Nepal
Gwarko

Here you’ll find travel reports about Gwarko. Discover travel destinations in Nepal of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

3 travelers at this place:

  • Day38

    Gesegnet von der living goddess

    August 26, 2017 in Nepal

    Für den ersten Tag hab ich schon ganzschön viel erlebt. Nach dem Frühstück aus Kartoffelcurry und Früchtebrot mit superleckerem Gewürztee, hab ich mich durch den Verkehr zum golden Tempel in Patan gekämpft. Ein netter, junger Nepalese hat mir dann vorgeschlagen mich herumzuführen und das hab ich dann zum Glück auch gemacht. Er hat mit soooo viel über alle Tempel erzählt, vom Erdbeben, von den Grundregeln des Hinduismus und Buddismus, Verhältnisse und Abhängigkeiten zu Indien und China, sodass ich all das garnicht alles schreiben kann.

    Wir waren dann aber auch bei der Kumari (living goddess) und haben uns einen Segen abgeholt. Das auserwählte und makellose Mädchen ist dann von 6-12 Jahren dazu bestimmt alles zu tun, was der Priester möchte und eben auch den ganzen Tag dasitzen und Menschen zu segnen...

    ...Momos, die traditionellen nepalesischen Dampfnudeln, hab ich auch schon probiert & mich landestypisch einkleiden lassen. Muss ich Morgen beim Schneider nur noch anpassen lassen. Aber nach der ganzen Kultur, bin ich jetzt froh mich auszuruhen und lecker zu essen 😊
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  • Day39

    Monkey Temple

    August 27, 2017 in Nepal

    Die mehr als 2000 Jahre alte Swayambhunath Stupa beherbergt eine Menge Affen - Monkey Temple haben die Touristen sie dann getauft.
    Inkl. Einem schönen Ausblick auf Kathmandu ist es die (staubedingte) lange Busfahrt und den Aufstieg dann auch wert.

    Did you know: Buddha wurde aus der Achsel seiner Mutter geboren & ist dann sofort 17 Schritte gelaufen und aus jedem Fußabdruck wuchs eine Lotusblume.Read more

  • Day37

    Eine völlig neue Welt

    August 25, 2017 in Nepal

    Man hört den Klang von Glocken - ganz leise hinter all dem Gehupe, die Luft riecht nach Gewürzen - trotz der ganzen Abgase und ich freue mir einen Ast ab, in dieser ganz neuen und anderen Welt zu sein 😊

  • Day7

    First Cultural Lesson

    July 19, 2017 in Nepal

    It's 22.20 and we are just about to go to sleep. Today hasn't been QUITE as eventful as the last few days haha, but still interesting as always.

    We were joyfully awoken (sarcasm of course) by Anita shouting 'HALLO HALLO HALLO' at 6.15 (yes SIX FIFTEEN AM!!!!!!) on our door ... as well as banging on ALL of the windows (and we later found out it was for sugar ... she definitely could have waited!!!).
    We had our tea at 7 am, and this time no biscuits (she is starting to pick up things about what we like and dislike which is good), breakfast at 8.30 today (with 'little' portion of food as she has understood now that we can't eat that much), then we left at 9.15. Hope and I weren't meeting Om and Shweta until 10.30 (Nepali time ... so 10.45/10.50) but we left with the girls and sat in a cafe. We
    Today we had our first cultural lesson with a women's group in a community in Kavesthrali.

    We had the same old usual wake up at 7, then getting ready, then breakfast at 8.30 (Dhal and Bhat). We left the same time as Sheri and Melanie at 9.15 ish, but we weren't actually meeting Shweta (local volunteer) and Om (project manager) until 10.30. We sat in a cafe for an hour, and just organised ourselves. Then we met them at 10.45 (as it's Nepali time of course!).

    We taught the lesson in the garden of someones home. The first lesson was on 'self esteem'. About 9 women turned up, all from the same community, but different ages. One lady had the cutest little baby with her, though she looked so young! And another lady brought her baby too.
    The women didn't speak any English, so Shweta translated everything we said in to Nepali.
    We started off with introductions, our name, where we are from, and why we are in Nepal. Then the women did the same. Fedi and Martino's project is 'photo journalism' so they were taking photos and videos.

    The first lesson was on 'self esteem' and we included 'Women's rights' into this. Not gonna lie, it felt more like we were doing an inspirational speech! The women were clapping when we said we wanted to educate them on their rights as the Nepal constitution is formalised to enshrine equality between men and women. The lives that these women live is just crazy! They have no choice in their clothes (and even the colour! For example, they wear red if they are married), and have barely any free time. Whilst the men go to work, most of these women are washing, cooking, cleaning, running a farm, looked after their children, shopping, etc etc.
    They were interested in the lesson at the beginning, but as the lesson continued, they started to go off topic and talk between themselves about their home lives. These women have no free time, so only see each other during community meetings as they cannot all get time off at the same time from the farm, and their busy life styles. The women were telling Shweta that they wanted to know more about entrepreneurship, and how to increase their income (which isn't actually our programme!).
    We do feel rather pointless in a way because we are given lesson plans, and then a translator translates, but the translator has the lesson plan too so technically they could read off the sheet ... ??? Hmmmmm. But luckily Shweta left it to us to decide what we wanted to do! We are also not a fan of the lesson plans, as some of the ways described for these women to increase self-esteem are just far too western and are just not possible for these women. For example, one method was 'express yourself, wear what you want to wear' ... but when we said this, the women said they would love to do that, but they just arent able to do that in their culture. And one method was 'spend some time on yourself.' And 'spend time with your family'. As sad as it sounds... it's just not realistic in their culture! If they have a day off, the farm won't just run itself, or the food won't get cooked itself. And they would love to spend time with each other, but there's no time that they all have off together.
    We are quite disappointed that we can't teach classes on human trafficking, since that is what we signed up for, but apparently they did interviews on people in these communities, and trafficking isn't a problem here. It feels like we are needed that much, however it's still a great experience and we are going to adapt the lessons and do our own thing a bit, which Shweta is fine with. And at the end of the week, we are going to edit the lesson plans as we don't think they are suited to women's groups here, and aren't the lessons these women want in particular.

