Radha

Nepal is beautiful. I could not have dreamed up a more wonderful country. The hills and mountains go on and on and on as far as the eye can see and yet still further, all green and bathed in rain. During my trek, I found myself happy, at one, and in touch  with my mind, soul, and being. I felt like the scarf in the Nepali song resham pririri. I got to learn a lesson I’ve learned before and a lesson I am still learning: the lesson that it’s about the journey not the destination. And my, what a magical journey it was with all the admirable, strong adventurers I spent time with on the trail.

Nepal continues to amaze me every day in the little village just outside of Duhlekel where I have settled in to find community.

I've met a friendly family. They are completely divine. I almost cried when I met my little brother and the first thing he did was teach me how to write Michael and Alyssa in script (my American parents' first names). Today is my second day staying at their home and today the mother dressed me up in Nepali clothing, did my hair/makeup, and gave me a tika (bindi) for my head before sending me off to the neighbor's farm to dance.

This amazing family has given me the Nepali name Radha. Some believe she is the symbol of love, and some believe she represents a sad, impossible romance. Everyone believes she is to be honored.

My brother (9) loves to take pictures with my camera and my sister (4) draws on everything I own. There is no sense of privacy, no toilet paper, and we eat with our hands. But please don’t get me wrong - this is very much a culture of respect, care, cleanliness, and hospitality, where guests are treated like gods and goddesses.

I am currently sitting on my bed with my new brother, Amrit, and sister, Amrita, listening to them sing; I feel like part of the family. The language barrier is confusing, but we laugh, drink tons and tons of hot tea, and live a merry life of love in our cornfield.

Although this is just the beginning, I already fear the end. I feel true bliss in this mindset and reality of growth and exploration that is travel. I am reminded every day that we are all truly just walking each other home. Home can mean many different things to many different people at many different times. But for now, to me, it is a small wondrous village in Nepal.

 ~ With care, Radha