Ben Ayers

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Ben Ayers@jetbutterflies

Nepal, otherwise. Adventures.

564 posts 8,891 followers 319 following

The fact that we can grow so close to another species always amazes me.
It's as if dogs are like the gateway love -- if we can deeply care for, and be cared for by, another creature so completely different from us, then why can't this be applied to everything? Other animals, trees, people, galaxies?
At least, dear Lucy, that's the kind of thing you make me feel pretty much every morning. Grateful for you.
Dispatch from #KukurTihar the best day of the year. #ILoveLucy #DayOfTheDog #MuttOfLeisure


You can't buy cool, but you can buy motorcycles.
My first motorcycle was a sick and sputtering Kawasaki with a disco paint job that I bought in college. I tore around campus and the rough back roads of Maine without my license on temporary license plates for far longer than was prudent. I never got caught. Partially because that is the spirit of the thing, mostly because the bike was nearly always broken down.

I fell in love with the simultaneous practicality of the machines, and their ability to inspire mortal terror at any moment. Of course, there have been many, many motorcycles since - and most all in similar states of illegality and disrepair. I've never really been one to spend a lot of time polishing. Or licensing.

A few weeks ago, friends at @rsmoto (photo credit) in Kathmandu asked to borrow my 1968 BSA C15 for a ride -- another nervous little bike with bad electronics and no papers that I've been meaning to wash for about a decade.

With a bit of polish, the bike really came to life. Goes to show there's a lot of cool hidden under the grime - even, or especially, here in Kathmandu.
Fellow believers - don't miss @rsmoto's feed. Not many others out there like it.


London friends - come to the @rgs_ibg in Kensington tonight!
I'm hosting an evening of amazing films from @mountainfilm, including a little one about ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ!! Tickets available at the door, show starts at 7pm sharp. All proceeds support @dzifoundation and Community Action Nepal.

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

The usual chaos. Half of the camera gear is lost somewhere between Chicago and Istanbul. Plans changed immediately and now we're scrambling to find a harness that will let us hang out the open door of the helicopter. It's barely 9 am. Life is good.

#thelasthoneyhunter @renan_ozturk @climber.abiral #highart

Tribhuvan International Airport

Jange Kulung stopped by on a visit to Kathmandu and got to see his photo in @natgeo!
Getting excited to hear back into the mountains this week on a super cool project following @renan_ozturk as he makes art at altitude.
But most looking forward to heading back to Saadi and sharing #thelasthoneyhunter film and magazine piece with Mauli Dhan and all of our friends there. Bringing the project full circle! Stay tuned for an exciting week. @climber.abiral


Team Building.

How quickly we forget the power of our own bodies, or how little we actually know.
Repost from @dzifoundation - a group of men carry suspension bridge cable to replace a bridge washed away in recent landslides. The cable was carried in this manner for days to reach the construction site.
Imagine this life.


Lucy the Mutt of Leisure and Alex before his first haircut.

One of the hardest aspects of living abroad is the incredible distance between myself and my family. Itโ€™s as if my childhood and formative years were written in a language that I once knew but now only comes to me in dreams. It often feels fractured and rootless - plastered together with Skype calls and texts, occasional visits. The hangings on.

But voids collect dirt. Iโ€™ve found that even the deepest fractures in my life are quickly filled with strange and delightful flowers. Nepal has given me a dozen new and real families - children who see me through the dreamy lenses of their days.

Yesterday, I performed the official duties of an uncle and cut Alex Dawaโ€™s hair for the first time, marking a small transition that I donโ€™t entirely understand. It was a tender and sacred moment. We were all together. We lit candles and made offerings. We laughed and passed the scissors. There were tears. And there were flowers.
We grow where we break.


Still life. Monsoon. Kathmandu.

One of the curses of expatria is the way in which one's privilege becomes magnified. It's an uncomfortable luxury, at least for me, so long as I pay attention to the lives that surround and attend to me.
But I do not, and cannot deny it. The mangoes in my compound are ripe and sweet, the taste defies description. I strive to do good. To share. To choose kindness. To question my place.

And I fail. I keep the best for myself oftentimes. In this failure, perhaps, is some rough meaning. A reason to stay. To strive for a more difficult kindness.
Crossing inequality demands understanding that which we do to create it. Without the sour, sweetness cannot hold sway.


The monsoon season has set fast upon Nepal this year, the skies as heavy as wet cardboard. The rivers run angry and brown, carrying bridges and busses, boulders and silt forever southward.
We sweat it out in Kathmandu, watch the clouds form and recede. The roads never quite drain. The city is lush and green and verdant.

In the deep hills, the rivers run the same. In the communities Iโ€™ve come to know and love in the course of my work with @dzifoundation my friends sleep little for fear of landslides or for excess of purpose. The days are saturated with work and rain. Harvesting fodder. Planting, weeding, moving stubborn animals onto new grass. I can see - hazily, from a dry distance - that danger brings life. That risk is renewal. That rivers must be crossed regardless of the load, the weather. Each morning I pack a raincoat. Each night I fall asleep with the windows open for the noise, sleeping heavy under the strafing fan.


Kathmandu. You're kinda insane, and completely amazing. You've given me everything, but maybe could have skipped the typhoid. Here's to 19 really interesting years. ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต

Champadevi Temple

I've always been a step behind my big sister @erikaknardini - and am grateful for it. She's a dedicated mother, CEO, twitter personality and all around badass.
Now, leading @barstoolsports into the stratosphere and getting a half-page in the NYT!
I'm fortunate to have so much inspiration so close by.

For the record, I chopped more wood.

#siblings #sundaynytimesisforthegirls


Crazy where you can get to in a day. KTM-HKG ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿšข

Hong Kong