|Sat, Nelson, and Uwe|
We've said it time and time again, the best thing about travel is the people you meet along the way. Sometimes God winks in your direction as he weaves the paths of complete strangers in a way that creates lasting bonds for years to come. Sometimes these strangers you meet serendipitously, you feel like you have known your entire life. That's how we feel about Sat and Uwe.
How did we end up in Kathmandu, in a local's home, with his extended family, eating a traditional meal, sharing stories and being embraced by all the family members like we were long lost cousins from the US?
...The story goes back to our stay in Zanzibar 3 months prior. We met Uwe while staying at our 4 bedroom guesthouse. Uwe (pronounced ooo-ver) is a doctor from Germany. We had a wonderful time together in Zanzibar and shared many meals and travel stories with us. He is truly a kind soul and we felt 'at home' speaking with him. Uwe told us that every year he travels to Nepal where he does some trekking and volunteer work. He visits a local village in a remote part of the country and treats the people of the village, bringing supplies, prescription drugs, medical devices, and has treated hundreds of patients over the years. He brings home his stories every year (usually through his amazing photos) and shares his cause with fellow Germans in hopes of promoting awareness of the need in Nepal. He told us he was going to be in Nepal in February.... it just so happened that we were going to be there in February too! We soon realized the best thing about the guesthouse in Zanzibar was not the view of the ocean from our room... but the timing.
...Rewind several years back, Uwe visited Nepal for the first time in decades. He met his trekking guide, Sat (pronounced Sut). Sat has the kind of soul that is one big smile. He is always laughing. His personality is infectious. He is one of the most genuinely happy people we have ever met. When he took Uwe out for his trek, Uwe expressed interest in seeing Sat's village. When Uwe arrived, he knew he had the medical expertise to really make a difference in this small corner of the world. A corner of the world that would soon mean so very much to Uwe.
Over the years Uwe and his friends and families donations have assisted Sat and his village in building a new school, providing medical clinic supplies and guidance, as well as a way to 'adopt' a child from the village.
We are incredibly inspired by the work Uwe does and the incredible graciousness of our host Sat. Their friendship is a beautiful bond and they treat each other like brothers. We would not have had the experience we had in Nepal without those two very special men.
While in Nepal, we traveled to Pokhara, a beautiful lake town 8 hrs by bus from Kathmandu. While Nelson accompanied Uwe and Sat on a 14 day trek through the Langtang valley, Allie stayed in Kathmadu and took up yoga, meditation, and cooking classes. After the trek, we stayed at the Kopan Buddhist Monastery where we lived among the monks and observed their way of life, while learning about Buddhism.
Over the next several posts we will share pictures from one of our new favorite countries: Nepal.
Enjoy the photos of Nepal Pt.1 - Pokhara and Kathmandu....