Aama in America. A Pilgrimage of the Heart by Broughton Coburn

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By Broughton Coburn

Vishnu Maya, referred to as Aama (Mother) by means of all people in her tiny Nepalese village, used to be residing excessive within the Himalayas while she befriended American Peace Corps employee Broughton Coburn in 1974. In 1988, Aama came visiting him--on a visit prescribed through village clergymen as a manner for the eighty-four-year-old, four-foot-eight girl to earn benefit by means of creating a tricky trip past due in lifestyles.
Aama in Americais a bright chronicle of what turned a twenty-five-state, coast-to-coast event. Guided via the perpetual interest and deeply religious orientation in their creative, unpredictable shuttle spouse, Coburn and his fiancée progressively started to view their kingdom from a completely new viewpoint. "Beneath the uniform, advertisement, man-made pores and skin of our country," Coburn writes, "Aama stumbled on a tradition and panorama that used to be alive and sacred, and he or she instructed us towards it."
Aama in the US is on one point an offbeat American travelogue. yet on one other it's a profound...

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Before Didi and I left, Aama and Sun Maya discussed the future. The cow wasn’t giving milk and would fetch a poor price, but Sun Maya should try to sell it anyway, Aama said, in order to pay off her debt to another relative, the village moneylender. “With all the energy and work we put into them, the cattle and water buffalos seem to benefit more from us than the other way around,” Sun Maya said, smiling. I had never heard her complain before nor seen concern show on her face. “Also, you can sell most of the thatch grass from my plot in the forest,” Aama told her quietly, “but save a few of the drier bundles for patching the hole in the roof where it leaked last monsoon.

Aama retired to her wooden bed on the porch. Long before daylight, she would be up grinding or winnowing grains. Didi and I found our way through the luxuriant night air to the water buffalo shed. In its straw-filled loft, we unstuffed our sleeping bags and stretched out, at home in the remoteness of the hills. Our shivering and giggles gave way to sighs and yawns. Absently Didi’s failing flashlight traced the curves of bamboo strips that secured the bundles of thatch to the rafters. Speaking softly, she mulled over her new title of daughter-in-law.

In the banyan’s shade we drank water and shared a package of crackers while we scanned the cool profile of the Annapurna range of Nepal’s Himalayas. A fluted ridge of over twenty thousand feet tethered three lesser summits to Annapurna I, the planet’s tenth highest mountain. To the northwest, the five peaks of Dhaulagiri lay stacked and rumpled in a frozen wave train. Macchapucchare, the Fish’s Tail, stood downstage of this white curtain like an announcement, its pyramidal form conveying a hopeful message of permanence and of release.

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