When we first moved to New England, P and I started a tradition of hosting a big Christmas party. It all started out as a way to showcase (a little bit of my) American culture to our new found Nepali friends– after learning about their festivals by celebrating Teej, Dashain, Tihar, and Bhai Tikka, I eagerly organized pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving dinner and the Christmas party. Eventually the festivities became annual.
A day or two before the party I usually invite people over and we spend half the night baking nearly a dozen varieties of cookies, then the day of the party we have lots of “traditional” holiday food (think- Thanksgiving dinner), we have a Christmas tree, Christmas cookies, sing holiday songs (we pass out lyrics), and do our own version of “Yankee Swap.”
It seems like anyone and everyone we know is invited, and people often bring guests. It’s actually borderline too much– we have so many people crammed into our little appartment that it is hard for people to find places to sit!
Anyway, one year an American grad school colleague of P’s invited his friend over for the party. P likes to play the guitar as a hobby, the colleague also plays the guitar, and his friend (Kieran) is a musician and thought it would be fun to have the trio of guitars for the carol singing. It was great, and we all had a good time.
We haven’t really seen Kieran since, but he departed for an extended trip to Nepal a while ago and facebooked P before leaving. He was bringing his cello for his musical work and wanted to find a safe place to keep his instrument while sightseeing around the country.
So this morning I got to work and P sent me a link to an article from Nepal News about a rafting accident that left one Dutch tourist dead. I didn’t really know where he was going with this. Then a few minutes later he sent me a link to the blog that Kieran is keeping to chronicle his journey in Nepal.
He was on that ill-fated rafting trip, and had been sitting next to the Dutch tourist on the raft when it capsized. I just wanted to share with you his post “Rafting on the Kali Gandaki… So Right, But So Wrong” because it was moving and sad and seemed the right thing to do.
Sometimes the world seems very small.