Category Archives: 2017 – Nepal – Trip Log

That’s a Wrap!

Hello everyone,

This will be the last post in the Nepal 2017 trip log.  It was a wonderful adventure packed full of new discoveries, learning about Nepal and ourselves and we did some really good work we can all be proud of.

As promised, I have put all of my usable photos on the web at nepal.soggycity.com. It is organized by date and contains a lot of the photos that I was not able to post on the trip log due to network and space constraints.  I’ve done some post processing on the images so they might look a little better than they do in the log.  If you would like to print one please contact me (scott@bi-k.org) and I can get a better version to you.

I hope the rest of the summer is relaxing for you all.  We’ll be working on Nepal 2075!

Namaste.

Home!

Home!

After 30+ hours of travel we arrived at SeaTac and the team was dispersed to all the anxiously waiting parents.  If the Ambassadors are like Loretta and I, staying awake is a loosing battle.

The last group photo from the trip was taken in the Dubai airport just before we boarded the plane to Seattle.

Loretta and I would like to thank the parents of our Ambassadors for having faith in us as chaperones and BI-K as an organization and allowing their amazing kids to have this experience.  Also, to all of the people who donated money to the Ambassadors to allow them to go we are certain that your investment in them will pay great dividends in their future.  They are great kids young adults and they did great work!

We would also like to thank the hard working and dedicated volunteer BI-K Board members without whom this trip would not have been possible.

We would also like to thank the hard working people at GVI.  Unless you have been involved in putting together a program like this it is difficult to comprehend the planning and logistics involved in running the programs GVI does in Nepal.  They were always at least one step ahead, always planning contingencies and always thinking about safety.  Faydra, Brooklyn, Ollie, Cheryl, Liz, Tara, Bipin, Ishwar, and numerous other GVI staffers and contractors made this trip the success it was.  And they do this and other volunteer service work all over the world.  I suspect some of our Ambassadors will be volunteering again with GVI in the future.

Namaste!

-Scott and Loretta

Last Day in Nepal

Last Day in Nepal

Today was our last day in Nepal and we used it to go to some more historical sites in Kathmandu.  First, we went to Patan, one of three cities in the Kathmandu valley. They all run together but they all have ancient central cores. On the way there were more than a few cows.  This one seemed to be trying to use the crosswalk.

Patan has Durbar Square where there are (and were) some spectacular and very old temples.  Several of them were completely destroyed in the earthquake but they are being rebuilt using salvaged parts and new parts where necessary.

You see a lot of shrines and idols here and there and some of them are caked with colorful powder (like what they use for tikkas), flower pedals and other stuff. People who want to give gifts to the gods the idols represent throw this stuff on it.  Thus the caking. I am sure I am simplifying this or even total misrepresenting it – I will have to study up on it.

We went into one place that has been converted into a museum.  It featured a lot of the same elements that we saw in all the ancient cities – carved wood and stone, ornate doors and windows and shrines or water sources in courtyards. Bipin, our Napali guide, told us stories that the iconography was depicting.

In one courtyard there was a very ornate water source.  It was guarded by, among other things, a pair of dogs and a pair of snakes.

The museum featured a temporary show on human trafficking and exploitation.  It was very well done and was especially apropos after our visit to SESANE. The permanent exhibit detailed the very specific iconography found in Buddhist and Hindu sculpture.  It was very interesting and featured some artifacts that dated back more than 1500 years.

A very old Buddha.

Patan is a very old living city – there are people who live here.  One of the working water sources was adjacent to the museum and was being used like it was probably used for hundreds of years.  The only difference is the plastic water jugs.

In another palace, there was a very large courtyard that was being used as a workshop to rebuild the damaged or destroyed temples.  The shot below shows the drawing they were referencing and a newly carved portal.

Another interesting feature of the museum was that it was made with dry-stacked brick – no mortar.  You can see it in the walls of an external walkway around the main courtyard.

The construction was being overseen by some locals…

… and the existing guards that stood there for hundreds of years.

We had lunch on the roof of a place right next to the square.

Next we went to the Great Boudha Stupa.  On the way we saw something that was not uncommon: goats on the rood of a car.  We saw one goat on the roof of a car on the road to Kathmandu.  That goat was going to be a very good surfer.  We also saw some people trying to get three goats in to a taxi.  The taxis are generally very small (sub-sub-compact) cars and the back is one-goat only normally.  We didn’t get to see if they were successful in getting all three in the back.  I suspect some were put on the roof.

