Interviews and Arts Precinct Patan, Kathmandu – 21 April, 2017

Eva Sifis

I interviewed 5 remarkable women at the org 7 Women today and spent the rest of the day in a haze of fatigue and exhaustion. Concentrating and showing up in front of those I don’t know drains me faster than a faucet.
The sense of belonging derived from connection to this organisation, here in a place where women are not valued, is a gift duly treasured by each of the ladies I spoke with.
Hearing tales of cruelty shared with calm stoicism proved to me the value of the community offered by 7 Women. A harbour is given where these ladies can embark on a new life coloured by hope.
Tomorrow I will attend a cooking class to share space, laughs and a meal with my newest friends.
After a rest, we stepped in to a taxi, the Arts Precinct of Kathmandu, Patan, once a different kingdom, the destination. The driver posed what seemed to be an inflated figure at us and when we enquired, he explained it was peak hour. My, was it peak hour! At times we stood at a stand still for minutes as small cars, dumpster lorries, water tankers, motor bikes and scooters jostled politely, never with anger, for thoroughfare. The streets are ridiculously narrow and in rough condition. We stared about us, eyes like saucers, hands gripping on to the door handles, as we were passed at times with millimeters to spare. We gratefully paid our fare with many compliments loaded atop and stood for a while as our hearts slowed.
With the sun setting unseen behind a fug of smog, we hired a guide who speedily took us through the highlights of this particular Durva Square (there are 3 according to the different kingdoms).
This one thankfully escaped much of the quake damage suffered by the others as it been recognised as World Heritage after the 1934 quake and many of it’s buildings had been fortified in their rebuilding. It was a rare treat to walk into virtually pristine courtyards almost devoid of others to take unobstructed photographs.
At the tour’s end, a healer demonstrated to us the power latent in what are called ‘Healing Bowls’. As opposed to the mass produced ‘singing bowls’, it takes 3 days to make one of these from 7 different types of metal. Indeed, the reverberations felt from a strike on its rim echoed throughout my body (and chakras!).
Walking away still buzzing, I carried my souvenir for this trip.
You simply must experience this.