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Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008


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We've been home for longer than we were gone, and I really feel like this isn't real, like I left my life behind at swagat overour last meal of daal bhat, like I can't possibly function without another mo-mo or cup of milk tea, and yet I do. This fall I changed far more than Iever expected. But rather than make me feel different, it made me feel likeI had become something thatI was always meant to be, so much more real. Nepal is a beautiful cocoon for a teenage girl, and butterflies like to fly. I'm not flying. My life is wonderful; I have great friends and many luxuries. Unfortunately luxuries are nothing compared to the jammed streets of kathmandu, and the toothless grin of a sadhu at pashupatinath temple. I prefer the feeling of dirt under my nails than polish on them, and fresh yogurt is better than yoplait. With my new view of hard work, and something to be motivated to achieve I am currently working hard to afford to send myself back to Asia. I plan to continue this incomplete journey as soon as possible. I wonder how the rest of you feel at this point. Where have you found yourself after three months home? Are you setting out on new adventures? Or have you learned to treat home more like traveling by exploring yourself and your own area more (something thatI am struggling with)? Have your goals changed? I am excited to see where the next year takes me, hopefully with more traveling and starting college. I hope that you are all as excited as me.

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

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Reflections on home.

Chrissy,Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

Description

We’ve been home for longer than we were gone, and I really feel like this isn’t real, like I left my life behind at swagat overour last meal of daal bhat, like I can’t possibly function without another mo-mo or cup of milk tea, and yet I do. This fall I changed far more than […]

Posted On

03/23/09

Author

Chrissy

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    [post_content] => Nepal, you gave me so much. So much freedom, and joy, and frustration. Working in Sabin's shop making metal into beautiful things, and my hands intobeautiful tools, you gave me art. Sitting in my candle-lit kitchen making mo-mos with my family of strangers, you gave me a home. On the floor of that little house in Chowkati, I ate roasted soy beans and popcorn, and even though I didn't always know what was being said to me, you gave me understanding. You gave me perfect days, and mosquito-bitten nights. You gave me friends, and you gave me teachers. Elephants, and tiger-hunts. You gave me street-dogs, and holy cows. Tihar and Dashai. Oh Nepal, you gave me so much life, and so much inspiration to do more with mine. How canI ever repay you, Nepal?
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Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

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Nepal

Christine Anderson,Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

Description

Nepal, you gave me so much. So much freedom, and joy, and frustration. Working in Sabin’s shop making metal into beautiful things, and my hands intobeautiful tools, you gave me art. Sitting in my candle-lit kitchen making mo-mos with my family of strangers, you gave me a home. On the floor of that little house […]

Posted On

01/10/09

Author

Christine Anderson

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We come home in two days. It's really amazing to think back on all we've accomplished. Here's a short list.

6 Weeks of homestays, two in very rural, self sustainingvillages.

Summiting 20,000ft.

Seeing a lamo, and shamen healer.

Visiting countless Buddhist Gompas, hindu temples, and Muslim Mosques.

10 days at a monastery, some of the time in silence.

4 weeks of Independent Study Projects.

and so much more!

See you all soon in the states.

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

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Coming home

Adam Starek,Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

Description

We come home in two days. It’s really amazing to think back on all we’ve accomplished. Here’s a short list. 6 Weeks of homestays, two in very rural, self sustainingvillages. Summiting 20,000ft. Seeing a lamo, and shamen healer. Visiting countless Buddhist Gompas, hindu temples, and Muslim Mosques. 10 days at a monastery, some of the […]

Posted On

12/5/08

Author

Adam Starek

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All of my clothing smells; I have not taken a hot shower in three months; my palat craves comforting foods; and my soul craves the embrace of family and childhood friends.

I am ready to go home but at the same time I look around and absentmindedly plan future weeks in Nepal that don't exist. I spin dreams of greater journeys through Asia, and I look at my newfound interest in South Asia and wonder if I would fall in love with parts of Africa if I spent this much time there and went so deeply.

I humor myself that I am preparing myself for reverse culture shock by eating more imported snacks and ordering less Dahl Bhat; I read fiction instead of relevent analysis of Nepal.

I am intimidated by the thought of being surrounded by old forms that I have come to see in a more objective and critical light. Christmas and the American materialism it embodies this fear. I also do not want to fall back into certain dynamics and certain constructions within my own personality. But if I allow fear to dominate the way I look at coming back then I will retreat into quiet abstraction characterized by distain for my native culture.

