Photo of the Week
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    [post_content] => SMOKE

Smoke
Pours
through
the
door
windows
no chimney
for simple escape
entering, it blinds
burns the stranger's lungs but
warms the soul like a
mother's hug, makes the
wanderer feel at home.
- Maddy Wade

SHOWERING

I thought I wouldn't
Be able to shower
In Balamchaur.
But since I've arrived
In this mini mountain kingdom
I have felt nothing but
Love pouring on my back
Warmer than any faucet
Back home. - Mickey Feeney

LEECHES

Leeches reach beneath my skin
I pluck them out the best I can
For each leech, another leech
My blood is ocean,  my skin is a beach.
- Posy Stoller

MOUNTAINS

They tower above me but do not intimidate
graceful giants of femininity
draped in blankets of clouds,
like
a wedding dress,  it marries the sky
a symbiotic couple of peace.
- Maia Zelkha

SIMPLICITY

Don't overthink
Don't overanalyze
Embrace the beaury
in simplicity.
You're hungry, you eat.
You're tired, you sleep.
No language needed,
Just nod and smile,
it's that simple.
- Estefania Contreras
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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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Student 30 Word Balamchaur Stories

Instructor Team,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

SMOKE Smoke Pours through the door windows no chimney for simple escape entering, it blinds burns the stranger’s lungs but warms the soul like a mother’s hug, makes the wanderer feel at home. – Maddy Wade SHOWERING I thought I wouldn’t Be able to shower In Balamchaur. But since I’ve arrived In this mini mountain […]

Posted On

07/16/17

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_content] => CUCUMBER
Cackraa large enough to fall, grow
- Alexandra Belluck

LIFE
Life is good,  Life is simple.
- Hernan Belden

SIMPLICITY
Nod and smile, it's that simple.
- Estefania Coenteras

SHOWERS
Showers with love like warm water.
-Mickey Feeney

SMOKE
Smoldering bones
Illuminate
Unearthing a smile.
- Tate Michener

AAMA
Aama rose, so did my world.
- Anonymous

LEECHES
Skin beaches, Bloody oceans of leeches.
- Posy Stoller

MOUNTAINS
Gentle power
They stand in stillness.
- Maia Zelkha (On mountains)
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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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Student 6 word Balamchaur stories

The Instructor Team,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

CUCUMBER Cackraa large enough to fall, grow – Alexandra Belluck LIFE Life is good,  Life is simple. – Hernan Belden SIMPLICITY Nod and smile, it’s that simple. – Estefania Coenteras SHOWERS Showers with love like warm water. -Mickey Feeney SMOKE Smoldering bones Illuminate Unearthing a smile. – Tate Michener AAMA Aama rose, so did my […]

Posted On

07/16/17

Author

The Instructor Team

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    [post_content] => SMOKE
Smoldering bones,
Illuminating her wrinkling face.
Unearthing a wide smile.
- Tate Michener

MOUNTAINS
Green silhouettes in blue,
A coastline of an empty sky.
- Maia Zelkha

LIFE
My life in Nepal is as simple as this poem.
- Hernan Belden

SIMPLICITY
No language needed, just nod and smile,  it's that simple.
- Estefania Contreras
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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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10 word Balamchaur stories 

The Instructor Team,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

SMOKE Smoldering bones, Illuminating her wrinkling face. Unearthing a wide smile. – Tate Michener MOUNTAINS Green silhouettes in blue, A coastline of an empty sky. – Maia Zelkha LIFE My life in Nepal is as simple as this poem. – Hernan Belden SIMPLICITY No language needed, just nod and smile,  it’s that simple. – Estefania […]

Posted On

07/16/17

Author

The Instructor Team

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2017-07-16 18:15:03
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    [post_content] => 

What are the first 15 minutes of your morning like with your Balamchaur family?

Alexandra:

"Anita, Anita!"  A voice approaches the door.  I groggily sit up in bed.  Who's Anita, and why is someone calling for her?  At once, realization floods in as strongly as the monsoon-season rain.  Anita is my Nepali name, and my new "ama" wants to say "suba prabat," good morning.  I rise from my bed, unlatch the wooden beam on my door, and am surprised to come face-to-face with a grinning six-year-old.  Panisa, my "baini" or younger sister, fills the low doorframe with her outstretched limbs and motions for me to join "aama" and "bai," my thirteen-year-old younger brother, for chiya.

Sitting cross-legged on the cool, damp hearth, I sip the sweet tea from a scalding metal cup.  The repetitive sounds of my grandfather's blowing through a tube on the fire pit, while "aama" stone-grinds garlic, curry spices, and salt are music to my ears.  We step outside to wash our hands from the plastic bucket, and I see the fog-covered, verdant landscape for the second time after our group arrived in Balamchaur last night.  Passing by the animal pens, Panisa and I make bleating, goat noises and place our hands on our heads like ears.  Laughter seizes both of our bodies, as we make our way back home to get ready for the day.

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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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Blamachaur prompt

Alexandra,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

What are the first 15 minutes of your morning like with your Balamchaur family? Alexandra: “Anita, Anita!”  A voice approaches the door.  I groggily sit up in bed.  Who’s Anita, and why is someone calling for her?  At once, realization floods in as strongly as the monsoon-season rain.  Anita is my Nepali name, and my […]

Posted On

07/16/17

Author

Alexandra

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-16 18:14:25
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Just as the sun peaked it's head over the mountains for the first time, when all was still sleepy and the clouds lined with light pink, I heard a noise that jolted me awake. My head rushed up from my pillow and my-sleep drunk eyes scattered around the room. I heard it again. This time it seemed even closer. I carefully slid my curtains to the side to get a better look, and I see the source of the noise: a rooster. I almost laughed out loud in my bed, I had seen this scene countless times in movies and on TV but never in reality. It squawks again, this time to be answered by another rooster from a neighboring home, and that rooster to be answered by an even more distant one. The three roosters went back and forth, answering each other almost rhythmically until the entire village was awake. I decided to look at my watch, it read 4:30 AM. I begin to hear buffalo groan, sheep bleet, and the eventual tired human footstep that added to the natural morning symphony. In the midst of the quiet bustle, I gently drift back into sleep.

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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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Balamchaur reflection

Mickey,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

Just as the sun peaked it’s head over the mountains for the first time, when all was still sleepy and the clouds lined with light pink, I heard a noise that jolted me awake. My head rushed up from my pillow and my-sleep drunk eyes scattered around the room. I heard it again. This time […]

Posted On

07/16/17

Author

Mickey

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-16 18:13:54
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I open my eyes to darkness: a room without windows. Last night's roaring monsoon rain has subsided and I hear only  the occasional patter of raindrops on my tin roof. It is still early. Around 5:30, my little sister pounds on the door, yelling my name. "Pulnakala! Pulnakala!" I don't respond for the moment it takes me to realize that I am Pulnakala. My Nepali name means perfection, but my morning routine is far from perfect. My clothes haven't dried on the line, my lightbulb has burst, and I have only an inch of chlorinated water left in my bottle to use for my contact lenses. The process of putting in lenses is the first challenge of the day. Chlorine drops sting, but the alternative is hand sanitizer. My family has no tap, so I walk to Summer's house if I need more water to wash the soap from my hands, then wait to sterilize it. Thick smoke rises from the fire below my room, and I when I pour water onto my hands it turns the dirt floor to mud. I know that my lenses are not a necessity. My Aama is mostly blind, but still manages to cook daal bhat, sweet chiya, fire roasted corn, and momos filed with potatoes and chicken bones. She still husks corn silently from the pile in front of my room - the pile I scramble over to crawl through my door, as spare cobs tumble onto my floor. But if I want to see the clouds breaking over snow-capped Himalayan peaks or the roaring waterfall in the distance out of Tate's window, or if I want to spot the leeches burrowing through my wool socks in time to yank them out, I need to spend this time in the morning with my lenses. I need to blink out the smoke and crouch as it rises, shield my face from the buffeting rain, and swat away the floating caterpillars deep in corn fields. This is my daily challenge, and always a satisfying success.