Since it was a Saturday, the Great Boudha Stupa was very busy.

It is 100 feet in diameter (not including the structure it stands on) and is more than 140 feet tall.  It is big.

It is surrounded by buildings that reminded Loretta and I of old cities in Italy like Sienna. There are all kinds of vendors and restaurants around the Stupa.  Like this spice shop:

We went back to the hotel to prepare for our departure and have one last meal in Nepal. Then it was off to the airport to catch an 11:00 pm flight to Dubai.  I am writing this from the Dubai airport where the temperature outside at 2:30 am was 102 F.  Hot!

Loretta managed to finagle some passes to the lounge where she, like many of the team have passed out.  We leave here at 9:35 on our direct flight to Seattle.  If all goes well the next update will be from SeaTac.

To browse all of my photos from this day go here.

Kathmandu and Bhaktapur

Kathmandu and Bhaktapur

Today we set out to visit the ancient city of Bhaktapur.  We had a 10 minute walk to catch our private bus (the hotel is located on a street that is not wide enough for the bus) through the bustle of Kathmandu.  This city is very different from Pokhara!

We got to see some of Kathmandu’s traffic.  The first photo shows something that happens less here but was common in Pokhara – a cow in the road.  Cows have the right of way and the consequences of hitting a cow are more sever than hitting a human. This cow wanted to lay down in the middle of a busy city street and that is just fine with everyone.

Once around the cow we had to get through the traffic.

It looks crazy…

There are approximately 1 million motor cycles or scooters in the city. We saw many of them.

There is a mixture of people, cars, bikes, motorcycles and scooters and trash.

Most of it moving very slowly.

All waiting their turn and it is often not clear where the “go” command is coming from.

There are traffic police but they don’t appear to have a lot of impact. This poor guy doesn’t seem to have a chance.

As crazy as it is, we haven’t seen any accidents or signs of accidents.  For some reason, it just all works.

We passed a river that 10 years ago, was used for a number of activities like washing, bathing, etc.  In that time it was filled with trash which essentially destroyed it’s usefulness.

Lately, there has been a push to restore it.  There was a lot of work going on supported by the government and the populace has gotten involved, too.  On the weekend they turn out by the thousands to help clean up the rivers.  Hopefully we will see some that tomorrow.

About an hour later we got to Bhaktapur.  A short walk from the stopping point took us back five centuries and into a living museum.  This is where a lot of the most severe earthquake damage occurred back on April 25th, 2015. It is a World Heritage Site and features lots of temples, shrines, palaces and narrow streets that still house shops, restaurants and people’s homes. It is a really unique place.

A watering hole (my term) where people used to get water. This one is no longer in use.

We had a really great guide named Bipin who is a Nepali and is very knowledgeable about Kathmandu, Hinduism, Buddhism and the sights and stories around Kathmandu.  He lead us around on the first day we arrived and went to the Monkey Temple.  He told us lots of great stories.

The ramp in the center of this staircase is for motorcycles. The bricks are all worn down from years of use.

A building heavily damaged by the quake.

Below are some of the remains of temples that were destroyed.  They are still guarded by stone animals and will be rebuilt.

We walked down some narrow streets towards the tallest temple in Nepal.

This temple has survived several major earthquakes.  It is guarded by the normal set of animals as well as two wrestlers who were Indian.

The wrestlers are supposed to be as strong as ten men.  They are certainly bigger.

The team went up to the first level of the temple where there was a goat (a “living sacrifice”). They all took pictures of me down in the square.

Some very narrow streets later we were in a square famous for pottery.

We also went to a school where they teach people how to paint traditional religious paintings.

After that we went to lunch in the top of a temple as old as the big one.

After lunch we had some free time in the old city.  As we were supposed to meet it started raining and we all got wet walking back to the bus.  Back to the hotel and then dinner rounded out the day.  I have a bunch of photos I would like to share but the internet connection at the hotel is dodgy (another nod to the Brits in the group) and it is taking hours to upload photos.  I will try to update this post when I get a more solid connection.

That might be on Bainbridge – tomorrow night we start our journey home.  More sight seeing is scheduled for tomorrow.  The next update might come from Dubai.  We’ll let you know how it is going when we can.

