Nepal, Inside the Jungle, Chitwan National Park

Sauraha, Nepal

Sauraha, Nepal

I’m sitting in a lush garden in Sauraha, at a restaurant that was open at 7AM. With wifi and espresso. This. Never. Happens. Here.

So I’m eating my fried eggs with yak cheese (locally made) in this stunning botanical landscape when I hear from one of the servers that rhinos show up here quite often.

We’re talking wild rhinos. Not the kind at Disney Land. In this garden.

The actual location of the photo above is a mere few feet from the edge of the jungle so elephants, tigers and rhinos often roam over that line.

It’s their home not ours.

I was instructed last night by a long time local who was born inside the jungle before it was a national park that if you’re chased by a rhino you have to run away zig zagging as they like to run in a straight line.

Important fact to know. 

Last time I was here I was almost crushed by a few elephants who were fighting. I don’t want to die on my vacation. Sometimes things are too exciting.

Here’s the link to the near crushing. On YouTube.

And more of the twin baby elephants that were born here the last time.

But the most fun thing to do is hang out with the villagers.

First visit to the village of Dharmpor in Nepal

First visit to the village of Dharmpor in Nepal

 

I was sure I didn’t hang out anymore but I discovered that this is what many people do here. Rest, relax, and don’t kill themselves working. This may be just for the men, the women sure look like they’re working non-stop.

We had an amazing day yesterday working on the land that is being developed for Beyond the Four Walls, which many of you know empowers women. Little do most people know, Wolf Price, the founder has been here in Nepal for 10 years and it really takes a team to get anything done. The fact that plumbing and electricity get installed at all is a huge undertaking. The workers don’t always know how to do it even when they say they do. So you have to know people and get help from others in your network.

This is not easy, it is similar to any business, where you have to cultivate a network of people who you really like and want to spend time with. To make your businesses evolve.

I’m learning tons, and yesterday I pulled rusty nails out of recycled bamboo to be used to build a fence, everything gets used here.

I’m also eating things I can’t identify but it sure tastes good.

If you want to know more about this social venture and donate check it out here.
www.b4wnepal.com

www.bartnikowski.com, Nepal, Chitwan Park

www.bartnikowski.com, Nepal, Chitwan Park

www.b4wnepal.com

www.b4wnepal.com

Remarkable Nepal

 

Nepal_bhaktapur_flowersSuddenly after 33 hours of plane travel I’ve arrived in the lap of the Himalayas, Kathmandu Valley.

I’m staying in Bhaktapur the most ancient place in the country surrounded by intricately carved wooden temples. One of the best parts?

Walking in the square buying flowers to do love offerings with all the other Hindus, at 6AM.

I love the people here. They are the kindest people I know. Their smiles come in spades.

Truth.

How to act like a local? Smile a lot and pretend you aren’t from half a world away. It usually works.

But I tried a different tactic on the pack of dogs outside my window rabble-rousing last night. I shouted from the 2nd story window where I sleep for them to cut their shit and shut up. They listened. The howling stopped.

This New York girl is not going to lose sleep.The temple bells start ringing 10 feet from my window at 5:30AM there is no sleeping after that.

But there is a cacophony of local color outside my pad at the Shiva Guesthouse, the oldest guesthouse in Bhaktapur where the management knows me and allows me to put my yogurt in the refrigerator with the Cokes for sale.

But don’t tell anyone.

Bhaktapur_www.bartnikowski.

Bhaktapur_www.bartnikowski.

After walking around Bhaktapur getting my “curd” which is yogurt, and there is no better curd made worldwide, you’ll drop your Greek Fage and never eat it again if you get to taste King Curd.

Pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top and that’s breakfast.

Yesterday and today will be helping out over at the women’s shelter, check it out here,

www.bartnikowski.com

www.bartnikowski.com

This lovely girl has been living at the shelter for a year. I met her in 2013, in her village, a 13-hour drive from Kathmandu. She was in a domestic abuse situation and is now free. I’ve never seen her happier. She’s going to school and helping at the shelter. She learns at lightening speed and I’m standing in her glow watching it all.

Wow, this is how to change lives, one person at a time.

$700 a year is all it takes to feed, educate, and house one girl in Nepal. This is what Beyond the Four Walls is doing now.

