Friday, October 2, 2009
I made it! I am sitting right now at Basecamp in Nepal. So I arrived yesterday in the afternoon, Nepal time. After my pick up from the Airport, my organizer and I got in a local cab and flew through the city of Kathmandu at an incredible speed. The best way to describe the ride was hectic. If you know how hectic driving downtown Toronto at 8am on a Monday can be, imagine that in addition to having your ride disturbed by cows, honking scooters with death wishes, and an absence of street rules and signage. It is crazy to say the least. At one point diving through Thamel (the small tourist city where our Basecamp is located) a man with a large machine to pave the road walked out in the middle of traffic to begin construction. Cars were honking, people were walking everywhere, children were playing in the middle of the road, and I am sitting in the back seat in utter shock anticipating the journey I have now just begun. After arriving at Basecamp and meeting my fellow volunteers (9 girls and 2 boys) I felt exhausted and lay down for a nap. Every evening all of the volunteers sit around a couple coffee tables on mats for dinner made by Baudri, our resident cook. Last night to my astonishment we had a simple spaghetti with tomato sauce. Some of the girls who have been at Basecamp for about a month suggested that we travel into Thamel to get sizzling brownie for dessert. We took the walk through completely dark streets because the power had been turned off, which is one of the local treats we enjoy randomly because the city needs to conserve energy. We went to a very nice small restaurant which was very tourist and enjoyed the hot brownie and ice cream. I really did not image on my first day in Nepal to eat spaghetti and brownie, so much for dieting while I'm here! Afterwards three of us 'newbies' went back home while the rest continued the night partying at a Western type bar called Tom and Jerry's. Today is Orientation and we will be taking a tour of Thamel to see the sights. I will update more when I have more stories and will post pictures when the rain subsides.