I am writing to you all form Kalimpong, West Bengal. We have just started our homestays and mine is absolutely wonderful. I have a mother (aama), father (baba), younger sister (bhahini), older sister (didi), and a grandmother (buju). They also have a dog names Bruno. My bhahini and I both love Justin Beiber and One Direction. We are in the process of learning Nepali, and we had our second lesson today. The Nepali name that my homestay family gave me is Priya, which lovingly or loveliness.
Kalimpong is beautiful. It has been very foggy recently, and I can hardly see anything more than 150 feet ahead of me. The good news is, it is significantly cooler weather than in Kolkata or Siliguri (were we were the first couple of days). Even the short walk in Kolkata to the train station had us dripping in sweat (with the addition of you 35 pound backpacks).
I love it here. Everything is new and different – the sights, the smells, the bucket-showers, the tight knit community, and even the bugs! Nepali food is delicious; we eat with our hands (right hand only because it is the “clean” hand). One thing I can say is that I’ll definitely be addicted to chai when I come home. I start my independent study project today, and mine is focused on Tibetan instruments. We will be doing the ISPs through Saturday, and on Monday we will be departing from Kalimpong from our homestay families and the next big adventure will commence.
Our little group has been transformed into a community, or a sanga in Nepali, where we support each other and enforce positivity and respect. Everyone is awesome and I’m excited to see what the coming weeks hold. I love and miss all of you dearly, and I will email as soon as I have access to internet.