Do you want to come and stay with us?

You’ll have a Nepali immersion adventure and a low cost amazing place to stay.

Your small room fee pays for the costs associated with running Beyond the Four Walls, a foundation that empowers women, providing employment, housing, and education for women who want to change their lives after being abused and neglected.

Girls and women learn to make empowered choices and not fall prey to sex slavery and early marriage.

Wolf Price, Founder of Beyond the Four Walls

Wolf Price, Founder of Beyond the Four Walls

Yesterday we cleaned up rooms and got the kitchen in order for the cafe that will re-open soon. It’s a garden cafe at this location, before it was on a busy street so this new place will be more serene and provide smoothies, premium coffee, lasis, and hamburgers. Stop by and see us. It will be up and running after we get the water system fully installed.

Namaste!

Make a donation, no amount too small, even $10 helps. http://til.tt/8qrA

cleaning up and organizing at www.b4wnepal.com

cleaning up and organizing at www.b4wnepal.com

Secrets of Nepal

 

Is Nepal calling you? Now is the time to go.

Kathmandu Valley is brimming with UNESCO World Heritage sites and friendly Nepali people who offer their food and friendship to you every day.

You’ll walk on ancient cobblestone streets to stunning temples in the incredible Himalayan light that is guaranteed to knock your eyeballs into a new orbit.

Monasteries, sacred ceremonies, and women wearing gorgeous eye-popping dresses ignite your senses as you wake up hearing the tinkly sound of temple bells and catch the aroma of flowers in a cascade of offerings.

Puja in Bhaktapur  www.bartnikowski.com

www.bartnikowski.com

Many of you have asked me about going to Nepal. You’ll not get a better opportunity than now to see Nepal in all its mesmerizing beauty.

I’ve traveled in Nepal 4 times since 2006 and most of it was solo. It’s a rare gem of a country with a culture that won’t quit feeding you, sacred sites galore, and most impressive–the amazing and kind people I’ve met there.

Unlike what you hear in the media, Nepal has not been destroyed by the earthquake. I know this because my son Wolf Price lives in Nepal directing the social venture he founded, Beyond the Four Walls.

His foundation empowers women with education, shelter, and jobs, his love of Nepal ignited my love for it and now you’ll fall in love with it too.

We’ll be walking over there from the comfortable Peacock Guesthouse in Bhaktapur to talk with the women and if you like you can teach a skill of your own. You’ll never forget the experience, their affection is off the charts enchanting.

www.bartnikowski.com

www.bartnikowski.com

Best way to help Nepal is to go there and spend rupees giving directly to the locals who need it most. Unlike the big charities who have collected millions and not done anything.

All it takes is getting that plane ticket and saying Yes. And calling/emailing me to let me know you are coming.

We’ll have a customized itinerary based on what you want to do–options include:

Temples in Ancient Bhaktapur, Dream Garden in Kathmandu, Kopan Monastery, Namobuddha Monastery, and Chitwan UNESCO Heritage Park in the jungle.

Bhaktapur www.bartnikowski.com

Bhaktapur
www.bartnikowski.com

I’m inviting only 2 amazing participants to join me in Nepal, so let me know now.

Details for October or November 2016, dates are based on when we get the best flights.

Here is what you get:

14 Nights Accommodation and All Ground Transport in Private Car,

All Guidance of Photography, Yoga, and Meditation.

2 people in their own individual rooms $2500 each

2 people sharing one room $4400.

Call or email Mary

808-542-4566 Hawaii Standard Time (3 hours behind PST)

or email me

[email protected]

PS Who am I? I’ve led programs at Apple, Intel, Stanford, University of Hawaii and worldwide.

Nepal will steal your heart – guaranteed.

What People Are Saying About my Photo Safaris worldwide

www.bartnikowski.com

www.bartnikowski.com

 

10 Reasons I Love Nepal

Grandma in Inawura, Nepal

Discover the Secrets of Nepal in Vagabond Mag for your ipad click here

It is said that Nepal is the holiest place on earth. Why?

It’s the rooftop of the world, home of Mount Everest and the Annapurna Mountain range but what keeps me coming back is the people. The kindest people I know live there.

Nepal breaks my heart and makes me cry and laugh within the same minute. How?