To browse all of my photos from this day go here.

Return to Kathmandu

Return to Kathmandu

This morning Pokhara was mostly sunny, hot and humid.  We had our last breakfast at Hotel Crown, said goodbye to Sushila, Faydra ,Tara and Bruno, boarded our private bus and headed East towards Kathmandu.  On the way out we got to see parts of Pokhara that we didn’t get to see before.  It is a big bustling city (second largest in Nepal – Kathmandu is number one) with traffic that is at once chaotic and efficient.  It is a wonder to behold.

Driving through Pokhara.

Soon we were out in the countryside which was beautiful with lush green rice fields, mountains all around and a lot of interesting things going by not very fast.  Not fast because the main road between Pokhara and Kathmandu is a two lane affair at best, mostly but not always paved, mostly rough, and busy.  Below is a typical scene where the center line is either not there or if it is, is treated like it isn’t.

This is pretty scary until you see it in action and it starts to make sense after a while. While we were in the mountains it was common to have big buses pass us, we passed trucks and buses, motorcycles were in and out and I have yet to see a crash of any kind.  Part of it is that we are not moving very fast – the road just doesn’t allow it. It is the same in the cities – everyone just seems to know when and where to go.

A couple of hours in we got a flat tire.  The driver and his assistant immediately started to change the wheel for the spare.

We got out to take a team photo in front of some scenery along the way.

We also saw lots of people working in the rice paddies.

And beautiful vistas with sharp V-shaped valleys and rivers flowing fast with monsoon rain water.

One very striking thing about Nepal is that they don’t control litter or trash in any way.  There is rubbish (Brook’s British influence again) everywhere.  Below is a common scene in the little villages and the cities.  Piles of trash everywhere.

The people for the most part are extremely poor and their infrastructure is struggling to keep up with growth.  This includes trash services that we take for granted.  Many rural villages simply have nowhere to put trash – there is no garbage service available.  This is a big problem in Nepal.

After 7 hours or so we came to the Kathmandu valley.

The road leading into Kathmandu is under construction and the dust is thick.

The dust settled down after a while and we could see that we were in the middle of a big city with lots of people.

We are in the same hotel that we stayed in on the day that we arrived.  For Nepal standards it is pretty plush.  We even have air conditioning.  We might actually dry out a little!  We are in a part of the city that is not very dusty, too.  So if (when) it rains it is not likely to be very muddy.  The street in front of the hotel is no longer all torn up like it was when we were here almost three weeks ago.

After a good meal at a local restaurant the team is back in the hotel and should be in their rooms as I write this (Brook is making a room check to make sure).  Loretta has already passed out.  It should be a good night for sleeping.

Breakfast is at 9 and we leave for some sight seeing at 9:45.

Some stats on our trip today: 129 total miles in just over 7 hours of actual driving, 9 hours total trip time.  That works out to an average speed of 18.4 miles per hour.  We managed to get up to 46 miles per hour once for a very short period of time. Our driver was really amazing and worked hard the whole time.

To browse all of my photos from the day go here.

Service Day Seven – Blue

Service Day Seven – Blue

Today was our last day at the school and in Pokhara.  I thought I would show you around the school a bit.  The school is at the top of a hill overlooking most of the village of Pame.  To get there you climb up some stone steps that they are fond of building seemingly everywhere.

Not ADA compliant.

The gate for the school.

For reference, here is a shot of Classroom 3.  The benches are where the students sit, the bigger one is their desk.  Almost all of them are wobbly.  We wanted to fix them but didn’t have the time or the necessary tools and materials.  GVI hopes to get them fixed at some point.

The locals have all been very supportive and interested in what we are doing.  I met this gentleman today.  He was very concerned that we were not able to get into the school right away.  He lives a little ways away behind the school.

Kalu Basdur of Pame, Nepal.

The neighbors in the front of the school were also very interested in what we were doing and very supportive.  They often came over to help us or watch us work.  We got them interested in cutting the grass in the yard.  This is the grandmother of the family cutting the tall grass with small sickle-like knife.  She had obviously done this sort of thing before, probably with rice.

The gate was locked when we arrived, which was normal.  The man who was the caretaker (or at least who had the keys) was not there but the headmaster was.  He had a hard time opening the gate but eventually made it work.

