Weekly Sketch: Saraswati

Another busy week, another unfinished sketch. This was going to be a drawing of the little Saraswati figure that Emma got for Elizabeth in Nepal, a gift of creative energy. Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom and learning.

The original:

This was the same day that Elizabeth bought the beautiful rainbow sweater/jacket.

I love that sweater so much.

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On the subject of art, I’ve been thinking about the corporate logos that Nepalis paint all over everything, and I have a theory. Disclaimer: I know almost nothing about Nepali culture or religion, this is just a thought that came to me.

It kind of makes sense, in a polytheistic culture that celebrates a full spectrum of energies, that they might celebrate the life-changing power of oil by painting the Castrol Oil logo on a Ganesha shrine. Or that in such a bright, vibrant culture, they might honor the transformative effects of commercial paint by adding the Berger Paints logo to a colorful gateway. Or that a recreational boat rental company might invoke the exhilarating thrill of chocolate by putting the Kit Kat logo on its boats. I like the idea that they might be calling up the energy of a specific product by putting its logo on their stuff.

Anyway, it’s just a theory. If any experts on Nepali culture want to chime in, I’d love to hear from someone knowledgeable.

Categories: Artwork, Family, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel, Weekly Sketch | Tags: | Leave a comment

Adventures in Nepal, Part V: Disneyland!

Wednesday the 18th dawned sunny and clear. Elizabeth had heard about a local theme park in Lakeside, and was excited to go see it.

And here we have the completely legit and totally not fake Pokhara Disneyland:

A magical entryway to the Sketchiest Place on Earth.

Pluto’s face kills me.

Behold, the Magic Kingdom!

Can you feel the excitement?

It has the castle and everything!

So I got two different versions of the visit to “Pokhara Disneyland.”

Elizabeth has never met a theme park she didn’t like, and she thoroughly enjoyed her experience at this one.

Emma was like, “There is rust on everything and you can literally see and hear the unshielded belt turning the ferris wheel and it is not outside the realm of possibility that we may die on one of these rides.”

Nice views from the ferris wheel, though.

Elizabeth was undaunted by rust and squealing engine belts, and embraced the whimsy.

I absolutely adore that rainbow sweater. She had just bought it the day before, and it brightens up almost every photo for the rest of the Nepal trip.

Lunch break at a cafe in Lakeside…

…And then back for more squeaky, rust-covered fun. They say the whole theme park experience set them back about five bucks.

When Emma had had enough of Disneyland, they explored more of Lakeside.

I really like this panoramic shot Emma took of Phewa Tal.

Love, peace and property destruction.

Walking back to Sabita’s house. Look at the tangles of power lines everywhere.

Panoramic view from Sabita’s rooftop.

To be continued!

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Family, Friends, Holidays, Humor, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel, Weather | Tags: | 1 Comment

Adventures in Nepal, Part IV: Basundhara Park

The next day was gray and rainy. (January 17th, if we’re keeping track.) Emma, Elizabeth and Bee Striit met the two Tibetan students at the hotel again for another photography class.

I like the grass-carpeted balcony!

When the lesson was done, our trio braved the weather and visited Basundhara Park in Lakeside.

This park entrance sign is another example of either ubiquitous ad placement or random tributes to popular brands.

Basundhara Park lies along the shores of Phewa Tal. On a clear day, the Himalayas loom majestically in the background. But even on a rainy day, the lake is beautiful.

Colorful boats!

Elizabeth and Bee Striit.

These boats all had Kit Kat ads on their canopies:

And back to the narrow streets of Nepal.

More to come!

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Family, Friends, Holidays, Life, Love, Nepal, Travel, Weather | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Adventures in Nepal, Part III

This is Sabita’s neighborhood in Pokhara. Elizabeth says the light and air were lovely here compared to the heavy smog of Kathmandu.

I enjoy the random absurdity of this photo. Hello, abandoned toilet and loose cow.

On the morning of the 16th, Emma, Elizabeth and Bee Striit met up with two Tibetan students from Paljorling refugee camp to give them cameras and their first photography lesson.

It was a rainy day, so they met in a hotel near the camp.

After the lesson, Emma, Elizabeth and Bee Striit went shopping for a SIM card that would let Elizabeth use her phone in Nepal.

This looks like an indoor mall…

…but Nepal just has some really narrow streets!

I’m keeping these posts shortish because they’re image-heavy and some of our friends don’t have broadband. Stay tuned for more!

Categories: Family, Friends, Holidays, Life, Nepal, Travel, Weather | Leave a comment

Adventures in Nepal, Part II: The Road to Pokhara

While I wait for Elizabeth to sort out more favorite photos from the 100 bajillion or so she brought back, here are more impressions from the bus ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara.

One thing that struck Elizabeth about Nepalese culture is that there are corporate logos literally everywhere. She got the impression that many of them aren’t even paid advertising, people just like the designs and paint them on their stuff. One example was this small Shiva shrine, which had Castrol Oil logos on the sides and back:

Another thing was the haphazard way structures there are built anywhere they can be squeezed in, seemingly out of whatever materials are on hand.

Tata freight trucks. Like everything else about Nepal, they are bright and colorful.

Breakfast smoothie on a pit stop.

Snowy Annapurna Massif in the far background, the section of the Himalayas that borders Nepal.

Adorable Elizabeth is adorable.

And finally, they arrived at the home of family friends, Sabita and her son Bee Striit.

By happy coincidence, they arrived on Emma’s 23rd birthday! Sabita was ready with a beautiful Ganesha cake and traditional trimmings.

What a warm and gracious welcome!

More to come!

Categories: Birthdays, Celebrations, Family, food, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Love, Nepal, Travel | 2 Comments

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