Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Another end to another blog

Namaste everyone!

This is going to be my last post, because, unfortunately, I'm back home in the States. So let's recap my last few days in Nepal, and my 24-hour layover excursion in Turkey, shall we?

To be honest, not too much exciting happened during the last few days. There was a bit of scrambling to buy souvenirs, get my fill of momo, and pack before I had to ship off. Saying good-bye to the monks wasn't too heart-wrenching. They seem pretty used to the fact that people come and go frequently. I did get a really cool gold scarf as a thank you/goodbye gift. It was sweet. The last time I went to the orphanage was a bit more difficult though. The kids didn't quite understand that another girl and I were leaving until just before we were planning on leaving. Then it was challenge to stop all the hugging and crying that had commenced. One of the little girls wrote me a note that made me tear up a bit, so that was just plain old adorable.

The next day, I was up even earlier than usual to catch my flight, which was pretty non-eventful. Then, I was in Istanbul! I had originally planned to take a taxi into the city, but found out from the desk at the hotel that it was a bit more than I had expected, so I took the metro. Let me tell you one thing. A packed train full on a hot day does not help the fact that Turks do not smell good. It was a bit unpleasant, but I managed to get to the Hagia Sofia and my bus tour. The bus tour was pretty good. You can only see so much when you're stuck in a vehicle, but it was a nice overview of the city. I can't even tell you how many times I crossed between Europe and Asia.

After the tour, I went into the Hagia Sofia. It was incredible. Even though half of it was under construction, it was still stunning. It was so interesting to see all the different styles of architecture, art, and religion in one place. If I had had the time (and the money), hiring a guide would've been an awesome thing to do. There's just so much in there that wasn't explained, and I feel like I'd be able to appreciate it so much more if I had more of the background. Still, I'm glad I went.

Next, I went across the park to the Blue Mosque. Again, stunning. Since it's still an operating mosque, all women were required to be covered and wear a head scarf (which were so generously provided). Inside was amazing. Looking at my pictures, I'm a little disappointed they didn't turn out very well, but I hope you can still see a bit of all the intricacy that was inside. I couldn't spend too much time there, since a prayer session was about to start, so I headed out to wander the streets.

I walked around a bit, exploring the lesser walked streets of the city. Then for dinner, I knew I wanted to get a kebab, because yum. So I started looking for a cute little place where I wouldn't feel too awkward sitting by myself. I eventually found a little shop with tables outside, and enjoyed the deliciousness that is kebab, and cherry juice. While I was eating, I spotted a bakery across the street, so naturally, I had to get some Turkish baklava covered in chocolate, I mean, how could I not? After my little feast, I was exhausted so I hopped on the metro back to the hotel where I slept like a baby.

The next morning, I woke up a little earlier than I would have liked, but I just spent a few hours enjoying the peace and quite of the hotel room. When it was time, I headed to the airport for my flight. This flight felt particularly long. I had already watched most of the movies that were available, so it was a bit of a struggle to keep myself entertained the whole way. Once we landed, I zipped through customs, waited forever for my bag, and was so kindly driven home by my sister.

And now I'm home-- happy I went, slightly sad that I'm back. I really did have a fantastic time. Learned about the Nepali culture, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Now enjoy the last pictures I have to share.

The Monastery

The Orphanage

Bus Tour

Hagia Sofia


Blue Mosque

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What are men compared to rocks and mountains?


As I'm sure many of you know by now, I went on a little bit of an adrenalin binge this weekend. Bungee jumping, the world's largest canyon swing, and white water rafting. So what about all of these things? Well, gather round and let me tell you a story.

The other volunteers and I had been discussing the possibility of going to The Last Resort for a few days to do all of the previously mentioned activities, and one day we just decided that it was going to happen. We booked a few days before we left, and there was a wide range of emotions across the board. One of the other girls was petrified for days before we left, while I was just super pumped that it was going to happen. 

Saturday morning we got to get up nice an early to be on the bus by 6am. After a few hours on the bumpy, twisty roads around the mountains, we reached the resort, and were quickly ushered to the safety briefing. This is where I started to get a little freaked out. I'm pretty sure my face got a little paler while the bungee master was describing the process they call "walk like a penguin; fly like a bird." But I was still determined to jump. Everyone got weighed and then we were separated into 4 groups by weight. Thankfully, one of the other volunteers I went with was in my group. We'd be able to freak out on the bridge together-- it's the little things that give you comfort in those moments. We then went down to the viewing area to watch the first group jump, and let me tell you, my heart stopped the first few jumps that we saw. But fortunately, I was able to keep calm and stay a bit excited.

