Header of the Month: What the kids in Nepal taught me.

When it comes to procrastination, I think I’m the queen.

I have been wanting to write this post for a while, and it took me two YEARS to finally get around to it.

I think part of me wanted to make this post perfect, since I felt that this travel story that I’m about to write deserves the best. Everything that had thus far come to my head never sounded good enough – I don’t even know if this post is going to cut it.

It took a terrible earthquake that practically damages Kathmandu to shake me out of this mentality, and I decided to write this post about the kids in Nepal, because I’m thinking of them, and I’m praying for their safety.

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The historical tower built in 1832 that collapsed because of the earthquake.

I went to Nepal exactly two years ago on a mission. I had never been much of a charitable person, and definitely not someone who would proactively make time in the weekend to help people in need. And for that, I felt genuinely horrible, as if I were a very evil person. So I decided that perhaps a trip to the poorest country in Asia would make me more charitable.

I expected the living conditions and the tough terrain of Nepalese mountains would teach me a thing or two. And I did learn something from them. But the credit for the best lessons learned should go to the kids, really – I went there to teach them some Mathematics and English, but I came home feeling that I have learned so much more from them.

Here are some life lessons that I had the privilege to be taught by the wonderful kids:

Go the extra mile (or two) to learn

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I remember complaining in my head when I arrived at the mountains and found out that we had to wake up at 6 AM the next morning to prepare for the materials because the kids are scheduled to start their class at 6 30 AM. Grudgingly I set my alarm, only to be woken up the next day before my alarm went off by the chirpy noise of the kids outside! The kids were there an hour early! What made me feel even more ashamed of myself afterwards was that I found out that some of them lived two hours’ walk away, which means they woke up at 4 AM, just to attend the classes that we were going to teach! I never recalled having so much motivation to learn, even though I had all the access to education right at my doorstep…

Continue reading “Header of the Month: What the kids in Nepal taught me.”

Singapore on two wheels.

Aaand I did it – the 50 km cycle around Singapore. Something I have dreaded and looked forward to at the same time.

Tour de Singapore has been an exhausting journey, both physically and emotionally. While the physical tiredness from having to attend weekly spinning classes in preparation was very much expected, the emotional part came as a surprise. The pressure only came in much later, closer to the race – I was growing nervous and restless, unsure about the road safety and whether I would be fit enough to complete the distance. It was amplified by the fact that one of my friends who was joining the ride with me was no longer joining. It felt like I lost a bit of emotional support. It also did not help that half of the time I was wishing I had decided to forget about this whole cycling thing and join my friend on a 3-day football charity trip to Cambodia from 14th-16th Feb. (The title of this post at one point in time was dangerously close to be “Cambodia: Of Football, Happy Pizza and Fried Tarantulas” had I chosen to go.) But I had too much of a sense of commitment in me to quit halfway as tempting as the Cambodia trip sounded.

And I’m really I happy I went through with it. It was a well-spent 5 hours of my journey and looking back at all the preparation that I had done, it was the only right thing to do, really.

(Although after hearing the exciting stories from Cambodia, I did have a sliight regret, but hey, you can’t have everything).

So read on, if you want to find out more about what happened before, during and some observations that I reflected upon completing.

Continue reading “Singapore on two wheels.”