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adventures in kalikot

I've been off the grid the last couple days on a sort of secret mission with Anjali back in her village in Kalikot.  We were trying to trace some documents from her family and get in touch with some of her extended relatives to get her a passport.  It was a crazy adventure with lots of twists and turns and in just a few days we were able piece together so much of Anjali's life story; one that I will leave for her to share one day when she's ready.  

If all goes well, and we can actually pull off a visa and passport, Anjali's been invited to give a Do Lecture in the U.S. as a follow-up to the talk I gave about Kopila Valley a couple years back. Since Anjali doesn't have any close living relatives, it has been really challenging with us to work within the system and get everything together. I forgot how hard it was when we were going through this process with Juntara, who was fortunate to have living family to speak of. Luckily, we were able to get in touch with an older cousin who helped us tremendously.  He was able to find father's old citizenship card which made things much easier for us.  There was lots of walking, and long bumpy bus rides, and making of police reports, gathering witnesses and being questioned by district officers. The entire time Anjali carried herself with so much grace and confidence, I've really never felt so proud. 

The road to Kalikot is long and bumpy and windy and at every turn in the road you feel like you're going to fall down the side of a cliff hundreds, maybe thousands of feet down into river at the bottom.  All you can really do is pray, try to keep your body from flying up into the air on every bump and not vomit all over the person sitting next to you.  It's also, to me, one of the most beautiful places on earth.  You're constantly surrounded by huge mountains and terraces and although, it's a strange feeling, being cut off from the rest of the world, there's also something kind of freeing about it; life without phone lines or electricity, drinking from the river, and eating from the earth.  

Since I had already made it so far, a group of us decided last minute to make the mountainous trek back to Oda.  I haven't been there since we took that helicopter ride, two years back and I desperately wanted to see my friends and the kids' families there.  I got to spend a couple days with Juntara's family and Pampa's sisters.  I sat with all the women while they breast fed their babies.  We talked and laughed and ate wild plums and berries and sang and danced and told stories and cried.  I climbed up to the spring to fetch water and tried to help with the wheat harvest as much as I could but it's a humbling experience trying to do just about anything up there.  I was really good at making them all laugh at my attempts.  I swear these women, with their stamina and strength and resilience and endurance could compete with world class athletes. They're like another breed of human and  I can only hope that a tiny bit of their strength and spirit rubbed off on me while I was there.  It was such a good trip and although I feel completely exhausted and sore, I'm covered in dirt and bug bites and sun burn, I know that these last few days was somehow just what my heart needed.

Reader Comments (12)

It is so important that you visit the places where your kids and teachers come from and share a small part of their real world challenges and beauty. I so much love how you are so engaged!

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobin Collier

Where and when are the Do lectures in the US? I'm sure Student Dr. Frank would love to see her and hear her speak and so would I!!!

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJune Cioppettini

Wow, Go Anjali! That is amazing news!

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBanana

Amazing! I remember that bus journey all too well. I really hope you can get a visa for Anjali - sending good luck thoughts from england! x

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercherry

I can only imagine Anjali speaking at Do Something. She has such amazing wit, wisdom and love- can't wait for the world to hear her message. Good job Anjali and i am sending the visa angels your way.
Love you guys.
PS. Did you happen to distribute any of the filters in these villages?

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCara valentino

You really are a shining star Miss Doyne. What incredible news. Anjali must be very excited. Good luick in obtaining the visa and her talk at the Do Lecture.

On a similar subject, has Karma ever returned to her village and presented a spanking new pair of shoes to the other girl who gave her only pair up all that time ago?

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSylvia

Being covered in dirt, bug bites, and sun burn sounds like the mark of a great adventure to me! I always say I can tell the quality of my adventure based on how badly I smell afterward. :)

Thanks for sharing this story. The image of you surrounded by a strong community of wise women is beautiful. I'm glad you had a chance to take this trip with Anjali, and I'm looking forward to hearing her DO talk!

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

Thank you for your heroic efforts everyday. Thank you for being so deeply committed to bringing yourself and Anjali to share your stories to inspire others to the Do Lectures. Thank you for continuing to inspire me. I can't wait to meet you both.

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

It was your own Do lecture that brought me to your blog (and world). I'm sure that Anjali will inspire so many more to do good things in your part of the planet. Christine

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristine H

Maggie, I just spent a hour reading your posts from this recent one about Anjali to those about Juntara. You are amazing! I get so happy when I see the difference you are making in Nepal and the world. When people read about your efforts to make a difference it changes them, gives them hope and lets them know it is possible (and when I say them- I am included!) Thank you Maggie, for being an Angel sent from God...

And rock girl! I'm so so excited for you to speak and be a voice for your family and friends. What an important opportunity, but you are up to it. You're a great young woman. I miss you and everyone there.
Sending you my love,

June 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristin Warner

I hope Anjali gets the visa. She will do a great job at the Do Lecture. Wishing her all the best for the whole visa process....

And Maggie, you are a hero...

June 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRapan

It was hearing your Do lectures, I came to know you and Kopila Valley. I'm so excited to hear the second round of the talk and i would like to wish good luck to Anjali on her talk as well.. I hope she represent Kopila Valley well!!

June 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshok

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