Well it has been a long, eventful day. We got to Kathmandu this afternoon and hit the ground running. We went to the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal and to a Hindu temple. I will post pictures later. According to our guide 80% of people in Nepal are Hindu. There are several people here from Tibet, and we have seen many Buddhist monks. I have learned a lot about both religions.
At the Buddhist Stupa, people are supposed to walk around the structure clockwise as many times as they like up to 108. They recite prayers and spin prayer wheels all around the stupa. As I understand it, one of the Dalai Lama's teachers died on Tuesday, and they were having a memorial service that we were able to watch.
When we went to the Hindu temple, we learned that it sits on the banks of the river here. Hindus take their dead to the river and burn the bodies, then toss the ashes into the river. We saw three bodies being burned. One of those bodies we got to see being prepared to be burned. They bring the body wrapped in a special cloth, then dip the feet in the water. Each person in the burial party dips their finger into the river and drops the water into the mouth of the deceased. Next, they remove the cloth, and prepare it to burn. The immediate family, excluding daughters, then goes back to a secluded room in their home to mourn the loss of the family member. No one can touch the family member for 13 days because the spirit of the deceased is supposedly looking for a new home. I didn't quite understand all the details.
Anyway, we leave for our helicopter tour of Mt. Everest tomorrow morning. Then Friday afternoon and Saturday we will be at a Wildlife Refuge. At this point, I don't think I will take my computer. So it may be a few days before I post again. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.