The Nepal adventure begins!
After some delays, arriving at Kathmandu airport was a relief! The hustle and chaos quickly took over the senses and any tiredness from our long journey was forgotten. Outside, the awaiting taxi driver filled his tiny boot up with my case and then put Jade’s case on the roof. We crashed into the airport trolley, then with a swift reverse we were on our way!
The tourist hotel had so many stairs! I always say that people should never pack more than they can safely manage, but failed myself with a 28k case. At this stage I need to clarify that it’s not full of make up! (but gifts for the orphans we will be looking after).
Without any warning and with a lovely smile the tiny hotel worker quickly carried my enormous case on his back up 4 flights of stairs. To say I was moved is an understatement. I was more scared he’d put his back out!
The view from our stop over room before heading to Pokhara tomorrow!
Warily, I admitted to Jade that I needed to eat after a sleep, which meant going back out into the car horns and craziness! She agreed and we set off to change our money and eat.
Early start tomorrow, the bus to Pokhara leaves at 7.00am!
Hey everyone and greetings from Kathmandu!!
Well after a somewhat long and exhausting flight with an unexpected three and a half hour stop over in Turkey myself and Yasmine finally arrived safely in Nepal.
After a mini panic that our suitcases had decided not to join us for our adventure they finally showed up and we were off and greeted by our taxi driver.
I have to say that I own a mini…and the car we were about to try to squeeze 4 people as well as two humongous suitcases into was less then mini!! Unfortunately my case drew the short straw and ended up on top of the car…no safety belt or strap…I think it stayed on by me sitting in the car willing it to!!
The car journey was fun, having been to Egypt on a number of occasions you get used to the constant beeping from passing motorists and it becomes just background noise as apposed to being alarming! However you aren’t so prepared for the madness of people just walking in and out of traffic and the volume of cars, bikes and random dogs in the road!
Once we arrived and following a nice long sleep we decided to venture out for some food and to change some money. Yasmine, being the exotic beauty she is, managed to flag down an admirer who agreed to be our evening guide!? (I don’t think she trusted my claims that I could be pretty streetwise and could manage to find us a cash machine!) Cue Jade as the third wheel on what felt like a very bad episode of Take Me Out! Although Fernandos was a very long way from where we ended up.
After a lovely meal and a couple of much needed glasses of wine, we decided to call it a night and headed back to our room for a onesie party and some girlie gossip!
We have an early start in the morning ready to get the bus to Pokhara.
NEPAL BLOG DAY TWO: Saturday 15th November
The gift and the trip to Pokhara
After a nice meal with a hastily employed “guide” last night, dinner was pizza and a glass of wine in the courtyard of a local hotel. The seating area was lit up and sparkled at us, beckoning us to come in from the crowded evening streets, with its live music and beautiful architecture. After he wouldn’t accept a tip, our new guide invited himself to eat with us in exchange for taking us to a money exchange bureau. Fairs fair, I thought. He was very accommodating, but we found it a little odd that he had to ask for directions himself! After a nice meal and a beer he decided he wanted to come with us to Pokhara tomorrow as he had found himself in the terrible predicament of suddenly being in love.. oh dear! There was some confusion about the bill (we were coerced into paying double the actual rate (even longer story!) and afterwards we had a terrible job getting rid of him!
This morning, as we sat down to eat, a carrier bag was delivered to our table. “A gift from Sanjay” was presented to me with a flourish, of a wooly scarf to keep me warm in the mountains. After much giggling from Jade and an embarrassed smile I accepted the scarf.
The suitcase is a talking point and to carry it has been confirmed as a two man job. I have to admit I am slightly ashamed of its weight and feel the need to tell the carriers that it will be slim soon!
The scenery on the way from Kathmandu to Pokhara is so beautiful, it mesmerises you. The lush, green hills, the winding river and layered paddy fields are just so beautiful. We made some new friends on the bus and had a really good time chatting and sharing stories, sweets and samosas. We also stopped regularly to stretch our legs and eat. Great fun….until I had to go to the loo. I tried to stop drinking my water for a while, as going to the toilet in a truck and bus stop in the mountains actually scared me to death! Thank God for Kleenex handy tissues and my beloved hand sanitiser. I have a newfound respect for these items.
We were met at Pokhara bus station by Sarah and Janice, who manage the project and taken to the lovely guest house. I have a nice spacious room with an en suite and electricity for most of the day!
PoD volunteers have use of the top floor of the guesthouse. This consists of our bedrooms aswell as a communal area for storing the resources to help with all aspects of teaching at the placements. We were shown lesson plans, story books, arts and craft items, some musical instruments and educational toys. Sarah the project Manager in Nepal is assisted by Janice, who is also Bindu’s daughter. Both are so lovely and helpful towards us.
After our first dinner in Lakeside, we returned to the top floor and took some time to familiarise ourselves with everything. There are three of us volunteering at this time, Edwina from Brisbane also started her placement with Jade and I. We first met on the bus ride from Kathmandu and liked her straight away! She is here to do filming and photography and will be coming to placements with us. All very exciting!
I was very pleased to discover a roof terrace that leads out from the communal area! I spent some time there taking in the view of the hills, on a clear day you can see the Anapurna range!
After another night of roughly 5 hours sleep (due to the untimely 12am discover that we had wifi at the guest house!!) we were up and getting sorted ready to catch the bus for our 7 hour trip to Pokhara!
Now as gruelling as a 7 hour bus journey sounds, the time actually seemed to fly by! The sights and scenery and the busy bustling Nepali lifestyle is just so fascinating that I found myself quite happy watching this new world fly by whilst the sounds of Bon Jovi filled my headset! (ok so it’s not the most fitting sound track but I just happen to be listening to them at the time!)
On route we met the lovely Sophie and Dipun who were traveling to Pokhara together. Sophie was also from London so it was nice to trade stories of our experiences so far and in return for our tale of Yasmine and her unwanted boyfriend from the previous night Sophie gave us the bus WIFI password! What a star 😉 However… For the full story on Yasmine’s admirer…well you’ll have to ask her! I’m very jealous… I want a scarf gift!!
Once we arrived in Pokhara we were met by Sarah and Janice from POD who took us to Bindu’s where we will be staying for the next two weeks. Bindu’s is amazing, we were so happy and I have to say quite relieved at how nice it is! And the views from the balcony are unique and beautiful….where else can you see an angry man loose his temper with a stubborn cow?
Later on that evening after a little break and some time to unpack we headed into Lakeside with Sarah and Janice for some dinner. We had such a brilliant night with them as well as Edwina who is another volunteer staying with us. The food was fantastic and so was the company! A lot of laughs and fun was had and we are looking forward to more of the same tomorrow when we will be going to be fitted for a Sherpa which is a traditional Nepali dress and this will be followed by a basic Nepalese language lesson!
