Day 23 October 25th 2014
Delhi India to Edmonton Canada
Well folks what can I say, another adventure had run its course. Three weeks always seems to fly by when you’re having fun with new found friends and cultures. Of course no trip of mine could be complete without a summary of the best and worst parts of the experience!
Let’s start with Nepal. Two weeks only provided a taste of what this humble country has to offer. Before the trip began I had very little knowledge of this quaint little country other than the relative location of it in the world and that it was next to Tibet.
Kathmandu had to offer the hustle and bustle of any Asian city with a deep rooted culture hidden around every street corner. Pokarah provided us travellers with a calm trekker’s paradise that allowed me to mingle with villagers and experience a trekking journey like never before. Finally Lumbini gave me the chance to reflect on life and happiness; meeting all the wonderful people at the Kurna Girls College and helping out with the medical clinic allowed me the chance to reflect on life.
Now onto India; well it’s really hard to say that you’ve been to India until you’ve traveled through every state within the country as they all from what I hear are so different. Therefore, my conclusions of India are more reserved for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Both states were absolutely spectacular. Even being the poorest states in India, they had so much to offer from the kindness of its people to the bumps in their roads.
Ok so here’s brief list of the 11 best things about the trip (both Nepal and India).
- Hospitable people of Nepal – I have yet to find a place on earth that is home to such beautiful people would find such hospitality. You didn’t need to go too far to find a villager who would graciously offer you into their home for tea or Dahl bat
- Dhal bat and Veg Momo’s – best native food that I have so far experienced in my travels. Such simple ingredients of rice, lentils and seasonal veggies but worth a plane ride to get some any day
- Huddling up around my iPad to watch movies in the rain – had a blast spending the evening with the trekking team, all 8 of us surrounding my tiny iPad watching movies while it poured rain
- Got a chance to see the true Nepal – village life, meeting school children and the little nuns, truly a once in a lifetime experience
- Falling off a 6 foot wall – yes an odd choice as being one of the top 5 best parts of the trip but it was a hilarious moment in time that none of us will forget and it’s a reminder of how I over came one of the toughest mental challenges I’ve faced in life thus far. Step by step anything can be achieved
- Colourful streets – amongst all the garbage and dust, dirty walls and dirt streets, the colours of Nepal and India where outstanding. It’s amazing how the streets come alive with colour and beauty as the women of India walk around in their spectacular Sarees
- Indian’s national pride – it was a breath of fresh air to see many people in Bihar and UP welcome us to India as proud as ever that we’ve chosen their country out of others to spend our time
- Bodhgaya temple at night – I hope I never forget the sounds of monks chanting as night fell on this powerful place of peace
- Ganges river boat ride and Varanasi Ghats – I will admit getting up at 4:45 am was not the highlight of the trip but watching the sun rise on the Ghats of Varanasi as we cruised along the mother Ganges was spectacular (even with the utterly loud boat engine)
- Spending three weeks with a monk and a nun – words cannot describe how blessed I was to have had the opportunity to spend three weeks with such intelligent charming humble people who have such a passion for creating peace.
- CEBA family – loved getting a chance to meet and get to know everyone from the CEBA family including Rockey, Aki and of course Gina, my lovely roomie. Will note forget all the laughter we shared in our evenings before falling asleep.
Now the top 8 things I will not be missing any time soon about Nepal and India (I couldn’t think of 10)
- Garbage – oh dear there this is a serious problem in both countries that I could not get over no matter how many mounds of garbage I saw. I will not be missing this anytime soon, hopefully as my career progresses I will have the opportunity to help solve this problem
- Dogs and animals on roads – made traffic go exceptionally slow and I was sad to see all the homeless dogs being left to starve or be hit by cars
- Eastern showers – I will never get used to the entire bathroom being drenched in water
- Horn honking all the time – install some traffic lights please!
- Air pollution – when flying from Varanasi to Delhi I was amazed at how poor the visibility was outside the window… And that that was all caused by air pollution! Lunges did not agree well with it either
- Begging people – they were everywhere and I found you had to get firm with people which sucked because you were not given much opportunity in India to just meet local people and have a conversation with them
- Aggressive sellers – watch out Wall Street, there are some serious sales people in India! Towards the end of the trip a sales clerk chased me all the way to the hotel elevator trying to sell me scarves; this was after buying 10 from him!
- Bottled water – I cannot wait to have a shower when I get home and not be worried about getting water in my mouth. Another serious environmental problem both countries are faced with.
Amount countless little lessons, laughs and memories there are three major points I’m taking home with me:
- We all have the ability to control our minds and how we deal with whatever comes our way. Being aware of this is everything!
- Life is so short, nothing is permanent so don’t take things too seriously when something tough comes your way and don’t waste one minute thinking you have all the time in the world because life goes by in a blink of an eye, cherish every moment, good or bad
- After being exposed to a side of the world that is experiencing massive environmental issues with air water and waste, I have found a much deeper pride for what I do for a living. The next 30+ years are going to be full of exiting challenges which will hopefully allow me the opportunity to have a positive impact on our environment. I say our environment because another thing this trip has driven home is that we are all citizens of the world and the decisions each person makes affects everyone on this planet. Catastrophic environmental destruction is not limited to borders and territories; it has and will continue to affect us all.
Please do take a chance to explore CEBA’s and Anatta Outreach‘s websites as the work both organizations are doing is chancing lives of so many people who truly need it an in the process are changing the future of Nepal.
धन्यवाद (dhanyabad) which means thank you in Nepali. धन्यवाद for taking the time to read about my adventures this past month. Please feel free to comment on how you liked the posts and sharing the experience with me.
Stay tuned for my next adventure, Cuba! Going to be spending time with my local Salsa dancing group in Havana!
Until we meet again, Namaste!