After arriving back to Kathmandu on Monday from our trip to the Annapurna region, it seems as though I haven’t had one minute of free time. This week was our week of finals, which included three separate Nepali exams – a written one, one reading the Devanagri script, and the ACTFL, a language speaking exam in which we had to speak to a trained tester for 30 minutes, after which we receive a score ranking our speaking ability – as well as a final research proposal due, and tomorrow one last final exam. It’s been pretty hectic as we are also preparing to begin our ISP period, meaning that on Monday, our month of research begins.
I’ll be moving out of my homestay here in Kathmandu and traveling to Pokhara by local bus on Monday morning. As of right now, I’m not exactly sure where I’ll be staying, but I think one of my language teachers has a contact or two for me. Once in Pokhara I can begin my research, which focuses on local’s perceptions of volunteer tourists and the work they do specifically in orphanages around Pokhara.
It’s both exciting and a little scary to be leaving the SIT family and my homestay. I’m craving independance and the chance to explore on my own, but I will definitely miss my friends and the staff at my program center. I’m excited to see what Pokhara has to offer and for the chance to find hidden treasures within the city, considering I have only spent two days there during my time in Nepal.
Although I didn’t like Kathmandu very much when I first arrived – the traffic, pollution, craziness, over-crowding, dirt were a little jarring, and they still are – I have come to love this city. In all honesty I don’t think it’s a place I would choose to live in again, but I have really enjoyed my experience here and it is something I will always remember and appreciate. As my days come to an end here I am already feeling nostalgic – remembering all the plans I had of doing things in the city that I never really got to complete. It seems that’s how life is, though, there’s always something else, something else you wish you’d done or something more to add. I guess all we can really do is hold our experiences for what they’re worth, and not dwell on what could’ve been.