Tuesday, April 5, 2011

with love from chitwan

i'm entirely in love with this place.

once again, i only wish i was a more elegant writer and could share with you all just how happy i have been here these past few days.

i arrived in chitwan with bhim {the director of webnepal} and carlos {a volunteer from spain} on sunday {pronounced aitabaar in nepali . . . the days of the week have been my focus yesterday and today} and moved into bhim's house in the outskirts of sauraha. currently there are four volunteers living here {carlos from spain, trevor from canada, mel from france, and me} in addition to all of bhim's family and most of his extended family {i still don't know how we all fit in every night!}. on my second day, i was given a bike and all of us volunteers went to the school/ room where we are supposed to be teaching the kids english and conservation {there is just no organization and we never really know what we are supposed to be doing. . . but i love it. loads of freedom!}

having a bike, an old, lovely, rickety thing, has sorta changed my life. i adore the 20 to 25 minute ride to school each day. i love riding on the dirt and gravel roads, love the dust, love the hot sun, love being the only white person around, love passing over bamboo bridges, and love dodging the elephants on the road.. . . just to name a few things. . .

everday i see at least half a dozen or dozen elephants! that is when i feel the farthest away from home.

it's so crazy, wonderful, and empowering here.

my life couldn't get any better at the moment.

chitwan is seriously hot this time of year and i feel like i am right back in india. . . it is bearable, but still, you have to get up early and stay up late if you want to spend any time outside.

this morning, mel and i woke up at 6:00, took a barefoot walk {at sunrise} by the river, helped lakshmi peel the potatoes for the dal bhat, had our masala tea, did a little yoga class with the nieces, and then tried to check email. everyday i am at school from noon until 2:00 p.m.

after class today {it went really well this afternoon and i got excited because i felt like the kids really understood the assignment [for once!]} i went to town. in town i had more tea with the shop owners and talked with them about my home and how great a time i've had in nepal. plus i found the ring i have been searching for the whole time i've been in nepal! it was just too much money {even after i talked the man down to half price. oh bargaining! i am getting better at it for sure. . . it is just a way of life here and if you don't do it, you won't survive}

i am back at home now and am excited because i have internet access! hooray.

{i hope these images help you see why i love this place so very much. these were all taken yesterday on our bike ride back from town. 1.) trevor + mel down the path + the glorious magenta sunset 2.) me + mel + rice fields + sunset + laugher 3.) my sexy little bike that is a good bit too short for me 4.) me + mel + loving life faces again [mel is a real inspiration. chitwan has been her home for the past 6 months. she is carlos, trevor, and my nepali teacher and guide in addition to a lot of other things] & 5.) sunset + workers in the fields. . . it all reminds me a good bit of this very idyllic pic from the eat, pray, love movie}

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