41 days later in Nepal…
After our long and unexpected good byes to our Nepali families, we began to make our way back to the Pacific Guest House in Kathmandu. The sun was starting to set and small conversations of reflection (and rejoice) helped set the background during the hour long drive.
Emotionally and physically exhausted from the day’s event, we somehow managed to garner up some renewed energy as we approached the city outskirts. Looking out the bus window, we were bewildered with familiar visuals and feelings of hot showers, choices of food, flat roads, western toilets, vehicle traffic, crowds of people, city lights, and markets galore. For better or for worse, we were ready to reacquaint ourselves with grand-scale civilization again.
When we finally arrived at the Pacific Guest House we were greeted with old-familiar faces. Nukhol was the first meet us at the gate followed by Karma from the front desk. Sunju helped us with our bags along with two new kitchen staff. With some renewed excitement, I immediately jumped out of the bus and began to unload our baggage. It wasn’t until I grabbed our key to our new room (Room 114) and headed up the stairs when our grand revelation began.
Our new room not only had an armoire and a desk but also a large bed with real-soft pillows, high-thread count bed sheets and a very warm blanket. That’s it!
Honestly, it felt like we just arrived at a 5-star hotel. Our older room at PGH (Room 112) was not bad but this room (Room 114) was noticeably better.
It has been about 4 weeks since we left PGH and during that time we were staying at Chetena Kendra and Chankhu Besi. Chetena Kendra was literally our training ground before we immersed ourselves into typical Nepali rural lifestyle at Chankhu Besi.
After being away from these subtle luxuries for quite some time, we both proclaimed (as we both took our hot showers) that we will NEVER again take these things for granted again.
A right of passage
The next morning, a group of us gathered at the breakfast table and reflected on our experiences from the past several weeks. To be honest, I very much miss my Nepali family’s cooking and dal bhaat. Although it was pretty much monotonous, it was nonetheless fresh and healthy and was the closest thing to resembling the sense of a “home cooked” meal. The life we left was much simpler and we learned more about ourselves and each other during that time.
Looking back, I can say that we are all now completely different people compared to when we first arrived in Nepal. Even though we went through and experienced many difficult trials and tribulations, we would not have changed a thing about it if we could (well…maybe I would have brought sleeping bag). Things that used to be culturally different or shocking are now considered normal to us and our confidence in living and working in Nepal is much more stronger than ever before.
Ready or not, here we come.