When it was finally our turn to head out on the bridge, I wish I could say I was totally cool, but that'd be a lie. I wasn't completely freaked out either though. Just the healthy amount of fear before you're about to jump off a bridge spanning a river with large boulders below. I still had to wait a while on the bridge before it was my turn to jump. Once I was put into the harness, there wasn't a lot of time to rethink my decision. I was basically double-checked for safety, retold the instructions, and the next thing I know, I just hear, "One, Two, Three, JUMP!" So I did. And I was plummeting down, head first, straight for the river 160 meters below. 

Then my body is jerked back up by the cord and I realize that I'm not actually going to die. After a few smaller bounces, I was lowered down to the ground, where I was taken out of the harness. I couldn't stop smiling. I was in utter disbelief that I had actually, finally bungee jumped. It was an incredible rush, and my heart was pounding for several minutes afterwards. Then, I waited for the other girl who was a few jumps behind me, and we hiked up the mountain together, both elated from the adrenalin rush.

The rest of the day was pretty chill. We lounged around, and at dinner we met some cool new people from around the world. But the next day would still bring some crazy decisions.

At breakfast, the bungee master came over to tell the people that were doing a second jump that morning what time to be ready. One of the other people I was with, made a snap decision that he also wanted to do the canyon swing. I wasn't planning on it, but with someone else I knew doing it, and that fact that I knew I would regret it if I didn't go, I decided to do another jump. Now, the canyon swing is basically just a gigantic swing. You're in a harness and attached to a rope, who knows how far away from the bridge. Then you jump, free fall for 7 seconds, and reach about 93 mph. Totally normal, right??

So this is what I decided to do. Again, once I was in the harness, everything was pretty much a blur and the next thing I know I'm hurtling down, screaming bloody murder. Admittedly, after the free fall was over, the whole swinging thing was a bit boring, but the free fall bit was definitely a tad frightening. I made it down safely to the group of the jumpers that had gone before me cheering, and we all hiked back up to the resort.

But the day still wasn't done. I still had some white water rafting to do. The whole thing took us about 3 hours. We went through some rapids, played some games, swam a bit, and jumped off a giant rock. I had a really good time, and our guide was fantastic. I think only one person fell off when they weren't supposed to, but we managed to get them back on the boat swiftly, so all was well. We ended the day with lunch at the end of the rafting and a bus ride back to Kathmandu.

It was a fantastic weekend, and I'm still so glad that I went days later. Definitely a couple of days I won't be forgetting soon. Plus I have some pictures :P

The bridge

View from the bridge

Jumping platform


Canyon Swing

Friday, June 6, 2014

Culture Clash: Nepal v America

Alright, so I've had a few questions about cultural differences between Nepal and America. Totally fair. I'm not quite sure if I'll be able to address them all, but I'll give it a shot.


Like I've said in my previous posts, the Nepali start their day very early. People are out and about by 5 (at least by my best estimation). This means that they also end their days pretty early. Once it's dark out, most people stay inside since there are no street lights. Shops tend to have more or less standard Western opening times, but may stay open a bit past the traditional 5 o'clock closing. They're also a bit more relaxed about being "on time" than Americans, but that doesn't mean they'll show up hours late.


Traditionally, Nepali eat dal bhat (a lentil and rice dish, sometimes accompanied by vegetables) twice a day. Doesn't sound like too much? Well, they eat a mountain of rice each time, so it keeps their stomach full. There are also a few snacks that they'll munch on in the middle of the day. My favorite is momo. Momo are like dumplings; you can get veggie, chicken, or buff (buffalo). They come with a special momo sauce for dipping, and can be found super cheap if you know where to look. A plate of 10 costs less than $1. Oh! And they typically eat everything with their right hand- no silverware. 

In the volunteer house, they serve us a "western" breakfast, which is toast with peanut butter and nutella 90% of the time. We'll also get some fruit and Nepali tea, which is similar to chai and can come with or without milk. Our dinners are made by a Nepali woman who lives in the house and the majority of the time we do have dal bhat- not the mountain of rice that the Nepali eat though. We've also had noodles, chow main style, and some pasta. 


