Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Arriving in Kathmandu: Meeting my family

When we left duhlikel we were headed for the big city: Kathmandu. There we would meet our incredible host families and start our true nepali adventure.

To say the group of us were nervous was an understatement. We huddled inside the program center in Kathmandu waiting for each of us to be picked off and sent to our families. I know we had nothing to fear but the concept of going home with a group of people from a culture so drastically different was nothing but terrifying. If there is one thing I have learned from traveling though, if something scares you and is filled with fear, then that thing is going to change you in incredible ways. I was right- living with a family is a terrifying and life changing experience over here.

I was swooped up by my family and whisked off to our home. From there is was a slur of introductions. My amma, my BaaBaa, my Hajuraamaa (grandma) my kaka (uncle), my two bhaai (little brothers 9 and 18) my bahini (little sister 19) and my didi (older sister 24). We all live under the same roof and I can say with certainty that it is wonderful, chaotic, entertainment all of them time. All of my siblings speak fluent English so that immediately erased some of my fears, but as the days went on, more nepali was spoken and less English. The hand gestures were reduced, and a bond between us all was formed.

The first few evenings were spent playing Uno, which is how I learned nepali colors and numbers, as well as another card game called skipboo. It was a strange style of family bonding that I wouldn’t have traded for anything else.

I am closest to my little sister and my little brother. Anmol, the 9 year old, is absolutely hilarious to be around and always wants to play with me. Schristy is very sweet and we spend hours chatting and practicing Nepali. Being able to understand what it is like to be a 19 year old college student in Nepal has been amazing since it is comparable to my life in the U.S.