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Trek View on Nepal: Himalayan Studies Gap Year Semester with Where There Be Dragons

Dasain festival in Balamchaur village

Today was one of those days when you take the familiar epiphany that life can be so simple, and so happy, and beautiful. And even though sadly I know I am not always going to see life so simple and beautiful, I hope I always look back at this day and remember the feeling I am having.

The day started with the majestic mountains greeting us from their heights, then, after some sweet tea and a usual group check-in, some of us decided to go to a rock right next to the village to read and journal a bit. Some of the guys left and I stayed with Griffin, having this amazing conversation that went from lucid dreams to cool places to live among many other things. After we realized that we lost track of time and it was time for our early lunch, we went to our homes… that’s when the real adventure began!

It’s important to clarify that today was Dasami, the tenth day of Dasain, an important celebration in the religion of Hinduism. For 10 days, the goddess Durga is killing demons, and today was they day they are finally dead. Anyway I knew it was an important day, but I had no idea what was going to happen. All I knew was that I was going to receive a tika and that’s the first thing that happened. Laura’s aama (mom) put some rice in my forehead, said a blessing, and put some leaves and some money in my hands. I was so excited for such a special moment. Little did I know that moment was going to happen ten more times.

We got to go to house after house in the village, receiving rice tikas and blessings. It was like going trick or treating but instead of candies we got a tika, a blessing and a little money. I can’t put into words how special every blessing felt even if I couldn’t understand what they were saying. After walking for some time we went back home, and just as I thought the day couldn’t get any better, my didi (older sister) and my aama brought a traditional Gurung dress for me to wear which was AMAZING. Laura, Nils and Griffin were also rocking their traditional dress so we decided to do an awesome photo shoot at the rice fields with the mountains right behind us (you’ll see photos soon!)

After that we had tea and went to see the guys playing (and winning) a football match. When I got back home another surprise was waiting for me-a three month old cute baby!! A lot of family was also hanging out at the house and with my few Nepali phrases I got to be part of a really special family time.

So yeah… this was just one of the many many amazing adventures I’m going to live in Nepal, and I can’t wait to have this feeling of pure happiness, inner peace, and infinite gratitude over and over again.