We are back in Kathmandu -- Boudha, actually. We arrived from Lukla airport in the mountains safely on Friday morning, and went back to the refuge in Godawari where we had been staying. We heard that the head of the organization was pleased with our work on the curriculum, and apparently his praise is rare and coveted, so that felt good!
We washed some of our stinky trekking duds and took showers and then met up with the other volunteer living there who told us the Maoists were planning a big demonstration and Kathmandu Valley-wide transportation strike to start the next day! So, we were given the advice to get as close to the airport as possible, as we will most likely have to walk there with all of our baggage on Monday. So, we had to get in a late-night, illicit-seeming taxi to Boudha and Pema's (our Sherpa) sons let us stay at his apartment. Last night we moved to a hotel.
Thus, we are in the nearest town to the airport, probably still a couple of hours walk, waiting to see how the strike will develop. It seems unlikely the Maoists will get their demands met, as they include things like the instituting of Maoist rule and the resignation of the Prime Minister. Hmmmmmm. The good news is, though there are no transportation options and most of the stores are closed, we don't seem to be in a dangerous area -- though there seems to be the possibility of violence in other areas of the capital. Mostly are just resting up for our "trek" to the airport.
We are flying to Arizona (travel time = 40+ hours!) and will be there until Saturday, at which point we will fly to New York. We haven't figured out much beyond that. It feels vague, but we are feeling pretty happy for all that. Adventure!
Anyway, as much as I regret not getting to SE Asia, after the trek and the strike and whatnot we will be happy to be among familiar places and faces for a while. We talk a lot about all the foods we are going to eat in NYC -- smoked fish, Italian, sushi, bagels, olives, pickles... the list goes on. And, we know we'll have good company to eat with. See you all on the flip side!