Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ahh back home! For the first time in my life i am happy to come home! This is not saying that i disliked nepal, but rather I highly treasure Nepal. I left a country for the first time content with my efforts, experiences and struggles. This is not saying i experienced the entirety of Nepal, for that is quite impossible, but for the period of time in my life and the duration of time i stayed, i honestly feel i gained what i was meant to gain. It's funny, thousands of travelers come to Nepal seeking spiritual enlightenment or redemption, both commonly helped along by the national weed, and supposedly find this great enlightenment atop the Himalayas and in the beautifully ancient temples and monasteries. However, i have realized for myself i have found the hidden sanctuary/monastery on the streets of Kathmandu. Sounds utterly insipid after all my bitching, but i believe that the only place i was confronted with having to deal solely and absolutely with myself was in the busy, shit filled streets of Kathmandu. True Buddhism... It is ever so easy to give up 'material' objects to venture into the lush forests and mountains of nepal where you are isolated in the sanctuary of life, protected from the literal shit of life. This is of course only My opinion, that of a relatively naive 18 year old.

reflecting, i realized i truly was thrown into the 'real Nepal' having to fend for myself and living the very hard life of Nepal. No matter how much i travel and try and relate i will always be a 'white girl from America.' And it is both arrogant an naive for me to believe that i can be melded into such a complex culture on pure will.

It may seam i have become airy fairy but in actuality i feel i have become more realistic and hopefully, more effective. I probably will not volunteer with children again. I love children but this is not where my passion nor my strength is and although i would not give up my volunteer experience for anything i have discovered my skills are stronger elsewhere. I feel that i had to prove to myself that i could live without electricity, running water, that i could hand wash clothes in the florescent colored water of the river, cook dal bhat on an open fire, teach children, live in one of the poorest nations, deal with political violence, climb the Himalayas etc etc. Now that i have done it and however foolishly labeled myself 'capable enough' i am now focusing on my strengths hopefully.

People look at me and automatically assume the hardest part of volunteering in third world countries with a disability is purely physical. Quite the opposite. Maintaining my self confidence and my belief in my value ability has by far been the most difficult. When i say that i volunteer most assume i just drool in the corner and that it is quite enough that i was 'brave' enough to fly in a airplane all alone (note sarcasm) to sit in the corner. I have whenever volunteering, had to fight to work. Literally overstepping boundaries to prove i could do it and do it well. It has made me question however if this is the best or the most helpful. Yeah, i have proven i can get on my knees slam wet clothes against rocks in green toxic rivers till clean, make dal bhat for 30 kids over a fire with utensils from the stone age, and teach English with a speech impediment, but really is this the full use of my skills and strengths? Do i serve humanity to my fullest capacity doing this? A question to further ponder...

Well, no worries my adventures have just begun, they are merely evolving, or devolving however you see it!

more soon


Blogger Barbara said...

I salute you and what you have learned from this difficult experience.
I am glad you made it to Pokhara, otherwise your view of Nepal would have been limited to the shit on the road and the bothersome men!!!
Which college will you be joining? Whichever - I know you will leave your mark!!
Cheers! Barbara

9:01 PM  

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