To be honest, I've totally lost track of the time. If I thought my life was simple in Vermont, I don't know what word I'd use to describe the life I've started living here. I came to Pokhara four or five days ago and in that time, I have managed to find a place to live (with help from a friend) and already feel as though I have two Nepali families. Both of my families are constantly looking after my well-being, checking to see if I've eaten (and feeding me if I haven't), making sure I have clean drinking water, and helping buy things I need for daily living.
Yesterday was the first real day in my new home, so I decided to hang around and see what everyone else was doing. My next door neighbor is a family of four- a 30 year old mother named Surita, her husband and two sons. It's festival time in Nepal, so I watched as the boys ran in and out of the courtyard to play with their friends. And although Surita was busy preparing butter candles for Tihar- the next big holiday, she invited me in to watch TV with her and chat.
I share the courtyard, the water tap and bathroom with Surita's family, so it is difficult to not know everything that is going on. When they wake at 5 or 6, I wake at 5 or 6. I listen to them take a shower, cook their food, wash their clothes and their dishes. And they of course, watch and listen to me as well. Last night, as I sat in my room to study by candlelight (power outages are frequent in Pokhara), the youngest boy ran up to my window, blew on my curtain and announced that his father was calling me. So I went to their room and discovered that the oldest son needed help with his English homework... finally something I could actually do! So I helped him and then went to take my bath. Later when I was back in my room, Surita discovered that I was studying Nepali so she came into "help" and brought the whole family with her. The boys quickly cuddled up on my bed with my Ipod, while Surita and her husband tried to help me learn the alphabet. This morning as I brushed my teeth, Surita's husband came to me and started saying the Nepali words for everything he saw: mirror, soap, water, clothes... I guess I'll start remembering what he is telling me, but right now, I just look at him and laugh, thinking my brain isn't ready to process all of the language stuff he is telling me.
The Annapurnas are hovering over the city. The sky is clear, the sun is warm, and I'm starting to feel quite at home...