Cries of venders in the streets,
Strange music in a foreign tongue,
The stench of car exhaust and garbage,
Familiar faces with happy smiles.

Towering mountains in the distance,
Dusty dirt trails,
Primitive villages,
Barefoot children with smiling faces.

Overworked women carrying dokos,
Men drinking tea in rundown huts,
Goats and chickens on the trail,
Beauty and mystery loom in the distance.

The smell of the cool air,
The warmth of the sun,
The peeping eyes of curious children,
Beauty and mystery loom in the distance.

Ancient beliefs and a deadly mountain,
Temples that have stood for a millennium,
Prayers wheels and bells,
Monks studying the teachings of Buddha.

Happiness in poverty,
An eagerness to learn,
Strong customs and traditions,
A proud people in an ancient mystical land.

This poem was written by a volunteer who worked at St. Devi’s Academy.