The one thing I most definitely will not miss when I'm back in the States is the hacking. Here, it's socially acceptable to clear one's throat and spit it in the street, out the window, etc. I get that it's a cultural difference, but the sound disgusts me.

They also have a few different gestures. The one that's been the hardest to get used to is how they indicate "yes" with their heads. They don't nod or shake their heads, but they kind of tilt it side to side. It looks a bit like they're confused, but apparently they're not. The monks do it all the time, and I'm still getting used to it. Whenever I ask them if they understand, they'll tilt their heads, and my mind immediately thinks that they don't when they really do. It's been a bit of a challenge to get it right. 

I think one of the cutest things that the Nepali do is call everyone "sister" and "brother." It's precious, nothing more than that. Especially when they say it in English to us with their accent. Too adorable.


The Nepali dress conservatively. I was told before I came that I would have to have my knees and shoulders covered at all times while in public. I originally thought that was just to be a bit cautious, but no, that's what people do. Most women wear clothes that are similar to Indian style-- either a sari, or flowy pants and a tunic. Younger women (read: around my age) will sometimes wear more Western fashions, but still cover their shoulders and knees. Men will usually just wear pants and a shirt, nothing too different there. Kids are more all over the board. Every now and again, I'll see a child in more traditionally clothing, other times they're wearing a t-shirt with English words on it. 


Okay, so working in an orphanage and a monastery has shown me two ends of the spectrum of how kids are treated here. At first, I was completely shocked by how often they were hitting each other at the orphanage, as well as the fact that the owner of the orphanage would smack them too. We tried to get them to stop, and it has subsided a little bit, but not completely. One of the office staff here recently told us that it is acceptable to smack a kid upside their head to get them to behave- something I'll never be able to bring myself to do. So this kind of explains why the kids are hitting each other, but it still irks me. The kids could either turn out to be completely fine, or serial killers. Either way, I don't really agree with it. Other than the hitting, the kids at the orphanage seem to behave similarly to those you'd find in America. They can be a bit loud and unruly, but even if you yell at them, they'll still hug you the next time you come back.

At the monastery, there wasn't as much hitting. Just one who's the oldest did a bit at the beginning. I think they act very different than those at the orphanage though, because it's class time not play time. Sometimes they don't pay attention or don't shut up, and other times they're perfectly fine. I just attribute not following instructions to the language barrier, and not because they don't care what I have to say. 

At each place there is definitely a pecking order, usually determined by age. A few times an orphan has tried to claim he's the leader, when clearly we're older. That's usually annoying since they'll use that when we're trying to get them to stop beating each other or quiet down. 

Alright- that's all I can think of now, but if you want to know anything else, ask or leave a comment!!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Titles are hard

I am officially half way through my time in Nepal, and that is most definitely not okay in my book. But that is not the point of this lovely post, so we'll get to the good stuff.

Most of this past week has been filled with going to the orphanage and the monastery. So what exactly do I do there? I wish I knew... It wasn't really until just a few days ago that I finally started to get a hang of what I'm actually supposed to be doing. I get to the orphanage around 6:30/6:45 in the morning, and each morning is quite different. Sometimes the kids are already up, fed, dressed, and ready to go to school. Other times they haven't even been awake when I got there. Every day has a slightly different routine, and attitudes from the kids. There was a bit of a rough day earlier this week, where the boys were rough-housing and actually hurting each other. We had to give them a bit of a talking to, but I think half of it was a bit in vain since most probably didn't understand a majority of what we were telling them. They did get a bit better after that though, and hopefully they're starting to understand that their shenanigans won't be tolerated. The best moment at the orphanage so far would probably be Friday afternoon. We decided to go back when they were home from school for a bit to help another girl who just started helping there. The kids were all excited to see us and were really well behaved. I even managed to get a smile, some giggling, and a hug out of this little boy (probably around 3) who always wears pants that are too big and a bit of a frown on his face. It was definitely a momentous occasion on my end!

The monks have been quite a different story. They aren't as difficult to deal with since they have a bit more discipline in their lives, but I can never quite seem to what they already know. We weren't really provided a comprehensive list of what they've learned or what to teach them, so we've been trying to figure it out along the way. Sometimes the things we do are too hard, other times they're too easy- haven't quite hit the Goldilocks spot yet. But we're getting closer. My favorite moments from the monastery this week include one telling me that his best friend is Buddha, and the mess that was a relay race before one of the older kids translated the directions into Nepali for the little 'uns. 

