Monday, 20 February 2012

Nepal, Feb 13 - 21 (we're halfway there!)

Hello again!

Today is Feb 21rst, which means I am officially halfway through my 6 months! I was flipping back and reading my journal entries from the first few weeks and it seems like not that long ago. I still remember sitting in Pearson airport and not even believing that I would be gone for 6 months, that I had the whole journey ahead of me still! Lisbon, Dusseldorf and Istanbul seem like they were yesterday, and I can't believe it's been 6 weeks since Alyssa left, how can time have gone that fast? I thought today was important to do an update, because tomorrow is Losar, Tibetan New Year, and I'm just going to have so many pictures and stories from that alone!

So what have I done since I last talked to you? I bought a purple and pink yak wool blanket, which is the softest and most amazing thing ever. I wish I could send hundreds of them home! I also bought a new rain jacket and threw away my ten year old Columbia shell :( (yes, Mom, it is finally gone!). I skyped with my main man for Valentine's Day, though I ate all my chocolate before he came online (we were supposed to eat it together, but I have no will power). I love skyping, it means so much to be able to see and hear everyone. The rest of V-Day was excellent, we had spinach for lunch, which always makes me happy (I am acutely aware at how few green veggies I consume here, so whenever I get the opportunity I just stuff my face with them). Speaking of stuffing my face, I realized that I had no idea how much rice I was consuming... I mean, I knew it was a lot, but I was curious how many cups I actually ate per meal. So, I got out my calculator, did some number crunching and then actually made paper cubes to represent 1, 1.5 and 2 cups of rice. Then I took a bowl from the kitchen and put the cubes in them so I had a visual representation. Yeah, it sounds just as silly out loud as it did in my head, but there, now you know (I will not tell you how much rice I was eating, it is embarrassing).

News from Nepal includes the fact that most of the kids have lice now, so I simply run away when they try to jump on me. Even baby Tenzin has them! Do you think it will be a miracle if I escape without getting them? Also, pineapples have officially come into season and they are so delicious. Even the oranges are getting bigger and tastier. What a pleasure to be able to eat local, seasonal fruit (all the Australians think it's weird that I consider this a novelty!). I've still been getting the newspaper everyday, but most of what I read relates to the Greek bailout or the Iranian oil embargo.

Kay left to go back to England a few days ago, but I'm so excited to see her again in three months! I'll have to make sure to bring lots of chocolate with me. There are two new volunteers at the orphanage, Nicole from Melbourne and Mariah from Philadelphia. They are both great girls and I'm quite struck at how sad I am that I will have to leave them so soon! I don't know exactly when I will be leaving Pokhara, but I know that my time at HCCH is up as of Feb 24th. I think I am going to Bhaktapur, but then, you never really know what you're doing or where you're going until the 11th hour. I know I will greatly miss the kids and the staff here, all my favourite restaurants and people. I'll miss lying on the roof of the orphanage and looking at the stars (in between sit-ups, that is) and I'll certainly miss the laid back and relaxing atmosphere here. I think Dave and Olivia are heading to Bhaktapur around the same time, so maybe there will be a few friendly faces! I hope the new orphanage has lots of dishes and sweeping for me to do, I really enjoy those chores :)

Anyway, stay updated for Losar celebrations, and of course Holi (the festival of colours) which is coming up in early March. My 10 day meditation retreat is also less than 1 month away, so there will be lots to talk about.

Love and chocolate covered strawberries,
P.S. Did I tell you that I found the most amazing vegan dark chocolate here? Diabetes ahoy! 

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