First weekend in Kathmandu

After four nights in Kathmandu, I hope I am correct in saying that I have slept off jet-lag and have largely settled in. I am sure, in the coming weeks, there will still be things that trip me up and startle me, but at least my suitcases are unpacked and my room feels like my own now.

After sleeping in rather late on Thursday – despite the blinds that hardly stop light – I was given a brief tour of KISC and gained my staff badge (apparently, I am American!), as well as a pigeon hole. As I am helping the Secondary School years, my name tag is blue, which couldn’t be better.

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A four year old picture and the nationality USA!

Next was grocery shopping and acquiring a sim for my phone, which was easier than I’d expected although it was weird having to give a passport photo and thumbprints (but the left one was stamped on the right side and vice versa!). That evening was spent with Chris, Debbie, their children and Asha, which was a lovely chance to catch up.

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With Asha and the Drews atop the Drews’ house

Returning to the KISC Guesthouse (where I am staying with a few other members of staff), we watched Indian version of Love Island, called Splitsvilla (except the emphasis is on the girls far more than the boys. The boys just seem to be there.). As it was half in English, half in Hindi, we had very little clue what was actually going on, but we commented on everything all the same and made up our own dialogue when we weren’t scoffing down homemade cake.

Friday was a day of meetings, as all but two members of staff converged on KISC. We gathered in the main hall and sang two worship songs in Nepali (I hummed along as even the romanised words proved too hard to follow) and were given many notices and reminders about how the school was run. New staff were introduced and then the new leadership structure was explained – which entirely went over my head!

In the break, I discovered that I was intended for science, but both maths and student support were keen for me to help them. Apparently I sent a very detailed CV when I was applying that convinced all three I should be helping them primarily. I can’t remember doing this, but looking at the results, perhaps it was too detailed!

Many of the staff went out for dinner in the evening, in what is called Guesthouse dinners – not that we guesthousers are the exclusive members as there were thirteen people at the restaurant. When I first heard the name, I was worried we’d be expected to cook for everyone but I was relieved when I discovered we were merely facilitating a night out.

Saturday was a lazy day, buying the additional groceries I had forgotten and generally getting my bearings. We ate sandwiches and ice cream while streaming a movie in the main living room (we have two!), except the second half of the movie persistently buffered so instead of finishing at half eight, it was past half nine when the credits rolled.

On Sunday, as there was a slight mix up over whether the International Church was meeting or not, I went on a walk up a local hill, Chobar, with Debbie and Josh, (sorry, forgot to take any pictures) where we all got very sweaty under the sun. Despite this, Debbie and Josh both managed to have a hot glass of chia! Hungry, we returned for pancakes – which Josh proudly helped cook. Next came a game of Catan, which ended with Sam and I not too bothered who won overall, as long as we beat the other!

I cooked dinner for the first time, but it was lacking in seasoning as, despite two grocery trips, I have still forgotten to buy stock cubes! As with most evenings, we Guesthousers ate our meals in the main living room with something on the TV. Yesterday was football, but I lost interest rapidly so watched Downton Abbey on my laptop instead.

Today was the final day of meetings and preparation before the school starts tomorrow. I have an interim, pencil timetable, as nothing is confirmed yet. Today, I planned a middle years (Yrs 7-9) science competition and thought about the maths and science extension classes I will be running. I have a log-in for the school computers and email now, only to discover 30+ emails waiting for me.

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An interim timetable with only science and maths so far. Expecting several more classes to be added in due course.

Relaxing at the guesthouse now, in the calm before the storm as I look forwards to school starting tomorrow.

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