Well my favorite Grandma in the world lives in the Terai in Inawura.

Grandma in Inawura, Nepal

She’s 90 years old but never complains. She has a lilting girlish voice that resonates with wisdom even though I don’t know what she’s saying because I haven’t learned Nepali but we understand each other.

One day we found ourselves alone with no others around and we were chatting after I made her a hot drink with peppermint and she would say what she wanted to say in Nepali. I would listen to her then I’d talk to her in English and she carefully listened to me. We understood each other but not so much with language.

My son who has stunned me with his generosity and beauty got me there. I’d never heard of this little town but I found myself flying domestic from Kathmandu to get there.

He discovered this village when his friend brought him here to meet his family and now they are my family too.

Wolf Price inspired American Apparell to make a tee shirt to sell globally to fund education and wifi for the girls who live here so they don’t have to get married as teenagers and live a life of servitude. He’s also making a documentary about it all. Find out more about him click here. You may want to donate to empower girls in Nepal and buy the cool tee-shirt.

wolfinterviewingladiesatEnd

I met many wonderful ladies and taught them yoga in the bamboo grove – they were courageous to try it out after saying they had aches and pains.

Yoga Class Teaching in bamboogrove22

It was a non-stop love fest from morning to night.

Mom would wake me up with chai every day. Her smile made me never want to leave.

And then…

I discovered the Sacred Places in Kathmandu Valley
If you want to invigorate your soul go to Namobuddha Monastery

Namobuddha Monastery in the morning
Then go to Bahktapur just outside of Kathmandu.

Bhaktapur on a Misty Morning 6AM

View from my $10 Room

Bhaktapur Stone StatuesWoman in Bhaktapur Doing Puja

Then go to Kopan Monastery on the edge of Kathmandu.

Kopan Garden

And You Will Fall In Love with Boudha below, the largest Buddhist stupa in the world.

Boudha in Nepal

Incense Infusers Boudha

Be Enchanted by Nepal, Learn All About it in Vagabond

Praying at BoudhaDance Recital Near Boudha

Wolf brought me to a dance recital he was shooting so I took some photos too. I loved the girls expressions and their enthusiasm.

If you have time, go to Lumbini where Buddha was born. He was not born in India as most people think he was born here in Nepal and you’ll be overjoyed to be in the sacred garden  –its far from Kathmandu and if you don’t hire a car you have to take a public bus. Or you could fly.

It’s worth it.

I didn’t feel this love struck after the 14-hour bus ride back from the village of Inawura to Kathmandu but have now realized that driving over rocky dirt roads on a night bus will not feed my sanity or give me easy access to a toilet so I will leave this pass-time to the youngsters who can stomach it as I noticed there were no other people on the bus over age 30.

Perhaps this is a sign.

So if you are going and want to do something other than trek check out the sacred places of Kathmandu, go to the jungle and play with elephants, or just stop and go meet some Nepali women, maybe you can come to the picnic next year on Women’s Day March 8– here is me on the bus to the picnic Wolf Price puts on for the ladies.

Going to the Womens Day Picnic my son Wolf puts on every year for the Ladies

We had a blast and my face hurt from laughing all day.

Women Laughing while their Friends are Playing a Game at the Picnic

Women Laughing while their Friends are Playing a Game at the Picnic

My favorite new friend who busted out some amazing moves while dancing right here.

womandancinggoodmark

Do you want to escape the USA? Or just take a break and feel free?

You can travel all the time on a low budget and a high level of fun and adventure. You can work while you travel so all your costs are covered. Find out how in Vagabond Travel Photography Mag for your ipad here

I’m in India now and am head over heels happy I photographed the Dalai Lama here in Dharamsala where he lives. If you want to see photos click here

If you like, Comment below or Write me at [email protected]

Remarkable Man Empowers Girls in Nepal

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I am astonished by what Wolf Price is doing in Nepal – after visiting (7 times in 7 Years) and teaching in this tiny, poor, and gorgeous country squeezed between China and India he decided to help the girls of this country get free with education, scholarships and computers. He has used his own money to do this and recently forged an alliance with American Apparel of the USA. Wolf and AA designed a beautiful t-shirt and 100% of the profit from the sales goes to girls in Nepal who are eager for education and will not be being forced into servitude or marriage having babies at 13 years of age. See Wolf’s movie  he made about the girls in Nepal here.

