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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

My Two Bahinis

Chokati is a small, remote, rural village that surrounds itself inside the mountains and coiling plains of its region. A village characterized with farmers, fields and livestock, giving off vibrant sights and smells; this is where we settled in for the next 11 days.
In my homestay I had a Baa, Aamaa and 2 younger sisters, Anjana (16) and Sanjana (14). They quickly became my two Bahini’s and I was honored to be their Anjila Didi. Prior to settlement into Chokati, I knew how little English people spoke which in turn meant that Nepali was spoken at home all the time. The development of relationships in my family took it’s time and being able to laugh at my many mistakes with the Nepali language was actually not so bad after all. Anjana and Sanjana knew little English from going to school. My first bonding experience with my two Bahini’s was when I brought my Nepali language notebook to dinner. More often than I would like to say, I had to pull out my notebook to help me when I got stuck on a word or phrase. After dinner that night, Anjana, Sanjana and I sat outside on the porch. They brought out their English notebook and they motioned to me to switch our notebooks. I got to read over their English notes while they read my Nepali. We got to share so many laughs that night and It was then that I realized that regardless of our lack of communication, learning each others languages was appreciated so much between the 3 of us even if we couldn’t directly communicate that to each other.
Though speaking Nepali every day slowly got easier, so did their English. Over the course of 11 days, I got two of the best teachers, Anjana and Sanjana. For my sisters back at home, I truly believe that some of my best life lessons were taught by you, and despite the language barrier, I can say the same about my two Bahini’s.