Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope

three boys excited about their new clothes, sitting on the roof to watch us work

In 2007 my husband and I spent three weeks working with a charity in Nepal. One of our projects was to sort bags of donated clothes for children in an orphanage on the outskirts of Kathmandu.  We traveled out there each day on local buses, or walked if we could not get on …they were so crowded that men sat on the roof. The children in the orphanage were there not because they were orphans, but because their families could not care for them. They were too poor, or ill, or dislocated due to fighting, to provide a home, or the children were ill and needed extra care. After many days of sorting bags of clothes in a freezing, damp, mildewed concrete block room we had found what we thought would be useful. The children entered in little groups to receive their share.

it fits!

Simultaneously we were providing each child with a metal trunk, in which to keep their belongings, whereas previously everything was communal property. My husband was painting the name and specially chosen symbols onto each shiny trunk.

Everyone involved was very excited and full of hope for the future of these children and the orphanage project.

us with the finished trunks

and here is the orphanage building, a place where through the hard work and generosity of many people, children in need could find food, shelter and education. Hope for a better life!

A-Z Archive: D is for Dance, Dzong, Dragon and more

Some of my blogger friends will have noticed that I started a new blog for these photo challenges. I have a vague idea of keeping dadirridreaming for things to do with home, yoga, spirit, the natural environment where I live. So this blog, and the A-Z Archive is the place for me to explore my photo archives and dig out those special shots I want to see again. I have had the good fortune to travel quite a bit in the past 10 years, and the most fascinating destination was Bhutan. This is a small Buddhist Kingdom in the Himalayan mountains, where instead of Gross National Product they measure Gross National Happiness. When we visited I was practising Dzogchen, so our guide took us to some special caves and temples, which was a great privilege. Here are some “D” photo from Bhutan. I have tried different ways of publishing the photos, but I think I like BIG best ..what about you?

Bumtang Dzongkag sign on the mountain pass

Prayer flags fly high over every mountain pass, here the sign tells us that we are entering the Bumthang District, and displays a map to help us find our way. There are no straight roads in Bhutan despite the sign!

Dancers at Ngang Lakhang festival, Bhutan

Men wear flowing robes for this vigorous dance.

Donkeys block the narrow mountain road

Driving was hazardous, roads very narrow and cliff hugging, I think the donkeys would feel safer than we sometimes did.

Danger, heavy loads on narrow roads!

Sometimes our way was blocked by fallen rock, but this time late one afternoon, it was a timber truck that had fallen over, luckily in a valley and not on a hillside.

Herder's dog follow us on trail to cave

We were walking for hours uphill to reach a special cave, when three dogs appeared and kept us company for the rest of the trek. One walked in front, another in the middle and the last at the rear. We felt they were spiritual guides in the guise of the fierce sheepdogs.

Trongsa Dzong, the centre of government, religion and defence for the Central Trongsa District

The Dzongs of Bhutan are magnificent structures, built for defence at strategic points where all traffic had to pass through the Dzong. Now they are still centres of administration and religion.

Dragon logo on Bhutan's airline Druk Air

One of the thrills of Bhutan is flying in, as the pilot brings the plane ever lower while following a narrow valley, until suddenly it widens and you touch down at Paro!

To join in the Weekly A-Z Archive photo challenge see Frizztext’s site http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/a-z-archive-d challenge/ and check out some of the other entries.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

Violet Sea Snail

The Violet Sea Snail (Janthina janthina) washes onto the beach on the East Coast of Australia when the north-easterly winds blow …. they are companions of Bluebottles, or Portuguese Man of War, which they predate. Like their companions the Bluebottles and By the Wind Sailors they are simple creatures.

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A-Z Archive: C is for Camels and Colour

My C challenge images are from the Rajasthan archive, all images of colour and camels! As we traveled through the north-western part of Rajasthan near Jaisalmer we had a chance to travel on camels, a way of injecting more money into the impoverished area where camels are commonly used by farmers to carry loads and tow carts etc. They took us across country to a fancy camp, where we stayed the night, enjoying a campfire and singing as well as the obligatory dancing. We taught our guides how to make “twisties” on the fire, and someone found a guitar for my husband to play for the campfire singalong. Next morning we had a yoga class at dawn, in an open roofed building, in freezing temperatures .. it was real challenge!

Here is a link to Frizztext’s “C” challenge so you can join in too if you wish. … and look below for some gorgeous inspiration!


A-Z Archive: B is for Bali

These photos were taken on a 2004 trip to Bali for a yoga retreat … it was all so beautiful, especially the people. To enlarge them click on an image 🙂

For more of the A-Z Archive: “B” challenge see below

A-Z Archive: A is for Artisans

Click on an image to see it larger …. then you can scroll through 🙂

These images are from the Gangteng Monastery, or Gantey Gonpa in Bhutan, where the temple is being restored using traditional techniques. These men are true artisans, highly trained and skilled. All their work is done according to Buddhist traditions, blessed and offered for the good of all.

This post is a few weeks late, but better late than never! Thanks for your challenge frizztext, I even started a new blog especially to join you.

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