Even by the standards of the luminaries who sweep through Washington, the little girl in front of Lafayette Elementary School almost six miles north of the White House was special.
Politicians, power brokers and the occasional celebrities who come through town hope to be respected and maybe, in a childlike place in their grown-up hearts, genuinely liked. Sajani Shakya, 10, is worshipped.
In Nepal, Sajani is a living goddess, one of about a dozen such goddesses in her homeland who are considered earthly manifestations of the Hindu goddess Kali.
Sajani arrived in Washington on June 11 to help promote a British documentary about the living goddesses of the Katmandu Valley and to see a bit of the United States. She is the first of the Nepalese living goddesses to come to the U.S. because the girls live mostly in seclusion.