Saturday, August 30, 2014

Darjeeling diaries

Today we awakened to a fantastic view of Kachenjunga, the third tallest mountain in the world. It's cold here in the morning, even though we are the same latitude as Miami FL.
We did tons of walking today. And up and down steep hills, stairways, and alleys. This is an amazing town that National Geographic should do a cover story on (if they haven't already). The homes are stacked on top of each other on the steepest of hills. There is hardly any western influence in this remote place.
We met with some relatives of our guide this morning after breakfast and drank tea. It is a black tea with milk and sugar. Then we went to meet with a member of the Indian military. While waiting, we were served tea again and were then brought some noodle soup. It was good but I was floating.
We then walked up to the top of the city's summit and met a student who is from the target country. He is Buddhist. Madison spent lots of time with him and shared the good news. Madison also picked his brain about how many of his people lived in Darjeeling, who we could meet, and a dozen more questions that might help us. Turns out there is a refugee camp nearby that we plan to visit tomorrow. The student may turn out to be a good resource for us-and who knows? He may just become a brother.

They have any kind of fish you want, as
long as it is carp.
We walked around the city some more talking. Before taking a long break in a coffee shop and discussing our strategy. We have been looking for a church to worship with tomorrow. Since we haven't found one, we decided to just have our own...publicly. Yes, it could be a little dangerous, but we think it is worth the opportunity it would give us to let some of our new friends experience Christian worship. As we planned, we realized we need a guitar. After asking around we were unable to find one.

 The student took us to a tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant that makes momo--a kind of meat-filled dumpling, kind of like what Mijung Kang has cooked for us before. Mmmmm! I ate a plate full with their homemade hot sauce. Don't tell his new wife, but Madison ate two platefulls.

Dogs hanging out.
Chickens hanging out.

Many of these houses seem to hang
off the cliffs.

Looks like a church meets here.

This is the inside of a home of a lady who
served us tea. This wall is her kitchen.
The blue and yellow jugs hold fermenting
millet mash for homemade wine.

This wall is the god shelf, full of
Hinduidols that she worships.
 Our Sherpa guide saw a music store toward the base of the town so we went back down. We found one store that had a few awful Indian- and Chinese-made guitars. We asked if there were any more music stores and found out there was one more. Further down the mountain.  Away we walked. Again our guide found the store. The guy working was a Christian and his dad a pastor! We are going to meet his dad later to see what he knows about our target country. Well, I bought a really cool name brand guitar: an Alvariz. Heard of it? Yes, I spelled it right. All the crappy guitars in both stores have names that are misspelled name brands in the fonts of the name brand. I could have gotten a Gilson a Peevy, a Marten, or an Epiphune. I told Madison that where ever he is right now, Bryan Parris will get a cramp if I buy one of these. I bought one. $35 (including a pick and a backpack case). We'll give it to a church when we get back to Kathmandu.
Here's my $35 guitar. It actually plays ok.

The Alvariz's pick guard is a decal.
I'm so sorry, BP.

It's been a long, good day.

1 comment:

Judy Gamble said...

What an adventure! Keep on trucking!