There are two sets of “bathrooms” at the school.  Basically, they consist of squat toilets or walls instead of urinals.  One set right at the front gate and another at the other end of the school down some steps.  Outside of each was a sink.  This one has no drain.  It also didn’t have any water on the last day.

Next to the sink shown above, is a typical water source that you can find all over the places that we went to.  They consist of a concrete post with a pipe coming out of it and a faucet.  Under the faucet is either a drain or a concrete tub that is normally about 4 or 5 inches deep.  This one has a drain.  It likely just drains out of the wall on the far side into the corn/rice/potato field below.  You can see three hoses (one attached) that lead away from the faucet.  These lead into private homes.  This is very common.  It seems like water is a community property and anyone within range is allowed to tap in.

Here is the section of the school that we are working on – classrooms 1 and 2.  Note our two buckets of paint on the grass (blue and white) and all of our other tools and equipment.  Also note that Toby, the dog, is on guard.

This is our row of day packs.  They contain water, and other essentials for the day for each of us.  Toby at the far end.

Here is the crew before work starts for the day.  The white looks really good.  The blue goes on today.

Shots of the team working to apply the blue.  We got a really nice crisp line between the blue and the white.  Everyone worked really hard to make the classrooms look clean and inviting.

   

Everyone drank a lot of water while in Nepal.  It is hot and humid by our standards on Bainbridge.  Today was relatively cool which was nice.  Toby makes sure our bags are safe.

Here is the team after completing the painting.  The rooms looked great!

After we were done and ready to go, the Headmaster, a teacher at the school and the head of the local municipality board (maybe like the mayor – it wasn’t exactly clear) asked us to meet them in the school’s office and computer lab (the only room with electricity).  We were being sent to the principal’s office.

Once there, they gave us a scarf, a tikka, and some flowers.  The Headmaster told us that he was very happy for the work we had done and that he hoped that we would always remember the little school in Pame, Nepal.  Also, any time that we are back in town we are to come and visit.  I don’t think we will forget.

The Headmster, the teacher, the team and the Mayer (maybe).

This is our last night in Pokhara.  Faydra is not going with us to Kathmandu because she is preparing for her next group which arrives on the weekend.  Brook and two other GVI staff will accompany us in our private bus to Kathmandu tomorrow.  We went out to a nice restaurant where they had traditional Nepali music and dancing.  It was a really nice way to end an unbelievable visit.

To browse all of my photos from this day go here.

Service Day Six – White!

Service Day Six – White!

Today it was overcast and it drizzled a little here and there but it was good for working: not too hot. The lack of rain overnight (it only poured buckets for an hour or two) meant that the road was passable (almost dry) so we were able to get back to the school without much fuss to continue painting in the two classrooms.

We painted the rooms with two coats of white.  They really look great – so much better than they were before.  There are 6 rooms in total and we are doing the first two.  GVI will try to get them all done by the end of the summer with other groups that are coming in after us.

The school is located on the top of a hill that overlooks the little village and the valley that feeds Phewa (or Fewa) Lake.

Looking out over the valley from the school.

The playground has two pieces of equipment – a slide that has some sharp broken metal pieces, and a swing that also has a rotten metal support.  We are going to get those fixed up and painted.  Unfortunately, not in time for us to see.  GVI promised to get us photos.

Looking out of the school’s gate.

Pame from the school’s gate.

When GVI first came to Pame to work on a school (another private school – not “our” government school) they found a dog that had a big chunk bitten out of it’s side (likely attacked by a tiger – there are wild tigers here!).  The dog, like many, many dogs we see around here is not really owned by anyone.  They seem to live in villages and get fed by people but they also seem to wander between villages.  We were accompanied by several dogs during our trek and they stayed with us for miles or even days. It is a very foreign system to us.

Anyway, the GVI folks decided they couldn’t just let this dog suffer and likely die from the wound so they got him fixed up.  He still lives in Pame and he shows up and stays with GVI groups while they are in town.  They named him Toby.  This is Toby hanging out while we had lunch.

The people at the “restaurant” where we ate fed him, too.

This evening we had dinner with the next group of volunteers that will be working with GVI.  They are an AFS group from all over the US.  We were told not to scare them with stories about the trek because they were going to do the same one next week.

Tomorrow is our last day in Pokhara and working at the school.

To browse all of my photos from this day go here.

