Sunday, March 23, 2008

We're Still Here

Posted from Kathmandu, Nepal


Well, we arrived in Kathmandu with only minor hassle. The plane was 2 hours late. Then, there was no power in the Kathmandu airport, so we couldn't get cash to pay our visa fees. And, finally, our ride wasn't there to pick us up. Pretty typical for us, actually.

Here we are. In Nepal! If I wasn't actually sitting here right now, I don't think I would believe that I was in Nepal. It's a far cry from India, and an even farther cry from home. But it's quiet, and the people are exceptionally friendly. The most noticeable thing about Nepal is how quiet it is compared to India. When we got off the plane, that was the first thing Lizzi noticed. However, I was so used to the constant, ear-splitting level of background noise in India, that I didn't notice the quiet until we'd arrived at our volunteer site. Yeah, it's quiet here.

There are a few things about Nepal aside from the quiet that take a little getting used to. Meals are served twice a day. In fact, it's very nearly the same meal that is served twice a day. It's call daal bhat, which means rice with lentil soup. In fact, it's really rice, lentils, and some type of vegetable curry. If we weren't living in an orphanage with little kids, the daal bhat would also include some spicy pickle. Daal bhat is good, really good, in fact. But I think at the end of two weeks, I'll be ready for something new to eat. Like a cheesesteak!

We also have to get used to the power cuts. The power is turned off in Kathmandu for 8 hours a day. Usually, they break it up, so it's not a single block of blackout time. Most nights the power is out from about 6PM till 9PM. Which is fine because everyone heads to bed at 9PM. And I mean everyone. We thought it was early just because we were staying in a orphanage, and the kids had an early bedtime. But we talked to some of the other volunteers, who are staying with host families, and they also remarked how their families went to bed at 9PM too.


Going to bed at 9PM is fine when you are getting up every morning at 6AM. Yep, that's 6AM in the morning! I haven't voluntarily woken up at 6AM in years. But that's the way it goes here. Up at 6AM, tea at 7AM, daal bhaat at 9AM, off to school/work at 10AM, come home at 6PM, daal bhaat again at 8PM, and then to bed at 9PM. Repeat. It's simple, and it gets the job done, but again I think I'll be ready for a change when we leave.


There's a lot more to say about what we're doing here, which is fantastic work! And all that we're learning -- we're learning to speak Nepali! But it's time for daal bhat #1.

3 comments:

Gwen said...

I've missed seeing updates on your blog, but news from Nepal was worth the wait! Not only do I enjoy your (plural -- Lizzi and Matt) writing, but I send some of your posts on to family and friends.
Love,
Gwen

Gwen said...

I've missed seeing updates on your blog, but news from Nepal was worth the wait! Not only do I enjoy your (plural -- Lizzi and Matt) writing, but I send some of your posts on to family and friends.
Love,
Gwen

heather said...

see? as much as travel makes me love the rest of the world, it also makes me love home. i love that i eat whenever i want and i love that every meal is different. o and i also love that every meal lately is NOT different, its a locally sourced organic salad with walnuts, strawberries, blueberries and chevre. i think india and thailand are the only places where i didn't start craving american food. in syria i thought i would die if i had to eat hummus once more.