NEPAL BLOG DAY THREE: Sunday 16th November
Today we had our induction talk with the newly trained Janice.
Janice, despite being a little nervous, handled the induction like a pro and had us in fits of laughter with some of the bits that ended up in the talk!
I don’t think you would ever imagine to hear Nepal being likened to Vegas…but that happened! Some of the things that need to be covered are to tell volunteers to be careful when going out and to watch out for strange men! Just in case we end up married! …Just in case you are wondering where that comparison came from!
We also now know now to stay away from rafting instructors, and musicians…I think I could be in trouble on the musician front already! And that’s just back home.
After the fantastically informative induction which Janice handled like a pro, with only a few interruptions from Buttons, Sarah’s beautiful dog, we then headed to our placement for a quick introduction to the children and to see where we would be working at Ward 6.
We were told of a lot of challenges we would face at the nursery to prepare us. The children were adorable and were all greeting us with hands together and a chorus of Namaste.
We stayed for around half an hour and then went to have a quick look at the beautiful lake that Lakeside derives its name from which was stunning!
After that we jumped on a bus and made the short journey into town to go and chose materials for our Sherpa which is the traditional dress that we will wear on our first day in placement at Ward 6.
After this we returned back to base camp for a little rest and later on headed out to see the fantastic Janice sing with her band in Oxygen Bar. This made me a little itchy to get up and sing also but it’s nice to watch for a change and she was fabulous!
We’ve had another fun day of laughs and funny stories but tomorrow the real work begins at our first real day of teaching, which is going to be the real challenge!
G’night for now….Jade
Janice conducted our induction over a breakfast of toast, juice and coffee. It was her very first time presenting the information to volunteers and she was brilliant! Sarah was on hand to support her and answer any more in depth questions that we had. We learnt all about the placements that we will be working at over the next 2 weeks and talked over some of the challenges that we may face.
We left shortly afterwards for the first placement -Ward 6. The children there are all very young, from babies to about 3 or 4 years old. It was really amazing to see the little ones with their cute smiles greeting us so warmly. They were all sitting on the ground together and were so pleased to see us! The front yard consisted of a rusty slide and a broken swing set for the little ones to play on. The bleakness was a real shock to me and I just felt sad.
Afterwards, back at Bindu’s, whilst Jade and I were doing some lesson planning for the morning, Edwina suggested that we could maybe build some new swings for Ward 6! Perhaps brighten them up with paints! Excitement has now overtaken us and we can’t wait to put the plan into action.
NEPAL BLOG DAY FOUR: Monday 17th November
“Ma Nepali sik-dai chhu” – “I’m learning Nepali!”
After having a language lesson this evening, I’m feeling really excited to start speaking basic Nepali tomorrow. I will practice with the younger children and hope they will be more forgiving of a novice like me. It will be funny if they all burst out laughing. I don’t mind, happy to be of entertainment value!
Working with the small children at Ward 6 was a lot of fun today. Jade brought some bubbles with her and gave a bottle to Edwina and I. Well, the squeals of delight were music to our ears. All the children ran around in excited circles trying to catch them and clapped their hands into the air. One little boy even tried to bat at them with a big stick, lost in his own little world. I quickly chased after him, bubbles trailing and traded the stick for bubbles blown just for him to catch with his own hands. With a cheeky smile, he gave it up. Afterwards, we played some lovely singing and clapping games. Jade sang the song from Frozen and we all joined in with the sound effects and actions. So much fun. We will go to the hardware store tomorrow to buy the wood and paint for the swings as we are all keen to make a start on that very soon!
In the afternoon, we all visited the Street kids project. This is a house where boys from 6 to about 14 live, with a lovely lady, called Amma (Mother) I absolutely love it here! The boys are so cheeky and funny. They also speak excellent English and are really cool, friendly and respectful. They’ve all had such tough lives and are so talented and clever. They invited us to play football and piggy in the middle (called Monkey in Nepal) and we all got on so well. We will take them to the Internet cafe tomorrow, as they love to go there and email past volunteers to keep in touch and let them know how they are. So lovely.
A long and rewarding day which I will never forget.
Today has been amazing!
We spent our first morning with the children at Ward 6 and it was brilliant to see that there actually was a fair bit of structure to the children’s day. I think we did a good job in enforcing this structure and helped to keep the children entertained from start to finish.
I had taken some bubbles with me so myself, Yasmine and Edwina had a bottle each and the children had so much fun running after the bubbles and popping them. So simple yet very effective! After the bubble antics we went inside and did some singing, we did a lot of nursery rhymes and copying songs along with ‘Let It Go!’ Yes you heard me right…when struggling to find a song to sing to Nepalese infants…give Let It Go a bash!?! It seemed to go down ok!
After singing we did some short English learning games with pictures on a board including alphabet and the weather and the children went around telling us all their names!
Outside we played duck duck goose and that was followed by a little play indoors and then lunch time which is the point that we left as the children then wind down and have a little nap. There are some right little characters in the mix and we’ve spotted our trouble makers and the ones to watch from the get go, but for the most part the little ones are extremely cute and very spirited!
After lunch it was a half hour walk to Street Kids which is an after school project for orphan boys to hang out, do home work and play together, keeping them occupied, educating them and keeping them out of trouble.
I think we were all shocked and amazed at how amazing the boys English was, they can hold full conversations in English which is just brilliant and made working alongside them so much easier then with the little ones at Ward 6 as there wasn’t the frustrating language barrier.
Myself and Edwina entered into a rather rough and tumble game of football/piggy in the middle/volley ball with some of the boys and I think we just about held our own! (I go to the gym 4 times a week but even I was exhausted after 15 minutes of playing these games). I really enjoyed working with the boys and think that we will have a lot of fun at Street Kids!
Onto our Nepali lesson which was brilliant! Our teacher Prem is a lovely lovely man and his teaching style is fantastic, so funny and engaging! He might be the smiliest man I’ve ever met! The lesson was a little overwhelming as there was so much, I had tried to learn some basics before going but I find it hard keeping it all in my head so think I will just take a small cheat book phrase guide with me tomorrow to Ward 6.
Today has been physically exhausting and my feet are not my friends at the moment but it has been brilliant at the same time! I don’t think I will have trouble sleeping at all tonight.
NEPAL BLOG DAY 5: Tuesday 18th November
What an amazing day it’s been!
Today we headed off on our own to Ward 6, minus poor Edwina who wasn’t feeling too rosy! After a very small glitch and a ever so slightly wrong turn we managed to navigate our way back to where we needed to be for our first day at Ward 6 on our own.
