This feels surreal. It’s 5.30am and here I am flanked by 3 young monks in their regalia next to me at Zero Point, where you wait to get rides around here in Solukhumbu. My host family’s teenage boys are on the lookout up the single dirt road in this remote Himalayas, looking for the jeep-bus to whisk me back to Kathmandu. For as long as I could remember, I’ve always wanted to experience what it’s like to live in a village in the Himalayas with the Sherpa community. And that I did indeed, with the help of Volunteer Society Nepal. I came here, solo, as a volunteer to teach English at a local school. But I came away with more life lessons than the lessons I actually imparted to my students. And that’s more than OK. Life’s like that sometimes.
It was daunting when I arrived here, two weeks ago. A solo female traveler in a foreign land and I don’t know any Nepal Bhasa, the language. So as I reflect back, this was probably one of the boldest things I’ve ever done. I stayed with a family that I’ve never met before. I walked through the Himalayan pine forests every day, mostly by myself to teach at the school, several villages over. I figured out how to be present with a bunch of people with hardly a common language, and laugh and at one time, even shed tears together. It took a few days, but that daunting feeling turned into a feeling of empowerment. I met with the principal of the school and together we figured out how best I could serve the community and the students. I sponsored two indigenous students with an annual scholarship and paid for their uniforms and books. I cried. I laughed. I reflected. I arrived here a stranger and I have now gained a family.
The jeep-bus has arrived. Half-hour late as Nepal runs on its own time out here. I’ve come to appreciate not having a watch living in the village. Hugging the boys, they felt like siblings to me now, and choking back tears, I realize that this is not goodbye. I will be back.
There were many beautiful moments that I’ve experienced here in the remote Himalayans. I’ll let the photos tell the story. I had a great time volunteering in Nepal. Thank you Volunteer Society Nepal (VSN) team