Wednesday, December 5, 2012

China it is!

Where in the world is...Devon-Patrick-Murphy?! (To the tune of Carmen Sandiego)

Well, a few days ago, I would have answered "purgatory." I had hopes for the future, but I had no way of knowing which way the road would split - to China where I'd meet my PC-buddy, Cowboy, or to Thailand where I'd meet warm beaches and surreal SCUBA adventures - until Tuesday the 4th when the Chinese embassy either granted or denied me a VISA. 

The verdict: CHINA IT IS! YEAH, YEAH, YEAH! My ticket is purchased, and I'll be leaving Kathmandu (Nepali for "City of infinite dust clouds, garbage, shitty roads, 600,000+ motorcycles and even more dust (did I mention how dusty it is?) and, um, more garbage...") on Saturday.  I'm looking forward to a vacation from my vacation when I hope to mix some (illegal) part-time work teaching/tutoring with further explorations.  Great wall, here I come! (Thanks to Cowboy and Mr. Brian Stock for planting the idea in my brain.)

Since leaving the Everest Region, I've been staying, ironically, with three priests, a German Shepard named Jackie and a puff-ball Paris-Hilton purse-dog named Jimmy - who, unexpectedly, I've taken a great liking to - at the local Catholic Church south of town.  Rodrigo, one of the Father's, only three years older than I, is awesome and has suggested places for me to visit as well as inviting me to events around the city (on Sunday, a party hosting Johnny Walker, Grey Goose and Maker's Mark as well as some amazing Ex-Pat's who have lived here for 30-50 years including a Peace Corps Volunteer from 66-68 (!) - who was then drafted to Vietnam! - and Jan Salter (, a well known artist and NGO-founder who gave me a swift kick in the ass about getting started on writing a book 15 minutes after I met her!... and Wednesday, to a meditation session taught by Antonio, a Spaniard that drove a van here from Spain back in '74, reached the Afghan border and, refusing their demand that he cut his long hair and beard, detoured 2000 KM to Pakistan and continued to Nepal via India and has remained ever since.  Amazing stories!)

Templed out at this point, I've focused my attentions on an amazing locally started NGO called "Himalayan Roots to Fruits"  ( that provides free English/Spanish/Chinese classes to interested Nepali's in addition to vocational training and job placement.  The staff is young, energetic and professional, and their dedication is inspiring.  To help, I've taken over their Conversational English classes for the week and have thoroughly enjoyed myself (on day #1, while working through a section on adjectives I heard both "You are very handsome!" and "You are a wonderful teacher!" so how could I NOT be enjoying it, eh?!).

I owe you a story about my travels in the Solu Khumbu region where I hung out with the giants of the world, but for that I'll wait until China where electricity is more stable and I have the ability to upload pictures.  I will say that I doubt I'll ever see such extremes concentrated in one place again: the epic, jagged peaks in all directions, the sickening greed of the local people, the near-vacuum quality of the air, the razor-sharp cold and the civil-war relations between me and my two travel partners (my father and his former priest...). 

Again, thank you for the "likes," kind words and keeping up with me.  I'm pumped to have you along for the adventure :)

I love you all (but especially you, Michelle!)