After a bit of a shaky start, (as there were 6 new children that day) and one very young baby in particular who we fondly named ‘The Car Alarm,’ who screamed for around an hour continuously, things started to settle down and we found ourselves having a fab time with the children and playing market shopping, singing songs and even some dancing!
It’s ‘ekdam raamro’ (so so nice) to get to know the children better and start to be able to distinguish between them (there are so many and they are all bundled up in winter clothing and hats so it’s hard sometimes) but we are starting to learn their traits and characters!
After Ward 6 again we had a nice long lunch break and some chill time back at Bindu’s guest house before we headed to Street Kids. I think we did reasonably well remembering the half an hour walk with only one tiny mistake!
We had a lovely greeting from the boys and Ashmeta and within ten minutes we were all drawing pictures and getting along like a house on fire!
There is one boy called BJ (yes I had to be an adult and stifle a laugh or two with his name, especially as he is referred to as ‘cheeky BJ!) who is just brilliant! So so funny and loves to play tricks and word games on you! He is such a character and so much fun!
We then took four of the elder children including the two BJs and Ashmeta to the Internet cafe so they could play some games and send emails to past volunteers. This was another half hour walk away. On the way I chatted to the boys as they were whispering away behind me, and I was being nosey. We got chatting about their ‘hundreds of girlfriends’ haha very funny conversation! It’s so easy to become very fond of these kids as they are so playful and mischievous!
At the Internet cafe they boys played games whilst Ashmeta watched YouTube videos on how to make paper mâché dresses! I showed her photos of myself in my Elsa dress which she loved and she was soon looking at how she could make her own!
After Street Kids and back at Bindu’s myself and Yasmine decided to go for some dinner and we had a lovely meal at Sweet Memories with a glass of wine and a bottle of beer that was almost bigger then me! We got chatting to a few different people whilst there including a French group who had been up Everest! Amazing! It’s so cool meeting new people from different walks of life and chatting about our different experiences of Nepal!
I definitely think I’m settling in after today!! Suba ratri everyone! (Good night)
The Nepali culture is slowly weaving its magic.
The people and cows alike, slowly wander along the roads attending to their business. With exception are the smartly dressed school children who we meet along the roads on the walk to Ward 6. They seem to shine with energy and always call out an easy greeting of “Namaste” as they pass with a giggle.
The sun shines like a lovely summers day, but it’s winter here and the locals all say it’s so cold. Jade and I wandered in the sunshine to Ward 6 this morning after breakfast and slowly realised that we’d taken a wrong turning, I scrambled over the huge rocks in the roads at my usual London pace and my flip flop turned over underneath me. Sending me flying! That’s when I thought, “Easy does it..Nepali style!”
On arrival, we discovered that there were some new faces among the now familiar ones and were told that we had some new starters that day. Keen to welcome them, we grabbed some toys and sat down in two small groups. The new children took turns and played happily for about 10 minutes, until suddenly one little boy burst into a fit of angry tears after discovering that his Mother had left. His tears them set off another, then another new child a little bit like a car alarm, we joked afterwards! He finally settled after about an hour, then promptly fell asleep! I suppose it’s as good a way as any to cope with your first day at nursery! “Bacchara” – Poor little thing!
Edwina, was not feeling too well today and really needed rest, so Jade and I will wait for her to get better before we start on the swing building/painting project, as it’s her idea. We’re all friends here. No need to go stealing anyone’s thunder! She’s feeling a lot better now and hopes to be back on her feet tomorrow. Bless her.
The boys (and one girl) from the Street kids project loved our gifts of &Meetings pads and pencils and were so happy to spend time drawing and colouring in pictures until it was time to visit the Internet cafe. We all had a lot of fun walking there together, chatting and giggling. When we arrived I bought cokes and sprites all round, which went down a treat!
Jade and I went to dinner at a great spot called “Sweet Memories” and enjoyed chatting to a group of tourists from Israel and France, two of whom were musicians / mountaineers who had just climbed Mount Everest! It goes without saying that I failed to mention how I’d nearly lost my life on an overturned flip flop earlier…
NEPAL BLOG DAY 6: Wednesday 19th November
Another fun and action packed day!
We got to Ward 6 (this time with no wrong turns) and as it was such a beautiful day we all went outside to take some of the lesson in the sun.
We started off with some singing and followed it with flash cards. As a little treat I had brought out the modelling balloons I’d brought with me from home and put my princess skills into action by making all the children ball…oon doggies. We had a bit of a production line going to get them done quickly so Yasmine held the balloons, Edwina blew them up and then I modelled them. The children loved their little balloon animals and were fascinated by the colours. They weren’t the best dogs I’ve ever modelled, but then there was the time pressure and the fact that a lot of the balloons couldn’t take the heat outside so just gave up the ghost straight away! The children were so good if their balloon popped and didn’t cry or demand another one (like they most definitely would back home).
At Street Kids today we got the boys to finish off any home work and then it was time for some more picture drawing and I played bat and ball with one of the boys and then a really fun game of Twister! The boys and their young bones were much better at this then me! But it didn’t help that every command I had seemed to have me in impossible knots!! Needless to say the boys won every time!
In the evening after getting back and having a lovely shower we headed out for some food and drinks. We met Sarah at a bar that Janice was singing in and met some of her friends, which was nice to chat and hang out with some new faces. After that myself Yasmine and Edwina headed to our regular haunt Sweet Memories for dinner! We love it in there! The staff are fantastic and so sweet. A 15 year old girl Angela waited on us and we chatted to her about what she wants to do in life! She wanted to move to Australia and become a nurse! Edwina then made the girl’s week by giving her some Aussie money so she could buy herself a cup of tea when she makes her dream come true and finally makes it to Australia!
Another great day!
Lessons in the Sun
The little ones all sat in a big circle outside for their lessons this morning. They responded well to the photo flash cards that I showed them. Some of the older ones happily repeated the English words back to me, straining to get a better look at the bright photographs which I showed around. The smaller ones were far more interested in a school bus full of noisy older children, waving and shouting out “Bye!” seemed a lot more fun.
We made balloon animals for all the children today. They absolutely loved them and played happily in the sunshine, dancing around merrily. I was so surprised to see that the children weren’t surprised and didn’t cry when one popped. They would quickly return to us to line up for a replacement! All very practical. There were some tears when a holy man, dressed in orange robes tied all around, approached the teacher for a visit. Some of the children became a little afraid and began to cry, but as soon as he left, the children settled.As the children began to file indoors after some time, I was so surprised to see a small unconfined fire burning rubbish from the broken swings. Two small children were standing very close by, their eyes delighted by the dancing flames. Protectively, I ran over and ushered them away and inside. Health and Safety standards do not exist here and I never thought I would say this, but I’m beginning to miss them!!
