We made it!

Kathmandu Travel Blog

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After a hearty Western breakfast we gathered in the hotel for our first crack at learning the Nepali language.  Let me just say it isn't one of my talents, although Rachael and Robyn picked it up rather quickly.  The lesson lasted for two hours then we set off on our city tour.  The first stop was the Monkey Temple, set high up on a mountain top and initially built in the 5th century.  Because we are visiting in the monsoon season, the rain clears the air pollution and we had a beautiful view of Kathmandu from the temple.  The kids had fun watching the monkeys with their babies and taking pictures of the unusual Buddhist holy place.

We took lunch at a rooftop restaurant and Robyn won the award for being the most adventurous eater.  She sampled everyone's meals, enjoying every bite.  We were all pleased by the flavors of the food and were anxious to try more local fare.  From here we walked around the temples in Kathmandu Square, trying to avoid getting run over by the moped and cars that clog the streets.  There has been a trash strike since Saturday, so the roads are quite dirty and littered with large piles of trash.

We did a bit of shopping and the kids are learning the art of bartering.  On last year's ODFL trip, Nathaniel had a difficult time trying to get a bargain.  This year he has been the "extreme bartering" coach, giving the newbie tips on how to get a good deal.  It is quite amusing!  Anjali finally got the deal she wanted on an elephant lock but then wasn't sure how to use it.  Our guide, Shree, helped solve this problem.  Kelly suggested they buy more for their lockers next year.

To wrap up the day we had a presentation by Som Paneru, the executive director of NYOF (Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation).  He taught us about the cultural differences between America and Nepal as well as information about the caste system, religion, demography, and geography.  Sophie had many great questions about NYOF and Nepal, but we laughed because Som had explained previously that a good student in Nepal never asks questions.  I asked about how I would be received in the village since I am a woman and I am not married.  He said not to worry, they villagers would just think I had bad parents.  (Sorry Mom!)

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photo by: sharonburgher