Asia-Pacific 2017

January - May 2017
A 127-day adventure by Kirsti Read more
  • 151footprints
  • 12countries
  • 127days
  • 566photos
  • 0videos
  • 45.7kkilometers
  • 24.7kkilometers
  • Day 1

    Goodbye Vancouver!

    January 11, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ -2 °C

    Alanna drove me to the airport this morning, kind lady that she is! Traditional Ceaser drink to kick off the upcoming 24 hours of travel... I'll be tired on arrival for sure!

    Update: upgraded to premium economy will make this 13hr that much more enjoyable ;)Read more

  • Day 3

    Kathmandu Arrival

    January 13, 2017 in Nepal ⋅ 🌫 4 °C

    I arrived at my hotel in Kathmandu tonight after 24+ hours of travelling! The journey itself was uneventful. First flight from YVR to Guangzhou, China was 13 hours long. I ended up in premium economy because a woman wanted to sit with her husband so we traded seats. Not a bad deal! I flew with China Southern which overall is an okay airline. No complaints other than that they won't let you use your phone even when on airplane mode.... So all the ebooks, games, music, and movies I had downloaded to entertain myself didn't get used.... Thankfully their movie selection wasn't bad and I had brought a physical Sudoku game book. Watched the first 4 Harry Potter movies as a result ;) I had a two hour lay over in China which was plenty of time to switch terminals and get a snack. Although the only place that accepted credit was Starbucks, I was hoping for real food! Now I know for next time. The flight from China to Kathmandu, Nepal was just under 5 hours. Again, I was "upgraded" to a premium seat, this time because a husband wanted to sit with his wife and kids. Can't complain about that! As a result of the switch I ended up sitting next to the only other foreigner on the plane, a man from Seattle travelling on business. He's been here quite a few times before so he gave me a number of useful tips and helped me navigate the airport upon arrival from filling out the paperwork to showing me where to find my airport pickup. Very glad for his help!

    The 10 minute drive from the airport to my hotel, Hotel Amaryllis, gave me a taste of what to expect from the city. Chaos. They drive on the left side of the road with little regard to lane markings, no stop signs that I could see, and stray dogs and random pedestrians everywhere! And no seatbelts. Good thing I won't be driving here at all. I'm really looking forward to seeing the city in the daylight tomorrow!

    From my brief time in the airport I get the sense that I'm going to be a "commodity". Was definitely getting curious looks from the locals, I hear because I'm a tall white woman travelling alone. We'll see if it continues tomorrow ;) It's currently 6degC here and feels much warmer than home. Perhaps the curious looks were because of only wearing a single hoodie rather than the winter jackets everyone else was wearing. The hotel manager said that it's very cold here right now! All about perspective.

    The hotel is nice, and again, looking forward to seeing it tomorrow in the daylight. No complaints about the room! I did notice that we're one of the few buildings with lights on still, glad that I paid the extra to stay in a hotel with a 24 hour generator. No need to worry about power cuts and I have access to hot water whenever I like!

    It's now 1:00 am (Jan 13) and I suppose I should go to bed. The time change from home is 13hr 45min. So you'll be seeing my posts at irregular times! I'll try to stay up on posting regularly but no promises ;)
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  • Day 3

    Thamel, Kathmandu

    January 13, 2017 in Nepal ⋅ 🌫 8 °C

    Today was exhausting but definitely interesting. I slept soundly through the night and woke up in time for breakfast that's included with my hotel stay: hot food, fresh fruit, coffee. Overall better than most breakfasts that are included with hotel stays. The first person that I saw thought I was German, must look European ;)

