Nepal – 2001 – White water rapids on the Ganges

We were getting ready to go white water rafting on the Ganges.

Our local guide fitted us out in helmets and life jackets and gave us very good directions of what to do under most circumstances that might come our way. As we were standing in the water listening, three, naked, six or eight year olds came out with a large stick and jumped in the river and floated away smiling.

The water was a little low, but the ride was great. There were crocodiles lounging on the banks, but the children were safe. Our guide told us that the crocodiles only eat tourists. Thank goodness for the little children. Hey, wait a minute!

This is the conversation I imagined between the children and the mother. “Hey mom, were going out to play on the river.” “O.K. kids, be careful, watch out for the crocodiles, they can be dangerous.” “O.K. mom, we will. What’s for lunch?” “Don’t worry, just go.” “We’ll be back at lunch time.” “O.K. kids, have fun, watch out for those rapids near that turn in the river.” “O.K. mom, were not stupid you know. We’ll be careful.” Such is country life in Nepal.

I must say that I lived in the city and the country and my life was much the same. My parents were much too busy trying to make a living to keep up with me and my antics. They let me run free and wild. I survived and learned some important lessons.  Leave snakes alone, run from old men who looked suspicious and eat unknown things at your own risk, like green apricots. Perhaps luck was on my side, but I had a great childhood and I am a functioning adult. My wife may have another opinion, I might add.

Freedom does make one more independent and self sufficient. Think about the Russians when the Communist system began to fail and we heard on the news that some of the people wanted the old system back. They found it difficult when the state couldn’t help them with their daily needs. Look where we have gone to with all of our social programs. I say help all those that truly need it, and help the others to get back in on the riches that await them in a capitalistic market.