Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Namaste! The First 24 Hours

My time in Nepal began beautifully. As the plane descended the tops of the snow-capped Himalayas poked through the 15,000 level cloud cover. Amazing. Mt. Everest right in front of me. As we broke through the clouds, the "hills" surrounding the Kathmandu Valley appeared. Keep in mind that the Nepal hills are as high as the Colorado Rockies. Terrace farming and small homes lined the ridges. The valley then appeared in it's colorful garb. The homes are painted bright colors and the people wear primary color silks. The entire descent was surreal. I kept saying "OMIGOD!" under my breath.

Molly and Carly came with Monish, my guesthouse host, to pick me up. I was VERY glad to see them. Freak Street, where our guesthouse is located, is crazy and New Road even crazier. For now, let me say that everything is on the road and nothing obeys the rules. Cows, bikes, dogs, motorbikes, rickshaws and cabs somehow coexist. You just have to practice letting go when you hop in the cab's back seat.

I've acquired my rupees and in country cell phone, learned where to get my bottled water, and fallen in love with Nepali tea. The three of us went to dinner last night and I fell in love with momos - like potstickers only better - steamed and spicy.

I have learned that the Nepali day begins at dawn (5am) when the roosters crow (yes, I am in the big city). Work doesn't begin until 9:30 or 10. Breakfast is Nepali tea (did I mention that I am in love with it?) and toast. The Nepalis have Dal Baat at around 10. Lunch is late. Bedtime is around 9pm - 10pm at the latest. The dogs bark all night.

Today was my first day at work at READ Nepal. I have my own desk. They brought me water and tea (did I mention the tea yet?) and flowers and their grace. What they say about the Nepali people is true: they are the loveliest of people. Everyone wants to talk and share and learn and help.

Life if so good here. More again soon.


  1. Meredith said...
    Oh, Julie. I remember that sensation of landing among those "hills" into the Kathmandu valley...as soon as the wheels hit the ground, all of the passengers clapped! I am looking forward to following your adventures! Have fun, be safe and enjoy!

    amanda said...
    Julie! So glad you made it safely. I am looking forward to reading about your experiences.

    Tell Carly this for me, por favor-

    "I am going to kick your ass for not letting me know you made it there safely and for not responding to my emails. You suck but I love you. Love, Amanda"
    Sara said...
    Julie - are you going to bring lots of this tea home for us to try? I miss your smiling face. Glad things are well.
    zaq3001 said...

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