On arrival at the Street kids project. The boy were having something to eat after school as they watched their small TV. We waited and then filed outside to help them with their homework. I helped one little boy with his Maths and we whizzed through it! Then onto loom bands. Thankfully the boys took pity on me when my fingers started to turn a bit blue and made me hold two marker pens!
We met Sarah and her friends for a drink at a bar called Silk Road as Janice’s band were playing. Jade, Edwina and I ate at Sweet Memories, as we all love it there!
Feeling very tired today and need an early night!
NEPAL BLOG DAY 7: Thursday 20th November
Mountain views, bells and shoes
The sun rose at 6am this morning. Slowly, like me. I knew this would be an early start to a very long day. However, Bijay from the Street Kids Project had assured me that this was the only time a person would see the Anapurna range “mountains in the sky” at this time of year. The roof terrace has a wonderful view of the lake and surrounding hills. With a light breeze blowing, I looked across the lake and beyond, hoping to catch a glimpse of the promised view. Such an amazing way to wake up, I felt blessed. Fifteen minutes later, I was still there, feeling chilly and a bit resigned to the fact that the stubborn clouds were staying put. After a short nap, I woke up once more to the sound of the street dogs chorus and went down for breakfast.
The little ones at Ward 6 are so comfortable around us now. They are totally used to us and often come over just to lay their head on our lap or to hold our hand when it’s quiet. I’m feeling really settled now. Today Jade, Edwina and I saw two of the children walking along the road in the late afternoon, with their mothers. They immediately recognised us with an excited giggle, called out “Namaste!”
Lessons were once again held outdoors, with all it’s various distractions. We did the “hokey kokey” and read stories until nearly lunch time. When the teacher went inside to finish cooking the lunch, all hell broke loose! Some of the children made a break for the enclosed shrine and temple, which adjoins the nursery on the same land and went a bit crazy, ringing the all the many bells at once, large and small! They all rang out right across the village, making such a racket, that passers-by were stopping to stare in shock at the utter disorder. I ran over to try to gather them together, but they all laughed and screamed and dodged each other to escape me! Very funny.
Later on, we enjoyed the half hour walk to the Street Kids project, stopping to take photos in the sunshine and looked forward to a more relaxing afternoon. Sarah asked us to let the boys know that they will all be getting new shoes, as the funding has been approved for this! It was great to pass on this good news to them and they were all very excited! When we arrived, the boys were so pleased to see us and we all enjoyed each other’s company for a few hours. Once everyone finished their homework, the boys enjoyed playing with the Play Doh that was donated by Jade Golton and then ran around playing volleyball until dusk. Some then listened to music from Edwina’s ipad and played games on our phones. Others got glitter tattoos from Jade. The outside area where we work with the children was mostly lit up by children taking turns with my head torch, as there is no electricity outside. Although this was also used to look for owls in next door’s tree! When it got dark, we were walked through the dark alleyways, to the taxi rank on the main road, by three of the older boys, who kindly negotiated a Nepali price for us with the drivers!
Tomorrow, we have a day’s rest as we are working on Saturday, with girls who have been rescued from trafficking. Very challenging but am looking forward to meeting everyone!
Really looking forward to a lie in…
It’s our day off today so we decided to let our hair down last night and party Nepali style!
You feel like a naughty teenager coming home late as most nightlife here closes around 10pm and we have been told that Bindu waits up for you! However on this occasion we let her daughter Janice know we would be late (and I think Janice was out as late as us also) such a cool girl!
Yesterday was another brilliant day. The children are getting use to us and for the most part come to give us cuddles and are happy just sitting in our laps! The lesson was much the same as other days with singing, playing, drawing and learning colours with the help of the balloon animals I made. There was more bubbles in the yard and a fun game where Tarra pretended to be a fox singing a song then she chooses a child to be the fox too! The children are so cute when playing games like this!
Street Kids was so much fun today, we helped the boys with homework and then myself and Edwina played a strange game of dodge ball using a rubber band happy sack style ball the boys had made! I wasn’t very good at this game much to the boy’s amusement! We then tried to play volleyball but the ball was too hard so the boys thought I was crazy trying to use a volleyball serve during our game!
Yasmine brought playdoh which went down amazingly and later on I did some glitter tattoos for everyone! And even got my own which one of the boys did for me!
It gets dark really early so we end up still sitting outside in the pitch black… We would love to be able to provide some lighting for the Street Kids so that they can be outside for longer!
As we had the day off on Friday we decided that we would go out for a few drinks and see what Pokhara had to offer! We had our dinner in the usual Sweet Memories where Angela entertained us with her jokes! We met a lovely Irish man named Graham and started sharing our stories of our Nepali experiences. We were having such a great time we then went to see a band that Graham recommended in a bar called Busy Bees! I was in my element as it was a lot of rock music! So good! It was so nice to let our hair down, everyone was in such high spirits and having so much fun! Annnnnnd….a lie in today with no hangover!!! Ek Dam Raamro!!!!
NEPAL BLOG DAY 8: Friday 21st November
Today has been so good!
It was our day off so we managed to sleep in until 9 and then sunbathe on the terrace! After breakfast at Sweet Memories we decided we needed a bit of retail therapy! We felt like natives with our haggling skills! I managed to buy a gorgeous shawl that went from five thousands rupees to 250!!! Cheap as chips mate!! I love it!
After this we headed back and randomly met up with the awesome Sophie from our bus trip to Pokhara!
We decided to go hire a boat and go out on the lake which proved to be a fantastic life decision! After we got over our initial worry that we were going to fall in… and after numerous choruses of ‘Rock The Boat’ we settled down and just took in the breath taking scenery and the fact that we could see the Himalayas!!!! So incredible and so much fun!
That night we headed out with Sophie to a pizza place called God Fathers! The food was amazing and we left feeling extremely stuffed! We headed to The Blues Bar again to meet our new Irish friend Graham who reminded me that the following night I had said (under the influence of alcohol) that I would get up and sing with the band!?
When I saw the band I quickly wanted to change my mind! They were sooooo good! The lead singer was like a Nepali Mick Jagger! So much stage presence, whilst the rest of the band head banged with their luscious long Nepali locks!
Well…after a bit more Dutch courage and my possy chanting my name along with the band talking me into it, I got up and sang Sweet Child of Mine! I had the time of my life! It was the best experience and the packed bar loved it! The singer then said to me ‘please can you do more!’ The poor guy was sick and had a sore throat! (as do I, I have a Nepali cold!!) So I did Adele’s Rolling In The Deep!
We had such a fun night! They wanted me to do more but I didn’t want to hog the stage so will go back tonight for round two!! It was amazing, I had people coming over just wanting to talk to me after that and shake my hand!
Literally the best night! I’m having the time of life!
