Kathmandu residents remember Barbara trotting out most early mornings from Tahachel Durbar on a beautiful white mare. That was the early sixties and North American blond ladies were still a rarity for the kids of Kathmandu—especially when they resembled actress Elizabeth Taylor. She came for a short visit and she missed her Dakota flight out of the Valley. She had no regrets and has lived in Nepal ever since.
Born in New York, Barbara Adams grew up in Washington DC. Where her father, an economist, held a series of jobs with FDR's New Deal. Both shy and rebellious as a child she eschewed conventional education in Washington public schools and spent her days riding and grooming horses and her evenings voraciously reading. She studied French and Russian at the Georgetown School of Linguistics and obtained a BA in International Relations from George Washington University. Anguished by the gap between haves and have nots which she experienced during a mid- term trip to Haiti, she left America immediately after graduation on an odyssey through Europe, the Middle East and India, selling feature articles to finance her travels, which included walking with Vinobha Brave in the Punjab. In 1961 Barbara settled in Nepal, and with Prince Basundara and Gen. Sharada Sumshere J.B. Rana, opened Third Eye Tours, Nepal's first Travel Agency. She traveled much of the world promoting tourism to still unknown Nepal, worked with Nepali craft promotion and design and became an expert on Bhutanese textiles about which she wrote a book. For obvious reasons Barbara avoided writing about politics. That changed with the advent of democracy: She started her column, Barbara's Beat, in the independent in 1991, then moved it to the Kathmandu Post, the Everest Herald, and lastly the People Review. Other columns were published in Nepali in Jana Awaz and currently Jana Aastha. Barbara became an environmental, economic, political, and human rights activist and was twice exiled from her adopted country for expressing her views.