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Photo by Catherine Von Holt, Nepal Semester.

Chokati

Chokati

Juga bites and newborn baby goats

Large exuberant butterflies of all distinct patterns

Kids who run up to you and shout “namaste!” with gibby gap-toothed smiles, their tiny hands in prayer position

Plywood mattresses and corn stalk cushions on a cement floor

Old wrinkly grandmothers draped in beautifully patterned cloths, with their gold nose rings and wise eyes

Babies in baskets behind their mothers, the strap slung over their mom’s head

Marigolds and slippery stone “staircases”

Smoky kitchens where the smell of rice and lentils never fades

Sitting with my Didi at night, attempting to use a seif to cut obscure Nepali vegetables

My grandmother pointing to an ojbect saying the word in Nepali and then in her native Thami language

Rain pounding on the temporary tin roofs

A hike up through the jungle on a juga infested trail, to see a log

Waking up at 5:30 to the yells of my family as they start their day

A soft knock on my door at 7, “Chiyaa, aannus”

Rice terraces on every surrounding hill, as far as the eye can see

Milking cows, weaving bamboo mats, making momos, and sharing tea with strangers

Becoming a part of a family in a place not found on google maps

Laughing at miscommunications and embracing awkward encounters to the fullest

Filling my journal with memories and my heart with happiness

Chokati