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Running away from Home

Batuli bids farewell to Damdame

NEPAL | Monday, 1 March 2010 | Views [819] | Comments [1]

Last day in Damdame…..Only a few children are at the library this morning and I keep my distance because I feel poorly. When you combine the exertions from yesterdays climb, running around with a wet head in the cool air and the fact that the kids have been sneezing and coughing on me all week, I am not surprised that my throat is scratchy and my head is congested. Bhai came up to the library this morning so that he could show us his plans for a computer learning center once Damdame gets some electricity. They government has already sent the computers, they just need the electricity, or else they just have some really expensive paper weights. Bhai is the one who runs the Sunflower Community Center when there are no volunteers to staff it.

After we locked up I went back to the house and gathered up my things. We had one last meal of daal bhat and curried vegetables. It was ekdam mitto (very tasty). Before we said our goodbyes, the family had a small departure ceremony for us. The women had been making flower garlands while we were at the library this morning. Aamaa painted a red dot in powder on our foreheads and then gave us each a flower garland.. Then bohini added her garland. We took a group photo, and then started with the goodbyes. I picked up my things and Bhai picked up all of Kathryn’s things. The family followed us to the outskirts of the small mountain village and we waved our last goodbyes and blew kisses. It had only been a week and yet we had all gotten attached, even though there was that dividing line of family and guest. Even with all of the hardships, I was so thrilled I got to come and get to know them.

We kept our decorations on as we descended the mountain. Suffice to say, we got a lot of strange looks. I felt a little bit like the prize winner in a stakes race, but we couldn’t just discard them. When we got to the bus station, I shook Bhai’s hand and thanked him for his generosity and hospitality. I promised him that if he wanted to make a business of having travelers do a homestay, I would shout it to the world what an incredible experience it is. And then, as quietly as he had entered my life, he turned around and left.

Tags: homestay, nepal, village, volunteering

Comments

1

Hi there
Thanks for the blog. My wife and I are heading to Damdame with Info Nepal next month and when we arranged it only one volunteer had been there and there was no info or pics of the village so it was great to stumble across your blog this afternoon!
Can't wait to get out there.
David

  David Gibson Jun 22, 2010 4:48 AM

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