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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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Morning in Balamchaur

Posy,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

I open my eyes to darkness: a room without windows. Last night’s roaring monsoon rain has subsided and I hear only  the occasional patter of raindrops on my tin roof. It is still early. Around 5:30, my little sister pounds on the door, yelling my name. “Pulnakala! Pulnakala!” I don’t respond for the moment it takes […]

Posted On

07/16/17

Author

Posy

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-16 18:13:27
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I wake up abruptly to my aamaa yelling at my didi to get up, or at least that's what I assume as that is what happens after the yelling. I slowly sit up and check my watch: 5:30 am. I flop back on my bed and wonder if I should get up as well. The screaming goats, chickens, bison, cats, and dogs tell me yes. I crawl out from under my mosquito netting, pull on my clothes for the day, brush my teeth, and duck out of the 4-foot-high door to my room. I climb down the staircase/ladder and step over the giant pile of corn sitting on the porch. I duck into the smoke-filled kitchen where my didi is sitting tending the fire. I take a seat on the straw mat on the floor and pet Jerry, the family kitten, while my didi makes me some mito dudh chiya.

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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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Morning in Balamchaur

Maddy,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

I wake up abruptly to my aamaa yelling at my didi to get up, or at least that’s what I assume as that is what happens after the yelling. I slowly sit up and check my watch: 5:30 am. I flop back on my bed and wonder if I should get up as well. The screaming […]

Posted On

07/16/17

Author

Maddy

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-16 18:13:06
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-17 00:13:06
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I wake to the clatter of my amaa washing dishes outside my window, I get dressed and groggily stumble into the smokey kitchen where a cup of scalding tea and a plate of banana flavored biscuits are waiting for me. After my cup is empty I go outside to start shucking corn for the goats. Today, one of the goats was less interested in the fresh corn and more interested in my pants. I'm scared of goats.

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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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When I wake…

Tate,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

I wake to the clatter of my amaa washing dishes outside my window, I get dressed and groggily stumble into the smokey kitchen where a cup of scalding tea and a plate of banana flavored biscuits are waiting for me. After my cup is empty I go outside to start shucking corn for the goats. […]

Posted On

07/16/17

Author

Tate

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-16 18:12:47
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    [post_content] => 

When I open my eyes, sunlight peaks through slits between boards, I am sheltered by my blue mosquito net which is littered with holes. I pull myself from bed, clueless of the time, and wrap myself in my lungi, a skirt worn by Nepali women. I stumble down my ladder, through my siblings room, onto the porch. I am greeted by morning fog, draped over flying mountain peaks and icy waterfalls. I shove my feet into muddy flip flops, and race my bladder to the toilet, late night chiya always has my bladder screaming in the morning. I climb back up into my room and gather all the plates and cups used by my visitors the night before and wash them in a spigot outside. My Ama calls my Nepali name "Sarita" and I know it's time for tea. I sit on a mat in the dark smokey kitchen, and try to keep my eyes open as my carefully hold the hot metal cup. I finish my morning sitting on the stone wall surrounding our tiny yard, in awe of the mountain peaks and the rolling clouds, with my toothbrush hanging from my mouth.

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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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When I open m eyes…

Summer Thyme,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

When I open my eyes, sunlight peaks through slits between boards, I am sheltered by my blue mosquito net which is littered with holes. I pull myself from bed, clueless of the time, and wrap myself in my lungi, a skirt worn by Nepali women. I stumble down my ladder, through my siblings room, onto […]

Posted On

07/16/17

Author

Summer Thyme

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-16 18:11:17
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-17 00:11:17
    [post_content] => 

I awaken in pitch darkness, since the room's small window is closed this morning. I see the outline of my two sisters sleeping on the bed beside me, and one of them turns over briefly and says in a thick sleepy Nepali accent, "Good morning", and rolls back around to sleep more. I sit up and grab my toothbrush, toothpaste, and water bottle to brush my teeth outside and see my ama drinking tea on the porch. We smile at each other since neither of us understand each other's language and I brush my teeth staring wordlessly at the endless rice fields and mountains all around me. I go inside and see my little sister is up now and has made me tea. I tell her, "danyabad", thank you, and go to sit outside on the porch with my Ama. The only sounds are the buzzing of flies and an occasional bleating of a baby goat. I stare into the mountains and I don't think about anything.

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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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I awaken…

Maia,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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I awaken in pitch darkness, since the room’s small window is closed this morning. I see the outline of my two sisters sleeping on the bed beside me, and one of them turns over briefly and says in a thick sleepy Nepali accent, “Good morning”, and rolls back around to sleep more. I sit up […]

Posted On

07/16/17

Author

Maia

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