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A few weeks ago our first year class took a field trip to Kathmandu University and to Namo Buddha, a holy Buddhist pilgrimage site. They are both about two hours from Boudha. It was my first time to really see Nepal outside of Kathmandu. It is quite ugly and at the same time quite beautiful.
There is so much poverty but there is also so much beautiful landscape. We passed through so many different environments: small country towns, crowded markets, breathtaking countryside.
Kathmandu University is interesting because it is so small and modest but at the same time so ambitious, it really took a lot of struggle and work to get it to the modest capacity it is at now. The director gave us a talk and a tour and he seemed very enthusiastic about our program, and very genuine. He was educated partly in a monastery. After going to Kathmandu University we went to Namo Buddha, where there is a monastery and a stupa. It is supposedly the place where in a former life the Buddha came upon a starving tigress and her cubs, and, overwhelmed with compassion, offered his own body to her as food. Because she was too tired to eat him as he was, he cut open his veins so she could drink his blood, and thereby gain enough strength to bite into his body.
The ride up to Namo Buddha was on a very bad mountain road, climbing higher and higher, getting more and more remote until we finally reached it. The view from the side of the mountain on which it is located is spectacular. There are a couple shrines with statues of the Buddha-to-be and the tigress, and a stupa. It was all in all a very worthwhile trip, as we got to get out of Kathmandu and see a little of the rest of the valley.
~Paul from USA