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Some Strange Dream: An Adventure in Nepal

June 22, 2013

Swayambhunath Stupa, alternatively known as the Monkey Temple

A lot of people have been asking me how my trip has been going, and instead of replicating a lot of the same responses, I’ve decided just to use my (now practically defunct) blog to share my experiences with everyone. So much easier! So, yes. Where do I start?

It’s been exactly one week since I arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal, and in that time I’ve visited some major sites, met some very interesting people, and have begun my volunteer program. It feels as though more time has passed; it doesn’t feel possible for so much to have happened in what seems like such a small span of time.

Looking back, the travelling itself actually wasn’t too bad, but I think that had something to do with my own expectations of what a 29+ hour flight itinerary was going to be (i.e. gruelling and generally unpleasant.) The arrival into Kathmandu was more of a challenge, as the Tribhuvan airport itself is kind of a mess. Thankfully my volunteer organization arranged for someone to meet me outside of the airport to take me to the volunteer house, although that wasn’t perfect either.On the way to the volunteer house I’m enthralled by the chaotic traffic, the winding roads, the Nepali people weaving between motorbikes and puddles. Santos, the volunteer contact who picked me up, explains that most of the volunteers are in Chitwan to bathe and ride elephants (!) for the weekend.

Arriving at the volunteer house, I’m shown to my room which is to be shared with another volunteer (she arrives in about one week). People talk about jet lag and I understand what it is, but I don’t think I could have realized or anticipated how hard it would hit, how taxing on your body it can be! So, overwhelmed and exhausted, I settle in and do what you’re definitely not supposed to: I passed out at 2 pm. After that, I met the other volunteers, explored a bit of the city and started adjusting (in many ways) to a summer being spent in Nepal.

Leading up to my flights, I was so nervous that sometimes I couldn’t sleep at night, but strangely once I entered the Ottawa airport, when I boarded my planes, when I walked out into the Kathmandu rainfall, I wasn’t afraid at all. I am still not afraid, I have no regrets, and I can’t wait to see more of this place.

Until next time,

E

1 –  There has been a recurring problem among the other volunteers in the organization in which when they arrive from the airport they are pressured to give the drivers exorbitant tips ($20 USD, amounting to approximately 1900 Nepalese rupees); in reality we shouldn’t have to pay them anything, as we’ve already paid for the volunteer placement.

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