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Photo by Catherine Von Holt, Nepal Semester.

Nepal: A Country Filled with Religion, Wisdom and Beauty

Currently laying in my bed at my homestay in Chokati, looking back on an already amazing trip. Chokati is our first homestay, in a village 20 miles from Tibet.

At first sight, Chokati looks like any other town heavily affected by the earthquake (I’m actually living in a temporary earthquake shelter), but in the relatively little time I’ve been here, I’ve had the pleasure to see that Chokati is no ordinary place. To even reach Chokati it took a 5 hour bus ride followed by a 4 hour hike!

We were greeted by our families when we arrived, and I began to realize the presence and importance of community in Chokati. While sitting on the floor eating my rice and lentils, no less than 15 people walked in with a smile on their faces and their hands together in front of their chests, while saying “Namaste!”

As I sat there wondering who these people were and why they were here, my Nepali mom began to point and say, “Daai, Bahini, Bhai, Didi,” among others, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunt, niece; the whole family sharing a single kitchen, laughing and talking with each other.

The days passed and Dasain came, a festival in Nepal. The family that I thought could not get any bigger somehow grew! Dinner was followed by a dance party, which I was promptly pulled in to. Gladly I danced for hours with my new brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts, cousins, Mom and Dad. Although I’m not nearly as graceful as they are, they were happy just to have me there on that sacred night to be spent with family and friends.

I’m touched by the love and affection that is constantly showed by my family. Feeling blessed to have this experience and excited to see my friends and family back home. I also want to thank my parents for making this come true, and my girlfriend for her support.

P.S. Shout out to Michael, Sarah, and Shanti (the Instructors) for making this a learning and fun experience.

Images: Me doing laundry, me and Max getting tika, me and my homestay brother washing at the tap