Now what about all the other fun stuff?! Well, most of us are busy during the week, so the only time to really go exploring is during the weekend. We kicked off Friday night by going out for pizza in Thamel (the tourist district)-- a much needed break from the constant curry. Then yesterday, the two other girls and I went on a little tour of Kathmandu. We started by heading towards the White Gumba monastery which is only open on Saturdays. Our taxi ride there was pretty interesting, since we negotiated a price with the driver (which you're supposed to do), but he tried to up it once we got there. We paid him what we had agreed on, and walked away. But he decided to wait outside the monastery for a few minutes, and we were a bit freaked that he was going to come after us. It turned out okay, but some of those Nepalis will try to trick silly tourists. The monastery was absolutely amazing though. There were some gorgeous views of Kathmandu valley, and incredible gold statues outside. Unfortunately, they didn't allow any pictures inside the temple, but I was amazed by it. Being used to the churches of Europe, seeing this temple was mind-blowing. There were so many colors and golden statues! I can't even do it justice.

Then we headed to Durbar Square, which is in the old part of the city. We saw some cool temples, chased some pigeons, and took loads of pictures. It felt like a completely different city from the one we're used to with the tiny streets and the smelly river. I'm so glad that we went out exploring. It was nice to see a different side of Kathmandu. We ended our little excursion with some momo (Nepali dumplings with awesome dipping sauce). It was a pretty perfect Nepali Saturday. 

This next week brings more volunteering, and hopefully it'll just keep getting easier!


At the White Gumba Monastery

Durbar Square

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Animal Crackers in My Soup

This weekend, the other volunteers and I ventured to Chitwan National Park. We did a three day, 2 night package that included a personal guide, food, lodging, and transportation all for less than $150! Whaaaaat?! It was definitely worth every rupee:)

So what did we actually do?? Well, first we sat in a bus for over 6 hours, winding through the Himalayas, jostling at every little bump in the road, and suffocating from the heat. Once we actually got to the hotel, we had a few hours to rest up before we went on a tour of the local village and to see some elephants. The elephants were precious. I have to admit though, I wasn't exactly a fan that some were chained. I understand that they're huge animals, and you wouldn't want them running away, but still, it made me a bit sad. At least they still were able to move around and had space, food, and fresh air to enjoy.

As we were looking at the elephants, our guide spotted a rhino across the field! Apparently, some people never see one on their trips, but that was definitely not the case for us, as you'll soon find out. Since the rhino was so far away, we tried walking a bit closer, but it went back into the forest before we could get a good view. 

Then we kept going on our walk, and happened upon another rhino chilling in a river. Only seeing the top bits makes a rhino look pretty strange, but what can you do. We ended the walk watching the sun set over the park with about a hundred of our closet friends. That night we went to a showcase of some local dance traditions. That was pretty cool to see. There was lots of dancing in circles, and chanting, but my favorite was probably the short fire-spinning dance. Who knew that you could extinguish a flaming baton by spinning it so fast? The show ended our day. We were set for an early morning, and took advantage of the air conditioning for once.

The second day was by far the longest-- probably because it was technically our only full day there. Our first activity was a canoe ride. Guided and steered by professionals, so we were left to enjoy the fresh air that we all missed in Kathmandu. We saw a few birds here and there, but the best was yet to come. The next item on the agenda was a two-hour hike through the forest. Sounds cool, right? No. Very, very hot. The temperature reached over a hundred degrees while we were trekking about. That being said, we did get to see loads of deer, a monkey, a peacock, a wild boar, and what else but a rhino. Except this rhino decided to cause us a bit more trouble than the other ones. Our guide spotted it as we were hiking, so we stopped walking to take a look and let it be. But this particular rhino was a little too interested in us. I'm pretty sure we were in a staring contest for a few minutes before the guide decided to reroute the hike. So we turned around and were about the pass the rhino with plenty of space in between when it decided to have none of that and started a brisk thunderous walk in our direction. Needless to say, we turned right back around and luckily didn't see that rhino again.

After that bit of adventure, we went to an elephant breeding center, and got to see all the adorableness that is baby elephants. There were twins, and one that was doing a cute little dance. One also decided to befriend us, and walked to the fence where we got to pet it for a while. Smiles were on everyone's face. Then we headed down to a river and got to see some elephants getting baths. It was quite adorable to see these massive animals splashing around.

