Himalayan Happiness

“Karpu” Photography by Amaya Engleking

Remember how after Tsewang and I wrote the bilingual love ballad with the first line being so intentionally cheesy because I only wanted to hear Karpu’s passionate ten year-old heart sing it, but his sister stated as a matter of fact, “No. He’s badly tuned.” And remember how after tea and before our long, bumpy cab ride to Swayambhu from the Nagarkot tower where Tsering Medo and Nima along with a couple dozen college kids hopped the barbed wire to stand on the gravity station to get the ghosts to come out, Joshua suggested to our party that we find a toilet. And Tsering asked with a naughty smile, “Little little or big and long?” Remember how on the sunny laundry day in Kathmandu, Karpu carried a bucket of water up the porch steps and tripped on the top stair spilling it all over himself, and his father Nima gave him a stern look as the boy looked stunned, then they both erupted into a contagious laughter. Remember the beautiful high-altitude face of joyful Tsering, illuminated by the egg-crate campfire, as five of her seven children along with some neighbors sang one Tibetan folk song after another. (Then a little over a year later I would be driving home from Gunnison and a bald eagle would soar directly over the car for several miles through the Lake Fork valley. I would wonder if it meant that Tsering was now in heaven, her body never found after her Langtang village was buried by a massive landslide in the 8.0 earthquake. There had been a time when I would have known absolutely the meaning of the great bird’s presence and would have right away thanked the Spirit for the revelation, but my faith would be shaken and I would wonder.) Remember how I longed to worship and then from the kitchen window while doing dishes after a Saturday breakfast, the songs of Hallelujah drifted in from ‘Mountain Child’ children’s home, the good family’s next-door neighbors. Remember how I loved you.

West “heart” face of Machapuchare, in Annapurna, Nepal Photography by Amaya Engleking


©2014, Amaya Engleking



  1. The buzzing Blogger · June 17, 2017

    Nice post

  2. DeanJean · June 18, 2017

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Tsering and Tsewang remind me of my neighbour’s kids, or anyone of their age. I hope Tsering is happy wherever she is now.

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