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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

My home stay, ISP

Over the past month, I have learned many things. I began with receiving my home stay family the Shrestha’s. I was a bit nervous for the home stay period but when looking back on the past month, it couldn’t have been any better. I bonded with my brother Nabish and was taken in like a son by my Ba and Aamaa. It has been a roller coaster at points over the past month but my family was a constant source of comfort and stability. I definitely will be keeping in touch with the Shrestha’s and hope to see them again in America after my return. For my ISP, I was making Khukuri knives with a local blacksmith. I was surprised at the amount of physical strength and skill it takes to make these knives. At the beginning, it was hard to read how the guys felt about me at first because of the language barrier and constant straight face. The knives were made out of an old bus bumper. I carved the handle out of a block of wood which is very hard but I improved over time. After cranking out 2 knives and completing my ISP, I realized how important an experience this was for me. It was a tough challenge but I gave it everything I had which is something I am proud of. I ended up having a good relationship with my ISP instructor Ram. I am taking one knife back home to put in my room and gave the last knife I made to my home stay family. I can’t thank them enough for taking me in and doing what they have done for me so I wanted to give them something that I worked my tail off to finish. I feel like it’s a meaningful gift and will be something to remember me by. I am excited for what is to come and taking on new challenges in the monastery and the rural home stay. The trek will also be an experience. We leave Kathmandu tomorrow morning.