Melissa- Are you high on crack?

I’m not sure if it’s my random bouts of energy or the fact that I dance every time I hear music, or that I laugh all the time, but Dr. Escoto asks me everyday if I am high on crack. I suffer from hyperactivity and excessive happiness and it is not a result of crack. I have been in such a state of contentment that the common joke between everyone is about what drugs I am on. I’m really not kidding. Escoto asks to share my pipe but I swear I don’t have one! One student truly asked me last night, “Melissa, how much weed do you smoke?” All I could do was laugh. I don’t smoke weed..
That’s just how happy I am to be experiencing life in Nepal. Well I am not really experiencing truly Nepalese life, we are being treated as high class guests. The hotel we stayed at the past 2 days felt like a resort and the workers would not let us carry our suitcases. It is weird being treated like a star, but I’m not sure my American way of life could quickly adapt to life in a developing nation..
We have seen some things that really tug at our emotions. Today we visited a psychiatric hospital and a women’s shelter for sex trafficked victims and their children. It [shelter] is also an orphanage. Women sex traffickers that become pregnant deliver babies in a hospital usually, but then they leave right after the birth without the child. This shelter called Maiti Nepal nurtures these children and victims of sex trafficking. It provides education, housing, rehabilitation, advocacy, support, and life skills to children and women. There are several ways to help this organization through donation, sponsoring a child/woman, volunteering in many ways…check out the website at http://www.maitinepal.org.
The reason I came to Nepal was because I read such an eye-opening book about women oppression. It explained through personal stories with vivid details about sex trafficking in Asian countries. I realized I needed to do something about this..is there anything I can do? Then I booked my trip to Nepal and actually visited this shelter. There are different ways of helping as I mentioned earlier and whatever I decide to do I would like to get others involved.
We also experienced beggars on the street with babies. We have seen the poverty. Compared to our standards it seems as though everyone lives in poverty, but I learned that is not true. There are classes of wealth, they are just totally different from what I see in America.
The people have been so accommodating and the physical beauty of the country is enough to forget your troubles. We still have yet to see the actual “mountain”, but once we leave this computer lab we are headed on a 2 hour ride to our next hotel destination. Hotel Barahi in Pokhara is located by the Lakeside of one of the most charming valleys in the Himalayas (I read this off the brochure). Check out the website at http://www.barahi.com. I am thrilled to see this place.
We did Yoga yesterday with a Scandinavian women, and I am so sore today! My back is begging for a massage so I asked our guide Loxman if I can get one and he said he’ll take me to a place to get a massage. I wonder if Nepalese massages are better than American? Hopefully I’ll find out! Loxman has been the greatest guide ever. He does everything for us. He fetches water without us even asking. He stops traffic so we can cross the street. He bargains with store owners so we get the cheapest price, which is so freakin’ cheap! (Everything is cheap). I’ve bought numerous things thus far and I’ve hardly gotten started.. Loxman also dances with me and tells me what different things mean and teaches me some Nepalese words. When he comes to America we will all do the same things.
Our days are so packed they feel like a week shoved into a day. I’d love to say more right now but my time is limited. We are off to the next adventure!

Namaste,

Missy

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