I arrived in Narti after a 12-hour bus ride, which was an adventure in itself; mountains, cliffs, raging rivers, monkeys, monsoon rains. It was like something out of National Geographic. After stepping off the bus, I had thought that I was in over my head. All these little girls greeted me at the road, and they were staring at me. My host, Krishna, took me into the school and sat me down. I was extremely nervous. The smallest one of all, Sita, walked up to me and just stared me down. It must have been quite a sight. A little four-year-old girl staring down a 300-pound tattooed pierced American biker. Sita cracked a smile, chuckled a little, then laughed the most beautiful infectious laughter. All the girls broke down in laughter and I knew that everything was going to be all right.
For the next three weeks I taught basic English to the girls every day. They are so interested in learning and working. It inspired me to be a better teacher. The experiences I had in that small classroom can never be duplicated in an American school. The girls sang as they worked on assignments, and danced when they were finished. Every day I was decorated in Medhi and flowers. When I walked home the girls always walked me to the street and said, “See you tomorrow.” I made friends with everyone I met, from Ganga the small shop owner who found out I enjoyed eggs and cooked the most wonderful omelets, to Sanji the clothes peddler who proclaimed that he “loves Americans!!!” as we ate dinner.
People from all around the village made the trek to come and meet me, and we had wonderful conversations, them in broken English and me struggling with Nepali.
I had the opportunity to treat the girls to a picnic on their last day of classes for the year. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I never knew a picnic was so special until I saw 24 girls spend the entire morning preparing for it. We ate an amazing lunch by the most spectacular lake. The girls went out in an ancient wooden boat to a small temple. I was a bit chicken so I watched from shore. When they made it back all of the girls made malas for me out of lily pads.
Nepal is a very special place and I am sad about leaving. Six weeks has passed much too quickly. The experiences that I have had here have changed my life. Just this morning I flew around Mt. Everest before breakfast. How many people can say that? I will return next year, only ten months away.
If you are debating coming to Nepal to volunteer with Papa’s House I encourage you to do so. I read all the warnings about Nepal and didn’t know what I was getting into. Once here I found that it is a very special place. If you would like to know more about my experiences or have questions about them, please feel free to e-mail me. My name is Jesse Bach and I’m from Cleveland, Ohio. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I encourage you to come out. It will change your life, and in turn change the lives of those you help.