Base camp bound

Tomorrow I begin my next journey! Trekking the Himalayas. I am SO excited and a little bit nervous. Mostly I just can’t wait! I will be hiking to Annapurna Base Camp with 4 other girls who have been volunteering with the same program. If all goes well, we tack on a detour at the end and return in 10 days. If our legs and/or souls are just feeling completely destroyed by day 7 we will head home. Either way, will be an experience!

I officially moved out of the village on Friday afternoon and have spent the last few days in Pokhara. It was bittersweet to leave my home in Sarangkot. Definitely feelings of relief mixed with a sense of accomplishment but also a sadness to leave the kind people I called Mom and Dad for the last month. I learned a lot about myself and a lot about the people around me during my time in the village. I do think I became a stronger person, with a little bit more faith in myself! Have you guys noticed I haven’t cried in WEEKS? I mean, I must be doing something right. Oh and by the way (in case you’ve been dyyyying to know)- I settled on giving Baba a real authentic patriots hat for his thank you present. As previously discussed, the man has a lot, but he does not have a patriots hat… until now! The good news is that I will be returning to the village for a few days after my trek to celebrate Dasain, or the biggest Nepali festival of the year. It spans over about two weeks in the middle of October and culminates with goat sacrifices nationwide. Apparently, the country eats goat for this entire month- even the vegetarians! As of now, I have no plans to order any meat. Will you keep you posted on the festival events.

Story for you- Just a couple days before I left, Auma got me a going away present. I woke up as usual and was in the midst of completing my typical morning routine when Auma came home very excited and eager to show me something. She starts shouting “China mousa! China mousa!” and beckoning for me to come over. For those of you who aren’t yet fluent in Nepali, that means “No mouse!”. Hmm I am wondering where this is going as I cut my teeth brushing short and follow her across the terrace. We look over the balcony, where she is pointing at something excitedly. Okay, now I see a mouse curled up in the fetal position being the big spoon to much larger rock. Auma is so proud of herself. My jaw drops and all I can say is “Oh.My.God”. I’m trying to figure out if this thing is alive or not, so Auma throws a stick at it. The mouse responds with a delayed twitch, confirming its status as nearly died. Now, I’m feeling really sad for this mouse. Auma explains through unofficial international sign language that she caught the mouse scurrying across the terrace railing. Being as strong and quick as she is, she then proceeded to successfully launch a small boulder at the mouse. I imagine she has had practice. Anyway, now the mouse is laying here unwillingly cuddling with the murder weapon. All that’s left is for someone to finish the mouse off. I would have considered doing it out of pity but I am pretty sure the mouse was being presented to me for the opportunity of revenge. Needless to say, I couldn’t do the job. This left Auma thoroughly confused. Why did this weird white girl cry about the mice in her bedroom and now she’s crying because she her dreams have come true? I was left thinking to myself- it’s amazing how things come full circle. Life lesson #3650.

Anyways, it’s been a relaxing weekend in Pokhara. Full of hot showers, unlimited wifi, and western food. Happy Melissa. There are soo many tourists in Pokhara right now though its unbelievable. It’s weird to not be in the overwhelming minority (village white person population: 1) anymore. But it’s also fun to have lots of people around with whom I can communicate and it’s great to get to know other travelers. So, if you are lucky tomorrow I will begin a 10 day trek. Meaning it will be at least 11 days until the next post, enjoy. See you soon!

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