I apologize for my blog slacking. Sarah – where are you?! [Sarah was our trusted Blogger extraordinaire this summer in Nepal. She would NEVER have allowed a week to go by without a post.]
I arrived in Nepal last Wednesday and it’s been go-go-go since I arrived. A week ago, we headed to the new project site in the Everest region for 2 days. This region of Nepal is stunning. While I hate prop planes, the 45 minute flight from Kathmandu to Salleri was breathtaking. You feel like you can reach out and touch the Himalayas.
Landing in a mountain region in a developing country is breathtaking in a different way. After flying through the hills as if in a war movie, we landed on a dirt strip on a mountain top. Sensing my nerves, my Nepali comrades assured me that this “airport” was WAY better than Lukla, the airport where people land deeper in the Solukhumbu to trek around Everest base camp. I’ve since been told that Lukla is the #1 most challenging airports to land in throughout the entire world. Lukla, see you never.
The village has already begun working on the hostel! They have begun the arduous task of manually breaking small rocks from big rocks with a chisel. I will film this because it’s impossible to convey the degree of difficulty with this chore. We had tea with every host family and in traditional Nepali fashion; they are all welcoming and lovely. I had to readjust to life in the village once again – squat toilets, water from a community tap, dal bhat, smelling constantly – but I’m ba-ack!
The weather this time of year is PERFECT. After sweating through the summer, it’s so wonderful to have 60 degree days and evenings where I can curl up in my sleeping bag. For volunteers leaving tomorrow, pack layers! You can get away with a t-shirt and pants during the day but it does cool off quite a bit at night. I did bring my ski jacket and it’s nice to have once the sun goes down. I love mountain weather.
I’m mentally gearing up for week one at the project site. Anyone who participated in week one of any building project understands what I mean. We are going to be digging, carrying rocks, hiking up and down hills to carry supplies, and mixing mud. My arms hurt just thinking about it. This will be the first year that I lose weight in the fall.
After returning from Everest, we headed to the summer project site in Jarang! We gave each host family (and Maladai) a photo album with pictures from the summer. It was touching to watch them look through the photos and remember the volunteers who became part of their family in such a short amount of time. They wanted to make sure that we didn’t forget them and I assured them that each volunteer will remember Nepal, and their warmth, forever. Now, they have photos to remember us.
The roofers are in Jarang and should be done in the coming weeks! I am hoping to have a picture of the school, roof completed, before I leave Nepal.
To the volunteers leaving tomorrow, safe travels! I’ll see you in Kathmandu 🙂