Well, after years of being away from home and traveling all over the world, I've finally decided to take the step into the world of blogging. As most of you know, I will be spending the next four and a half months teaching English in Nepal. And, as I remain a bit unsure about the communication outlets I will have at my disposal, or frequency at which I will be able to access them, I figured this was the quickest and easiest way to get in touch with those who wish to follow my time there. So here you go. As I said, I really don't know how frequently or thoroughly I will be able to update this but hopefully I can provide at least some small anecdotes regularly enough to provide you all will some sort of insight to my time in Nepal. Enjoy :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Namaste from Narayangarh

Hello all from the lovely city of Narayangarh...and by "lovely city" I mean congested, single road town that serves as the bus hub for all traffic in and out of Chitwan. But it has a few stores and as our home has been out of toilet paper for three days now, necessity called for a trip into town. And so here I am. The past week has been pretty routine with teaching and daily life. There was one tragic passsing...Bessy, my beloved mode of transport each morning suffered a blow to the tire and has now been put out to pasture. And so I have begun a new journey...with Bertha. And quite frankly, it's just not the same. She is smaller, and therefore more difficult to ride. And does not take direction well, sending me into a rocky revine on one occassion. And if you think a grown woman standing in the middle of the road yelling at a bike sounds a bit strange, just imagine what all the locals working out in thier fields must have thought. But other than that, things continue to go quite well and each day I see new growth in my students which gives me further encouragement. There is one little boy in the village who, when I arrived, could not speak a word of English, and would constantly speak to me in Nepali as if I understood everything he was saying. But now, after talking with me and a few of the other volunteers for the past few weeks, he is slowly begining to learn the language. The other day, passing his house, and hearing him say "Hello Megan, how are you?" was like music to my ears. Definite growth! My cultural experience for the week came in the form of Puja, a Hindu ceremony marking the anniversary of a relative's death. A year ago, the father of the family that I am staying with passed away and, since then, the family has been in a period of what we would call mourning. The family was "juto" or contaminated in a sense. There were things they were not allowed to do or eat due to this for the whole year. But, in the Puja, a priest comes, offerings are made to the many gods, and the family is clensed of juto. It was definitely an interesting ceremony, long (i.e. 6 and a half hours in the scorching sun), but interesting. Over 200 people visited throughout the day, coming and going as the ceremony was taking place, and they all took part in the massive amounts of food served up by the family and their volunteers (i.e. we were the wierd white people carrying food...lots of strange looks from little old ladies). And when the ceremony was over, the dancing began. Drumming and dancing and singing. We were told that it would go on all night and the tradition is to dance until sunrise. Being quite tired by about 9pm, and having to teach early the next morning, the volunteers all left. And, I must admit, I assumed "we will dance all night" was a bit of an exageration. But sure enough, when I woke up at 3am, I could hear the drums still banging away on the other side of the village. They definitely know how to keep a party going here. And now a new week begins. I've been told we might have another public holiday this week...this is the land of public holidays...but we usually don't know until the kids at school tell us "no school tomorrow!" when we try to give homework. But for now, I am off to get the oh so needed toilet paper. Namaste :)

1 comment:

  1. Hoping for a long, happy and healthy relationship for you and Bertha!
    The students learning from you and showing what they now know because of your teaching has got to give you such joy, i love it.
    And a party till 3 a.m. and beyond, wow!!
    Hope you stocked up on TP! Where's COSTCO when you need it!?