Monday, March 14, 2016

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After we unpacked yesterday, we had a bite to eat at Dhoikaima Cafe. It took us a while to find it due to the unmarked streets. The meal was wonderful and we headed back in the dark. There are no street lights in this part of Kathmandu so half way through our walk home we realized we were lost. Luckily I remembered that I had set a waypoint back at the hotel on my GPS GAIA app and we were able to back track our way back home.

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We went to bed around 9pm Kathmandu time and I awoke at 2am to a chorus of barking dogs. I was not able to get back to sleep, so I edited the airport video and was able to send it to Jason who was sleeping blissfully until 7am. We had breakfast at 8 (hard boiled eggs, lychee juice, and bread) and then started our next adventure. We headed toward the Golden Temple, which was halfway between our hotel and the meeting site. All along the way, we came across small intimate temples used by each neighborhood. It was clear this would be unlike any other day we had experienced. We reached a few larger temples in a square and we thought that was the Golden Temple, but a local guide took us through this small opening in a building into a smaller, intimate square with more temples and an ornately decorated building. The inside of that quiet building was a courtyard that was partially enclosed. The walls were covered with carvings and the interior was filled with more small temples lit by candles. It was another entire world inside this small building and through some of the doors were more temples.

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We had a meeting with the Sangeeta Thapa and a few other professionals at 10:30, so we had to get moving. There was a second floor monastery that we would need to come back to investigate. We exited through another small opening in the building into the busy narrow street. I saw some wonderful small figurative medical Chakra paintings, and I ended up buying several to bring home. Our guide took us to check out a singing bowl therapist, and we got a short demo on what was possible with these 7 metal vibrating vessels.

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We hurried down the street to the Patan Museum, the site of our meeting. We met with 8 artists, musicians and curators. It was a very helpful meeting, and we got a lot of exhibitions and research ideas and insight of who we should be talking to about our project. We also saw our studio at the Kathmandu Contemporary Art Center, which is housed inside the Patan Museum. The Patan Square is breath-taking and I am planning to go back in the next few days to do some drawing. You can see the effects of the earthquake and the work being done to restore these culturally significant structures. After having a late lunch, we headed back to the hotel, Shakya House. We got lost again and had to turn to our app to find our way home. A few minutes after getting back, it started to rain so, we decided to organize our plethora of notes, photos and video footage. We are starting to feel jet-lagged again, and we’re not sure we will make it out or if we’ll have some local food delivered.

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Tomorrow we are attending an all day workshop about using art and design to improve communities. I present my lecture at 6:00pm at Yalamaya Kendra.