Nepal is among the most impoverished nations in the world, but you wouldn't suspect it when seeing the smiles and open faces of its women and girls. Most travelers are drawn here because of the magnificent Himalayas, yet the people are even more majestic.
I've been fortunate enough to have traveled to Nepal several times, spending altogether five months in the country. Sometimes alone and sometimes with my life-companion, I've stayed nights in both cheap and luxury hotels in Kathmandu, in simple lodges in smaller towns or villages, once rented a primitive house near Pokhara for a month, and went trekking through the amazingly beautiful mountains on sometimes dangerous paths and, of course, without guides or porters.
Unpaved roads everywhere. In the background the majestic Himalayas. South of Kathmandu.
Every time on returning home, either films or memory chips were filled with images, and among them I always found a great number of portraits depicting open faces, wide smiles, honest eyes ... beauty young and old.
Knowing that all of the women I've photographed lived in what we regard as as very poor and 'miserable' circumstances makes it all the more surprising -- or does it?
I want to 'share' these images with you, and without much comment. Have your own thoughts when you view them, hopefully taking a bit of time when you do so.
By the way, there's not a single image here where the photographed person was not asked for permission and gave it; not even the two older ladies who look less happy than the rest.
Street-view (without Google) of women and girls. Kathmandu
Having seen all of this, and being high up in the Himalayas, sometimes above the clouds, it often truly feels as if you're in a different world, at the end of the world ... or the universe. The restaurant in the picture below really exists, and they took their clue from Douglas Adams (1952 – 2001) and his book by that name.