The best part of my entire trip to Nepal was my family. I stayed with quiet a few families in Nepal. One in the mountains. One in the rural village. And One in Kathmandu. But the one I consider my true family is definitely my Kathmandu family. I lived with them for 2.5 out of 3.5 months. And I absolutely LOVE them.
I was lucky that with my siblings I didn’t suffer any language barriers. They are all fluent in English because of the prominence of English Medium schools in Kathmandu.
My littlest brother (9 years old) was the first one I became close with. He was easy to talk to, silly, and young. He was also around a lot so there were few barriers to our budding friendship. We really enjoyed playing uno, card games, dancing, checkers, and me chasing him out of my room all the time.
My sister, the 18 year old, was my closest friend. But followed very closely by the runner up of my 19-year-old brother.
My sister and I spent hours chatting, would shop together on Saturdays, would gossip at night in bed, and would watch movies and TV shows together in my room. We both fell in love with Game of Thrones. I would say I am as close to her as my biological sister back home, if not closer. And I truly appreciate her love for fashion- haha! Any question I had, anything I needed help buying or finding she was there with me. Not to mention we had so much fun together.
My older brother, the 19-year-old, and I become close later in the semester and then we instantly realized we make perfect friends. He is very quiet at first, and like most 19-year-old boys stays hidden in his room sleeping a lot. The real turning point for us was Deshain because we spent so much time together, and we all started going a little crazy, that things just got completely silly. He is hilariously sarcastic and witty, while also being sweet and so much fun. We can look at each other a just burst out laughing. He also came out with us a few times and showed us some bars in Kathmandu. None of the other host siblings did that; therefore it made him extremely special, which was important to me. We also had a lot of fun joking about his secret girlfriend and telling mom.
The 3 of us were quiet the show at dinner, the only time we were all together. We would laugh, make ridiculous jokes and sarcastic comments, and just have so much fun together. We all started our nightly tradition of rooftop parties where we would go up to the roof and talk, laugh, and joke. We would take photos and stay up there looking at stars until bedtime.
But I wasn’t just lucky to have amazing siblings. I also had amazing parents! Obviously our connection was on a whole different level. It took longer to get closer, but I have so much love for them in a different way.
My mom, she is strong and intense. But underneath the sweetest loving person. She was accepting of me in the home, and let me take my time to be comfortable with everything. By the time I was 2 months in I felt extremely comfortable with her. She always wanted me to come sit by her, and to come watch TV with her. We had cooking lessons together, we shared tea and stories, and a bond of mother and daughter.
My hajur-amma was at first hard to interact with as well. She has previous students and therefore she assumed that I spoke Nepali when I first arrived and didn't understand why I couldn't have conversations with her. However we broke through that barrier and began to create a bond. Differences in age, and culture were huge but she was extremely sweet and endlessly concerned about me. Not to mention she was an adorable old grandmother.
My Babaa was easy to get along with from the start- minimal English but an easy-going friendly attitude. He loves to joke, and ask me questions about what it is like to live in America. We played a lot of cards together, and he taught me a lot about religion, as he is very devoted to Hinduism.
I miss them. Leaving was hard. But they are my family, and I am so happy every day that I have that family living in Nepal and waiting for me there. I love my nepali pariwaar, and am lucky as hell to have them, even when I am not there to be with them all the time anymore.