after a crap night’s sleep, i caught breakfast this morning at the guest house i’m temporarily staying in. there, i met five other volunteers who are here starting various assignments. most are staying longer than i am, and are teaching or working in medical outposts. there’s only one other gal, hana (sorry if i spelled that wrong), who is also working at an orphanage like me. following a breakfast of plain toast, the six of us met for a brief language lesson. i’d like to have a better attitude about it, but there’s just no way i’m going to learn even 2% of what she tried to teach us today. verb forms after 20 minutes? it’s just not going to happen. i did make a point to learn “no meat” which i had down rock solid during the lesson, but i managed to forget it no more than 10 minutes afterwards. DAMN IT!
a few of us headed out for a stroll following the lesson, and i got to see my first sights of kathmandu. sitting here now, i’m torn. it’s new, but it feels a lot like hanoi. it’s dirty, but that’s not really a bad thing. there are lots of shops filled with really neat jewelry and knitted wear, but those are along side of stores filled with trinkets made in china. while it was only my first day, and i should give it time (yada, yada, yada), i’m thinking i’m sort of glad i’ll be getting out of town on FRI – more on that in a minute. my whole reason to come here was to get way from hassle, get away from the crazy busy life i have been living back at home. here in the city, it feels no different. things are moving a million miles a minute, and i have access to the internet which has me wanting to pull up The Times, check my FB, and put up these posts. don’t get me wrong – i enjoy sharing my pictures and experiences with you – it’s just not giving me the break i was hoping for.
alright, back to my day. while out and about, we did find a place called the garden of dreams, which was well worth the 150 rupee (~$2.00) admission fee. it’s more less a chill out zone in the middle of the hussle and bussle that is downtown kathmandu, and we stayed for an hour or so chatting about our lives back home before returning to the guest house for lunch shortly after 1.
at this point i’ll say this and get it out of the way – i’m not going to talk about the food much during this trip. why? because i just don’t like it. (while that might sound blunt and crass, there’s really no other way to say it) i’ve had four traditional nepali dishes, and i don’t have the taste for them. any of it. don’t get me wrong – i’ve tried them all with a very open mind – they just don’t do it for me. so instead of going on for the next three weeks telling you about the meal that just wasn’t for me, i’ll leave it at that, and say no more. tomorrow, i’ll be stocking up on bread, jam, pasties, and a few snickers to get me through the next few weeks at my orphanage, which will be fine with me. which brings me to my placement:
i’ll be working and staying at an orphanage about 5km outside kathmandu. for now, all i know is it’s pretty rural, has 10 children ages 5 to 13, and i’ll be working with hana, the gal i mentioned earlier. we leave FRI, and i’m pretty excited to get there – it’ll be nice to get to work and out of the city.
i’ll leave you with some pictures of the city, including some from boudhanath (the top image in this post), considered one of the most holiest buddhist sites in the city. i’ll also include one from the airport at abu dhabi which was pretty neat.
oh, and before the pictures, a quick note – after tomorrow’s post, i’ll be leaving for my placement and will not have much access to power and zero access to internet. most likely, i’ll be blogging one or two posts on the weekend, and maybe one during the week if hana and i come into town for supplies. so, my apologies to the eager beavers that are hoping for day to day updates. but for me, it’s a good thing. i had hoped to unplug a bit during this trip, and that’s exactly what i’m getting.