Nepal: January 12th

12 Jan 18
Kathmandu to Pokhara

Today, we are headed to Pokhara. We were scheduled to do this yesterday, but decided to stay in Kathmandu an extra day after our late night before. Our activities yesterday were lovely and I’m so glad we got to visit the Shakti Samuha Safe House. To get to Pokhara, we rode a public transit bus both way. It will be lovely to find cleaner air- at least, we are hoping it will be so in Pokhara.

Paul: “what do you call it when you finish your Nepalese dinner?”
Alaina: “no mo mo mo!”

restaurant at our lunch stop

1:30 p.m. and we are in crawling traffic on a mountain road. We stopped for a delightful lunch of rice and noodles. Nepalese food is much like Indian and it’s delicious!

The car horns are so much cooler than ours!

We arrived in Pokhara after ten hours on the road and were excited to find that the air is indeed cleaner! We checked into our hotel, and then took a walk to the lake to explore the city and find dinner. This was the evening that Jay, our delightful biology professor member on the trip, held true to his wish for fresh vegetables and plan to get them. See, as we walked the streets in Kathmandu and in Pokhara, vendors offered the freshest-looking vegetables for sale. Wanting some but having no kitchen of our own to prepare them, Jay simply purchased some, gave them to the restaurant cooks, and asked that they be steamed. We enjoyed steamed vegetables with our noodles that evening!

Coming into this trip, I was curious to observe the difference in “connectedness” of the world, compared to my last trip in 2010. Then, I had next to no communication with anybody back home for the entirety of the trip. The only time I got to check email or post on social media was at a little internet hut where we paid for 30 minutes of time to use a computer and internet. Of course, this was also back when smartphones had only just come into existence. I did not yet have one and neither did most people I knew. Departing for Nepal, I had a smartphone along with me, but I did not know how often I would be able to connect to wireless internet over the course of our trip. I was surprised to find that I actually had access to wifi nearly everywhere we stayed. I have no profound conclusion to this, it’s just an observation and small marvel to find that communication in the world has come this far in eight years.
I think though, to a conversation I had with a fellow teacher a few years ago about the rate of change in cultural norms among high school students in the past decade or so. When we were in high school, texting was only just making its debut, you were cool if you had a flip phone, and social media was maybe something a few people were on. I wonder if ever in history has the way we communicate changed so much in such a short period of time- and will it continue to change at such a rate, or was this a revolution? This revolution is what I feel I see in my connectedness to home now, compared to 2010.