    After breakfast I wandered out into the city. Of course it's very different than home but I wasn't as overwhelmed and culture shocked as I thought I would be. Guess that's what happens when you don't have any idea of what to expect. I spent about 2.5 hours wandering around Thamel, the touristy area of Kathmandu. There I learned a few things: the traffic is more crazy than it seemed last night, pedestrians don't have the right of way apparently, people are friendly, people are trying to sell you things, people are curious about where you're from. I have to admit I quickly got fed up with the selling aspect of things. I understand that everyone is out there to make a living and I'm happy to chat and give you my money if it's for something I need or want, but please respect when I say no! Perhaps I'll come back more forceful, less nice, less patient ;) My favourite experience from the morning was enjoying a cup of tea randomly with a shop owner. I was waiting to get a SIM card and we started chatting. He didn't try to sell me anything, just was curious about where I'm from and why I'm here. Since he owns a mountain biking shop I will probably go back and give him my business if I decide to bike this trip rather than the shop owners who try to coerce me into using their services. The tea was delicious by the way! Mmm I can get used to that. I'll probably try and bring some home with me, I passed a number of tea shops while wandering.

    I didn't get many pictures of Thamel, I felt as though I was one of the few tourists and didn't want to stand out too much. I'm still getting a feel of what the area is like! But here are a couple.
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  • Day 3

    Durbar Square, Kathmandu

    January 13, 2017 in Nepal ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    After Thamel I made my way to Durbar Square, about a 20 min walk from my hotel. I feel as though that walk was more representative of what Kathmandu is actually like.... Along the route that I walked the earthquake damage was prominent. There were random crumbled buildings, streets with huge holes and piles of rubble, clearly less fortunate people, and overall a sense of.... Quiet and sadness, it definitely wasn't a bustling area like Thamel. But then, I did choose not to take main roads and instead saw what I think is more local life. Some streets I walked down didn't have a single other person on them, maybe a stray dog if anything. Never once did I feel unsafe in these areas, if anything I enjoyed them more than the bustling areas with the crowds and the people pushing to sell you things. I wish I could have taken photos here, but again I didn't want to be disrespectful. I will definitely not forget the extent of the damage though, or the 5'2" woman carrying bricks and rubble out of a damaged home into a truck. Or the pregnant lady with 4 kids who looked so sad. I stopped to talk to her and bought her some tea and milk, which she was grateful for. She invited me to her home but I declined, as I say, I'm still not entirely used to the city and don't know how these things work. She did seem genuinely sad that I didn't accept, gave me her phone number and insisted that I call her tomorrow to come over. Maybe I'm skeptical but I think that I'll be passing on going to random people's homes, although I have heard that to be invited to a Nepali woman's house is a great honour.

    When I finally reached Durbar Square and began looking around I was approached by a guide who wanted to give me a tour of the area. At first I didn't appreciate the intrusion but after chatting and haggling on a price (see I'm already getting better at this ;) ) I agreed to let him take me around. And I'm glad I did! I could have done as others did and read the map and information points but he showed me areas that I would never have dared go into on my own. His name was Rama. There's so much that he told me about the square that I don't know if I can remember it all! What really stood out to me though was the extent of the damage to the temples from the earthquake. You could really see what the effects are on unreinforced brick... Cracks in the walls of temples that were lucky enough not to fall down and piles of rubble for less fortunate buildings.. From what he explained Durbar Square is where people go to worship the different Gods. There is one for forgiveness, for knowledge, for lovers/finding a husband (he made sure to take me there and explain why I should take special note lol). Also in the square is the home of the living Goddess, a girl who is chosen from the people and lives there until her first menstruation. After her first period she returns to her family and apparently becomes a nun because "no man wants her". It's more of a curse than a blessing to be chosen for this role it seems. Another thing that stood out about the square was the abundance of sexual aspects and respect for the genders. There were many references to male and female parts in almost all of the temples, Rama explained it as "women have many talents that men do not and men have a few that women don't so they need to work together". Makes sense if you ask me! The other thing that stood out from what he was saying was the sacrifice of water buffalo... They sacrifice 108 a year (12 months x 9... Somethings that will come to me that makes 108 a lucky number). You could see the blood staining the temples.. There were lots of people there praying, ringing bells to bring mental acuity and awareness, leaving flowers, and eating candies made of sugar and seeds. Apparently tomorrow is a big holiday to celebrate the coming of longer days. Sounds similar to our Solstice, but something that everyone will be celebrating here. I'll have to make sure I get out and check it out tomorrow!

