LALITPUR, Nepal — With its drab shop fronts and wires hanging dangerously off electric poles, the town of Lalitpur, an extension of the Nepalese capital of Katmandu, would seem to have little going for it, aesthetically speaking. But down Kupondole Road, just off the main drag of Lalitpur, is a riot of color. About 20 street paintings cover the walls and buildings for a one-mile, or 1.6-kilometer, stretch. One shows a Buddha-like figure listening to headphones; another depicts the Himalayas bathed in turquoise and mustard yellow. Read more
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KOTH GAUN, Nepal — It is not the easiest of villages to find: Up a narrow dirt road full of hairpin turns, which turns into an even narrower walking path, there are severe drop-offs on one side, with sweeping views of the Katmandu Valley and hilly farmland on the other. Another steep rocky dirt path to the right of the water pump finally leads to this tiny hamlet of Koth Gaun.
Though there is electricity, the toilets are outside and the furniture in the homes consists of straw mats and bamboo stools; goats, chickens and a few cats share the living space. These are not auspicious living conditions for scholars, but this is the place Jeny Shrestha and Jayanta Tamang call home. Read more