Bottom Billionaires

Street in KathmanduMy wife started reading a book called ‘The Bottom Billion’ while we got to Kathmandu. It’s about the poorest billion people in the world.

Nepal is included in this group of nations. With its dusty roads, electricity outs, curfews, gas shortages and sex trafficking, many would say “Nepal is in bad shape!” One of the traits of a bottom billion nation is that the country is often landlocked. Nepal’s neighbors are India and Tibet. India sells Nepal their gas and buys their hydroelectric power – They can pay more for it than the local Nepalis. Many of Nepal’s young girls and boys are tricked, er! I mean.. sold for sex. First stop on their journey, India. And then there’s Tibet. Hmmm! Not gonna get much help from those neighbors. Or? Can anybody correct me here?

Nepal used to be a monarchy for like,  forever. Only recently, this century I believe, did they cash that system in for a “democracy”. But they still don’t have a constitution. They’re supposed to be voting on their new constitution any day now, but they just extended the deadline. They’ve tried writing a constitution before but failed. A written document of beliefs can help steer a nation in a good direction.

All this bad news from this bottom billion member state, and yet, God created the Nepali people. They’re a wonderfully hospitable and friendly bunch of people. I like to think of Nepal as a sort of India in slow motion. It looks like India, but not entirely. It sounds like India, but you don’t need to use the earplugs quite as often. It smells like India, but not as strong. Yeah, Nepal is a special place.

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