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Trek View on Nepal: Himalayan Studies Gap Year Semester with Where There Be Dragons

Where There Be Diarrhea

Your host mom cooks up a heaping plate of dal bhat. You are gracious, of course, like always, but don’t know if your stomach can handle any more. You muster up all the digestive strength you possibly can, and somehow manage to finish, but before you can cover your plate and say “pugyo,” she has already begun to spoon out more rice and dal.

~ later that night (2:00 AM to be exact) ~

Your tummy starts getting funky. It starts to… sing ???? It snaps, crackles, and pops… but you didn’t eat any Rice Krispies. It starts to gurgle, and before you know it, you’re running to the bathroom.

The infamous “double dragons” begins as you alternate between either end to release the fire that is ablaze inside you. As the hours pass, you begin to question what bad karma did you rack up in this life or your former one to merit such a fate. Is there a God or higher power? Why does He hate me? What did I do to deserve this? Is anyone there?

~ the next day ~

Somehow you have to manage walking twenty minutes from your house to the Program House, a seemingly impossible feat. As you walk through Durbar Square, people gawk at you as you stop every two minutes to keep from pooping your pants. You don’t think you’ll be able to make it. Thirty minutes later (ten minute addition for the poop stops), you make it; you don’t know how, but you did it.

But wait!

Your fellow students are sick, too, and there’s a line for the bathroom. When it’s finally your turn, you notice the interesting smell, but don’t have time to think much of it. You get in there and do your business.

For the next three days, your throat burns from acid reflux and your tushy is sore from working harder than it ever has. You never want to eat or go to the bathroom again. Your life from now on consists of running between your bedroom to try to sleep away the pain, and the bathroom, to unload your beast of a stomach.

Yes, we travel where there be dragons… but we also travel where there be diarrhea.