2012 Study Tour: Our trip so far

It has been a while since I posted a blog, our trip so far has been so packed of experiences, and I have been very tired from being unwell so I haven't really had the chance to post a blog. So hopefully this blog will catch up to date. Our second day in Nepal started with breakfast at 9am, a sleep in! We had a buffet breakfast that had nice omelettes, onion and tomato. After breakfast we had a short Nepalese lesson and then we were off. We have visited the seven women centre, an absolutely incredible place! I definitely did not expect the house to be as lovely as it was. The group began to undergo their individual tasks and the centre is already looking so much brighter, including the ladies that live there. Ruby, a member on the trip lead a mural painting on a wall there, it featured marigolds. The women assisted in the painting of it and whilst bonding with group members had the time of their lives. This mural along with another one where we will be putting our hand prints will not only brighten up the centre butting will also be a place where all guests that visit can put their hand prints. We have been to boudhanath, the largest stupa in Nepal.. The mandala was massive! After visiting the stupa we went across the road to a slum, I definitely wasn't expecting the slum to be the way it was, physically it was, dirty and not well equipped but emotionally it was the complete opposite. Most if not all of the people living in the slum seemed content and not too phased about where they lived. There was an amazing sense of community there. The people living in the slum,most from India, do different things for work, some polish shoes, some sell fruit or other foods, some have snakes that they take pictures with the tourists (yes we saw them) and some beg. We learnt that some of those who beg actually enjoy it, which also challenged my previous thoughts. Pashupati was another temple we visited, here, we witnessed public cremations. Whilst it was quite confronting and unusual for us, there were Nepali families sitting on the steps watching just like it was a day at the park. Hindu's believe that once deceased the spirit has left the body, and the idea of the cremation is to reincarnate their spirit. We visited a felt factory where we saw how all the hand made products are made. The time and effort the workers there put in is amazing and they make incredible products. Yesterday we left thamel, Kathmandu and went to nargacot at 6am where we saw an incredible view of the Himalayas and Bhaktupar. The air at Nargacot was so clean and fresh, and definitely a nice change for me while I am trying to battle a cold. From the nargacot look out we walked down to a village that our leader Steph had previously been to. This experience for me was amazing, the view, the people and the village itself. Here I found myself a mit, in Nepal this is like a best friend, someone you can tell everything too. Indira, who was also 19 was so beautiful. And insisted that I be her mit, I feel very privileged. We swapped numbers and will hopefully be Able to stay in contact. We are now back in thamel for 2 nights and then we are off to Chitwan national park for 2 nights and a nearby village for a home stay for 1 night.