    After the tour Rama showed me a local artist shop because that's my new thing, collecting art or cookbooks from the places I go, and I picked up a handmade item showcasing the different months, virtues, and stages of heaven/hell a person can go through. They are painted by hand on cotton and will last for years apparently. The artist says that it is common to see these things hanging near the front door in Nepalese homes, I'll be sure to keep my eyes open when I'm next in someone's home!

    Rama also showed me to a good place to eat authentic food for a reasonable price on a rooftop patio. I invited him to join me and we each had a beer while I ate traditional Dal Baht (which was delicious and reminded me of Indian food but more diverse and with more components). The beer was pretty good and came in litre bottles, Gorkha it's called. We chatted about everything from Trump and Clinton (he knows more than I do oops) to his arranged marriage to how it's strange to see an independent woman in Nepal to how I need to be careful about people trying to win my heart for my passport. It was quite an enlightening conversation to be honest! He was very honest with me and confirmed what I had read on the internet. As he put it "a negative sentence can have a positive meaning". As in, he didn't want to scare me with what he was saying but clearly thought that I should know. He says that he's seen "accidents" (women falling for local men, men getting into their country, then men divorcing and breaking heart of women) happen to all kinds of people but never to a (North) American woman. Guess our ingrained skepticism is good for something after all. Apparently it is also a commodity to see a woman alone as typically Nepalese woman are very dependent and scared to travel alone even in their own city. This conversation explained the odd looks I have been receiving and the question I've been asked at least a dozen times today "you're travelling alone???" And why he thought I might like to leave an offering for the God that is supposed to find me a husband ;)

    Different culture, different values, very friendly! I quite enjoyed today. Exhausting as it was, I'm not used to walking so much clearly! Plus I'm also jet lagged clearly. I returned to my hotel before 5pm local time, sat down to rest a bit and woke up at 11pm... Missed meeting someone I had met earlier today to go see the Monkey Temple and everything. Now it's 12:30 and I'm fairly wide awake. I made traveller mistake number one: never get comfortable enough to fall asleep on day one of travelling! It's always worth fighting to stay up to get over that jet lag. Oh well, I'll pay for it later I'm sure.

    I should message the Volunteer organization I'm working with and let them know I've arrived. Perhaps tomorrow I'll try to find their office and also visit the Monkey Temple. On that note, I have told a few people who've asked that I'm volunteering rebuilding schools and the response has been overwhelming! People have been thanking me profusely for dedicating my time to help their people. And honestly, if the main city is still showing this much damage almost a year later I don't know what to expect from the rural areas I'll be travelling to.... We'll see soon enough I'm sure! For now, I'm going to try and get back to sleep... Try to fight this jet lag!

    Oh, and for anyone who was wondering, my cough is getting worse. The air pollution here is heavy. Combined with dirt roads that are constantly kicking up dust my lungs are not happy. I've been seeing lots of locals with masks to protect their nose and mouths and I'll be making good use of Scarves to do the same from now on!
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  • Day 4

    Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), Kathmandu

    January 14, 2017 in Nepal ⋅ 🌫 11 °C

    I started out the day being very lazy.. I finished my book over an extended breakfast and then later lying in bed. When I finally pried myself out of bed I decided I would venture out to a different area of the city to see the Monkey Temple of Kathmandu.

    The temple is about a 40min walk from the hotel and was, as per usual, an adventure. I walked through areas that definitely were not intended for tourists, but was the only way to get there. Again, for anyone who's worried, I didn't feel unsafe a single time. Curious looks were the most I experienced, and I'm always sure to be aware of my surroundings, never walking and texting always looking ahead. Dirt roads, garbage in the streets, random sheep and roosters, kids playing everywhere and stray dogs running around. I do have to say though, it's an endearing place in a way. The people are very friendly.

