Kathmandu – Nepal
Where to start with Kathmandu?
After spending a week in Thai Land and Singapore we were pretty used to a more westernised way of traveling, Nepal was in no way westernised. It was an amazing change of scenery and culture and something I had never experienced before. You defiantly won’t be finding any Starbucks near by!
We arrived in Kathmandu and straight away the loud sounds, smells and surroundings were pretty overwhelming, I wasn’t sure what to first make of it. However we were extremely lucky that we were there to meet a lovely group of people working for the Helambu Education & Livelihood Project (or HELP for short). A charity supporting community based government schools to improve quality of education in direct partnership with local communities in rural Nepal.
Our first night in Kathmandu consisted of meeting some of the lovely team, along with another volunteer for a traditional Nepalese meal and to discus plans for the next few days with HELP.
The next day we started an 8 hour jeep journey to go to the mountains of Nepal to visit some of the schools they support in the program. The whole experience was unbelievable and something money couldn’t buy. We were given an impressive welcome by the school children on arrival, being handed flowers they had picked from the mountains and they then preformed a welcome ceremony in our honour.
As the journey was an 8 hour joruney back to Kathmandu, we stayed in the montains after spending the afternoon playing football, table tennis and chess with the children at the school. David, one of the lovely people from HELP, went to this school when he was younger and his childhood home was a 30 minute hike from the school, he and his mother were kind enough to put us up in his home for the night. David’s mothers home was one main living area with a stove in for cooking and shelves for cooking ingredients with one other room with 3 spare beds in. It was incredibly simple and it amazed me how easy the standard of living was there, there was no TV, no wifi, no electricity, nothing distracting whatsoever, it was really beautiful.
After a peaceful and relaxing night 8,000 feet up in the mountains, it was an odd experience to go back into the manic streets of Kathmandu. I would pick going back up to the peaceful mountains over the hustle and bustle of the city any time.
However once back in the city we decided to let Nepal make its mark on us – quite literally. David showed us to the best tattooist in Nepal and we decided to get a token tattoo for the trip – ‘Namaste’ on our arms (sorry, not sorry dad!).