ENCINITAS — Encinitas is now a bit closer to Nepal, with the opening of Hem Rai’s Earth’s Elements.The import store, at 559 S. Coast Highway 101, is Rai’s second store, following the original in Idyllwild. Rai brings Himalayan gifts from “free trade” families in Nepal. The items include singing bowls for meditation and healing, crystals, hand-carved boxes and tapestries along with jewelry and clothing.
“Each tribe has its own specialty of clothing or jewelry, much like Native American tribes’ rugs and pottery,” Rai said.
The proprieter himself arrived in the United States from Katmandu seven years ago, speaking English and five other languages. He was formerly a tour guide in India, where he began to dream of selling the goods made by his home village where craft skills are handed down from generation to generation.
He also owns Kirat Treks, an adventure travel business specializing in trips to Nepal, Tibet, India and Bhutan. Fully licensed, he leads fall and spring tours and has even taken people in wheelchairs on cultural tours to the temples, monasteries and shipping areas.
“If you’re up to trekking in Nepal, I can get you as far as Mt. Everest’s first base camp at 17,500 feet,” he said.
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