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…

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Header of the Month: Boudhanath.

It’s been a year now since I went to Nepal on my first ‘voluntourism’ trip. I have promised to write about it since ages ago, and since it’s been procrastinated so much, I think this place very much deserves the attention – hence becoming the header of the month for April.

Not that I’m exactly abiding by my own time in posting this header of the month as well. First week of April has come and gone and here I am, ten days late, in publishing this post.)

Anyway, presenting to you the Header of April.

Boudhanath, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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Kathmandu as a city is probably the epitome of how the capital city of a poor country is like. After all, Nepal is the second poorest country in Asia in 2013, just doing slightly better than Afghanistan with GDP per capita of USD 1,300. The city, if you can call it one, is really dirty, and you can find beggars and hungry kids strewn all over the street. The people are so poor that often times you will see the kids smelling glue at the roadside just to suppress their appetite. One even snatched a sandwich from my hand as I was eating while walking past them. Things that we take for granted… Thinking back, it was quite insensitive of me eating my food in front of starving children.

Continue reading “Header of the Month: Boudhanath.”

Nepal, food wise.

I am perfectly aware that I do still have a long overdue post to write about my trip to Nepal in April last year. But in the spirit of Chinese New Year overeating (which also explains the absence of posts over the past week due to uncontrollable food consumption), I thought it would be wise to slot in this post about Nepalese food, inspired by the recent post-trip gathering to a Nepalese restaurant in Little India in Singapore.

Before that, just a little background regarding me and food photography: I hate taking pictures of food. It is perhaps partly due to the fact that I believe in just indulging in the food the moment you see it, but mostly due to me being just plain lazy. I don’t have the habit of taking out my phone/camera and snap pictures of the dishes that are served in front of me. Unless if it looks something like this.

This certainly warrants some exception.
This certainly warrants some exception.

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