May 15, 2001

A few years ago , Kathmandu was a true paradise, the mythical "Shangri La" with perpetual balmy weather, luxuriant, sweet air, singing birds and, above all, beautiful people. The people are still beautiful, but the Kathmandu valley is totally trashed. I won't go into the catalog of ecological horrors that wreak havoc with the physical environs here, but today the air cleared and, for the first time (not because I haven't been up for it because I'm still up before dawn every day which is 5-ish) I thrilled to a sunrise over the Himals!!! The Kathmandu valley is situated further away from the Himals than Pokhara.I think I've met more angelic people here than most places I can remember. High on the list is Prem our driver on loan from USAID. Despite the worst traffic snarls imaginable, he is always at least 10 minutes early for every appointment, and we keep him out sometimes 12+ hours per day. I asked him about it and he responded, "I'm happy. I enjoy being with you all." Baha'u'llah has many quotes about the high station of those who are "content." So many Nepalese embody this quality!Not too much more to report on aside from the fact that, because of the time crunch we had to record in 3 separate studios today - scheduling problems. We couldn't get enough studio time in any one studio, so we'd do a couple hours here, pack up , move to the next studio, do a couple of hours and down the line. All of the personnel involved in this collaboration are like a dream come true in terms of talent, temperament, dedication, congeniality, etc. Even if Qatar Airways hadn't offered free travel here, thousands of dollars are being saved considering the US cost of assembling musicians, feeding them and paying for travel. Maybe tens of thousands! Economy aside, it's just plain GREAT!Only 3 more days left. Today we have a full schedule of recording plus a fireside tonight...willtry to fill you in later......if applicable....have a great feast of Grandeur this evening even if you can't celebrate it at the foot of the Himals!