And that was just our morning. We got a few hours to relax and eat lunch before the elephant safari ride!! Which is basically exactly what it sounds like. All four of us were piled into a little basket and off we went! We were walked through the jungle and were attacked several times with branches that didn't phase the elephant one bit. We also got to see some more of the animals that we saw that morning, but this time they weren't as scared of us, since we were on top of other animals. And guess what we saw again?? Rhinos! This time a mother and her baby. They were grazing for a while, and we saw them again chilling in a little puddle a few minutes later. I also found my favorite elephant. It wasn't the one I was riding, but if elephants could be sassy, this one would be the sassiest. It didn't always follow the exact path, and just decided to grab random branches and snack along the way. It was amusing to watch to say the least. 

The last day, today, we just had a quick "bird watching" tour in the morning, where we saw another rhino. Apparently it was one we had seen the day before, but I really couldn't tell you if that was true or not. After the walk was done we packed up and headed back to Kathmandu on another, yet somehow bumpier, 6+ hour journey. And now I'm back ready for the next week of volunteering with my lil' chitlins and monks. 

Some dirt to keep the bugs off

"I love you pole"

Rhino that wanted us dead


"I love you, brother"

Sleepy dumbo

My favorite elephant

Thursday, May 22, 2014

And so it begins


This post is basically going to tell you what all I've been doing during my first four days in Nepal, answer a bunch of questions my sister so kindly bombarded me with on my last post, and of course, some pictures, so here we go.

Monday- Day 1

I got to the airport early in the morning by American standards, but definitely not by Nepali ones. By 7:30 the Nepali are out and about, making their way to work or school, and all sorts of shenanigans any American wouldn't dream of at that time of day. I was picked up at the airport by some people who work for ELI Abroad, the company I'm with, and they took me to the volunteer house in Kathmandu. For breakfast, I got some toast and Nepali tea (very similar to what we would consider to be chai). Their tea is a staple. They will drink it almost anytime of day and at any temperature. Iced tea does not exist here, which is crazy considering it's gotten above 90 degrees every day I've been here. 

Anywho, then I got to rest a bit, and get settled before heading out to the Monkey Temple with the other volunteers. Two of ELI's Nepali staff showed us around Swayambhunath, teaching us a bit about Buddhism and the temples we saw. And yes, there are a ton of monkeys everywhere. Someone even got "attacked" by one, because it wanted the food she was carrying. Basically it just snatched it out of her hands. She was fine, so no worries. After walking around the complex of temples, we got some lunch at a rooftop cafe. Everyone had momo, which are basically Nepali dumplings that are either veggie, chicken, or buffalo, and come with a certain sauce. They were pretty delicious, and super cheap (about $2). After lunch we all headed back, and called it a day.

Tuesday- Day 2

In the morning, I had my orientation with my roommate and project partner. We learned a bit more about the Nepali culture (like how 80% of the country is Hindu and 10% are Buddhist, and that eating with your left hand is considered filthy), and our project. Basically how it's set up is that in the (early) morning, we go to an orphanage, and help the lil' chitlins get ready for school, or with their homework, or anything that needs to be done. Then we get a few hours break before we go to the Buddhist monastery in the afternoon and teach some little monks in English. The afternoon brought a small tour of the city, basically mapping out where we had to go for each part of our day. We also got to see the orphanage and monastery for the first time.

Wednesday- Day 3

First day on the job! We were still guided by ELI staff to both of our project sites, but we were definitely tested on the way. At both the orphanage and monastery, we were incredibly confused, and never quite sure what we were supposed to be doing, but we've been told that it takes a few days to completely understand what's going on. The kids at both places are absolutely adorable. At the orphanage, even on the first day, we were getting hugs, and requests to play with them. The monks are a bit shier, but still precious.

After we all got back to the house, the two other girls who are here and I went out in search of some balloon/harem pants, because it is boiling here constantly, and we're all required to have our knees covered. It was pretty interesting. We were told that we shouldn't pay more than 500 Nepali rupees (about $5) for a pair of pants, but everything was either unmarked, or marked too high. We needed to play the bartering game. We all succeeded in various stores getting prices down to around Rs 550, and made a shopkeeper or two laugh on the way. But hey, mission accomplished, right? And now I have a kickin' pair of green swirly pants that don't make me want to jump in a bathtub of ice with every step I take.

