Buy “The Sacrament of the Goddess” as a Christmas present for the #globalhealth aficionado in your life.


The back cover of the USA edition was a short synopsis. By the time we printed the Nepal edition, there were some reviews to quote and they were more colorful. In a bookstore, people make decisions to buy based on the first page and back cover, or so they say.

If there is a person in your life interested in #global health, this is the perfect Christmas present for them.

An aficionado?

Is a person who has aficion for something. Hemingway used the term in The Sun Also Rises to describe that feeling when a fan of bullfighting finds another fan whose passion runs deep.

Yes, it’s a novel. But the stories are based on true-life medical situations encountered in a rural hospital of Nepal, the Himalayan country.

There was a civil war in Nepal for eleven years and it is part of this book. Nepal is considered to be a spiritual country, and many visitors view it only through that lens. It is an unfortunate truth of global health that you get to see behind the curtain to experience life in a new way.

It’s set in the foothills, not the actual Himalaya. Very few people live in the actual Himalaya.

I tried to capture some more sophisticated cultural issues of the average Nepali person. There are no western rock jocks in this book.

You are at the wordpress blog that goes with the book. Take a look at the page titled, “Glossary of terms to Accompany the book, annotated” for just a hint of the mystery that awaits.

In USA you can find it on Amazon.



Everest Brass Baja to play at Open Air Flash Mob Event Saturday Jan 24th 2 to 4 PM at Mangal Durbar in Patan

Who: Everest Band Baja

What: Open air concert of dance party music.

When: Saturday January 24th from 2 to 4 PM

Where: Mangal Durbar Square, Patan.

Why? because we are alive!

What else? bring a video camera; bring your friends; wear red and be prepared to dance. We will make a promotional video!

marigolds 3

This is the place we are talking about.

As regular readers of this blog know, The Sacrament of the Goddess is being published in Kathmandu Nepal, and the official release date is January 24th.

On that date we will have a book release event, but this will not be a quiet reading to a hushed crowd of literary enthusiasts. It will be an open air celebration featuring a brass band.

the band?

And today we confirmed that the band will be Everest Band Baja of Patan. Sixteen guys. The great Sudarshan Pariyar leading the way on clarinet. If you have never heard them, you are in for a treat. Here is a link to Everest Brass Baja on YouTube.


This event is open to the public, obviously, because it is in a public place. (Be reminded that foreigners need to buy the Durbar Square ticket)

And what is The Sacrament of the Goddess about?

Nepal is a Buddhist country that fought a brutal civil war for eleven years. Sushila was raised deeply Buddhist, and needed to confront the vicious war head on when it came to her village and her house. She crossed paths with Matt when she was nineteen, then disappeared from his life…..

The Sacrament of the Goddess is an international thriller set in the last absolute Hindu kingdom on earth at the time the monarchy was ending. Under the shadow of the Himalayas and a dazzling multicultural background, a small group of doctors deliver care at a missionary hospital where there is only one missionary left. The Sacrament of the Goddess reveals events of the Nepal civil war in layers, as we meet the medical team of Beni Nepal and see it through their eyes.

Superficially, it is a classic story of star-crossed lovers, but the events unfold partly in real time and partly as flashbacks – memories that may or may not have happened, meanings that only reveal themselves through anguish or tears.

At it’s core The Sacrament of the Goddess is about the choices people make in a civil war where the moral virtues of each side is ambiguous. On a daily basis the doctors confront the clash between western-style individualistic culture and eastern-style collectivist culture. As we learn how they cope with difficult events we ponder how people’s actions express their conception of God and the infinite in a culture with plural religions. And the meaning of love.

Tell your friends!

How to Find the Bead Bajaar in Old Kathmandu in Five Steps

Read all the way to find the video directions.

okay, a small public service announcement: My novel of Nepal, The Sacrament of the Goddess, is available via Amazon. As a recent reader put it:

This love story that began in a small village in Nepal-and life’s journey of two individual ‘s from opposite side of the world  intertwined with political situation and traditional believes of the two countries make reading interesting.

After ten years of separation and meeting of the two lovers again in the same village , destiny has them face many challenges that force them to flee the village. The description of the village, family structure of the two, family expectations and believes being so different yet the two individuals bound by love find similarities in each other to become life partners.  This story leaves one with the feeling that the world is becoming a global village.  People of opposite side of the world seem to be so different on surface but in reality  all human beings have same feelings and are more alike than different.