Service Day Five – Prime

Service Day Five – Prime

Just outside of Pame looking East-Southeast towards Pokhara and Phewa Lake

Today started a little like yesterday ended: with rain.  It was light in the morning so we ventured out to Pame to work on the school.  The team is very anxious that they will not have enough time to finish the work they started.  Also, it was my first trip out there because of my knee.  The trip was uneventful until we were about 200 yards from Pame and the road was flooded.

The water wasn’t moving but it was too deep for the van we were riding in.  Some brave people went across successfully like this guy on a motorcycle.  He was not the only one.

I asked Chandler what he thought about being blocked from the project. He was not happy about it.

The local buses have to deal with this all the time and they are purposefully built with very high clearance.  This one came by and gave us the idea that we could just catch the next one going towards Pame.

We grabbed all of our stuff and loaded onto the next bus and we got across.  It cost 10 NPR or about $.10 each and saved the day.  Our van and driver parked nearby and waited for our return.

Once in Pame we were a short walk from the school.  A flatbed truck went by with a very large backhoe on it.  Sitting on top of the backhoe was a guy with a bamboo rod.  His job was to keep the MANY wires crossing the road from snagging on the backhoe.

He was not successful.  A wire got snagged and was broken.  The locals were not amused.

While they contemplated what to do, we considered that there might be a live wire between us and the school.  The truck blocked most of the road.

We squeezed past so we could get to work.  It turns out the cable was coax (TV) so there was no danger.  Maybe.  I would not be surprised to learn that there was power on coax cable.

Past that, we were a short walk to the school.  the last obstacle was an errant water buffalo that was running for freedom.  A boy was trying to a) keep up with the buffalo, and b) get it to turn around.  I’m not sure why it gave up when it did.  Perhaps it was the big white guy taking pictures that spooked it.

A boy and his buff.

Finally we got to the school and started working.  After some quick cleaning the team was hard at work coating the walls of both classrooms with primer.

Taylor and Brook

Loretta enjoyed doing some yard work.  (She did!)

After spreading 5 gallons of primer on the two rooms, more or less on the walls, the team cleaned up the space and headed back to the van.  Unfortunately, while the water had receded some, it was not enough to allow the van to get to Pame.  So, we waited for the next bus.  It didn’t take long before it could be seen making its way to Pame from the West.

Yes, it is on the road.

We loaded up in the bus which was playing some loud local music.  It was very festive and was probably the most fun bus ride I have ever had even though it was only about 5 minutes.

 

About to cross the water.

Safely across the water we got off the bus and it went on it’s way.

We got in our van and headed back to the Hotel Crown.  It was a very interesting day.

As I write this, the team is out on the deck enjoying the rain.  I am either used to the heat and humidity or it is less hot and humid tonight than it has been since we got here.  It is quite a nice evening.  Tomorrow, we will try to go back to the school to paint the first color in each room.  Fingers crossed that we can get across the water tomorrow.  There is supposed to be a transit strike and we don’t know if the local buses will be running.

To browse all of my photos from this day go here.

Sunday in Pokhara

Sunday in Pokhara

Sunday, another day off from the work at the school and another day to take in the local sights and culture.  It rained very hard overnight and there was a pretty good thunderstorm at about 2 am.  The morning featured a strong mizzle but it didn’t dampen our plans.

Hotel Crown is run by a lovely woman (I fear the British is wearing off on me a little) named Sushila who works very hard to make sure we have what we need.  She employs several very hard working young women who always seem to be cleaning or working on something.  She is married but, like many Nepali men, her husband is out of the country earning money.  He is in Colorado working construction jobs and she thinks he may return in two or three years.  She does talk to him daily but she misses him.

Sushila and her crew makes our breakfast, does our laundry and worries about my knee.

She also has what we think might be the only pug in Nepal.  Certainly we have never seen another one even though we have seen many, many dogs.  Bruno is his name and he is a brave protector of the hotel and us.

Bruno, the watch-pug.

Sushila and Bruno.

Our first stop was the Tal Barahi Temple, a Hindu temple located on a tiny island in the lake.  Tal is “lake”, Barahi is a god. Transportation to and from the island is via pontoon boats (actually two canoes with a platform tied to it) that have benches for 12 and a roof.  One person paddles the boat the 200 yards or so to the island.  It was not unlike the commute to Seattle except that everything is different. Part if the process is that we all had to have life vests.

Looking through the gloom towards the shore where the boats depart for the island.

