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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Longing for some fresh air after watching one too many cartoon movies on a perfectly sunny afternoon, we decided to take the kids on a field trip to The Garden of Dreams. This beautifully manicured garden with benches and goldfish ponds, flower gardens and trees, terraces and high walls, makes it possible to escape the noise of the City while providing a relaxing atmosphere and many peaceful shady spots for people to come and relax and read a good book. It also happens to be the only significant patch of grass I have seen in Kathmandu so far.

Much to the dismay, i'm sure, of those seeking just such a quiet spot on Wednesday afternoon, we unleashed 13 kids into this 'playground' of sorts.

The cylindrical pillows and cushions layed out in the grassy areas for resting on became weapons for sword fighting and logs for rolling down hills. The outer benches of the picture perfect white gazebo became a platform from which to jump into the 'wrestling pit' below and the goldfish became pawns for the amusement of children as they narrowly escaped their clutches.

I'm sure you can imagine how these elephant statues (aka climbing structures) and pretty much every other lawn ornament or fixture for that matter, became jungle gyms and acrobatic training obstacles.

The peaceful moat waters became the scene of many a shipwreck as many small hands claimed ownership of a single vessel and flowers became bouquets as they were plucked from their stems despite the false sense of security the rules forbidding this provided them.

And then there was the swing. The swing was adorable, supported by four equidistant bamboo poles gathered together at the top, teepee style. The swing itself was made from bamboo chutes, strung together and it hung at the bottom of two thick ropes. It was set in its own peaceful little area, almost decoratively. To be honest, at first I didn't think it was actually to be used as a swing but instead that it was there simply to provide some ambience. I was proved wrong.

Over and over again the kids lined up to experience the ultimate in underducks. Chants requesting "Higher, higher" would quickly turn to screams of "Stop, too high!". The turn would be over all too soon and they would jump off and rejoin the line for "More, more!".

Remember how much fun it is to swing? The faces in these photos helped remind me. Most are smiling, but I think some are showing sure signs of fear....

Our camera changed hands all afternoon while budding photographers captured the magic. They did a great job and I can honestly say that from the fish to the flowers, I have a picture of each and every living thing in the Garden of Dreams!

While I did notice that a few people relocated upon our arrival, and a few gave us raised eyebrows over the tops of their books, there were a few parents trying to entertain toddlers without disturbing the peace who actually looked quite relieved that we had replaced them as the noisy ones. It was our pleasure.

Though we were skeptical at first and a little nervous about getting tossed out, there was room for everyone at this 'playground' afterall, those that wanted peace and those that wanted to play. (And, we managed to leave without having been asked to or being escorted out to boot).

1 comment:

  1. Equidistant??? You used this word, Nic, in writing that wasn't for a prof to read! Ha ha! I gotta make fun of ya a little bit, but if the truth be known, I had to use the word "prof" because I couldn't even spell the whole word....I miss ya!

    Sounds like you guys had a blast with the kids! Isn't it awesome the perspective they bring to things, like elephant statures and flowers that are prohibited to be picked??? LOVE IT!!!!