Kindly read Wolf’s letter here encouraging our generosity and kindness for the girls:

Dear Friends,
 
I first comprehended mortality at five. Overwhelmed, I sat down on a rolled up rug and cried. At first I was sad my parents would die, then I imagined the disabled and disadvantaged people of the world- my sympathy for that group outweighed the pain of mortality for my parents and myself- As I sat there in extreme turmoil, I vowed to alleviate as much suffering as possible in my lifetime and stood up in triumph with new found energy to do something significant for humanity in my lifetime-  That was 20 years ago.


I’m proud to announce I’ve finally created something that can bring widespread social impact to the world. After 12 months of intensive development I have reached the most critical stage in my life’s goal mentioned above. The Beyond the Four Walls Endowment Fund- to rapidly bring life changing education to 1000’s of gifted teen women in Nepal whose burning ambition is for educational and humanitarian revolution. “Within The Four Walls” documentary has partnered with an Executive Producer: Rainstorm Entertainment, based in Beverly Hills.
Beyond the Four Walls officially launched 2 weeks ago American Apparel Shirt 100%proceeds to Beyond The Four Walls endowment fund
My end goal is to grant $20,000,000 (1 million t-shirts sales) to the most talented and at risk women in Nepal, to demonstrate the global force they can represent if educated.

The next 3 months are unique and critical. I have to seek public support one last time for administrative and other development costs. Now is the time to have the highest possible impact from a charitable investment.

B4W is designed to be sustainable, measure impact, operate on low overhead, and transfer management to top participants within 3 years.

Please take a 10 minutes to help create a miracle this holiday season- at the end of 2012 or in the infancy of 2013.
This is the last time I’ll need to ask for personal tax deductible donations. I’m working carefully with veteran grant writers and philanthropists to be eligible for a multimillion dollar grants
for my 3 year global budget in 3-6 months.

Aside from direct contributions, thanks to our fundraising partnership with the American Apparel,
if we sell 1,500 Beyond the Four Walls shirts the 3 month start up budget will be covered. ($30k).

Watch this message from Prathi 2010– 18 years old, who was married and pregnant with her second child less than 2 years after this message was recorded.
This project is entirely dedicated to her and the millions of literate young women like her in developing world with no money for education being silenced from arranged marriage every year.Robert E. Levin, the award winning innovator and author of the best selling 1st biography of Bill Clinton, has become my executive advisor to accelerate talented and disadvantaged girls in Nepal.

57% of women in Nepal are married before the age of 18 (UNICEF). In rural Nepal, as many as 69.7% of girls marry before the age of 15.

 
“I believe that the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century”
“We see women and girls across the world who are oppressed and violated and demeaned and degraded and denied so much of what they are entitled to as our fellow human beings.”
-Hillary Clinton
I’m asking for your help to help to strategically spread the word during the final days of 2012. 2013 is going to be a successful year but we are still in a stage where $500 (minimum tax deductible amount) will make a significant long term impact.If you want this cause to be successful, consider forwarding this message or compose your own version. Otherwise the easiest way to help is to buy the official shirt of the movement- 100% of proceeds will be used for educating girls in Nepal. 2012 was the year of Malala Yousafzai, and therefore the perfect year to contribute to empowering literate young women in developing countries and breathe life into her generations rapidly disappearing relevance once married. The world will be a better place if we help this historic generation of women- the first to be educated in their families.
Official SHIRT: http://store.americanapparel.net/product/?productId=2011spf
Donation Page: http://www.beyondthefourwalls.org/p/donate.html    
New 2min intro video: http://youtu.be/pf9Xe4HdxAY
new web site: http://www.beyondthefourwalls.org

The time of the most marriages is January/February, I am determined to be in Nepal by January, to start sponsoring as much education as possible (with t-shirt funds) to rapidly strengthen my proof and infrastructure for major grants and high profile partnerships in 2013 and beyond.

Thank you- attention and action from this message is monumental for the cause.

Attached is an image of the shirt and a letter from Sarada, the original B4W student, who I’ve personally sponsored fee’s for computer school since March 2012.
Happy Holidays and conclusion to an amazing 2012.

Thank You,
Wolf Price

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