I can honestly say that travelling to Nepal, and the experiences that I had while there with the fellow Rotaract Clubs was something that I will never forget. I feel that it was a life changing experience for many different reasons. For one, I met so many people while I was there, whom I have continued to stay in touch with.
It’s a great feeling to be able to say that I have friends halfway around the world. Also, being able to experience what life is like first hand in a developing country was an experience that has allowed me to take a different perspective on the life that I have been provided with.
Everyday spent in Nepal was a new adventure. Picking one highlight or “best moment” of the trip is definitely impossible because the trip was unforgettable. Visiting Pokhara was one of my favorite parts of the trip because there was just so much to see and do. Seeing the lakeside and the mountains in person was very surreal considering these images are the types of pictures that we would see in movies.
Throughout the trip, we definitely had our ups and downs as a group. I can say that the worst part of the trip was the long bus rides. When traveling from town to town, we would have to ride buses for 6-8 hours, on very bumpy roads, going over mountains. When we came back to America, it was weird driving again on paved roads, and I started to quickly realize that I had missed the bumpy, dusty roads of Nepal because we enjoyed the trip so much.
In addition, I remember there was this one group of kids that I met one night, who I will never forget. One night in Pokhara when we were leaving a picnic, it was dark out and a dog came up to me who I started to pet. There was about five young kids, maybe ages five to eight, with a couple of adults that were with the dog and started talking to me. They realized I was not from Nepal, and asked where I was from. I told them and they were shocked and started asking me what America is like. They were ecstatic to have met me, and as flashlights then started shining in my face they all wanted to take a picture with me. Although I only talked to these kids for a few minutes, they were very sweet to me and definitely impacted my life by showing me how different cultures truly have an impact on their country.
I could go on and on talking about the experiences I took part in Nepal; such as trekking to schools on top of mountains and riding on the back of motor scooters through crazy traffic. After more than ten days in Nepal when it was time for us to leave, I was not ready to come back to America. Once we got back, I realized how much I appreciate their lifestyle as well as ours because of the simplicity that is evident in their lives. A few of us have already organized a trip to go back in March, and I could not be more excited to see the dusty roads again very soon. For more information about the Asha Project visit http://www.theashaproject.org.