After my two weeks in Nepal, two days ago it was my time to come back home. The feelings are so mixed and muddled. I didn’t cry at the airport in front of my vcd family, nor did I cry when I was back in London. Everything feels different for a while, and I don’t just mean jet legged.
Those two weeks feel like a dream. A different world yet so familiar it could have been my reality. In my last week, we stayed at a local house in a Godawari village. We planted rice at 6 am in the morning till 10. It was around this time or maybe it was the first night that I was told field workers here get paid and equivalent of £2 a day. Which is £60 a month. It was the same day I think we had this beautiful dhal baat with vegetables all home grown in their field. Their garlic are small and their cucumbers big, you saw them leave the door and come back with green chillies in a matter of minutes. Fresh mangos cut up and so juicy that one slice would never be enough!
While rice planting, the ladies would look at me as if I was one of them. My complexion could be mistaken for Nepali, therefore these ladies turned into my didi’s very quickly. Didi means older sisters. In a matter of minutes I had ten to twelve older sisters who taught me how to plant rice in a paddy field. My feet were covered in mud. My balance hadnt got the better of me, but it almost did.
I also went to their botanical gardens – just a fifteen minute walk from their homes. It was beautiful, untouched.
One thing I’ve learnt about the Nepali culture is that they really do seize the day. When morning comes, they wake and start their days with a warm cup of black tea or masala milk tea. Happy to wake when the sun rises, everything is done with a slow and mindful pace. The streets wake with the animals, chickens, cows, dogs all roam the streets with idle curiosity. Some sounds are better than others I have to say but never the less, your awake. And when night time falls, either your slumber off to sleep or continue to enjoy the night life. In small villages, 9:30 is pretty much your bedtime. I like the sound of that.