I’m in Atlanta for a few days.
Cristine is at the annual CIES conference and I am editing photos in the morning and exploring in the afternoons.
This was the entrance to a parking garage in Buckhead. I think it was connected to an AMC movie theatre complex that advertised that you could eat a meal and watch a movie at the same time. What is this world coming to? (I just checked and here’s a link.)
This is the Peachtree Center MARTA stop. I love that the walls are left to show the exposed bedrock.
For those of you who might be interested, I post mostly goofy stuff on instagram. Just go to the top of this page, and under the sites links on the top right, hit the “Jon’s Instagram” link.
We have been spending most of our time in busy cities on this trip, so we decided to take the DART train to Howth yesterday and spend some time on the coastal path.
This is a lovely seaside fishing village, and since it was Sunday it was a bit crowded, but we really wanted to walk, so it was worth it.
As we walked through the carpark at the beginning of the path, we saw a guy in a superman costume get out of a taxi. We didn’t think much about it at the time since it was a few days before Halloween. We started our walk, and some minutes later looked down to a little island just off the coast and saw him jump off a diving platform. He is in mid-flight in this photo but it is a bit difficult to see him. Look for the red spot on the left. Wild.
It was a lovely day. Not too hot, not too cool.
Ireland is really green, and like Cornwall has a really interesting variety of plants.
I can never keep these things straight, but I think this is gorse. So lovely.
There were amazing views throughout the walk. In the foreground is an entire field of ferns that are just starting to turn brown.
At one point the coast path crossed an enormous golf course. We were instructed to stay quiet. We obliged, and we did see some golfers teeing off. It would have been a lovely day to play 18.
But by far the coolest part of the walk was when we went through the Bog of Frogs. It was boggy, but not noticeably froggy.
We walked well over 10 miles, and it was spectacular. It was great to get a pint and some fish and chips once back in Howth.
As we waited for the train to Dublin, a Carphone Warehouse advert kept scrolling through this sign at the station.
Once back in Dublin, we stopped at Mary’s Bar and Hardware for a whiskey. They really love JFK here. And the whiskey was nice.
They have been working on the escalators at the Van Ness Metro stop for quite a while now. Two down, one to go. The LED lighting is very nice.
I have been all over the place this summer and posting here has been irregular. Nepal was a while ago and I still have photos to share, but it is difficult for me to play “catch-up”. I like being able to post immediately and when I put it off, I often lose interest. But I do want to share some of this.
Our second full day in the Western Hills started in Sanphebagar. We visited two different schools and it was amazing.
There are two types of education in Nepal; public and private. Kids who go to the public schools wear blue uniforms.
This young fellow is at the Khaparmandu Primary School (Sanphe municipality-2, Goyal Pani, Achham).
I often had to quietly enter the classrooms because the kids were very interested in my presence. I didn’t want to disrupt the lessons, but there was always at least one kid who wanted to see what I was up to.
They eventually got used to me though. This little girl was especially connected to what was going on in the classroom. She was really paying attention to the teacher and seemed to have an answer to any question that was posed.
Males in Nepal often have a comfortable physical association with each other. It is really nice to see this kind of connection.
I like this photo of the bus. It doesn’t really fit into the narrative, but here it is anyway.
The second school we visited was the Saraswoti Lower Secondary School (Sanphe Municipality-2 Loli, Achham).
The classrooms are only illuminated by window and door light, and it is amazing what digital cameras can record in such low light. This is a pretty typical room with fabric covering a dirt floor.
Everyone leaves their shoes outside.
The classes featured a bit of participation by the kids. Often, one child would come up to the front of the room and be asked to recite a lesson.
The kids were so sweet. As I noted earlier, they were very interested in us, and quite open. It is likely that they haven’t seen any Westerners at their school before. Sanphebagar isn’t particularly on any trekking route, and especially during the recent Maoist uprising there wasn’t much contact with outsiders.
The monsoon began in earnest as we were heading back to Dhangadhi. Driving is always interesting in Nepal, and in these conditions was quite thrilling.
There will be one last post on the trip, which I hope to get up soon. I spent a day in Sindhupalchowk, which was devastated in last year’s earthquake. There are some very interesting projects there that World Education Nepal is supporting and I am eager to share them here.
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On our way to visit schools in Achham, we flew from Kathmandu to Dhangadhi on Buddha Air. It is only about an hour and fifteen minutes by air. It was quite warm when we landed, and the monsoon hadn’t quite started yet, but was very sticky and humid.
Our first stop was for breakfast at the Hotel Redsun Plaza. Most meals in rural Nepal are dal bhat although this place made us some nice omelets.
After breakfast, we immediately started climbing out of the valley towards our first night’s lodgings in Dadeldhura.
