Every ending starts a new beginning – Natalie

I can’t believe the trip is actually over! I had the most amazing time with great people and I will never forget it. Access to computers on the last days of our trip was limited so I will start with our trip to Pokhara, back to Kathmandu and our trip home.

Due to the fact that the roads were windy and we were going up and down hills everyone had to pack one bag to take with us for our time in Pokhara. The drive was a total of six hours each way, but it was so worth it with the amazing views. The road we took was the only road in Nepal that had trucks importing things into the country. We saw many accidents on these roads because people drive so fast and the roads are kind of tight. We had a great driver, so I was not worried at all even though I was sitting in the front seat! In Pokhara we visited Manipal hospital. The hospital had a psychiatric ward with some psychiatrists and lectures and a clinical psychologist. They talked to us about the hospital and the psychiatric ward. We were also given a tour of the psychiatric ward. I was so surprised when the doctors walked right into the rooms and told us to join and he would walk over to patients and say exactly what was wrong with them. I was also surprised to see only one woman in the women’s psychiatric ward, when the men’s ward was almost full. After we went to the lake in Pokhara to go on a boat ride, but I didn’t join as I have horrible motion sickness. Also we did plenty of shopping! We also visited an orphanage. I learned that the definition of an orphan is very different from what we know in the U.S. In the U.S. an orphan is someone who has no parents. In Nepal an orphan is any child who is in a child who is at risk. This means that they could have both parents or just one parent, but those providers can’t properly care for the child. The house we visited had six children and one foster mother that cared for them. In the whole organization there was a total of 86 kids in care. We talked with the kids and they told us their stories, which were sad, but it was great to see them doing well at the orphanage. Most of the orphans were girls, with only a few boys.

On our last days in Kathmandu we visited an Ayurvedic health home. The minute I walked inside I felt a relaxed sensation all over my body. Ayurvedic health is seen as a practice of health through a holistic approach. It incorporates the mind and body and many more things. There are four dimensions that include physical, sensorial, mental and spiritual. The Dr. who spoke to us gave us so much information and I learned so much about Ayurvedic ways. One thing I really took away from it was that we must learn to love ourselves and be happy with ourselves before any healing can occur. He also said that mixing Ayurvedic methods with western medicine is helpful and a good idea. I really enjoyed going to the Ayurvedic home and hope someday I can return. On the drive home to Kathmandu the sky had finally cleared for us to see the most beautiful sight of the Himalayas and white cap mountains. The driver pulled the bus over for us to take pictures and look in awe. This was definitely an amazing way to end our stay in Pokhara and the end of our trip. The sights were amazing and I am so grateful I was able to experience the beauty of Nepal. On our last night in Nepal we were invited to the host’s house for dinner where we said goodbye and showed our appreciation for everything they had done for us. The night was great and I was so happy to be a part of it

The flight from Kathmandu to India was quick and easy. The layover in India was 11 hours and we congregated in one area for the whole time. We walked around, talked, ate, and reminisced about our trip. Our flight to JFK took about 14 hours and seemed to go by quicker then the first flight to India. I was happy to be back home, but also sad that the trip was over. I wish we could have stayed for a little bit longer, but I was so grateful to have had to opportunity to go on the trip. I met so many amazing people and had wonderful experiences that I will never forget. I also learned so many things and have different views on life. I really feel that I have changed as a person for the better and truly appreciate everything I have. I couldn’t have picked a better group of people or staff to join on this amazing adventure. Thanks everyone for making this trip such a wonderful experience.

Namaste.

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