A Big ‘Ol “Namaste” to Clothes Lines Out My Window, Cows in the Roads, and Dodging Roaring Stick Shifts Like I’m Jackie Chan or Something

I made it.  I took an agonizing 14-hour flight to Abu Dhabi (a city that often slips under the radar, but it in fact gorgeous and full of things to do) and then hopped on over to Kathmandu.  I told myself, “Yeah Leah, the middle east will be a nice layover to adjust to the third world nation that is to come.”  What did I do while in the UAE you ask?  Well, my roommate/travel buddy and I went to an outdoor bar right on the water of the Persian Gulf and had some drinks and strawberry hooka then got some rest and free wifi in our 5-star Arabian hotel followed by a luxurious international breakfast buffet the next morning.

Nothing can prepare you for Kathmandu.  I worried so very much that i wasn’t researching and reading enough.  To a certain point, it wouldn’t have helped me very much.  Before I left, I was agonized and taunted by the plethora or worried responses I had received from family and friends.  Very few said “Sounds cool, Leah,” or even, “Good luck,” but rather “Oh boy, you better be careful.”  I became angry.  I was trying to make sure I was seeing only the positive that was to come so why couldn’t everyone else just do the same?  Why couldn’t everyone else just show support rather than fear?  I have noticed more and more in only a day’s time that there is little to fear about this place other than the relentless barking and caw-cawing of crows and roosters that impedes on one’s ability to have a restful night’s sleep.  What seems fearful: the raging traffic, honking, lack of street signs and traffic lights, the mangled dogs in the road, the babies playing in constructions sites…this is not to be feared.  This is a mark of a culture that seems so foreign to me i am not sure I will ever full wrap my head around it.

I may be going to Everest soon.  Our coordinator just told us.  How casual “Oh, you guys are going to Everest soon.”  Something tells me for as tough as this will be there will be amazing things to counter the difficult.  We are heading out to the Monkey Temple soon, which should be great.  We just had our fist Nepali language also.  It should be interest, attempting to learn such a new sounding language, especially for the purposes of communicating with the children I’ll be teaching.  Well, that’s about it for now since I will be summoned to the Monkey Temple soon.

Namaste,

Leah

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