The morning came around far too soon for me. After a few Gorkha Beers last night, I managed to completely miss breakfast; I decided to sit in the sun on the terrace to collect myself. Jade was already out there and we decided to go to our local, Sweet Memories for breakfast. We were met by the owner, who personally served us and enquired about last night. We all ate very quickly!
Last night, as it was our first day off in a week, we danced and drank with the best of the Pokhara party people and immersed ourselves in the loud music and double measures! We have made a lot of new friends locally and really enjoy meeting them walking around Pokhara. None more than Sophie, who we first met on the bus ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara. She is from Highgate in London and is travelling alone here. She has just returned from a gruelling trek into the Himalayas and will be volunteering teaching English for the next 3 months.
This afternoon, we haggled over scarves on the tourist district and sat down to enjoy soft drinks, before heading back to the guest house for our weekly meeting. As we came out of the cafe, we saw a very familiar face walking just in front of us! We were all so happy to meet up with Sophie again. She was staying far away and as she had nowhere to stay in Pokhara, we brought her back with us to Bindu’s, who very kindly rented her a room for about £7.00 for the night!
I never imagined that I would see such beauty in my life, as seeing the Himalayas from the lake in a Pokhara and I felt really happy. We all struggled to see it through the clouds!, but it was the best view in the world to me.
After our dinner of pizza and a few drinks in the Blues bar with our new friends, Graham and Sophie, Jade was invited on stage with the live band, there was so much applause and screaming from the crowd! We were all very proud of her!
One of the best days off of my life!
NEPAL BLOG DAY 9: Saturday 22nd November
Day 9 – Visiting the girls
This morning we took a walk with Sarah to buy our bus tickets back to Kathmandu for next week, as sadly we leave Pokhara on Thursday morning. We are booked onto the first bus of the day, at 7am as there are no safety regulations over here and apparently this is the safest one to get. The theory is that the drivers have all had a good night’s sleep before starting the 7 hour trip.
We walked over the rocky and dusty roads, towards our placement for this morning. This is a beautiful residential compound for girls who have been rescued from trafficking, called SOS Bahnini, which means SOS sister.
On arrival, we opened the gate and were greeted by Geeta who works there and were taken to a large open air circular building in the centre of the compound and there we met some of the girls.
They were all so very friendly and asked us loads of questions. I kept turning the questions back around to them, but they proved more skilled at this than me! Happily, we connected instantly. We read stories together and they all laughed as I tried to pronounce some of the animal names!
I really loved the time we spent, playing twister and making loom band bracelets. As Nepali pop music played in the background and the sun was shining, I felt in my element.
It’s funny how effortlessly people can connect with each other and it always delights me when this happens. The girls paid us so many compliments and hung on our every word. They talked about their dreams in life and talked about the lesson they enjoyed at school. They all hoped to travel and see the world when they were older. They paint the most wonderful pictures, which PoD charities go on to sell to raise funds for the project. They are all so talented.
I will never forget them and was sad to leave. The girls hugged me and wished me well and I waved goodbye with a heavy heart.
This afternoon, we luxuriated in a bit of sunbathing on the balcony after a cold shower, then I decided to take a little nap. Jade and Edwina went to visit a local waterfall together and I had the top floor to myself. After going out for 2 nights in a row, I felt exhausted and needed to relax!
This evening we went for a pizza and again met up with Graham, who introduced us to his friend. A lovely Irish girl who had broken her ankle after a rafting accident. She was lovely and sweet, ignoring her ankle in her positivity. I liked her straight away.
I’m a firm believer that sport is nothing without spectators! So as the girls and Graham booked their tickets for paragliding tomorrow, I watched, just as I’ll be doing tomorrow as they soar across the sky! This is so not for me, I’m afraid…
A lovely relaxing day with an early night!
Ok I think I’ve given up on naming days for my blog…haha
Today was reasonably chilled by our new Nepali style standards…
We had a bit of a hang out session followed by lunch and then myself and Edwina decided to go do a bit of sight-seeing so we got a taxi to Devis Falls which is a cool waterfall. We were a bit blonde when the taxi driver dropped us off saying “Now where do we go!?!?” When there was a humongous sign behind us!
The waterfall was really pretty but not as big as I had imagined! It was hard to take pictures as they didn’t really do it justice!
Whilst walking around here as a white face with blonde hair you get noticed quite a lot! But myself and Edwina were still a little bit weirded out when a massive family of Nepalese people stopped us to have a photo with us!? Haha was pretty funny…I kind of don’t mind it, you feel a bit like a celebrity!
We then went to have a look in some of the caves that are just across the road which was fun. It was a bit of a treacherous path and having taken a bit of a fall that morning before we headed out I was a bit worried about it happening again! I managed to cut my toe open a bit and have a nice attractive gash on my chin! Very embarrassing, but some of the roads are so stoney and uneven sometimes it’s unavoidable! Oh well!
The caves were quite enclosed and rather humid…but only to me, not my new Aussie chum. Edwina is used to ridiculously high temperatures back home so is always bundled up in her big coat where as I’m sunbathing and loving the weather!!
Our evening consisted of taking a quick walk to the paragliding centre to enquire about whether we could book for the following day! I wanted to do it but from the start was rather nervous! But good old Edwina managed to talk me in to and we put our deposit down with Graham who we’ve kidnapped to be part of our crew! Poor guy! Graham is tall to say the least so I think he was a bit concerned as whether it was safe for him! He’s our BFG which stands for Big Friendly Graham!
We then had dinner and headed to the Blues Bar again where once again I was welcomed up by the amazing band to do a few more songs! I can’t describe how much fun I have singing with them and Rajesh who is the lead singer joined me this time and we sang Rolling In The Deep together, improvising all the way through! I love it so much! And the band are so good and sweet, they act like rock stars on stage but then are so humble and nice!
At the end of the night Rajesh invited us ‘back stage’ aka the kitchen to eat with them, which I just thought to be such a nice gesture! I think I might be their new biggest fan and want them to come back to England with me!
Another awesome day! I don’t want to leave!!
NEPAL BLOG DAY 10: Sunday 23rd November
The day I ran off the edge of a cliff!
Today was another day off (which feels crazy as I feel like I’ve done so much ‘playing’ and not enough working whilst here!) as we had put our deposits down there was no backing out of paragliding!
I was feeling a little bit peaky on our walk down to the centre, a bad night’s sleep due to the sounds of dogs barking and people spitting (very common over here) and the fact that I have this strange fluey cold thing going on! But never the less…I was going to do it and that was that!!
We met Graham who we had persuaded to join us and boarded the bus.