I did a lot of shooting out of the front window. The World Education driver, Nanda Ram, had driven out from Kathmandu and met us at the airport. It took him two days of driving to get there, a distance of about 670 kilometers (415 miles).
The scenery is beyond breathtaking. For us, calling this area “The Western Hills” is a bit of a misnomer as these are the biggest hills I have ever seen. But compared to the Himalayas, they are small.
Again, this was just pre-monsoon, but the rice terraces were a beautiful green.
Goats are everywhere on the roads in Nepal, as are dogs and cows. This is for my friend Tania Werbizky who loves goats.
This is a major crossroads near to our hotel in Dadeldhura. Helen Sherpa mentioned that these plinths used to hold statues of the King, but after the monarchy ended, local politician’s likenesses began to appear.
I like the graphic on this sign that was stuck to the wall of our room at the Raino Hotel (amazing, they have a Facebook page!)
Cris and I usually travel with my grandfather’s cribbage set. I especially like the Michigan Abrasive Company playing cards.
It was a beautiful evening with a full moon. The bazar was hopping.
Tomorrow, off to our first school visit.
I have been spending my afternoons walking around Kathmandu. Whenever I see bricks (and there are a lot of them here) I think of my friend Richard Pieper. He loves bricks. It is nice to be a photographer as it is impossible to ever be bored. I see bricks, I think of Pieper, I see motor scooters and I am interested because I have a Vespa, I see people giving water to a stray, injured dog and I am touched, I see rivers and I think of Peter Carroll’s brother Alan who worked on water quality here a long time ago, and I see young children reading and I think of all the work Cris does in helping kids become literate. I see these things, but I don’t always photograph them. I am a bit self conscious about poking a camera into the lives of people who are just going about their days. It always takes me a while to be comfortable, and the only way I can do so is to engage with the people I see. It is a bit more difficult in a place where many speak only a bit of English, and I speak no Nepali. But after today, I am beginning to see things that I want to photograph, and I know I will eventually wrap my head about how to go about it. So today I am showing you bricks.
And another representation of Krishna.
Here is the Bishnumati River. I almost didn’t take this picture, and I almost didn’t post it here because it felt exploitative in a way. Coming to a place like Kathmandu and pointing out what we Westerners think of as being messed up largely misses the point. Water quality is a huge issue here. This river is everything from a sewer to a rubbish heap and then some. It is easy for me to say it should be cleaned up. And it is easy for governments and NGOs to put money into doing just that. But it is not easy, and there are a lot of people putting a ton of effort into sorting this problem out. I just wonder what it will take. Somewhere at its source this river came out of the mountains clean and pure. Along the way it became this. I’m not really sure how to end here, but it is important for me to be a little optimistic, which I guess I still am. Maybe someday.
Cris and I are on our way to Nepal. She has some work on an early grade reading project funded by UNICEF and I am tagging along.
There was a great selection of music on the plane which helped while away the 12 hour flight. I was shocked to see Trout Mask Replica as one of the “Essential Albums”. I first heard it in college when my friend Greg Trout played it for me. He told me that his grandmother bought it for him only because of the name. I never thought I’d be listening to “Moonlight on Vermont” at 35,000 feet. It is an amazing record. I also watched the live broadcast of the opening match of the 2016 Euros. France 2 Romania 1. What a world.
Four hour layover in Dubai and then off to Kathmandu. I hope to post quite a lot providing we have internet access.
Peter and I went to a Caps game tonight. It was great, and they beat Carolina 2-1 in overtime on a (slightly) contested Ovechkin goal.
On our way to the arena, a guy sitting near to us on the Metro told us that the entire system would be closed for 24 hours starting at midnight. We figured he wasn’t kidding when we saw this ⇧. Should make the morning commute really interesting.
I walked down to the harbour yesterday afternoon. There was a break in the rain so it was a nice time to watch the Harbour Air planes take off and land. I found myself thinking that if one were a pilot, this would be the best job in the world. And I love the floating Chevron station.
Although this plane was Westcoast Air. Back home tomorrow. This visit was much too short.
Peter and I used to drop off Cristine at this terminal when she would be leaving on some of her long trips to South Asia for work. After she went to her gate he and I would sit on a bench at curbside and record the names and numbers on the shuttle vans as they came past. I still have some of the notebooks that we used all those years ago.
On Friday I drove her to the airport for a brief trip to DC and on the approach road, this is what we saw. I guess I knew that they would be tearing it down at some point, but it was still a bit of a shock. / She flies in later tonight, but I came down early to try to get a shot. The sun went below the horizon within 30 seconds of taking this photo and the light changed completely. It is always amazing to me that a building once so full of activity could be reduced to this. It will be completely gone very soon.