatric hospital. They had a presentation set up giving us some backround on mental illness in Nepal. They have all sorts of programs for those dealing with mental health issues and want to keep them out of the jails which is where they normally are sent. It was so nice to see that although not as well off as many of the facilitates we see in the United States, they go above and beyond for their patients and have a variety of ways to help them, including caring for them at the facilitates or just a day program.
On the way to our next destination we stopped to do some sightseeing at the Boundhanath Stupa, a beautiful Buddhist temple. It was set back from the main busy road and it seemed like we where in a completely different place, rather then a few hundred feet from the main crowded roads. It was a magnificent, the white temple has hanging prayer flags you can see from all directions. The outside is lined with payer wheels that the men and women would walk around spinning each one as they passed it in hopes of a spiritual blessing. It was beautiful to look at but it was also interesting to see how it is an important part of the locals everyday lives.
After sightseeing we were lucky enough to go and visit Maiti Nepal, a shelter for women who have been trafficked. The presentation was very informative and gave us a small glimpse of the massive problem sex trafficking is and still continues to be. They do everything from advocate for women to schooling and educating them. It is inspiring to hear all that they do for the women who are a part of it. The woman behind all this is Anuradha Koirala, who won the CNN hero of the year in 2010, although she was out of the country during our visit it was still an experience visiting all that she and others have worked so very hard for and have made such an impact on so many lives.
There is so much I have learned and done, each day is packed with new experiences and I can hardly begin to write it all in my blog. Between my blog and my journal I am trying to write it all down! We are about to leave for a two hour car ride to Dhulikhel where we will be for the next two days, I can not wait to see what unique experiences lie ahead.