Sunday, September 28, 2014

First Impressions of Nepal: Dhulikel

Where to begin. I have been in Nepal for basically 4 weeks now and I haven’t even properly written about the experience thus far. Well, there is a lot to be said, that is for sure, and a lot that it is near impossible to convey at this point in time.

Arriving in Nepal was unlike anything I dreamed, and yet exactly what I was hoping here. Europe is no longer exotic to me. I don’t even consider it traveling anymore as I am now so accustomed to life over there. But Nepal is exactly where it needs to be, outside of my comfort zone.

When I arrived I was put on a bus with my 13 new peers. We all went to different colleges, had diverse backgrounds, and 13 of the 14 of us were female.

We spent our first 4 days having orientation in duhlikel which is a small mountain village about an hour from Kathmandu. This was extremely well planned out on there part. From there you could see hills, green space, and even the Himalayas on a nice day. We were in our own private paradise. The mornings were spent in language class while the afternoons included lectures, and safety briefs, and syllabus review. Things were quickly falling into place. We learned about the importance of Chhiyaa in Nepal (tea) which they drink a startling about of times a day. And we also got acquainted with eating with our hands. That never stops being fun. Additionally, we learned that the Nepalese do not do breakfast and so their attempts to serve it to foreigners is very bleak. But they do eat a lot of really really good daal bhaat. That is lentils and rice and it is the meal you eat everyday, twice a day, always. No exceptions. Actually…

We went to the temple one morning to observe traditional nepali prayer called puyja and we were all given tikka which is the red mark on the forehead. This was not our only encounter with religion though. A few days later they had a massive women’s festival and the streets were jam packed with women and children dancing in red saris to traditional nepali music. This went on for hours and was an absolute pleasure to watch. We were invited to join numerous times.

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.

More details to come 

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