Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kathmandu Valley to Discovery Bay

It's 5:35am and I'm wide awake listening to the rain in my home town. It's quiet here....really quiet. I woke up this morning without the help of dogs barking, cars honking their horns, or people just yelling as they pass my window. It's been 3 days since I've left Nepal and I do miss it. I knew I was going to, but my god the reverse culture shock is just insane.
Not only my mind, but my stomach has also decided to be culture shocked. When I was in Nepal my stomach had to adjust to the food. Now it has to readjust back to the food here. The roads are so quiet and clean. No one honks their horns here. When I am handed something or handing something to someone I feel weird using my left hand. The internet is fast and the power is always on. Water is always available and cold. I don't have to worry about the shower having no water/pressure or heat.
It's strange for me to look out my window and see Discovery Bay and not men standing on the side of the street talking and drinking tea. There are no street dogs laying around and there are no children using empty soda cans as soccer balls. There are no volunteers walking in and out of the bedrooms going to placements or just waking up early. I didn't sleep in my sleeping bag for the first time in 9 months.

My last few weeks in Nepal were just hanging out with the children of Papa's House and getting ready to leave. On my last Saturday there at Papa's House all the children got together and had a small going away ceremony for me. I received a bunch of thank you letters from the kids as well as some small gifts that just made my day. It was very kind of Michael and the children for doing that!

The next day was my very last day there. That night it thundered and rained like no other. I was certain that the plane would not take off or at least be delayed. As I was saying goodbye to Anita's girl hostel some of them started to cry and it was kinda emotional. I just said I'll be back soon don't worry. And then they responded with "come quickly ok?". I then ran back to the volunteer hostel and got my shoes and socks soaking wet. My taxi was then supposed to pick me up at 9, but was half an hour late. When he picked me up and we finally left it was still down pouring and there were deep huge puddles covering the whole road. The water would go beneath the taxi and then shoot up going threw some crack under the car getting me wet again.
Anyway I finally got to the airport sat around for a little bit then got on to the plane. The plane flew right through the thunder storm that I thought was going to delay it. The captian said before we left "I wish I could say we are going to have some good weather, but I can't". We had a quick stop in Bangladesh then a long layover in Hong Kong and then another unexpected layover in San Francisco. I actually had one of my friends Jill pick me up from there and drive me downtown for an hour or 2. I was not feeling so well and was half asleep. She bought me some food, but I didn't eat it. Sorry Jill! Finally I went back to the airport and just sat around until my flight to Seattle arrived.

All in all it was a pretty good trip back. Nothing too bad happened and my plane didn't crash so I think it went well.

I'll be back in Nepal for sure next year. I really hope for next year I can get better at the language and be more help to Nepal Orphans Homes. This 9 months was amazing and wouldn't trade it for the world, but I hope I can venture out of the city and help in more rural places around Nepal. The kids at Papa's House are safe, happy, and are getting a good education. I'm ready to help the other kids in Nepal that deserve the same. :)
If you have any questions about volunteering or want to help email me or message me anytime you want. I'd be more than happy to talk about my experience in Nepal.



  1. Amazing journey Sam, I'm sure to be continued :)

  2. Seeing your bed slowly being broken down to the bare wood brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for all you have done for the kids Sam. I know they are already waiting for your return!

  3. Good to hear you're home safe and sound, Sam, after what sounds like a memorable journey. I can completely understand what you say about adjusting to being back - we're still feeling strange and we were only away for 2 months, so it must feel even more bizarre for you. I'm sure you'll be back to noisy, dusty, chaotic, irresistible Nepal before you know it! Ann & Alison x