The first morning in Bhalamchour, I woke up with a delightful surprise of food poisoning. We had come in late the night before and I must have consumed something my stomach didn’t particularly like along the journey. Going back and forth between the squatty potty and a spot next to my new family’s house on a cool, stone bench, I was transported away from my sick body into a mystical, Himalayan world. My ears were intrigued by the chaos of bird callings, the various packs of dogs barking back and forth between their different territories, and the sight of the 5:45 early dawn light spreading across the sky until reaching the looming peaks of the Lantang range. Despite my aching stomach, I could feel the presence of peace and tranquility envelope me in its grasps. Most of my family hadn’t woken yet, but there was no shortage of energy as precious baby goats bounded and frolicked around the house and occasionally ventured inside. Hens were cawed at by the roosters and chicks cooed at by their mothers, all running around scavenging for bits of corn. My Aamaa wished me shuba probat and gave me a hot, sweet cup of chia with biscuits to dip in. This gesture was such a warm welcome and I was thankful even though I didn’t have the strength to respond in my usual smiley nature. Being sick in a drastically new environment made me miss the comforts of home and my mother’s soothing hand rubbing my back. But I came to realize that the uncomfortable nature you start off with quickly evolves, revealing the rich, complicated nature of traveling. Each day I laughed a little more and learned a heap from those around me. I shared immeasurable joy with the people that let me into their home and moved on to face new challenges such as the quite large language barrier, perfecting the bucket showering technique, or talking myself down when seeing palm sized spiders crawl around my walls as I went to sleep. I guess I’ve had change of thought though, in seeing those challenges not as reasons to dislike the experience but as fun, obstacles that are making me a better person of this world I’ve just started to learn from. The past 3 weeks have gone by incredibly fast and I am so excited for what’s to come– exploring Kathmandu and getting to know another side to the country as well as the amazing group I’m traveling beside!!