Me being me, and being extremely unprepared and clueless on what we were about to do had turned up in clothing that wasn’t exactly appropriate! And was swiftly told I would freeze! Our new gentleman friend very kindly ran back to his apartment quickly and grabbed me a coat which was so nice of him and I ended up looking like a small girl in a sleeping bag in it!
On the bus ride up we tried hard not to look down too much! The buses weave up these very thin steep roads and you feel extremely close to the edge the whole time! We got higher and higher as the road got bumpier and bumpier and inside I was feeling nervous to say the least! The hands started to clam up a few times and I started to think what the heck am I doing!! (I’m not generally the most adventurous of girls) however I knew it was an experience I had to have! YOLO!
We got to the top and I met my pilot who was lovely, once again I started to get nervous when he said we had to run together towards the edge of the cliff…did I mention how high it is!! Haha!
I stood there for a while (secretly dying inside) and then the time came…the run wasn’t so much a run as a weird shuffle but we still managed a successful lift off!
And oh my god was it madness! The view was just out of this world, seeing the Himalayas from there and the views below also! I was still rather scared at this point and the pilot talked me into how to relax in whilst I tried not to think about how high we were and just take in the beauty of the surrounding views! I was soon slightly more relaxed and taking photos and holding on to his Go Pro to take photos of our flight to buy later! I told the pilot I was sick (I meant my cold) and I think he thought I was going to be sick over the side (that didn’t happen) but I think it made him take it easy on me and not go quite as crazy as they do with other people doing tricks and going upside down! On the descent you fly over the lake and have to do a few rather aero dynamic moves which I may have had to shut my eyes for…and then boom…down to the ground! Safely…alive…in one piece!! Edwina and Graham were already down and we all just stood there for a moment taking in what had just happened! Amazing! I’m so glad I did it and let Edwina talk me into it!!
Our afternoon involved an hour or so chill time and we then went to meet Yasmine who was having a nice relaxing afternoon by the lake with Sophie.
They had made plans to go shopping. Edwina and I wanted to go to The Peace Pagoda as it could have been the last chance to do it before we leave so we flagged down a cab and off we went for another hair raising car journey to the top of a mountain!!
The views once again were stunning and it was lovely to see the sun set and of course the temple itself! Once again we were mobbed for some more photos!
It’s a very beautiful place! It makes me want more time to go see more!!! The time here is going too quickly.
Day 10 – Sunday with Sophie!
I had a lovely night’s sleep and woke up to fried eggs on toast made by Bindu followed by a black coffee, which I took with me onto the balcony. Today is an official rest day for me, so I was so happy that the sun shone brightly and the weather was so hot! Jade and Edwina left to go paragliding and I met up with the lovely Sophie in Lakeside, for an afternoon of banter and Mmomos. These are dumplings with a meat or veg filling, served with a spicy sauce. These went down very well, as we sat chatting in the beautiful gardens of the cafe. From our vantage point, we could see the paragliders over the lake and we had fun guessing which ones were Edwina, Jade and Graham.
Sophie wanted to do some shopping, so after we met up with the girls; we went off to look for cheap books for her trek as well as some music CDs. She introduced me to her host, who’s family she is staying with and arranged to meet tomorrow night when her other friend Deepen, who lives at an orphanage, come back to Lakeside. I suggested that we go to see Jade sing at the Blues Bar and she loved the idea, the girls and I all met up for dinner in Sweet Memories and Graham joined us.
Back to work at Ward 6 and the Street Kids project tomorrow and I just can’t wait to get back into the swing of things!
I’m having such a great time here and have met some wonderful people, who I will never forget.
NEPAL BLOG DAY 11: Monday 24th November
Bike trips and bruises!!
Today we headed off to Ward 6 minus our compadre Yasmine as unfortunately she wasn’t feeling very well! I hope she is better! I’ve not seen her all day!!! 🙁
Edwina and I went to Ward 6 together which was super hard work with there just being two of us today. I love the children but they have a habit of jumping all over me which I don’t mind but I’m left with a lot of bruises! I still have fun with them though and love their characters.
We were slightly concerned by the presence of two goats in the Ward 6 playground this morning who had managed to escape through the gate!! The children were running over to them whilst they were butting each other and we were worried they might hurt themselves or get kicked so we had to keep running over and dragging them away, which the children thought was a game! They weren’t scared but we were!! The teachers seemed to think this was normal!
Edwina tried grabbing some grass to coax them out but it was easier said than done!! Luckily there were no injuries and we managed the whole day having fun and playing with the children whilst using flash cards and English boards to help teach them!
On our break we decided to go for a motor bike ride to a beautiful lake close by! As I’m massive wimp I opted to be a passenger on our new friend Graham’s bike as he knows what he’s doing and where he’s going! We headed to the lake passing the most beautiful scenery on the way!!! It’s the first time I’ve ever been on the back of a motor bike but I loved it!!
When we eventually made it down to the lake we decided to have a short swim and dived into the beautiful but cold refreshing water!! I’m loving my experiences here!! I can’t believe how much I have managed to pack in and how much more I wish I could do…I’m not sure where my adventurous streak is coming from but I am loving it!!
Afterwards, we went to meet up with Janice and Sarah and headed to Street Kids where the children were being taken to get new shoes! This was so awesome for them! Edwina, Janice and Sarah went with the older boys and I stayed behind with the younger ones to play games and make balloon animals!
In the evening myself Edwina and Graham went for a nice meal followed by the Blues bar to see my Nepali band!! I had bought them all a gift to say thank you for letting me sing with them! And once again I was invited back to have food! I need a Wave t-shirt before I leave I am their biggest fan!!!
Good night and namaste from Pokhara!
Not feeling 100%
Since arriving in Nepal, I’ve been able to eat almost anything without incident. I’m sure I will always regret the Momos I had last night, as I ended up in a bit of a bad way today. Sarah and Janice both looked after me and brought me back around to full health. With bottles of water containing electrolytes and a lunch of soup and toast, I started to feel myself by late afternoon. My lovely friend, Sophie even came over to visit me in my sick bed, bringing with her funny stories to cheer me up. She took me for a mint tea when I felt up to it and I am now feeling miles better!
Edwina told me that some very aggressive goats had taken over the yard at Ward 6 today and the children ended up playing indoors all day. I have missed them all and can’t wait to see them all tomorrow morning!
Sarah and Janice went out to buy new shoes for the children at the Street Kids project and I’m really sad I missed that today, but we’re all taking them all out for pizza on Business Environment tomorrow, so that will be great!
Looking forward to the morning!
NEPAL BLOG DAY 12: Tuesday 25th November
Day 12 – Feeling better, singing songs and eating pizza!
