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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

Beginning to share

Dear family,

As these three months here in Nepal come to a bittersweet conclusion and I look forward to coming home, I’m thinking about how I can share my experience with you. And I don’t know where to begin.

I can show you what it looked like from photos. I can try and share with you what it sounded like with Nepali music. I can even share with you the way it smelled with incense and spices. But how can I share with you how it felt? How can I share with you all the countless moments that have become a part of me? I want to share with you the moments where I was overflowing with joy like when I first saw the Himalayas. I want to share with you how strange it felt at first sitting on the ground and eating with my hands and how natural it now feels. I want to share the love I felt from my homestay family and how sad I felt when I had to leave them knowing I may never see them again. I want to share with you how helpless I have felt seeing starving children and how uncomfortable I have felt with my enormous privilege.

I want to share with you how it felt to see the light glint off of Bouddhanath Stupa in the early morning and how it felt to be carried by the sea of people moving clockwise around it in prayer. I want to share with you the respect I have for the people I met who have dedicated their lives to worship and the reflection their dedication has inspired within me for my own life and values. I want to share with you what each member of this family of 15 has meant to me and the way each of them has touched my life forever. I want to share with you the way they made me laugh to the point of tears and how sitting around looking around at each of them knowing we will be parting ways in a matter of days makes me feel so uncertain. I want to share with you how I have grown and learned and changed and how I’m also still me.
I want to share with you my immense gratitude for all you have taught me and all the moments you have believed in me.

I want to share with you all my love,
Reilly