Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Remembering Andy Manley

Anne Eichmeyer approached me a number of years back and sheepishly asked  if we could dedicate the upcoming solar school to the memory of her departed friend Andy Manley.  Andy had recently died in a house explosion.

I said that of course we could.  Andy's ashes are part of the school in Uganda, and the front wall of the school bears the "School for Andy" logo

Since then, Andy has become an integral part of everything Meaningful Volunteer is trying to achieve.

Heading to the Peace Pagoda.
It was with great honour then that I joined with Andy's sister Patti on a pilgrimage of sorts to remember Andy.

The Manley family decided that some of Andy's ashes be scattered at the Peace Pagoda in Pokhara.  The team decided to go the long way around and we began the two hour trek to the pagoda.

The trek wound its way around Phewa Lake, past some paddy fields, and then wound up the side of the mountain.

We got lost several times.  The directions we had weren't good: "Turn left at the paddy fields".  Err, you mean left away from the mountain?  And which paddy field?  There are dozens of them.

We bumped into a couple if local lads who got us back on track.  I'm not sure how we would have got up there if it wasn't for those two.  The $2 tip we gave them was well deserved.

Peace Pagoda
The Peace Pagoda was gorgeous.  Patti found a nice spot and we all cast Andy's ashes into the wind.

I don't mind admitting that I got a little teary eyed.

Partly because I've felt as I have gotten to know Andy more and more by talking to his friends and family.  He seems like such a nice guy whose company I would have enjoyed.  All of a sudden, his death seemed very real.

I was also teary eyed because I thought of family back in Canada. Each one of them is precious to me.  The thought of losing any one of them to tragedy would be too much to bear.

This is the spot where Andy's ashes were scattered

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