    The temple can be seen from the streets so getting lost is nearly impossible. Upon arrival there was many local people praying and giving their respects to the gods. Today is after all a festival. I hear from a number of people that today is the day that will set the tone of their year. To have good business today is to have good luck for the year. So once again I took a local up on his offer of guiding me through the sights and I'm really glad that I did! I've gotten better at this whole negotiating thing too, but honestly, the amount of information that these guides have is worth paying a small fee for rather than following a book around.

    There's so much to say about the temple that I'm sure I won't cover it all. At the base are the feet of Buddha. You touch them and are marked with the "third eye" (red dot) on the forehead for good luck. From there you proceed up the stairs (everything clockwise, never counterclockwise!). There are 365 steps, one for each day of the year. Along the way there are temples with... What are they called again? Cylindrical, metal objects with words inscribed on them that you spin for good luck. In one temple I was told to walk around the spinning cylinder 3 times, make a wish, and it would come true. Along the way the 5 Buddhas were represented in stone and there were monkeys everywhere - hence the name Monkey Temple. Here they are allowed to run free as they are considered holy. Apparently they can be quite aggressive but I didn't see any of that myself.

    At the top of the 365 stairs was where the crowds began... Of course where the primary temple was. Square in shape and with eyes on all sides to watch all parts of the city. The views were great! I also tried lemons that were roasted in some kind of spicy sauce, tasty but hotter than I'm accustomed to. Quite an interesting place but so many people that I quickly moved on. From there we wandered down and around the backside of the temple. We stopped at a fountain where people were trying to toss coins into a basket at the base of a statue within a fountain. To get the coin into the basket means that your wish will come true. The guide also took me inside a temple dedicated to the flute where locals were worshipping. I felt quite honoured to be able to witness it, and they were not offended at all. They greated me with the traditional "namaste" and wished me a good day. Again, something that I wouldn't have dared to do on my own without a local showing me the way. I definitely prefer this quieter side of the temple where few tourists can be found. I find the bustle... Irritating at times. But I suppose that can't be avoided in a city centre, probably why I don't live in Vancouver ;) Oh, I almost forgot one of they key points of the temple, it's shared by Hindus and Buddhists alike.

    The guide also showed me the 3 Buddhas, which I hadn't even heard of before. Definitely glad I got to see those! Quite impressive, all encased in gold and towering over the people. There was also an engraving describing the life of Buddha from birth to death that I found interesting. From there he showed me back to the base of the temple stairs that I had walked up originally, thankfully because I wouldn't have found it on my own I suspect. I enjoyed the walk back with little to no people present, just monkeys eating oranges off the trees and staring at us curiously.

    Back in the city, my guide (Prakash) showed me to a local place to eat which was great! They served chow Mein and some kind of spiced meat and vegetable dish that I would compare to a spicy orange chicken.. It's the only thing I can think of that is similar! I'm noticing that it's very easy to be a vegetarian in this city, possibly even a vegan. Every place I've been to has asked if I eat meat or not which I appreciate. The meal was incredibly priced, and makes me realize just how overpriced Thamel is. Which is still half to a third of the price of eating out in Vancouver...