I can’t quite believe that tomorrow is our last working day for POD. The time has really flown by leaving me a little shell shocked. I’m really going to miss Sarah and Janice, the little ones at Ward 6 as well as the street kids. The mid-morning sunshine and the tourist strip at Lakeside. The ladies looking smart in their bright saris. The motorcycle riders sounding their horns all day long, the street dogs who wander around as though they have somewhere to be and sacred cows, who sleep in the middle of a cross road, but nobody dares to move!
This morning, I returned to work after becoming sick yesterday. Tentatively, I sipped my water containing electrolytes and prepared myself to have a wonderful day and to give my all, despite feeling a little weak.
I’m happy to say, that I had a fantastic day! I read stories to the children, which were translated into Nepali by their teacher and revelled in the rapt attention on their faces. We sang songs outside in the sunshine and the children danced around as their teacher played the tabla drum and sang traditional Nepali songs. I helped out at lunch time, handing out the spoons and bowls to the eager children who cried out “chamach!” – spoon! After the children said their prayers, we all waved goodbye and called out “pherie bataola” – see you soon. I loved every minute of it, but it brought home to me that tomorrow will be our last day here.
After lunch, Edwina interviewed us on film about the benefits of corporate volunteering for the POD website, as we sat on a wall in a nearby open space, surrounded by cows and stray dogs acting as the backdrop.
We took the all 10 of the street kids out to “Godfathers Pizza” this evening on BE! Sarah from POD came along and after we all walked down to Lakeside. The older ones and I happily discussed our favourite pizza toppings and they talked about the last time they were taken there as a treat by some volunteers. Before leaving, we promised Aama that we would order a take away for her, as she couldn’t walk with us, due to having swollen feet. Such a lovely lady, we were happy to do this small thing for her! She looks after all of the street kids, with support from POD charity. They all live with her and her daughter Ashmita. She takes great pride in the children and it was lovely to see her sending one of the little ones back inside to change, after she decided that he looked too scruffy to go out and it was so moving to see him returning, wearing a smart hoodie.
I was taught a Nepali song by this same little one and he was so happy when I sang it with him, after I had to write the words down !
After pizza, we bundled everyone into two taxis and the girls took them home. They loved their special night out, which was more of a treat for me, I think!
I will be sad to leave everyone but I’m really looking forward to the flight home on Friday evening. I can’t wait to see my lovely Mia, aswell as my Centralpoint Team again! I’ve really missed everyone!
My blog for today will be short, I awoke with a bit of a headache and feeling quite low.
It’s dawned on me I’m going soon and as much as there are people I can’t wait to see and my pup to get back to I’m very sad about this!
It wasn’t the best day truth be told, I made myself go to Ward 6 as didn’t want a little headache to stop me carrying out my second to last day with the children. However I felt quite exhausted and run down so my enthusiasm may have been a little lacking. Luckily Yasmine was back to full strength after her day of resting up and she handled the class like a pro with her stories.
Again once returning to the house I had a bit of a moment and burst into tears which was terrible timing as we had to go out do our interviews for Edwina to film! I tried to get through it with a smile on my face as if I was ok. I hope it isn’t noticeable when she reviews the footage!?
Street Kids was fantastic that evening, taking them for Pizza really lifted my mood! I have become so fond of a few of the boys and will miss my little friend Bidan a lot. As we walked to God Fathers both him and another one of the boys held my hands and happily chatted away to me for the whole walk and then rushed to try and sit next to me in the restaurant!
The boys had a lovely time and that was so humbling to see…
I feel like I want to cry writing this…I feel like saying goodbye today will be quite emotional! I have some lovely little gifts to give out as donated by my friends’ lovely mum who spent time knitting each one ad stuffing them with sweets, so I look forward to that!
In the evening myself and Edwina went for Crepes and I decided to stay out a little longer with Graham so I could go and see my lovely new friends in the band again. We didn’t stay for long however as the drinks were very expensive and the atmosphere not as great as The Blues Bar, where I will be returning tonight to do my last set with the guys, so I can get a video memento!
NEPAL BLOG DAY 13: Wednesday 26th November
Day 13 – Nepali fond farewells
Sadly, today is our last day in Pokhara. Tomorrow, we return to Kathmandu on the 7.30am tourist bus and I am bracing myself for the 7 hour journey through the Nepalese hills once more!
Today has been a day that I will never forget. After a fun filled morning spent with the little ones at Ward 6, we helped with the lunches as normal and were surprised when the teacher Tarra asked us to wait until after the children had eaten, before leaving. Most finished quickly, but there were a few slower eaters, mainly the very young toddlers. We helped to feed them and then the teacher lay them all down for their afternoon nap.
We hung around, not really knowing what to do and suddenly a man appeared with a silver tray, containing red tikha spot powder and said a little prayer over us. He then rubbed the red powder on our foreheads and presented us with a cream silky scarf, which the teacher loosely tied around our necks. It was the most humbling thank you and farewell I have ever experienced in the world and tears fell as I hugged the teacher’s goodbye and waved goodbye to all the little ones. They were as sad to see us leave, as I was to go.
I will always remember this day with love and gratitude. Having been a part of these people’s lives, even for a short time has really been an honour.
It was equally as emotional leaving the Street kids project, where again we experienced the same fond farewell. This time, Amma came outside with the silver tray, freshly prepared red powder and another silky scarf, which she then tied around us.
I couldn’t help feeling really overwhelmed and so sad that this will be the last time I see everyone. The boys all came over for a kiss and hug and Amma squeezed me so tightly.
Ashmita, Amma’s daughter presented me with a lovely handmade card, which I will cherish forever. Feeling really emotional, we left Amma’s house to be escorted to the nearby taxi rank by two of the older boys. They haggled over the fare for us for the last time. We hugged them once again and they told us how sad they were that we were leaving and that we should come back to stay for either a year or ten years! We all laughed and said we’d try our best to come back to see them all one day.
Overwhelmed, we left Bindhu’s house for dinner at Maya restaurant in Lakeside. This was the same place we had our very first meal on arrival! This was Edwina’s idea and it was just a wonderful way to end the placement as we had begun it. Very poignant!
I left after eating, as I wanted to do some shopping and then went back to Bindhu’s to pack.
I’ve now cleared all my stuff away and the room I’ve stayed in for two weeks looks just as it did when I first arrived.
NEPAL BLOG DAY 14: Thursday 27th November
Hey everyone , apologies I’ve missed a few days I am a little behind as I have been out and about and really making sure that I squeeze as much as possible into the little time I had remaining! And due to limited wifi and not always being able to charge my phone/iPad it’s been difficult to find a time to write and upload anything!
Our last working day was emotional, we made our way to Ward 6 in silence for the most part and the day was quite tough once again. I was feeling a little low again knowing that it was the last time and that not all of the children I’d come to be fond of were there that day for goodbyes. But never the less, we did the usual singing and dancing and storytelling along with basic English skills with them all and got heavily stuck in to the last Ward 6 session.
