The Way Things Go

Week two in Nepal. Let see what happened this time around: I learned that Nepal time is a bit more relaxed, and that things will happen as it will. Everything and everyone is always ready to adapt to new circumstances. This week there was another strike on Thursday, and so CAM and most other shops, restaurants, buses, and most other kind of transportation were out of commission. Originally there was to be a workshop on Thursday, but due to this planned strike it meant transportation would be nearly impossible to find and it was postponed until Sunday. It was reported that protesters even set a cab on fire for operating during the transportation strike, which was set forward by the CPN-Maoist political party. So on this day we stayed inside, along with the rest of the city. It interesting to see this as one of the major differences between here and the States, where generally punctuality is key and one strike wouldn’t put most of the city to sleep. 

There have been a lot of firsts this week from our first free days to ourselves, where Emiline and I attempted exploring the city on our own. Today, we even caught a cab by ourselves, and may have gotten slightly ripped off. Overall we are learning, learning to negotiate cab fares when they refuse to use the meter to being okay with being uncomfortable and experiencing new things. Everything is still so new, but at least we definitely know our way home now. So far we have been able to communicate fairly well with others, for many of the people I’ve encountered knew some English or we had someone who did. The most difficult part is still the language barrier;  at times I feel completely lost even when I know what the plans are. Therefore I’m looking forward to learning some Nepalese in the coming weeks. It will definitely come in handy. 

Thankfully art is something we all can share, and an example is easy enough to use as a guide with kids. From working with 39 preschoolers to assemble a paper collage mural to working with an orphanage to creating superheroes, I appreciate being able to see the joy that comes with creating a piece of art and allowing children to be creative. At the end of the workshops, I appreciate that everything is a learning experience for all parties involved. Week two has been productive, and week three should be even more so as we begin creating and designing our own workshops.

May Chou ’18
Kathmandu, Nepal