The Bead Bajaar

This is a must-see for any tourist to Kathmandu, esp if you have a camera. it is one of the most colorful spots in Old Kathmandu, which is a very colorful place to begin with. But – you can walk right past it. Some Canadians staying at my same Guest House went looking for it twice and couldn’t find it; that’s when I realized it’s like the railway station in the first Harry Potter book where they need to find “Platform 9 3/4”


The Bead Bajaar, curiously enough, is an enclave of Islam in Kathmandu. Not the only one. Click here for a link to a terrific article in Nepali Times ( with pictures!)

The actual directions:

Step One: Go to Indra Chowk. there you will find an imposing Mandir (Temple) with the four dogs leaping outward from the second floor, the Akash Bhairab Mandir. see picture. stand in front of the temple and gaze upon it.

Much of the time, by the way, they will allow non-Hindus to visit the inside of this particular temple and it is well worth it.

Much of the time, by the way, they will allow non-Hindus to visit the inside of this particular temple and it is well worth it.

While you are here, there are two Lassi shops in the vicinity, and one is located on the first floor, a bit to the left as you face the temple. The other (and better) one is at the beginning of the street that goes north to Thamel out of Indra Chowk. 30 nrs for a small one, 50 nrs for a big one. Always crowded!

Step Two: turn around. across the chowk, you will see a building that looks like this:

This photo was taken in late afternoon and the plastic was there to shade from the sun. look both ways while crossing the street!

This photo was taken in late afternoon and the plastic was there to shade from the sun. look both ways while crossing the street!

step three: shift your gaze a bit to the right. and up. you will see an electrical transformer. the sign on it says “NEEK”

It's not the prettiest landmark but they had to put it somewhere.

It’s not the prettiest landmark but they had to put it somewhere.

Step four: directly under the transformer is the entryway to the Bead Bajaar. There is no sign. The only indication of what is to be found within, is a couple of brightly colored red, green and yellow beaded potay, hanging on a peg.

Step Five: go over there, and cross the threshold under the plastic, into a world of beads.

Here is a video.


While you are at Indra Chowk, enjoy a cool lassi!



Review of my novel The Sacrament of the Goddess by a Nepali RN

The Sacrament of the Goddess is now available on Amazon. You can read the first five chapters on the Kindle site, and decide.

Pre-Publication reviews

In prep for this I sent a number of spiral-bound copies of the draft in pdf to people who might review it. The feedback is beginning to appear.

This book will be of interest to people in Nepal, or who want to learn about the fascinating and wonderful culture of that magical country. Here is a thoughtful review by a friends of mine. Binu is a Nepali citizen and a Registered Nurse in that country.  I would humbly say that she “Gets it”

from  Goodreads

I feel lucky to get pre-publication copy of the book The Sacrament of the Goddess written by Joe Niemczura. I am not fond of reading books but I do read something sometime and if anything interests me I go deep into it. I must say The Sacrament of the Goddess is the book, which created my interest as I start to flip pages of it.

The book is about an American guy Matt who loved a Nepali woman Shushila. He goes to medical school, then comes back to look for his love and volunteers in hospital of Nepal. It is also about a Nepali girl who went through tough time in a relationship. It depicts war between maoist and governmental army of Nepal so clearly.

I am a Nepali reader and I thought in spite of being foreigner, writer knows more about our situation than me. And he presented everything so precisely. When the guy came back to Nepal and volunteer in hospital; episodes of burn victim, emergency cesarean, mushroom poisoning, malaria, and of course, violence against hospital staff are well pictured. It shows Nepali community and cultural aspects also. There are many other characters besides hero and heroine and writer did totally fair with all of them with their roles. Book is about, What happens with hero and heroine and with their love?

I am not finding one right word to say what is the book as a whole, because it’s a love story with tragedy, there is a war and there is a kindness and lots of problems with their solutions. In fact the book is a complete package of entertainment and emotions. And I must mention that it has suspense right up to the last page. As a whole I recommend this book for all those readers who want to read a “GOOD READ”.

I have been tweeting about it, if you are on Twitter, look for @CCNEPal2013

Searching for the Goddess, Feb 13, 2013

The Goddess

The Goddess

Namaste –

I’m at a lull in writing and thought I would do some chores. I was going to need to create a blog specifically for the book, at some point anyway. So today, even though publication is months away, I claimed the address on WordPress and began to upload images. A well-done blog can supplement the book with photos and videos and commentary.