It’s been a week since I arrived in Nepal.
I remember the feeling of joy that spread throughout my face when I looked out the airplane window. Oh, yes. It was worth the middle seat. It was worth the 18-hours. It was worth the rest of my savings. As the latch opened, the humidity pushed it’s way throughout the aircraft.
I had already met most of the team during the hour layover in China, who were just as excited as I was, despite the tiring journey.
After dropping our luggage off at the office, we explored the town. The dust was overwhelming. We covered our faces as vehicles passed, flaring dirt into the air. The locals didn’t seem to notice us – they were used to tourists – who were clearly hippies or trekkers. I purchased a Kurta (a traditional tunic that sits just above the knees), trying to haggle the price down as much as I could. Later that evening I discovered I payed much more than I should have.
When the sun set, the wheels were up. We loaded our things into a taxi bus, attempting to tetris enough room for the team. Then, the staff and the children joined us. There was barely any personal room. A little girl jumped on my lap, not acknowledging me as more than a seat. She flipped the light switch above the window, which didn’t work. I switched it back. She glared at me, switching it again. I waited another ten seconds before switching it again, and she laughed. We played the light switch game for a good minute, before she became bored and opened the large window. As the bus began to drive, the other children became loud, laughing and singing with the volunteers. The girl stuck her head out the window, watching the motorbikes and cars slowly pass. I remembered as a child when I would stick my head out the window with my dog, savoring the feeling of the wind in my face. I gave the girl a headphone, and a couple songs later, when Novo Amor came on, she fell asleep. I didn’t know what to do, there was a tiny human in my arms. I tried to support her every bump and sharp turn the taxi made. My arm fell asleep.
I softly tried to shake her awake as we pulled into our new home. It was dark and difficult to see where we were staying. Colored Christmas-like bulbs greeted us after we passed through reception, brightening the rooms up. There was a big bed, and three little beds. Kline, one of the volunteers, brilliantly chose a small bed with an outlet right above. Rachel snagged the big bed. Lacey had the bed with all of the light switches next to it. My bed didn’t have any special powers – in fact, my bed was just out of range of the wifi.
I sat on my bed for only a minute, and crashed.