Before we left we were presented with our tikka and scarf which was really very moving! All the teacher welled up during this and gave us hugs and said they would miss us and thanked us lots for our time! I really hope we have made lasting impression on the children and that they enjoyed the time we spent there with them! I did! Despite the bruises I’m covered in and the sometimes trying moments I feel I got totally stuck in and gave attention to each and every child! Never afraid to get my hands mucky (knowing that hand sanitizer is close by…) I was happy to sit on the filthy floor and let the children jump all over me as I think they need and deserve affection and attention! I always loved it when one of the children would come and sit in my lap or get comfy next to me, not afraid to hold my hand or chatter away in Nepali at me whilst I just looked at them amused and confused haha
Street Kids was another emotional one. As mentioned I’ve become really attached to Bidan and Mann they are so adorable! Feels weird knowing I won’t get to hang out with them again!
I gave out the amazing knitted Christmas stockings and crackers that my lovely friends mum Mary had given me to take over which were a major hit with everyone! The boys shared round the sweets and were never greedy! So refreshing to see.
I gave Ashmeta a little compact mirror with a light on that I had taken over and not used as well as some little glitter arts and craft gems which she loved. She is such an intelligent and beautiful girl, and the boys are so full of life and look after you so well whilst you are there, walking us to the taxi rank and making sure they haggled the price for us!
Before we left we had a group photo and once again we were presented with another tikka. It was a shame it was so dark out so the goodbyes with the boys had to be quick. Before we went they presented us with drawings and notes which I looked at earlier and cried my eyes out! So so lovely!
That evening myself and Edwina agreed it would be a proper ‘Let Your Hair Down’ type of night with it being the last one! Yasmine joined us at Maya Bar for dinner but opted to go shopping following food so me, Edwina and Graham went to meet his friends Deevin and Servage at The Blues Bar so I could sing one last time with the amazing Wave Band! I’m in the love with these guys! They own the stage and are just so lovely to speak to. They welcomed me up and we did around 5 songs which was awesome! I loved it once again and will miss singing with them! I wish they could come to England! Stay tuned for a video of one of these performances. Massive love to the guys in the band Rajesh, Ameet, Soubin you can see them here:
I had the best night, my new Aussie chum Edwina aka Skippy The Bush Kangeroo, she was on top form and I realised that we have become really close on this trip and will miss the pants off of her! She’s been funny, supportive and an all-round fun person to hang out with…I mean she managed to talk me into paragliding for god’s sake…she is a Yes Woman and I want to be more like her in that respect!
We will definitely keep in contact and have even chatted about doing some more volunteer work through PoD together in the future!
Another thing Edwina (with Graham’s help) talked me into (perhaps a little stupidly/selfishly) was to stay an extra night and get a taxi back to Kathmandu a day later than planned! And because I wasn’t ready to leave I agreed! It may have been a little naughty of me but Graham said that as he was done in Pokhara and wanted to head on that he would be my escort and come with me so I knew I was in safe hands for the trip.
The following day as I now had another day to make more fun memories we rented another cool motorbike and went on a day trip to a beautiful town up on the mountain called Bandipor.
I can’t believe my new zest for adventure, I mean granted I was a passenger on the back but I’ve never been on a bike in my life, nether the less trying that experience out for the first time in a place like Nepal where you have crazy terrain, cows in the middle of the road, people weaving in and out of traffic and even crazier drivers…. The only part of this trip I didn’t enjoy was coming back as it was getting dark, where I opted to just hold on for dear life and close my eyes for the most part haha (that tactic has got me few a few things here)
The rest of it was stunning, as the town was so so beautiful! So glad I went!
Today we were up at 5.45 getting sorted for our 6.30am taxi to Kathmandu. After goodbyes with Bindu and Edwina (miss you already chum!)The car pulled up and I was relieved to see that it was a fairly nice car and not as tiny as the ones you generally see racing up and down ferrying people to their destinations in Pokhara!
Graham was also relieved as he is around 6 ft 6! So we got to travel in what I thought was pretty luxurious conditions to Kathmandu. Blanket plenty of room and Graham’s laptop watching The League! The journey flew by. When we arrived in the crazy town of Kathmandu we freshened up and then went for food and then on to The Monkey Temple, another thing that was on my To Do List. It was so cool, hundreds and hundreds of monkeys everywhere! Then it was a taxi to the airport along with a sad good bye with Graham before the flight home! Gutted!
I have literally had the time of my life out here! I am so upset to be coming home and think I will have a hard time adjusting to normal life again! I am so unbelievably grateful to BE for making this happen for me and for being the reason that I got to experience the amazing things that I did during my time in Nepal! Without them I would never have done this and never learnt the things that I have about myself and that I can make a difference and that I’m now always the huge baby that I generally think I am!! I think however that I now need a couple of days flat out sleep now….
The people I have met and the experiences I’ve had will stay with me for the rest of my life!!
Day 14 – The bus trip back to where it all began..
At 7.30am sharp,the tourist bus bound for Kathmandu started it’s engine. The driver showed us all to our allocated seats and I soon settled in.
I’d forgotten how beautiful the scenery is between Pokhara and Kathmandu and felt myself being taken away by it, once more. I was in a reflective mood and the scenery was apt. I remembered the first day when we made this journey, meeting lovely new friends, Sophie, Edwina and Deepen really made that trip for me and I couldn’t help feeling that it was quite magical in a way. I heard their voices and laughter in my mind and it made me smile.
In honour of Deepen, I bought some samosas and shared them with a lady next to me, but it just wasn’t the same somehow.
This has really been a trip of a lifetime and I have learnt so much about myself and have a newfound respect for life. My life back home aswell as the lives of thecmany people I have met. There is only one sky and we all share it but it’s just so much better when you see Mount Everest through the louds. It never fails to leave me breathless
I will miss Nepal. It’s a part of me now and I have never felt more welcome anywhere in the world.
Kathmandu with its hustle and bustle is charmingly chaotic. Everyone smiles at you and calls out Namaste. A little like Pokhara but everyone is in a bit of a hurry, which seems like a shame.
I decided to treat myself and stay in a nice big hotel for the last night, before our flight tomorrow. Jade has decided to spend one more night in Pokhara with new friends, as she loves it there so much and will trave to Kathmandu in the morning.
I’d honestly forgotten what a hot shower feels like and nearly cried when I stepped under it..bliss! I’m really tired after the long journey, so went to the spa for a bit and then went to get my hair washed and blow dried and a beauty treatment. The whole bill came to £9.00!
I will have an early night tonight and do some sight seeing in the morning.
What an amazing experience all this has been! A bit like a dream..