    From lunch I went back to the hotel fully intending to rest and take a break from the hustle and bustle but I found myself in too good of a mood from such a great day that I grabbed my keyboard and went out to find a place to write this entry. Next "footprint" will tell where ;)
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  • Day 4

    Garden of Dreams, Kathmandu

    January 14, 2017 in Nepal ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    I came to the Garden of Dreams looking for a place to have a cup of tea and update you all on my adventures. I haven't had the cup of tea yet but perhaps I will soon. The Garden is apparently a very popular place. I had read that this is where young couples come to show affection but I wasn't prepared for the number of people, not only young couples, but families, friends, and tourists like myself. I haven't seen a single Nepalese person take a photo yet this entire trip and in the hour that I've been here I must have seen at least 1000 photos taken. Young girls and lovers mostly. Posing in front of the fountains, trees, and archways. I suppose that compared to the rest of Kathmandu it a very relaxing and peaceful place. I personally was expecting more based on the high reviews that this place received on trip advisor and the recommendation on lonely planet. But then, I do come from one of the Greenest places in the world and I can definitely see the appeal to the local people! It is a pretty place. You can still hear the street noise but it is generally a bit quieter than the rest of the city. Again, busy for my liking when I was hoping for some quiet relaxation, would probably have found that in the courtyard at my hotel more easily. That being said, I do like to observe how people interact here! It's a social place, filled with people laughing and smiling. And looking at my keyboard strangely.. I suppose it is different. I'll have to take a picture of my setup somehow.. Considering my phone is also my screen I'm not sure how I'll manage that ;) Overall I suppose it was worth the visit for a place to sit around outside for an hour or so. Maybe I'll go get that tea now and read a book for a while.. And try not to fall asleep so early tonight! Need to come up with a plan for this evening. Tomorrow I meet up with the volunteer coordinator to get some more information about what I'll be doing over the next few weeks. As a tangent, I've been feeling very very relaxed this trip. It's perhaps the first time that I haven't felt pressured to rush through things and I've been able to be flexible, rarely checking the time, just doing what I feel. It's been liberating! A different way of life and travel for me but definitely an attitude that I may adopt more of at home: no worries, live with love, things will work themselves out eventually.Read more

  • Day 5

    Old Town, Kathmandu

    January 15, 2017 in Nepal ⋅ 🌫 8 °C

    Fair warning: this post is a bit of a rant...

    Alright Kathmandu. I think I'm about done with you. It's a great city filled with amazing buildings, culture, and friendly people. But some of your people are driving me insane! I don't mind the hustle and bustle and packed streets, though I do still prefer the quieter areas. What is driving me nuts is the number of people who try to scam money out of me! The number of times I've heard the last few days "I'm not looking for money" or "I just want to practice my English" or "I'm just a friendly person" and then you turn around and ask for money? It's frustrating! It makes me skeptical talking to the people who are genuinely just nice people looking to chat. And, I did meet a few of those nice people today, and those nice people are the reason I don't totally hate things right now, the reason I'm still happy and had a great morning. But the rest of you are giving your people a bad name in my opinion. And maybe I'm seen as an easy target because I'm a white woman travelling alone, apparently have a friendly face, and am "innocent", but boy do I wish that you'd stop following me down the street continuing to talk when I say "no" or blatantly ignore you. Since when is saying "no" in a firm voice and walking away without making eye contact an invitation to keep talking?! I swear, I feel as thought I've been very rude to people today yet still they continue to pester me. And again, it's not everyone, and I won't judge based on a few select individuals (some of whom I have come to recognize and avoid on the streets actually...) Because I had a genuine conversation with two people today.

    One was a student who was legitimately curious about Canada and just wanted to hear about my country. He didn't ask for money or for me to buy him food or feed me any sad story; he showed me to the old part of town out of the goodness of his heart. He showed me the tooth God, the holy tree, the locals market, some old wooden houses carved from individual trees, explained the temples again (walk clockwise for good luck, ring the bell to wake up/bring mental alterness/notify the gods), and talked about why his faith was so important to him especially following the earthquake that left lots of people living in fear.

