July 2, 2013

Saying goodbye to the shadow of the Himalayas

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve been back on campus. Reflecting on my trip home with Sarah, I’ve come to realize home is a little different than it used to be. I see things differently, I feel differently, and I ask different questions.

So many things that I did without thinking, such as eating habits, street etiquette (ahm) and leisure activities, I had to think about them. Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t answer simple questions about everyday life that Sarah had and ended up having to ask my friends or family. Things such as putting tika or receiving shagun before leaving, things that I have done all my life, posed questions that I had no complete answers to.

Rijan sits in front of the World Peace Stupa in Pokhara.

World Peace Stupa in Pokhara.

One interesting thing that I noticed about myself is how aware I am about safety standards now. Nepal has super lax safety standards. Working with my faculty adviser as an Excel scholar over the past year, and working in the machine shop for my class, I am so much more aware about safety than I was before. They were even more shocking for Sarah and I could finally see why.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t been home in a while or because I’ve had a different standard for safety, but I actually felt slightly uncomfortable riding my motorbike in the city.

However, whatever the differences, one thing remains true – home is home, always. After the first couple days of getting used to being home again, it was pretty awesome. The familiar streets, the same temples, the slightly chill attitude of my friends and the welcoming smile of my family were fantastic to revisit.

I’m really glad I got this opportunity to experience home in a different light. I can’t believe how much difference three years make. I guess it was amplified because I’m in a much different place but even then, things have changed, small and big. I’m ashamed to say though, I couldn’t eat some of the food because of how spicy it was, when everyone else was completely fine with it.

posted in Rijan Maharjan

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  1. It’s amazing how much we are changed by our every day experiences. It’s a gradual progression (like gaining weight – though in a good way) we don’t realize until we are with others whom we haven’t seen in a while and then, it becomes so apparent. Sounds like this was a truly eye-opening time for you. Excited to hear more!

    says Janine A. Block
    July 9, 2013 at 8:36 am
  2. Thanks for a great share.

    says Nancy
    September 3, 2013 at 8:16 am

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