I left my home-stay in Kathmandu around 7 AM, in order to meet my friend at the nearby supermarket so that we could share a taxi to the bus stop. We took the tourist bus, which was occupied manly with Nepalis, and took about a six hour bus ride to Pokhara (including many stops for lunch & bathroom breaks). When we arrived in Pokhara we found a small hotel to stay in for the first night – easy and close to the park where we had gotten off the bus.
The next day my friend left to go up to the mountains, and I set out to find a permanent hotel where I would be able to stay for the remainder of my time in Pokhara, roughly one month. Within a couple of hours I found a nice enough place – reasonably priced and ran by a super nice Nepali family. Successful first day.
Since I’ve been in Pokhara I’ve mainly just been exploring, attempting to find leads for the research I’ll be doing here during my stay. My research project is focused on studying volunteer tourism, especially the work done in orphanages, as there are many available in Pokhara. While I’ve found a lot of orphanages and set up a few meetings with them, I’m still searching for the ideal community to study. The premise of my research project is to look into local’s perceptions and ideas about foreign volunteer work.
As this first week on my own working on a study I’ve devised comes to an end, I’m feeling really great about living in Pokhara. A beautiful place to stay, I’ve had the opportunity to explore and start to get my barings. I’ve made friends with a couple of people in the community, and found some very promising leads in regards to my research project. Two of my friends from my study abroad program who are on their way to the mountains just arrived in town yesterday, so I’ll get to spend time with them this weekend and explore the city even more, with company.