Gaining Cultural Experience

Having to renew my visa made me realise I’ve passed the ‘two months to go’ mark. How has time flown so fast? I really don’t want to go, but I have to and so I’ve started planning for the END. That sounds more morbid than it is, but it is rather upsetting. I also need to go on a tour of England to pick up the things people have agreed to take back for me! Road trip anyone (you have to drive!).

Don’t worry, I’m still enjoying my time here. In fact, realising that I’ve only got a limited time left is pushing me to do new things. I fully intend to return, even if only for a holiday, but that will be years in the future so I need to do as much as I can now.

For example, I attended a Nepali wedding reception – and wore a sari.

Myself and those I went with arrived at the ‘party palace’ (that is what celebration venues are called) here. The bride (a member of the primary staff) and groom had been married earlier that morning at a private ceremony, and were sitting on a little stage, greeting everyone who entered.

Then we had snacks. Luckily, I’d been warned that this was merely a snack as there was more than enough food to be a full meal. But no, it was only a snack. About an hour later, we had Dhal Bhat (dhal and rice), which no Nepali function is complete without!

 

And the sari… well, let’s start by saying I’m incredibly impressed by the women who wear them most days. I had to have help to get in – and then get out (I tied the petticoat too tight and couldn’t undo the knot!). It was a lot of fun to wear but I was somewhat nervous the six-meters of silk would fall off (even though I knew I was secure by trustworthy Aussie safety pins!).

 

During the Easter break (yes, I know I’m jumping about chronologically! Sorry.), I was supposed to go to Pokhara, but was sick. However, it’s another reason I have to come back.

Luckily, I wasn’t sick in bed all week. A group of us visited Bhaktapur, the other city in the valley. It’s a famous for its temples, many of which were unfortunately damaged severely in the earthquake. However, they’re rebuilding (and making good use of the entrance fee!).

Getting there was the first adventure. we used local buses, cramming in. The picture below looks spacey, but another twenty odd people crammed in as we inched along the main road, the money/door man getting off and yelling ‘Bhaktapur! Bhaktapur!” periodically. I kept thinking no one else could fit on, but they did.

We had a wonderful guide who showed us all the highlights as well as taking us to the back streets, to see the earthquake damaged areas. Many houses are still rubble, as rebuilding is slow and expensive.

 

In school news, we’re gearing up for exams. For science, this means ordering the equipment we need for the practical exams (more chemicals to add to the inventory!). It’s still very common to see me with an annotated copy of the list and making any necessary corrections. We’re slowly losing the older students to exam leave but we can’t let this signal the end for the younger years – we are only in week 3 of 11 after all!

Excitingly, I’ve started helping primary twice a week. I’m taking advantage of having a primary and secondary in one to gain some experience and see what it’s like in the other building. I’m not quite brave enough to try the much younger years – I’ve only gone as far as Year 6! I’m there for their Victorian Era project (which we do the death in the UK, so I know far more than I probably need to!) as well as maths, which is a cool coincidence.

In a rare mention of books (despite the tagline for this blog…), I’ve been really enjoying listening to audiobooks on the bus journey to school and back. As the road is bumpy, I can’t read as I did in London, but this is a nice alternative.

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