|These homes had to come down after the earthquakes, but we'll rebuild.|
Recently I read a post on Expat (http://bit.ly/246JSwP) that asked the following questions. It caused me to think, so here are my thoughts on this question.
"If you had to look back on your expat experience in Nepal, would you heartily say "let’s do it again"? From the preparation stage to your actual everyday life in your new country, what did you enjoy the most? Would you do certain things differently? Could you tell us why?
How would you describe the benefits of your expatriation in Nepal so far?"
I didn't know where I would end up. I thought it would have been Madagascar, but just as I was getting out of college after my husband died Madagascar had a coup (yes, I'm a late bloomer). I still thought it would at least be in Africa, but my money only took me as far as India. I thought Nepal would be a nice side trip for me and I'd return to India, but when I took one look at the Himalayas from the tourist bus window I cried as my heart embraced the magnificent majesty.
That was over 5 years ago. I've seen many personal assistants and several landlords come and go, as well as several petrol outages and disasters. Even after the first earthquake I didn't even think of taking the American embassy's flight back home. So, I'd have to unequivocally say I'd easily do it again.
I recently commented to a friend that for life to be so simple here there sure are a lot of steps to do some of the simplest of things. For example, you might find it easiest to begin your shower experience by cleaning the bathroom bucket and fill it up until the water runs hot. Yes, taking a simple shower requires plenty of thought and a few more steps. You will also need to think about when to charge your batteries so as to keep the load off the invertor. All these steps and concerns help me to appreciate the little things.
What I like most is being able to actually make a difference in the lives of my neighbors. With the help of some lovely volunteers we've built several shelters (for over 50 families), I bring electricity into a neighbor's home for the first time ever for them. I love to sit up on my rooftop and see clouds floating gently by a bit lower than I sit. It's like I'm in a castle in the sky, so beautiful. I can see the Himalayas and hear various bird calls and even watch the eagles soar past.
It's incredibly inexpensive for most things and I rent an entire 14 room building for the same price as the tiny plot of land I had my 30 year old mobile home parked on. But of all the things, financial, social or environmental what I enjoy the most is the kindness and respect I am given here. I've been treated better than I ever have been before, almost exclusively.
The only thing I think I'd have done differently would be to come sooner instead of using up all my savings before I got here. Looking back I'm sure it was just fear that caused me to meander, but I really didn't even have Nepal on my bucket list, so I have to say that it all worked out perfectly.
The benefits of my expatriation are so many. I have a lovely family around me who treat me so nicely. No one can take the place of family, but my Nepali family is a real close second. Actually, I am grateful to my own children because having such independent offspring has been the biggest gift allowing me to travel.