    The second was an older gentleman who recognized me as Canadian from the hoodie I was wearing (Whistler woo!) I stopped to talk to him because of that alone. I discovered that he was married to a Canadian woman once and lived in Calgary for a number of years. He's back in Nepal now to continue making jewelery but still visits Canada occasionally. We shared a cup of tea and talked about home and families, it's clear he misses Calgary quite a bit and was happy to hear about the country. He invited me to meet his wife and children but I declined. He also put me in touch with another solo female traveller from Holland, but being that I leave tomorrow I don't think that I'll get the chance to meet up with her. Again, a genuinely nice person that didn't try to sell me anything though I did ask to see his shop and saw something that I really liked. My decision there, no pressure.

    So, it's people like them that make me love the Nepalese culture and that's how I'm going to remember Kathmandu. It really is a gorgeous place, I love it. I'm just feeling a bit bitter right now towards all the scam artists. I'd still recommend a visit if anyone were to ask ;) Though I am ready to move on to the country side where perhaps there will be more authentic people and less folk trying to get money out of me. Afterall, I'm a poor student as well! Although not by their standards I know.

    Anywho, I'm back at the hotel now because I just couldn't deal with it anymore. I did find a nice cashmere sweater though along the way that will hopefully help with the cold. It's frigid in the mornings but warms up significantly as soon as the sun comes out! I also bought some tea because my hotel has a kettle and I keep thinking I need to go out and get some.. Maybe I'll try that after I finish the beer I bought myself before returning to the hotel ;)

    I'm not sure what this afternoon holds for me. I'm meeting the volunteer coordinator this evening to get more information about the placement I'm leaving for tomorrow. Maybe I'll try to find a place where I can meet some fellow travellers and see what their thoughts on the city are...
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  • Day 6

    Goodbye Kathmandu

    January 16, 2017 in Nepal ⋅ 🌫 2 °C

    This morning I leave Kathmandu and travel to Lamjung with the volunteer organization. I will be travelling with a lady from the town who is returning after having spent some time in Kathmandu. It looks like I am the only volunteer at this time. So, instead of helping with construction I will be assisting with daily tasks and probably teaching in the school. Originally, I had planned on volunteering in two places, but after speaking with the volunteer coordinator, I may stay in the first place for a longer time instead. He will be bringing a group of 10 volunteers from Japan with him to this first location in Lamjung in a few weeks, and a group will be able to do some construction work rather than only teaching. We'll just see how it goes I suppose :)

    The trip to Lamjung is supposed to be about a 5 hour ride by bus and then about a 2 hour walk up a gravel road to the town. If required, we can hire a jeep to drive us instead of walking. We'll see how my knee is holding up and how intense the walk looks. It's also supposed to be warmer there than it is here which will be welcome! It's quite chilly in the mornings before the sun comes out.
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  • Day 6

    Journey to Lamjung, Nepal

    January 16, 2017 in Nepal ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    We took a bus from Kathmandu to Lamjung today. The trip in itself was an adventure! The traffic getting out of Kathmandu was ridiculous, backlogs and general chaos. Once we got out onto the mountain highway things were a bit better. The roads are incredible windy, narrow, and have very little in the way of barriers along the cliff edges. On our journey there we were on the opposite side of the cliffs, which means that the way home we will be entirely along the cliffs.... We took a "deluxe" bus instead of a normal bus and I am very glad for that. The deluxe bus wasn't bad but it still wouldn't compare to a typical Translink bus.

    The trip was supposed to take 5 hours but ended up being closer to 7. First we waited past departure because not all the seats were full, then we encounter traffic leaving Kathmandu, and then finally we encountered the worst traffic I have ever seen and I swear I will not complain about Vancouver traffic again! We're talking worse than the pre-port Mann traffic during rush hour. Satya (my guide for the day and daughter of the family I'm staying with) tells me it is because there is construction on the Chitwan highway and we were getting close to the junction. Roads I thought barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass each other were suddenly 3 deep and barely making it past one another without accident. At one point our driver squeezed through a space with barely inches on either side of the bus. Impressive, I would never want to drive here.

