The next thing I knew , I was on a plane descending into the Kathmandu Valley. I was finally in Nepal. Nepal! The revelation was surreal, and was underscored a few moments later by the ride away from the airport. I was sitting in a tour bus, eyes wide and hands clenched into frightened fists. I stared out the window in disbelief as we careened down the left side of a smog-choked street, competing for precious road space with sacred cows, kamikaze rickshaws, and naked children.