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The Tiger's Nest in Bhutan. Photo by Chelsea Ferrel.

Scavenger Hunt Stories

Tasked with seeking information regarding buddhist tradition and Nepali culture, we set out on an unforgettable adventure….

Our adventure began with Mika, our navigator, guiding us through the Tibetan Buddhist community to the Boudha Stupa, adding to his detailed map each step of the way.  The piercing eyes of the Boudha Stupa cheered us on as we set out to find a place to exchange our money. When talking to a Tibetan woman whose shop was adorned with prayer beads and intricate pendants, we were directed to a white house nearby.  Passing women performing Cora and monks chanting, we arrived at the Boudha Money Exchange. While we traded dollars for rupees, the shop-owner educated us on the various types of Buddhism practiced in Nepal. Cash in money belt and determination in mind, we approached a monk in pursuit of finding a lunch spot.  Not speaking much English, the monk directed us to a nearby Japanese restaurant, and as 3 hungry teenagers we eagerly obliged. Little did we know, this would be the start of a test: a test of grit, teamwork, perseverance, and love….

The chirping birds cruse through the blue sky, the sun shines on the hypnotizing eyes of the Boudha Stupa, prayer wheels turn, mantras are sang in unison, and everybody gathers together to walk around the Stupa. Rachel looks outside the window from the third floor of a building as she bites into her juicy teriyaki chicken. She feels the energy rising from the hundreds of people who have opened their hearts. She finishes her plate as does the rest of the group, she grabs the money from her fanny pack, and confidently pays the bill. The group walks halfway around the Stupa until they reach a monastery to have a more profound understanding of their surroundings. Everything feels great, it feels right.

As Rachel climbs the first step she feels something she has never felt before. The other two group members saw a change in her, something they would carry on for the rest of their lives. She becomes overwhelmed, her legs stop functioning and she sits down. She hugs her stomach tightening the grip after every painful second. Agony fills her eyes as she looks up and says, “We have to go back to the restaurant. Now.”. She gets up in a single move and makes those New York legs work more than they have ever before and after dodging hundreds of people she reaches up the three flights of stairs. There were no witnesses, faster than the speed of the human eye, she made her way into the bathroom, and the rest is history. What did she expect, eating japanese food in Nepal?

P.S. – She is totally fine now and all is well! Valentina and Mika took Rachel back to the instructors and she rested for a bit! no need to be worried 🙂