Submitted by Ben Ayers on Wed, 2008-10-15 09:35.
August 12, 2008
Namaste! This blog will be a foggy portal into my life and adventures as the Nepal Country Director for the dZi Foundation. I, admittedly, have one of the top three jobs in the galaxy – getting to spend 5 months each year stomping around in some of the most remote and poorest villages on Earth, helping communities build new schools, bridges, waterworks, and more. In the process, I am continually reminded that the most intelligent people often cannot read or write. The most capable people have never seen a computer or ridden on a bus. The wisest people only own two sets of clothing, and sleep in houses with thatched roofs.
The rest of the year, as is today, I stare out the window into the rain. I work on the computer, edit budgets, send emails, chase money. I run a sustainable forestry business from my home in Maine and, if I can squint right, I catch occasional glimpses of the same community integrity that so inspires me in Nepal here at home. But, I’m always counting the days between now and the next cup of hot water buffalo milk. 35.
Yak Between Worlds is the secret name that I have for my ‘farm’ here in Leeds, Maine. We have 65 acres and I have been laying the groundwork for my herd of shaggy low-riding Himalayan bovines. But one significant obstacle remains – convincing my wife that shoveling Yak dung four months a year while I’m in Nepal is indeed a significant Karmic deed. She will reap her rewards in the next life. So far, little headway has been made on that front.
The name comes from a really crummy rock climb on Rainbow Slabs outside of Conway, NH. The climb was put up by local legend Ed Webster, and is a 5.8 R slab-and-lichen-fest with rusty ¼ inch bolts that spin around like roulette wheels. My climbing partner and I choose the route simply out of affection for the name, and once we finished cursing, shaking, and slithering our way to the top we vowed to never do such a stupid thing again.
Funny, the things that stick with you.