In the morning people walked around the stupa in a clockwise fashion continuously. It seemed that one could be swept away by the crowds if one was not in motion. The rapidity with which the Nepali walked around the stupa was not conducive to quiet meditation or reflection although many carried their prayer beads and spun the numerous prayer wheels adorning the circular wall of the stupa. The gate to the small stupa temple was open this morning, I hesitated but a monk sitting in a lotus position gestured for me to enter. There were three bells in the center and more prayer wheels. Apparently it is bad karma to walk counter clockwise around the stupa. No one seemed to know where there was a church around here.
The communication officer and I then went to the airport with other relief groups to receive our medical supplies which we now have plenty of but for now no one to give to. In the airport, the Fedex plane brought in 16 million dollars’ worth of supplies from different humanitarian organizations. A Nepali movie celebrity was present, I was not sure the reason why but many people were posing with him in front of the many tons of aid.
I had lunch high up in a restaurant overlooking the stupa.Many dogs slept on the pavement, looking stuporous.Last night when we were in the stupa area, the dogs were hounding us, very much alert as the air cooled down.Later in the afternoon we went to Thamel Square, a shopping area for tourists selling Pashmina scarfs, Yak scarfs, carpets, all sorts of hippie looking clothes, Buddha, statues, beads, carvings, prayer flags, imitation Northface jackets, sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, Gurkha knives …
The rain came last night, harbinger of the Monsoon season.