My greatest challenge now is to look at all I have learned and proactively apply it to my life at home: use my new insights to change old habits and improve my happiness and lifestyle. I am inspired to explore my home, New York City, with the same curiosity and beginer's eyes that I brought to Kathmandu. I am inspired to bring what I learned about minimalism and the destitute home and shake off the dust that lines my thoughts about environmental responsibility and service work for the hungry and suffering that surround me in my home.

I also want to take returning home as an opportunity to better understand exactly what has happened to me here and hopefully this process will fill me with a determination to return to Ladakh and Nepal with more questions and more fervor than I even had this time.

I want to thank my instructors; they were inspiring beyond what I conceived possible.

I want to thank my fellow students for the loving support and evironment they created, but this is hardly a goodbye to all of these friendships that are just now budding.

Love always,

Charlotte

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

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Goodbye

Charlotte T. McCurdy,Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

Description

All of my clothing smells; I have not taken a hot shower in three months; my palat craves comforting foods; and my soul craves the embrace of family and childhood friends. I am ready to go home but at the same time I look around and absentmindedly plan future weeks in Nepal that don’t exist. […]

Posted On

12/5/08

Author

Charlotte T. McCurdy

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I love Nepal. It is great.

The Village we stayed at recently called Chokoti, was a beautiful little nook not more than an hour south of the tibetan border. Very little western influence has reached it at all and even the dirt roads do not stretch their culture shattering clutches to it. There is no electricity nor small house front stores to buy plastic wrapped cookies and soda. What a relief. The weeks preceding this stay were incredible, but kathmandu's pollution and the constant bustle of buses and tuk tuks was enough for me by the time we departed. The polarities of this country are stark and amazing, not only in geography but in cultural evolution and values. One could walk all day and not hear a word of english.

Except for fellow students sometimes.

It is inspiring to me to realize that one coud still live completely self sustained, and that it is not impossible to stay beyond the reach of modern consumer oriented culture.

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

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Flying Free in the Friendly Sky

Gabe Stoltzfus,Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

Description

I love Nepal. It is great. The Village we stayed at recently called Chokoti, was a beautiful little nook not more than an hour south of the tibetan border. Very little western influence has reached it at all and even the dirt roads do not stretch their culture shattering clutches to it. There is no […]

Posted On

11/30/08

Author

Gabe Stoltzfus

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Before leaving for our village stay we had our final independent study project (ISP) presentations. Each student gave a 30 minute presentation of their ISP to the group and then a brief presentation at our family farewell party for all the families and mentors in attendence. Meri performed a dance, Gabe gave a sitar recital and others presented their areas of study. While in village, Adam had the chance to pursue Khukuri (knife) making and Jack and Phil also helped to produce a khukuri in just a few days. We are off to Chitwan National Park tomorrow!

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

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Independent Study Projects

Instructors,Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

Description

Before leaving for our village stay we had our final independent study project (ISP) presentations. Each student gave a 30 minute presentation of their ISP to the group and then a brief presentation at our family farewell party for all the families and mentors in attendence. Meri performed a dance, Gabe gave a sitar recital […]

Posted On

11/30/08

Author

Instructors

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    [post_content] => Well, five weeks went by in no time and our long homestays have come to a close. On our last day my brother Bobby and I went around Kathmandu saying goodbye to all the various family members I have met so far. After almost two months in Nepal, I am still amazed at how friendly everyone is. People who I have only met once were telling me to hurry back to Kathmandu and to be sure that I stayed a few nights with them next time I was here. My cousin who I have seen only twice during my stay was so disappointed when I told her I hope to be back to Nepal in the next ten years. "Ten years!" she said. "You won't remember me in ten years!" 

My cousin aside, ten years is a really long time. As I was saying goodbye to my family, it was surreal thinking that I might never see them again. I hope that this is not true. I hope that I will be able to come back some time and make momos with my Mamu or play a game of spit with Bobby. Saying bye to my family as they left the farewell party, it just didn't seem right to say, "Thanks for letting me stay with you for a month, it was really fun, see you never!" I hope that we email and write letters like we plan; and that when I come back to Nepal in ten years that I do remember them. When I was signing up for this program, the long homestay is what I was most nervous for, and I am glad it turned out to be such a fantastic experience. My Nepali family was a family in every sense of the word, and this has been one month I will never forget. [post_title] => Family Goodbyes [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => family-goodbyes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-11-30 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=52626 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 436 [name] => Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008 [slug] => himalayan-studies-semester-fall-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 436 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 247 [count] => 134 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 28.1 [cat_ID] => 436 [category_count] => 134 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008 [category_nicename] => himalayan-studies-semester-fall-2008 [category_parent] => 247 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2008/himalayan-studies-semester-fall-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008 )

Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

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Family Goodbyes

James Gold,Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

Description

Well, five weeks went by in no time and our long homestays have come to a close. On our last day my brother Bobby and I went around Kathmandu saying goodbye to all the various family members I have met so far. After almost two months in Nepal, I am still amazed at how friendly […]

Posted On

11/30/08

Author

James Gold

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We have just returned from a restful week in Chaukati. While living with Nepali families of the Thami ethnic group we also spent an afternoon at their school organizing a trash clean up day which ended with a party at the school where we sang our national anthem and a few of us followed our Nepali friends' lead and did a little dancing as well...

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

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Village stay

Instructors,Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

Description

We have just returned from a restful week in Chaukati. While living with Nepali families of the Thami ethnic group we also spent an afternoon at their school organizing a trash clean up day which ended with a party at the school where we sang our national anthem and a few of us followed our […]

Posted On

11/30/08

Author

Instructors

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To get to Chaukati, where we have just been for eight days, is about an hour and a half walk from the closest bus stop. On the way there, the group opted for the longer route, for an incredible walk with the picturesque Middle Hills as our backdrop. After four hours of walking, we made it to Budapa which is the closest bus stop, and continued uphill to the Thami village. It had no electricity, no running water, no clean water, and only 4 teachers for the 300 kids in the school. The hills were all terraced (which made for a vast pallette in the colors that composed them) and the livelihood is purely agricultural. My family woke up at 4:30 to clean the dishes from dinner the night before and went to bed around 8 pm, exhausted from a days work that differed only slightly from the previous day's work and from the work they would do the next day. It took me a while to realize though that modernity was just around the corner. One afternoon, Jori, Gabe and I went for a long hike up into the jungle above the village and on our way down, we heard the melody of a TATA (the Indian car company that recently bought Land Rover, Aston Martin and another subsidary of Ford) bus honking its horn. It struck me that modernization doesn't really have limits. Even this far out in the wilderness, away from the life that we have become so accustomed to in Kathmandu, the villagers have an obsession with asking us for money, and question the cost of almost anything of ours that they see. ANd even that far away, we could still hear the bus's horn

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Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

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Village

Bo swindell,Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

Description

To get to Chaukati, where we have just been for eight days, is about an hour and a half walk from the closest bus stop. On the way there, the group opted for the longer route, for an incredible walk with the picturesque Middle Hills as our backdrop. After four hours of walking, we made […]

Posted On

11/30/08

Author

Bo swindell

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    [post_content] => Several days ago, while in the rural village of Chaukati, i noticed that a small insect had landed on my head.  Brushing it off, i was surprized to feel a painful sting. The insect was a bee, and thus, i had been stung between my middle and ring fingers.  Having never had an allergic reaction to bee stings in the past, I was suprized and slightly concerned when my hand began to swell up.  However, going to bed that night, I was sure that the swelling would subside by morning.  Surprized was I then when i awoke to find a right hand that resembled a latex surgeuical glove over-inflated with water.  Despite the significant swelling, however, i still wasn't too nervous about my condition.  In fact, it wasn't untill two days later when the swelling continued to remain, that I really began to worry.  Coincidentally, that third night, I was informed that our group would have the oppurtunity to observe a shamanic healer treat his patients.  During the ceremony, the shaman offered to take any people suffering any ailments and perform an ancient form of ritualistic healing.  Curious by the prospect and nervous about my abnormally large hand, I decided to try the Shaman's method of treatment.  The ritual was elaborate, consisting of drumming, dancing, and blowing of horns.  Although I found the ceremony interesting, I was skeptical of its healing potential.  However, by the next morning the swelling had completely subsided.  I am still not sure about what I think about the effectivness of shamnic healing, but the experience has definitely got me thinking.
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Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

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an ancient cure for an unexpected problem

Jack Fields,Himalayan Studies Semester, Fall 2008

Description

Several days ago, while in the rural village of Chaukati, i noticed that a small insect had landed on my head. Brushing it off, i was surprized to feel a painful sting. The insect was a bee, and thus, i had been stung between my middle and ring fingers. Having never had an allergic reaction […]

Posted On

11/30/08

Author

Jack Fields

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