Nepal, I think this is the beginning of a bittersweet friendship
It’s time to pack your bags, say your last goodbyes and go home. After 5 months and many sleepless nights, due to extensive parties of rats, mice and shrews whose dances on my plastic roof kept me awake, I am ready to write my last entry here.
Those 21 weeks were wonderful, magical but sometimes upsetting at the same time. So many emotions appeared in my mind and heart. I was invited to a Nepali weeding, saw crocodiles, elephants and macaques free in their own natural environment, I also had to run from a rhino! I had the pleasure to be blessed by a Kumari (the living goddess), dig out ginger and turmeric, ate my first jackfruit, buffalo, sugarcane, Sherpa cuisine and finally I saw the Himalayas. Of course, many more outstanding things happened here. Most importantly I had the pleasure to meet extraordinary people both form Nepal and abroad.
Unfortunately, besides all those heartwarming and clearly happy memories, those that I remember the most vividly are a bit blue.
The majority of kids I met here were cheerful, eager to learn and extremely friendly. Unfortunately, the level of education in Nepal and its accessibility is very poor. More wealthy parents, in order to provide their kids with a bit better schooling, send them to Kathmandu, even 7 year old pupils are placed in boarding schools for this very reason. Truly, my heart was aching while working with illiterate teenagers and young adults. We could do so little for them; sadly, social hierarchy and local practices already set their future for them.
I do know that I will never forget how I felt during the Nepali weeding which I had the chance to attend. Of course, I could understand only a little of all the mysterious practices and customs but it was crystal clear that the marriage was arranged. My first suspicions were confirmed afterwards. The heartbreaking tears of the bride and stone-still face of the groom were horrifying.
But on the other hand not even a single society or nation is perfect. We all have our own high and low points and times. I do cherish how Nepali people live close to the nature. It’s extraordinary how many crops and plants each family cultivates. You crave for a ginger tea? Not a problem cause ginger grows across the street. Or maybe you wish to brew your own herbal tea? It is an easy task cause all necessary herbs grow literally around the corner. However, Nepali people are in sync with nature, but not all of them take good and responsible care of it. Tons of garbage, common littering and many trash burning bonfires became an inseparable part of this extraordinary Himalayan landscape.
I am about to leave Nepal in 2 days. I already said goodbye to most of the people I had a chance to meet here. With some of them I had the pleasure to develop lifelong friendships. It is certain that all of my Nepali experiences left a mark on my life.
After all, the time I spent here was marvelous and I am definitely coming back.