Thursday- Day 4

Today! At the orphanage this morning, the kids were all super happy to see us and we got loads of hugs off the bat. Then a few went off to a dance class, and we were left to watch about 5 or 6 boys. They ended up playing and entertaining themselves, but that doesn't mean I wasn't still confused about what was going on. At the monastery, we started to get a better feel of what the monks actually know. They've got counting and the alphabet down pat, but addition and some words still trip them up a bit. That's fine though, gives us something to do. After all that, we managed to take the micro-bus all by ourselves back to our house (see below). It was a pivotal moment. No biggie.

And now some thoughts and answers to Marijke's questions!!

The driving here is absolutely insane. It pales in comparison to anything that I've seen before. Lanes are only seen as a suggestion, cars and motorcycles weave in and out of each other, and honking is commonplace. I now understand all the travel book warnings about renting a car or motorcycle- any western driver would probably have a panic attack and an accident. I actually rode in a public bus on my first day (the micro-bus mentioned above). Again, probably not what you're thinking. The buses here are old, white vans that people just hop on and off of. It made me think of what a mini-bus would be in South Africa (at least according to my sister's description). They can be jam-packed. One time I counted 22 people in one of these things, not including the driver, and money-handler. I've even had to stand in one, which was a challenge, since Nepal is a country of small people, so I was basically doubled-over, trying not to hit my head on the roof. It was definitely an experience, but I survived despite a few bumpy roads, so that's definitely a bonus!

Other things that have struck me as different include stray dogs barking at all hours of the night, and keeping me awake, no street lamps, cows in the middle of the road, and a need to be incredibly straight forward and not say things like "no, thank you," but just saying "no" instead. It's difficult for the Midwesterner in me! 

It's also incredibly dusty. People ware face masks to try to reduce the amount they inhale. Yes, I have bought one, but wearing it is uncomfortable and hot. I'm not really a huge fan, even though I know it's better for me in the long run. The dust also gives me the feeling that I'm never going to be completely clean until I'm back home.

The jet lag also hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. A nap on the first day and a couple of nights with melatonin has done wonders. 


Can you see lots of mountains from the city?
Lots? No. Some? Yes. It's a bit difficult at time though, since there's a ton of dust in the air and the buildings are so close together. But if you manage to get on a roof then you can get a pretty decent view of the mountains which surround the city.

Have you almost been run over by a car or motorbike yet? 
Numerous times. The streets are really narrow, and the drivers are a bit crazy as I've explained. There are also no crosswalks, so if you think Ann Arbor has crazy pedestrian right-of-way expectations and crazy drivers, YOU KNOW NOTHING! It usually isn't that bad to get across the street, but at busy intersections, if you aren't aggressive then there's no way you're getting across. You just have to stick out your hand, and walk. The cars will stop and the motorcyclists will swerve around. A bit petrifying at first, but I'm growing accustomed to it. 

Have you tried any Nepali food? 
Oh, so much. I've had momo (described above), and their traditional dal bhat. Dal bhat is a rice dish that's served with a lentil sauce, and is kind of curry-esque. The Nepali traditionally eat this twice a day around 9am and 7pm. It's pretty tasty. We've had it in our house twice already. They also love their tea, which I have every morning. 

Or learned new words? 
I've learned a bit. Since the staff all speak English, and I'm working with kids who know a bit of English, I haven't yet been presented with the need to learn a lot. But I know the basic "hi," "thank you," and "my name is Lena."

And what does Turkish Delight actually taste like?
Turkish Delight is first off covered in powdered sugar, so there's that. It's also chewy, which I wasn't expecting. But it has a very nutty flavor, pistachio I think. It's good, but I don't think I could eat a lot of it at once. 


First pic at the Monkey Temple

And around the back


Buddha shrine

Some Jesus-light over the mountains

Rooftops of Kathmandu

Sunday, May 18, 2014

I made it!

Namaste everyone!! I've officially made it to Nepal in one piece and jet-lagged like nobody's business. It's 9:20am right now, but flying through two "nights" has definitely screwed up my system a bit. It'll probably take a few days to get used to it, but I'm sure it'll be fine eventually.

My flights went pretty well. I surprisingly slept for most of the first one to Istanbul. And Turkish Airlines was pretty nice as far as airlines go. They got really fancy when they actually handed out "menus" that detailed what was going to be served and when. Definitely beats having the flight attendants explain over and over again what the options are. They also handed out Turkish Delight right after take-off.

And now I'm charged with relaxing until early afternoon when I'll be off to see the Monkey Temple!