Saturday, April 6, 2013

Haves and Have Nots, with love, from Nepal

I have (nearly) mastered the art of Namaste during running and hiking up steep hills, even when nearly out of breath.
I have not attempted Namaste while riding a bike.

Image 119/ 365: No Yeti sightings...yet. 
I have seen endless goats, cows, buffalo, chickens, and dogs—in the road and elsewhere.
I have not seen Yeti, and doubt I will unless he has really poor map reading skills.

I have become rather adept at the logistics of using a squat toilet.
I have not become adept at using the pitcher next to the squat toilet.
Image 118/ 365: The squat art to this,
if I say so myself.

I have enjoyed walking and hiking along the myriad paths through terraced fields.
I have obviously not been endowed with mountain goat qualities like my Nepali counterparts.
Image 117/ 365: Barefoot and loaded down,
these women could run uphill circles
around me.
I have grown accustomed to the frequent lack of power. 
I have not missed it as much as I thought I would. 
Image 116/ 365: The Nepalese know how
to deal with their power!

I have explored many areas that are well off the tourist track, thanks to my immersion in the daily lives of Nepalese families.
I have not managed to “blend in”, despite feeling very accepted.
Image 115/ 365: Play, the universal language
Image 114/365: Being welcomed
by my newest students

I have tried every dish served to me—and liked it! (thanks, Mom)
I have not been able to reconcile with the lack of green vegetables.
Image 113/365: "King Curd" of Bhaktapur fame.
Pretty delish, even though this sample wasn't
served in the traditional earthenware pot. 

I have become fond of dal bhaat, the national dish of rice and lentils.
I have not learned how to eat it the Nepalese way—with my fingers.
Image 112/365: Dal bhaat--rice with lentil "soup"
and curried veg to mix in with the rice
I have lived with families throughout my stay, even helping with chores and cooking.
I have managed not to offend anyone with my behaviors.
Image 111/ 365: Helping with the evening meal,
churning out "roti" one by one...
good thing we weren't in a hurry.
I have tried to learn and observe as much as possible.
I have not tried to impose judgment or “the Western Way”.
Image 110/ 365: Optimism reigns :)

I have listened to students talk about their school with pride.
I have not failed to be amazed at their optimism.

Image 109/ 365: The power of
a smile and trying
to speak their language can
break down a lot of walls
and misperceptions

I have managed to entertain even the most traditional people I’ve encountered with my attempts at speaking Nepali.
I have not forgotten the power of a smile.

I have come seeking to learn, explore, and meet new people with different ideas.
I have not been disappointed.

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