I can feel myself beginning to settle now I that I have made it to Pokhara. Orientation in Kathmandu was so much fun, seeing the city, eating traditional Nepali food, and making new friends. But it is wonderful to have made it to Pokhara. The bus ride was not as bad as I anticipated from what I had read about it. It is only about 100 miles away from Kathmandu, but was about a 7 hour bus ride winding along the sides of the mountains. There were definitely moments that required incredible self control not to throw up from motion sickness, and moments that the bus felt uncomfortably close to rolling of the edge of the road, but overall I felt very safe. and the landscape was beautiful. Probably the only bus ride in my life that I didn't nap for the majority of. And Pohkara takes my breath away. It is comparatively clean to Kathmandu, but is still dry dirty and poor. But the view of the lake and the Himalayas are incomparable to anything I've seen. Like standing on the rim of the grandcanyon, but even more unbelievable. And it is sunny and about 70 degrees during the day. Or at least I think sO, everything is in metric. But the weather is beautiful.
I staying in a Buddhist children's home where they speak English and Tibetan, so everything I learned during orientation about Hinduism and Nepali language is not useful there, but that is not disappointing to me. There are 50 kids, all of whom speak English. They are so beautiful and so lovely and warm even though we just met because they are very used to volunteers coming in and out. Many of them do have parents but are very poor or divorced. In Nepal, divorce is very uncommon and makes remarrying very hard for the woman, and getting a job is already very difficult for women here mos do not work. so many of the children lived with their mothers who were unable to remarry or get a job, sothey send them to this home so they can have a happy childhood and a good education. Kids in the situation get to. Isit with their parents on weekends, which makes them very happy. The atmosphere is lovely. It is very structured and the kids are well behaved, smart, and loving, as well as the coordinators and people who work there. There is "Auntie" who is the cook and "uncle" who takes care of the kids. Then there are a few other workers and 4 volunteers who are already there. They will be leaving soon, but it's nice to talk to people who have been here for awhile.
The kids are on holiday, so the schedule is different than i expected in that we get to do activities with the kids every day. I am excited about that. Once school starts the schedule will be more consistent. Every morning I will walk the kids 30 minutes to school then walk back, and walk there and back in the after noon to pick them up. Then I help them with their homework, do activities with them, help make and clean up dinner, and say goodnight. The routine will be easy to get used to, and I will post more about it when I'm in the swing of it.
It's still hard to keep my thoughts organized so I feel like my blog posts have just been me rambling, but once I feel settled, I'll write more in detail about what it's like to be here. It has been overwhelming. The person who took us sight seeing in Kathmandu through the program was 20 years old and in university as well and his job with hope and home. He was so lovely and we had a great time together, but he said to me at some point that I am very lucky that I was born in America, and it made my head spin. Not with sadness for him, but with an overwhelming sense of gratititude for what is given to me without any price. Some time ago, he started riding his bike to work instead of waking, and as a result of breathing in pollution while exercising, he developed a liver sickness. I never thought that the ability to ride my bike to work or school would feel like a luxury that I take advantage of. It's amazing the priviledges that I am realizing I have as an American. That is the most overwhelming part about being here. Adjusting to the loud city noise and lowering my standards of personal hygiene have been the easy part. It's the interactions with the people that are changing the way I feel about my own life. They are grateful for what they have and they do not complain. It had been a priviledge to be here. Again, I am grateful. More to come later. Love and light to all, make sure you look at my pictures on Facebook or instagram. Lovelovelove