Home sweet Nepal

Nepal reminds me so much of Jamaica. This was my first thought as I got off the plane and entered the airport. The lack of air conditioning, size and even the stairs to get off th plane were reminiscent of NMIA ( the international airport in Kingston) about 5 years ago. The familiarity didn’t stop there though. For the past five days I have been reminded of home every where I go. Of course there are differences, such as the clothing, people, language and culture but for the most part I feel like I’m at home. The roads are smaller and less paved but just as hectic as Jamaican roads. You can see the poverty a lot more obviously here in the buildings and construction of the towns but I’m sure that’s because, over the years, Jamaica has modernized the cities whereas Kathmandu is yet to do so. Up until a few years ago the town of port Maria looked the same way.
Even the exchange rate to the US dollar is (almost) the same as jamaica’s, which is a godsend because I don’t have to calculate the value to USD in my head when I’m given a price like every one else. I just think in JAD (teehee :p). Furthermore, when we went to visit Adi and KC’s old boarding school I felt like I was back at my old high school. The property was way prettier and right in front of some hills but the classrooms and labs were so similar. In fact, they were doing labs in chem, physics and bio that I remembered doing. I think I accidentally gave the answer to one of the boys in the bio lab actually.  And then there is Nargakot which was just like Newcastle (which is in the hills back home where people spend the day quite often). The drive up the hill and the view reminded me so much of the drive to newcastle.
Everyone told me I would be surprised at the way people live here but so far I relate to it more than anything.  However, the true test comes tomorrow when I go to Doti. I’ve seen rural towns before and seen how the truly poor live but I don’t know if it will be worse here. If it is I believe I’m about to be kicked out of my bubble of feeling like I’m at home.
I really like how much of Jamaica I see here and the input I can give from personal experience but the familiarity I have found here suggests that Jamaica is in a worse state than I even really realize, considering how poor Nepal is. Jamaica has managed to cover it up with a nice makeover but it’s all there still. I mean, at least Nepal has the Himalayas and Mt. Everest, Buddhist and Hindu temples, and absolutely beautiful cultural art and clothing. We only have pretty beaches and Bob. And he’s dead… So basically, I’ve found my second home in Nepal and I haven’t been truly shocked by anything I’ve seen here so far, however the test will arrive in the form of Doti and I will soon know whether or not I will get the shock of a lifetime from this trip. And even if I don’t, Nepal has been the experience of a lifetime so far and I know it will remain that way. But I’ll get back to you on the shock factor of Doti…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *