Arriving Back in Nepal

Trip Start May 27, 2011
Trip End Sep 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Friend's House

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Our plane touched down in the small airport in kathmandu amidst ramshackle buildings and terraced fields. We withdrew some rupees and sorted out our visas. As it was my second time in nepal, i was used to the chaos, but the new volunteers were overwhelmed as we emerged to be greeted by crowds of rickshaw drivers and sellers. We managed to haggle down one big taxi and we somehow fit all our luggage and managed to squeeze in as we drove through the Kathmandu streets  to Thamel. I'd forgotten how noisy and busy kathmandu was, the beeps of rickshaws and cars mixed with the hum of markets, cows strut through the streets creating traffic jams as kids dart between the crowds.
We arrive in Thamel and call into the Rainbow Thanka Gallery, which is owned by our friend and TeamNepal leader Neel. We drink tea and catch up with some of the other new volunteers who have arrived from India that day as well. We spend that evening in Neel's house where we eat the traditional Nepali Daal Bhat. While these curried lentils and rice are delicilous i know that i will be eating them every day for the next month and so we make sure to stock up on sweets in Kathmandu before we leave. We go to bed and i spend a sleepless few hours as i get reacquainted with Kathmandu's nocturnal dogs, mosquitoes and permeating heat. I am both delighted to be back in this unique country and yet nervous about the month ahead. 

The next day we get up early, and get our stuff ready to go to Talamarang village, where TeamNepal have a children's home we are going to volunteer at. We load up the minibus with our bags and with medicine Neel has bought for the Health Camp we are doing the following week. It is a squeeze to fit everything in but we manage, and we pile in and hit the long road out of kathmandu. It is great to get away from the dusty city and into the rice terraced mountains. The bus winds along mountain passes, passing gaping valleys. The new giant Shiva statue impresses the new volunteers as we pass through bagmati province. 

When we are two hours out of kathmandu, the bus breaks down, so we get out for a break and a stroll. Nepali drivers being as resourceful as they are, manage to quickly repair the burst tyre on the side of the road and we are back on the road again. 2 or 3 hours later and we begin to pass through the familiar streets of Melamchi the biggest town near Talamarang. We quickly arrive at the little village Talamarang, where we get off and offload all the supplies to our volunteers home. As we arrive we are greeted by the kids from the child home, We have Daal Bhat at the child home and it is so great to see all the kids again and see how they have grown in the last year. After introductions and playing we go down to our volunteer home to sleep. 
Our first night in the volunteer home is punctuated by screams as the girls get used to the occasional scream of the noisy village wild life. Thankfully our mosquito nets create an illusion of safety. 
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