Twenty-two years ago, I walked nervously down…
Twenty-two years ago, I walked nervously down a dusty dirt track bound for a village and a family and a life I could barely understand. I was just starting my semester abroad with @sitstudyabroad in #Nepal, and we were entering a village homestay. My family’s house was a modest one, perched on a lush, gentle ridge in #Kavre-Palanchok, built of stacked stone with timber framing, “skinned” with ochre mud stucco in the #Newar tradition for the area. I remember stopping down to enter the main room on the ground floor, heart thumping with nerves, wondering how I was going to fit in, to communicate, to jigsaw into this new world. But, my fears were immediately assuaged by the smiles…deep, profound, sincere smiles arcing above clasped hands of #Namaste, the smiles of my village family, Ram Gopal Shrestha and his wife, Sita…smiles which immediately told me I was welcome, that what little was theirs was mine as well, that all would be alright. It was one of the most intense, profound, and impactful few weeks of my life.
Today, I walked back through that doorway for the first time in 22 years. The smiles were still there…but now with a few more wrinkles, a few less teeth, and the wear and tear of years of subsistence agriculture, village life, and loss. Ram Gopal and Sita’s house – my house – is barely standing. The #NepalQuake of 2015 shook the earth too much, torqued the stone walls and caved in some, cracked others, dropped ceilings onto floors and walls onto the road. “Ke garne?” was all Ram said. “What to do?” indeed. There is little a poor family like theirs can do, except move their salvageable possessions into the small tent they now call home, try to stay dry through the monsoon, and hope the government’s promises funds to rebuild come through, and hope it’s enough. And they are not alone: many houses in #Syampati and #Dapcha likewise collapsed, and it’s a story played out almost a millionfold across the countryside of central Nepal.
Now it’s time for me to #HelpCarryTheLoad. #dailylifenepal #dailylifeasia #nepalphotoproject #liveyouradventure #nepaliloveyou @jibanghimire
Syampati, Kavre, Nepal