Looking towards the island where the temple is.

On the island there are a couple of buildings that provide some cover, a few stalls for vendors and the temple itself which is quite small.

Looking towards the temple.

There was a place to watch fish. Apparently, there were a lot of fish to watch.

The temple is very small and only a few people can be inside at one time.  There were a lot of locals there who came to give offerings and be blessed by the priest. The team also went in to get a blessing and a tikka, a red mark on the forehead along with some flowers sprinkled on their heads.

Locals with offerings.

Waiting to enter the temple.

Team with tikkas.

The temple is surrounded by bells.  You are supposed to walk around the temple (clockwise only) and ring the bells for good luck.

Some more offerings.

The next photo is of our “driver” pulling us away from the island.  Tara is the gentleman seated on the left.  He is responsible for all of our outside activities and logistics.  He set us up with the wonderful guides, assistant guides and porters for the trek, all of our transportation to and from the project school and sightseeing activities.  He came with us on this trip to make sure everything went well and answered all of our questions about what was what and why.

In the early afternoon we went to a place called SASANI (an acronym for Samrakshak Samuha Nepal) which is a place that tries to teach life skills and otherwise support women who have been rescued from human trafficking. The place we went to houses 6 – 8 women where they learn to operate a business or become a paralegal.  They offer a program where individuals or groups can learn to make momos, have a lunch of dal bhat and learn about their mission. They also sell bracelets made by the women, a book called “Sold” about one women’s story of being sold into human trafficking, and cookbooks.

The highlight, other than learning about their programs and work they are doing was making momos.  Momos are essentially the Nepali version of a pot sticker – a dough wrapper around some kind of stuffing.  We made them from scratch.

Loretta mixed the dough – flour and water – by hand:

While everyone else chopped the onions, scallions, cabbage, and carrots.

Next they squeezed all the water out of the cabbage and carrots.

And everything was mixed together.

Next a little ball of dough is flattened onto a round circle.  There are several different shapes that momos come in.  We were looking for flower shaped momos.

Once the round dough was ready and there was some filling dropped in the middle it was time to fold it up.

This seemed easy when they showed us how to do it but it took a lot of effort.

Some retraining was necessary…

More effort…

Which resulted in variable levels of success:

When they were done, they all went into two large steamer trays to be steamed.

We got to eat the finished product and they were quite good.

In the evening we decided to go to Godfather’s Pizza to have dinner.  The rain started coming down in buckets like it does here so we all got soaked on the half-block return to the hotel.  It continues to rain in buckets.  Hopefully it will slow down so we can get to the project tomorrow.  There are two classrooms that need painting.

To browse all of my photos from this day go here.

Saturday in Pokhara

Saturday in Pokhara

It was Saturday so the team had the day off from the project and got a chance to see some sights in and around Pokhara.  The weather was clear, hot and humid.  First up was the Peace Pagoda which we can see from the hotel. It was built by a Japanese Buddhist monk and is one of more than 80 built in countries all over the world.  This one has a commanding view of Pokhara.

The team in front of the Peace Pagoda. Slightly leaning left due to my knee (that’s my excuse).

Next we went to Devis Falls which is also called Davis Falls depending on where you are looking.  It is one of several outlets of the lake and is a very narrow (about 30 feet across) cut through some rock.  All of the monsoon rain makes it quite active.  It is easy to see the water rushing into the channel but there wasn’t anyway to see the falls themselves or the bottom.

The narrow channel. The bottom is down there somewhere.

This is a big tourist attraction with some interesting activities besides just looking at the falls.  Like some photo opps:

Proof that this is a land of shorter people.

After a lunch stop we went to the longest foot bridge in Pokhara.  It was long and high up from the bottom of a river gorge.  Most of the team loved it.  Some were not very happy with the height or the bridge but all of us got across and back again.

The team and the bridge. We started on the other side.

The gorge it crosses.

The locals use it to get from a village to greater Pokhara, previously cut off by the river.

Not a solid deck.

The girls at the midway point.

Loretta (with death-grip) talks to Chandler (nonchalant) talk about another foot bridge in the distance.

This is Brooklyn (L) or Brook and Faydra who are our GVI group leaders.

Clay was very nervous about the bridge but he faced his fear and went across (twice – he had to come back).

Tomorrow we have more interesting stuff to see and experience.

To browse all of my photos from this day go here.