Upcoming Shows

We've been named as a official selection in the Southern Circuit of Filmmakers Tour, March 17-24.

Shows are in Hapeville, GA 3/17, Madison, GA 3/20, Orangeburg, SC 3/22, Gainsville, GA 3/23, and Manteo, NC 3/24.
Learn more by going to the SouthArts blog.

View the theatrical trailer for A Gift for the Village

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dinner with Nepali friends, by Reba

It's Monday, and we have only three full days left here in Kathmandu. In the last few days, we have had the pleasure of having meals with friends in their homes. First, Sunil and Sarita hosted us again, and this time we got to meet their new granddaughter. Their son Saroj and his wife Arun live with them, and they welcomed a new baby just two weeks ago. She is absolutely perfect, although she was not impressed that there was a houseful of Americans oooh-ing and aaahing over her....she slept the whole time we were there. As usual, Sarita fixed a LOT of food, and they also had Jane a birthday cake.
Next we were invited to the home of Firdos, who runs the Gem Empire store where Mary and Ella got beautiful necklaces. Mary's is a black opal set with a green amethyst, Ella chose a gorgeous tiger-eye. Firdos has many finished pieces, but Mary and Ella sat down and went through his collection of loose stones and chose their favorites (within a reasonable price range) and he put them in silver settings.
We walked with Firdos to his home after he closed his shop one evening, and as we entered his home, his mother was doing her evening prayers on the kitchen floor. They are Muslim, and it was quite the culteral experience for all of us. We entered a room and sat on the floor, and Firdos brought us the food prepared by his wife. He told us that he would not be eating with us, but would eat later with the family. His 6 year old son, Aaman, ate with us. He was studying English in school and could understand our questions, and answered in very good English. He also had some well-rehearsed speeches that he recited for us. Atiya is Firdos' 8 year old daughter who was too shy to interact with us, although she watched and listened.
Firdos' parents and brother also live there, and we had an audience while we ate. It was odd to me, being invited to dinner but not eating with our hosts. I have no experience and very little knowledge of the Muslim faith and customs, but I felt so welcomed and comfortable. I'm not sure if our limited contact with his wife was a cultural thing or whether it was due to her inability to talk with us, but his mother, who also did not speak English, came in and sat down with us. Several times she fussed at us through Firdos that we were not eating enough.
Finally, yesterday we went to our upper Mustang guide Narayan's home. His wife delivered their second child, a son, just 10 days ago while we were returning from our trek. They share their home with Narayan's brother who is an artist, and his sister, who lost her husband a year ago and has a young daughter. Juice first, then tea, then french fries and vegetable pokura, then finally dhal batt with rice and greens. Then tea again. We were there for four hours, holding the baby and playing with his smart 5 year old daughter, Nikita, who loved Ella.
We are so lucky. We are guests here, and like other tourists have visited the popular sites, eaten in the restaurants and stayed in guest houses. But I wonder how many visitors to Nepal get invited into homes for meals and are treated like family? Mary and Ella have had very rich experiences and interactions here, and have been very well recieved. I hope the impression we have left is a favorable one.
In all three Nepali homes, extended families live together. They work together and share everything, and I can't help but notice how happy they all seem to be, especially the kids. How wonderful for these children to have so much family around them to depend on. I want this for all kids. For my kids.
Which reminds me of how much I miss everyone back home. I can't wait to be with family and friends again, even to talk about routine things and catch up on thier lives. I'm anxious to hear the stories Mary and Ella will tell their dad, my Mom and Dad, Grandma Rose, Kristi, Lawrence and Rachel, and Grandpa Richard. It will be so much fun to hear it all again from their perspective.
See you all soon. We love you.

1 comment:

Carl Hoffman said...

Thank you Reba. A wonderful glimpse into the rich experiences you have not only encountered but more importantly created. I miss you guys tremendously and am anxious to hear more in person, with all the colorful and imaginative details that are surely etched in our girls' minds.
Please give Sunil and Sarita a warm embrace from me and thank them for treating you as family.
Speaking of family, Lawrence, Rosie and I had dinner with your mom and dad last night and discussed our plans for the pickup on Friday morning. Can't wait!!! :)
Give hugs and kisses to our girls!