Friday, 18 December 2015

Discovering Something Special About Nepal

PROJECT: Education
WRITTEN BY: Isobel Stew

There is something special about this place.

Spending a month in Nepal but living in a Tibetan refugee settlement means we got to learn a lot about two completely different cultures – both of which have continue to face huge difficulties.

Tibetans have told us that they feel like ‘strangers in their own homes.’ That is to say that many cannot go back to Tibet, and those that can go back do not feel that it is home anymore.

At the moment one of the huge crises for all in Nepal is the gas shortage. We have seen people lining up for miles in attempt to try and get gas and many are turned away and forced to buy from the black market at higher prices. This means that many people are cooking on open fires and that transport is costly and inaccessible for many.

Yet despite these stresses, everywhere we turn we are greeted by warm smiles and enthusiastic welcomes. This is what makes this place so special. No matter what negative things are going on, everyone still seems to live so positively and selflessly.

Just the other day we hopped onto a bus that was absolutely packed with people standing crammed in the aisles, sitting on laps and hanging out the windows. I squeezed onto the bus with dread; thinking about how long this journey was going to be. However it turned out to be the most heart-warming bus ride that I will ever take.

Every single Nepali smiled and welcomed us onto the bus. Five people even gave up their seats and insisted that we take them. For the entire journey these people (who were mostly strangers to each other) proceeded to sing, chant, laugh and yell out together as the bus rounded corners and passed people on the streets.

When we arrived we were told that our trip was free of charge. We were then cheered and waved goodbye as the bus drove away, the people still singing and laughing.

There is something special about this place.

There is something special about these people.

I think we have a lot to learn from Nepal – I know I do, and that so far I have.

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