This week has a lot of pictures because for roughly 10 days I was in both Kathmundu, Nepal and Jaipur, India! My absolute favorite cities of the entire trip! I learned the most and had the most fun in these as you can note in my pictures above! Nepal, the city of so many firsts! The feelings of suspense arose the second I boarded off that plane as I had never in my entire life seen mountains higher than the hills of my hometown. I can still paint a picture in my head as to how beautifully they were crafted and how the clouds surrounded their peaks. Nepal was beautiful, its scenery was not comparable, its architecture was indescribable, but what struck me the hardest would be the day I decide to do something I had never done in my entire life…hiking! I so naively presumed for this to be an easy task, but what awaited me was something that I know will forever impact me and change the ways I look at life. This experience was the peak of my trip as I felt the wind on my skin and the rain on my face, we got lost, but three local village women and one incredible dog helped us find our way up. It was because of these women that I got to cross water falls, fall and trip, climb high steeps, and reach a view I had never seen before. breathtaking. It is so crazy to think that regardless of the language barrier between the women and my group, there was still a “universal language” that we humans tend to equally understand. It was in the way we all smiled and laughed together that somehow we felt connection. Too many times I grew to see people by the characteristics that set them apart from me, id sit with people who looked and acted like me, and while this is necessary I learned that growth is never done in a community you are most comfortable with, growth is not done through being okay with judging others or by ignoring the fact that we were not made to courageously live this life along. Nepal taught me that in life’s most heart wrenching and disappointing moments you are still in the midst of your most beautiful highlight in the story we call life. Through these many experiences I understood how essential it is to live life entirely.
I did get sick during my week in Nepal so I did not get to visit the NGOs planned for the week, but my week in Jaipur was one where I did. Jaipur, the pink city! This city felt as if I was being casted in an Indian movie, everything looked so beautiful I could not even believe the elephants and camels walking across the streets and up the mountains. Jaipur was my favorite city in India for many reasons, I got to see and explore a more central part of India, got to learn about sundials, explore more monkey temples, and visited my favorite NGO of the entire trip. Barefoot college is an organization located in Tilonia, about an hour from Jaipur. Barefoot college “forges a first of its kind, women-centered, global network dedicated to sustainable development in every community where poverty exists.” One of my favorite initiatives would be the solar mamas where rural women from all over the world are brought for six months and taught solar power engineering. The most interesting concept held here would be the idea that these women from all over the world did not speak any of the same languages and some where even illiterate, however, this did not infringe upon their ability to learn and understand engineering. This is just one of many services this organization provides, it was incredibly inspiring to watch how these leaders took it upon themselves to empower and educate people not only in their own community, but in the communities of others as well.