    The scenery once we left Kathmandu became very green and pretty, In a way the landscape reminds me of Italy with the plots of land for farming dug out of the hill sides. The highway seemed to follow a river and alongside the roads were multiple rest stops and restaurants aimed at travellers. Our bus stopped once for a washroom break and once for lunch. I used my first squat toilet... I'm sure I'll be seeing many more of those! Also along the highway are small homes. It looked like the first level of the home was on the road level and they built down into the cliff. Would love to be able to take a closer look one day. People were lounging at the front of the houses just watching traffic go by.

    When we got off the bus in Lamjung we looked for a Jeep to hire to drive us up to the village where Satya is from. Unfortunately we couldn't find one and had to walk... What the volunteer coordinator described as an easy 1.5 hour walk was really more like the Grouse Grind. With a heavy bag. Lovely. And it got dark half way through so we had to navigate with the light from our cellphones. Partway through Satya's father came to meet us and he helped me with my bag. I'm sure that the walk won't be so bad in daylight and without a heavy bag! In fact I'm looking forward to doing it and seeing the views instead of focussing on the ground in front of me.

    We arrived at Satya's home around 7pm and her family greated me warmly. We had a dinner of dal baht, which I really need to learn to eat properly. They are very lovely people and I'm happy to be here for the next few weeks! They have animals in their yard but I'll have to wait until morning to see everything :) The trip was long and exhausting and I am ready for bed right away. We'll see what tomorrow brings!
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  • Day 7

    Sirubari, Lamjung

    January 17, 2017 in Nepal ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Today was a good day. I woke up early about 5am when I heard others in the house get up and start their daily routine. I slept soundly through the night in my own little room, the sleeping mat that Mom bought me really does the job! Felt like I was at home on my own mattress. Could be I was also very tired :) I wrote a bit, unpacked a bit, and then joined the family. I spent the morning observing and just taking it all in. I hope that they soon I will be able to help out around the place and earn my keep ;) There are 2 adult + 2 baby goats, 2 adult buffalo + a baby, and a number of random cats and birds.

    Breakfast was served about 9am and we had a their typical meal, very similar to dinner last night: rice with vegetable curry and baht as they call it. You mix all three together well and then eat. I need to learn how to eat with my hands as they do! They make it look so easy but I feel as though I would just make a mess. Can't hurt to try thought. After the curry and baht is finished then we add buffalo milk to the remaining rice as a kind of pudding, mixing in banana if we like! For breakfast we also had a sour yogurt that I assume was also from the Buffalo?

    After breakfast we walked down to the local school which is only about 10 minutes away. The children there were very curious and spent some time looking at me, touching my hair, exclaiming over my height, one kid even commented on my muscles.. Lol. There were maybe..... 30 to 60 students? Ranging from near toddlers to teenagers. It was hard to keep track everyone was moving around. They are preparing for a festival so no formal learning was taking place, all rehearsal of songs and dances. They tried to get me to dance but... Well you know me I don't dance though maybe I'll take this opportunity to learn. The school is a series of rooms, no glass in the windows, no lights, electricity through very skeptical means (wires running from a breaker to a power bar...) There is one computer there that the teachers use and otherwise everything is by hand. But the students were very proud to show me their school and work, it was really nice to see. I made the mistake of bringing out my phone at one point and I was swarmed. At first they wanted to see pictures of my home but then it was "what games do you have" and I thought for a moment I wouldn't ever see my phone again. The students are very curious about Canada, they keep asking about my family (Mother? Sister? Brother? Father? Married? Boyfriend? How old are you? Oh too bad.) I showed them pictures of all you guys hope you don't mind ;) Overall a great day, just wish that I could remember all the names that I heard today. I think I have two down.... Horrible. Especially because some kids keep asking m if I remember their names :( It will come I'm sure!

    After school was done I walked back to my home and nearly got lost. Thankfully someone noticed and showed me the way ;) Just sitting around now wishing I could do something to help but doesn't seem to be much that I can do... We'll work on that ;)
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