Since arriving in Nepal I have experienced many different types of emotions, I know highly unusual for the likes of me! When I first stepped foot into Nepal I was so unsure of my decision. Kathmandu is unlike any place I have travelled and certainly no place like it in the USA. I was fortunate to have a friend meet me in the city and help me find my way; this was huge. My arrival into Chanauti was no different. Even though they had been told many times of my arrival, it still came as a surprise. I had no place to sleep or put my belongings- this didn't help, but I didn't let it get me down. The clinic here is very busy so no time for self pity during the day. I quickly learned my way around and made a few friends.
Day three of being in Chanauti I made a best friend, Kali Bunti - little black princess. She came to me from a near village called Timbu in a blue plastic bag aboard a motorbike carried by my other best friend, Buddihman. He said he saw how sad I was and knew how much I liked puppies! She is a rock star in this town. As we walk down the bazaar I hear voices saying Kali Bunti, Kali Bunti, she is quite popular!
The village I am living in is quite possibly set in the most beautiful place I have visited. There is a large river, the Melamchi River, which runs wild through the town. The Himalayas are the source of this pristine body of water and also the main water source for Kathmandu. On either side of the river the mountains rise up and are covered in terraced farms. Wheat, potatoes, spinach, cauliflower, rice, mustard grow everywhere. In the distance there is a larger mountain that is snowcapped.
Everyday I go on a morning hike up to the top of one of the hills. Every week Buddihman shows me a new place to walk - there is no shortage of trails here. The difference between our trails and these trails is simple; people use these paths to get from one town to another - it is not common for the people here to go on a walk or hike just cause. It is amazing to see some of these paths - they jet off the main road and go straight up! And the crazier part of this is the people using these paths are carrying more than their weight on their backs! No one can say the Nepalis are not hard working!
The clinic. It is amazingly simple and efficient. We have six beds that are always full. In the morning I come back from tea to find the courtyard buzzing with patients usually dressed in an excessive amount of red. Some of these patients wait a few hours for treatment and don't seem to mind. Most patients walk about two hours for a 30 min treatment, but many patients walk much further. I had 10 patients that all came together who walked 5 hours --- 10 hours in one day! I can honestly say I have never walked 10 hours in one day, and I am pretty sure I will die never having done as much.
The people. I mentioned Buddihman earlier, but not enough can be said for my new friend. He went out of his way in the beginning to make sure I felt at home. He continuously checked in on me and offered to take me on walks. He always makes sure I have something to do in my day if I want. He took me to a town about a three hour motorbike ride away last weekend. It was comical. Buddihman, myself, and Kali set off for a weekend getaway - this is my new family and I love them! There are also his friends that have made me feel welcome in their circle, always including me in the conversations, which I often do not understand! The children have also been amazing! They are quite possibly the happiest kids I have ever met! And they have nothing in the way of things! A few of them have taken to my iPad, which I think was a mistake on my part!
Kali. She is my favorite friend when she is asleep! I am pretty sure generations of feral-ness is impeding my ability to properly train her. She has a taste for human blood! Ok... she is very strong willed, which I love and hate. She comes with me everywhere I go. During the day in clinic she comes into my lap while I sort out a treatment plan for my patients. At night she takes over where my Lucci bear and Biscuit left off always curling up as close as possible. I have fallen in love with a Nepali! It is going to be a very difficult day for me when the time comes to say goodbye... ok must move on, this can't get sad :(
The weather. It has been a consistent 65-70 and sunny everyday! No more needs to be said.
I have adjusted quite well. I find myself quite happy and enjoying my time in Nepal. I can honestly say I will be sad to leave. I love the predictability to my daily routine. It is so simple, which makes it totally amazing. While I worry for those I have left behind, I can honestly say I have not worried about a thing since I have been here, and that is something for me to admit. I am truly happy being here and having this experience. I am very blessed and fortunate to have the support from home to embark on this crazy journey. I miss everyone terribly. But this place is so amazing and wonderful in most ways that it allows me to be in this moment.
Life is good. I hope this finds everyone well. Much love to my friends and family.