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Photo by Catherine Von Holt, Nepal Semester.


I’ve been in Nepal since September. On Sunday, I logged onto Facebook for the first time in 2 months to find my timeline flooded with reports of more senseless violence – shooting after shooting after bomb threat after shooting – some racially motivated, some religiously, all with no rhyme or reason. It’s disheartening to see that nothing has changed, and it’s also a reminder that no matter how full we pack our bags or how far we go, we cannot run away from our problems, nor will they disappear.

Abroad, people speak so highly of America. Every day I’ve spent here, I’ve been reminded of how much we take for granted. An example – In America, we take baths in drinking water. How utterly wasteful. Another example – in every country we visit, the tourism industry is built for us. Today I was at a sweet shop and I tried to ask, in Nepali, what time they opened tomorrow — the clerk didn’t understand. I asked again in English and my question was answered. Nepali students must speak English in schools. If they’re caught speaking Nepali they will be fined.

I’ve been asked why I would choose to leave America when people from all over the world are breaking their backs to get there. Traveling here translates to a distaste for my own country (The fact that this mindset – why would I travel to NEPAL when I live in America – is so deeply ingrained in the people of this country is an issue in itself). I explain that America is not so great, that it is a country built on and with a long history of destruction. I keep getting hit with one word – freedom. And they’re right. Without it I wouldn’t be able to criticize.

The point is, we are of the few that actually have the power to change the things we don’t like about our country, whether it be our president or the headlines in the news. But democracy is just another thing we take for granted. As a nation, we are SO lazy that we would rather sit back and watch it crumble before us than exercise the rights given to us for this very situation!!!! If you are 18, I urge you to vote in the upcoming midterm elections. If you weren’t planning to, there’s not much I can say except that you have not been paying attention. In a corrupt system, change must come from within, and the only way this can happen is to VOTE.

P.S. If I can fill out an absentee ballot from an internet cafe in Katmandu, you can take 30 minutes to research the candidates up for election & head to your local polling place on November 6th.

Register to vote:

More about the Midterms:…/…/2018-midterm-election-guide.html

Who’s on the ballot?:

It’s now or never!! Vote vote vote!!