In 1974, Broughton Coburn hiked up to a Gurung village in Syangja District, and introduced himself to the headman. He had been assigned by the Peace Corps to teach at a high school. The headman found lodgings for Coburn with a 70-year-old widow who lived alone with a cat, some chicken, and a water buffalo. ’Aama’ was even more surprised by the sudden appearance of such an unusual lodger, and Coburn eased the transition by helping Aama with her daily chores.
Aama did not have children, and Coburn’s own mother had died three years earlier. A mother-son bond grew between them, and culminated in two books.
Aama died in 1991, at age 87. When her only daughter, Sun Maya also died two years ago, Coburn vowed to return to the village and visit descendants four generations on.
Broughton Coburn returned to Kolma village in Syangja after 37 years and found that much has changed since his days as a volunteer who lived with his Nepali mother.
To read about his experience follow the link in bio. Also watch video story depicting their bond.
The photo from 1977: Coburn drives Aama around Kathmandu Valley on a motorcycle, and a decade later takes her to America to see the sights.
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