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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

The Path Home

Together my sister and I walk back home after the closing family party on the same path we walked after I first discovered she was my sister.  After first becoming sisters, we walked in an unwanted, uncomfortable silence. Neither of us knew what to say or where to begin.  I had already forgotten her name and was far too afraid to ask.  She only looked down as she helped to carry my bag to her home.  Anxious, nervous, and excited, I followed this stranger newly titled my sister.

Four weeks have passed and I do not need her to lead the way as we walk on that same path home.  Instead, we walk side by side, linking arms in the way sisters here do.  We laugh as we talk about how foolishly I danced at the family party and how she, as a dancer, has a lot to teach me.  Soon, our laughter fades into a moment of silence. This silence, however, is different than the silence we faced when she first led me to our home. Now, we walk in a silence of nostalgia and appreciation as we know it very well could be our last silence together.  After a minute or so, she breaks the silence:

“At which time do you leave tomorrow?” I would never correct her slightly awkward english.

“Eight,” I reply with dismay. “Will I see you in the morning?”

“Of course!”

“Ho na ti!” I try to repeat her in Nepali as a way of both lightening the mood and showing off my own knowledge of her language.

“Huh?” She laughs at the gibberish I thought was Nepali, and I quickly discover I meant ho ti na, and again we break into a genuine laughter as we reach our doorstep home.

It took less than four weeks for her home to become our home, and it took less than four weeks for me to feel such deep love for a family I never knew would be mine, but never will there come a time when I forget my Nepali family.