NEPAL – Never Ending Peace And Love

Mdm B (as Maja was fondly referrred to by her close friends and associates) and I made this trip to Jomsom and Marpha in Nepal only once in the mid 2,000s and it was quite magical.

In winter, many men leave the town and go to Nepal as there is no heating there so they freeze. The women stay behind. Needless to say, Mdm B was NOT impressed by these men, to say the least.

Capturing the breathtakingly beautiful scenery on this trip, was left in the capable hands of Mr Li Yu Xiang – photographer extraordinaire – and we are happy to share a selection here with you. We think these photos are quite unique, as not all the trekkers were able to trek around that area, because of the weather issue.

Jomsom , also known as Dzong-Sampa or New Fort, is a town located at an altitude of about 2700 m in Mustang DistrictNepal. It extends over both the banks of the Kali Gandaki River. Along the banks of Kali Gandaki river there are rocks holy to the Hindus. The soaring peaks of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri form a backdrop.

A trail passes through the Lower Mustang region of Nepal, ending at the village of Kagbeni, a Tibetan influenced village filled with prayer wheels, chortens and a Buddhist monastery. The trail follows the Kali Gandaki River which forms the deepest ravine in the world; on one side lies the Annapurna mountain range and on the other side is Dhaulagiri. Between the two ranges, there are views of 8 of the 20 highest mountains in the world. The Kali Gandaki is a quarter of a mile wide river bed; during the winter the river will be dry, but during the summer and monsoon it fills with rain water and melting snow. The scenery of the trail ranges from forests of bright red rhododendrons to rocky cliffs and desert. The culture along the track is a rich mixture of Hindu and Tibetan Buddhism. The trail’s highest point is Muktinath at 3800 m, a holy site of temples sacred to both Buddhists and Hindus for centuries.

Flying to Jomson

At 2,800m, Jomsom Mountain Resort (JMR) is located upstream from the world’s deepest gorge between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. With a stupendous view of Nilgiri (7,061m) from every room and the Kali Gandaki flowing past, JMR is regarded as one of the world’s most exotic resorts. It is a 20min walk from the airport.

Jomsom Resort

Jomsom Resort 2

Trekking from Jomsom to Marpha

The Jomsom Trek is essentially the final third of the Annapurna Circuit. It follows the Kali Gandaki Valley between the soaring peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri and then emerges north of the main Himalayan range, on the dry, desert-like Tibetan plateau.

Jomsom to Marpha

Marpha, also called the Apple town or the Apple Capital, is famous for its apples and Apple Brandy.

Marpha

Last but not least, we enjoyed meeting with the Nepalese people and leave you with a collection of the many Faces of Nepal.

The faces of Nepal

We miss you, Mdm B!

Helena Liu

A Precious 26-Year Friendship

I met Maja in early 1990 when I first stepped foot on Chinese soil. She was introduced to me by her good friend, Al Wymann, who happened to be my then General Manager.

We remained friends through thick and thin, and with the onset of wechat/whatsapp connectivity, we joyfully communicated on a daily basis with the greatest of enthusiasm.

Maja was one of my most loyal friends and was the unofficial president of my fan-club! In her eyes, I could do no wrong, though that did not prevent her from offering honest opinions that were delivered in her serious, no-nonsense, straight-laced manner, which I found extremely endearing and delightful.

We exchanged and taught each other expressive gems in Slovak and Malay languages which reduced us to girlie-giggles (when Dominic was not within earshot)!

How I miss our daily wechat banter….but Maja or Mdm. B as we often called her, will always remain in my heart and mind, as though she were still here today. I still ‘hear’ her voice ringing in my ear, lovingly chiding me for a variety of things.

Happily, I was inspired to create a mixed-media artwork of us in a dreamlike setting, a few years ago. As her favourite flower was the gentle lotus, I entitled it Lotus Dream.  She sent me into fits of laughter when she observed with grave seriousness, that I had given her ‘botox lips’! But Maja treasured this artistic interpretation of our friendship and that gave me immense satisfaction.

In 2013 I wrote about this piece of work in my blog…to read it, please click here.

lotus-dream-lo-res

A mixed-media artwork by Veronica Ann Lee

Mdm B, we loved you then, and we always will. In remembrance of a wonderful lady, I light a candle for her.

candle-in-glass

Veronica Ann Lee

 

 

 

 

Remembering Maja: Lotus Love

Maja adored flowers of all varieties but her favourite was always the graceful lotus.

We remember her through her love of the lotus, combined with a poem by Gong Zi Zhen, a famous official of the Qing Dynasty.

Translated simply into English, the poem meaningfully reads:
The falling petals are not lifeless.
They turn back to earth to nurture and protect the flower’s roots.
lotus-love

A poem by Gong Zi Zhen, a famous Qing Dynasty official.

Dominic

Memory Lane

albert-pikes-quote

Maria Boyd began this blog in 2014 as a platform on which to record and share her memorable experiences during her 31 years in China. It is with deepest sorrow that her first hand reflections will not be coming forth anymore, as Maria lost a long and dignified battle with illness in mid-September 2016. Mercifully, her last few days were peaceful and painless.

Although Maria is now in a better place, her friends and colleagues will continue to relive golden moments of how she played such an impressionable role in their lives. For this, we will begin a new category of posts entitled “Memory Lane” dedicated to memories of Maria.

As readers of this blog will know, she was instrumental in making the return of the Milu to China a success 31 years ago. I remain astonished at how tirelessly Maria continued to work on various Milu-related projects on top of our own business activities.

Be it the Master Plan for the Hubei Shishou National Nature Reserve or preparation for the 2015 Milu Symposium, she kept the Milu at the forefront of her life over the past three decades. The long-term success of the Milu in China vividly testifies to her determination and dedication to the reintroduction.

Maria remained in China till the end as it had become ‘her’ country and as, in many ways, she was more Chinese than many Chinese people.

The American writer Albert Pike once wrote that “what we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; but what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”

In the same way, Maria will always be remembered for what she did for the Milu reintroduction and the influence she had on many of us.

It is this great legacy of hers that we continue to celebrate on this blog.

Dominic