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

Orientation in Dhulikhel

These past five days have already felt so much longer. Nepal is such a vibrant country, from the chaotic dusty streets, to the multiple pink and red clad women on the streets, to the mixture of bird chatter and that trumpeting horn from the nearby bus stop that I wake up to every morning. All in the background of the monstrous and beautiful snow splattered mountains. In some ways it reminds me of Mexico; the staggering half built houses, the tangling telephone wires, and the rows and rows of clothes lines, underwear and pants exposed to the sun and swinging in the wind. But in so many other exciting ways it is so different. I feel like I’ve experienced so much, but we haven’t even left Dhulikhel. I feel the reason every day feels long is because every moment is a new one. I am constantly overwhelmed and enthralled by sights and sounds and emotions. One of the most memorable moments so far was simply the bus ride over to Dhulikhel, through the streets of outer Kathmandu. We all bumped along in a huge bus, the driver tunnelling through the most chaotic and complicated web of traffic I have ever seen, a combination of motorcycles, cars and buses struggling in a tumbling mass, without a clear definition of lanes, somehow progressing forward. Walking in the village was also wonderful. People are so friendly here, and we ended up singing Shape of You with a group of Nepali shop owners and their children. I love how close together everything is, how many children and people you see hanging out in doorways and playing on the dusty streets, and how shops can be in the most unlikely places and sell everything from chips to whitening cream. Sunsets here are beautiful. Last afternoon, we all climbed to the top of our building and watched it together. We took multiple pictures in Nepal’s staggering background, the hills basking in orange light. We climbed a ladder, feet dangling off an elevated platform that was the tallest view from the building, and talked until the sun went all the way down.