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Photo by Catherine Von Holt, Nepal Semester.

When in doubt, say Namaste

“When in doubt, say Namaste”

We went into town for a scavenger hunt, and naturally… we wanted to win. Instead of trying to break through the language barrier, we found a Canadian tourist (with google). We thought it would lead us to an easy win. While she gave us the facts we learned little of the culture. We needed to take the risk and enter the streets with little to no understanding of the language. We quickly realized the community was both eager and willing to answer our point-focused questions, but we learned more than that. After an hour, we were barely concerned with the scavenger hunt.

We instead became interested in the families who owned the markets, a man with a hundred pomegranates on his head and the school kids playing soccer. After speaking with many passersby, we realized it was the kids who spoke the best English. They taught us that a rooster said “kikhuri kha” and that Dipika’s hand would fit inside our palms. They let us practice our Nepali with them and they laughed at us when we messed up. They told us that: “when in doubt, say Namaste,”

After our “scavenger hunt,” we walked back from the city counting down to our next adventure. Although Sharon and Aditya feel like our new parents, we miss you too, mom and dad.


Travis, Lauren and Sam. (emotional icon of a heart)