    After the lesson, Fedi recorded us saying a bit about the lesson; what we taught, the women's response, our plan etc. And omg I was so cringe ... I just hope that Hope never gets access to that video as I just know it will end up on Facebook!!! Haha

    We went to a cafe after the class (at around 1) and chilled there until 4 with Martino, Nana, Fedi and Asunta. We shared some paneer and chips, which were sooooo good! But we ate a lot of Anita's food also as she makes us less food now.

    We got a mendi pattern on the way back up (the first beauty parlour refused to do ours which was very ...strange). The detail is amazing! It was pouring it down with rain though so this little lady let us sit in her shop for an hour to let it dry, until we eventually decided to just put a plastic bag over it and walk back.

    We had our tea, chilled out, then taught Anita some English. It was so funny! We think that she is already improving though in comparison to day one so hopefully we can teach as much as possible!

    We had dinner at 8 - rice (shock) with potatoes (soooo good!) then we cleaned up (but only our plates again!)

    We were able to go to bed straight after. We think that they understand now that we need our own space, so things are much better. We've been chilling in our rooms for a couple of hours, and now we are about to sleep!

    Goodbyeeeeee x
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  • Day8

    SPONTANEOUS Decisions

    July 20, 2017 in Nepal

    It's actually the 21st July right now, and we are actually en route to Pokhara (damn, I've already ruined the surprise of our spontaneous decision!!!!).

    So yesterday we had our normal morning routine (but with an added bonus of unblocking a hole in the ground toilet as someone had put toilet roll in it .... never a dull day here guys!). But our class wasn't until 1, so we had a nap after the kids went to school, then were woken up by Anita at 11 as she thought we had overslept for work (bless her!). Then we walked to the same cafe as yesterday, and ordered veg phakauda (which was SO GOOD I CAN'T EXPLAIN!!!! Like spicier and nicer onion bhajis. However Hope loved the first one but then realised it was too spicy for her). Then we ordered a random dish off the menu, which turned out to be like hard corn- not ideal! But Martino tried it when he got there and liked it (though found it too spicy!)
    We had a couple of drinks (as in Coke and Fanta, sadly not alcoholic!), and went over todays lesson which was on 'Public speaking and assertive communication' ... but because the women wanted to know about entrepeneurship, we wanted to try and link it more to business.

    We met Om at 12.45, walked to the house, and then Shweta met us there. At 1.15, there were no women there, so we were slightly worried but it turned out they had a community meeting before. At about 1.30, there was about 6 women, and we started the class. However today we had a different girl translating, and she was literally doing the lesson plan word for word so we really did feel pointless. However, we were still doing the class and it was fun, and the women were telling stories about themselves which they wanted us to hear. One of the activities they had to stand up and practice 'public speaking' by giving some information about themselves. One of the women was married at 9 years old (we thought Anita marrying at 12 was bad!) and another woman told us about Kabesthrali 10 years ago when there was no transport. She said that they would have to walk all the way to Thamel to sell the cow milk to make money (which is a long and very bumpy journey that takes 45 minutes in a bus, and would therefore take HOURS to walk it!!) ... its crazy! Most of the women were uneducated, bar one who was grade 7 which is good here. But this lady was only 23 years old so it's no surprise that she had some education. She looked so young though, and already had 2 children.

    The women are all so smiley and lovely, and we can tell that they are proud of their culture and telling stories. And they do recognise that it is changing example through increased women's rights, which they are happy about.

    After the class, we had almost a wedding ceremony between Nana and Tobias (the danish couple). They saw Nana's wedding ring, so then when Tobias came over, the women did a ceremony type thing for them (it was so cute but so funny as Nana and Tobias were just standing there unsure what to do!). One of the women put a necklace round Nana and they were all clapping and chanting. It was so cute though.

    We had a very spontaneous decision to make there and then. We asked Om for next Monday off so that we could spend Friday night in Thamel with everyone to celebrate Sheri's birthday and go for food and drinks, but this is our only free weekend to go to Pokhara so we wanted to get the 7.15 am bus Saturday from Thamel, and come back on Monday. However she said that we weren't able to get the Monday off as she had already arranged classes with a new community and she wouldn't be able to let them know. However, she said that we could have Friday off (tomorrow) if we were to re arrange the class with this community to next Thursday.

    We had to decide on the spot what to do. We really wanted to see everyone and celebrate Sheri's birthday, but this is our only weekend in Nepal and may be the only chance in our whole life to go to Pokhara (and Immy has told Hope how we cannot miss out!). So we felt sad and guilty, but decided that we couldn't miss the opportunity to go. So we rearranged the class until the following Thursday, and had to quickly walk back to the house to pick up our stuff. It was 3 pm and Sumira said that we had to get to the office for 5 pm to book the bus (and although it was more expensive booking with VIN, we wanted to book the bus with them in person to make sure Sumira rang Anita and explained where we were going!).

    We got back, packed our bags in literally 10 minutes flat (so obviously we forgot a few things!), and waited for Sheri and Melanie so we could explain. I think they were sad, but they completely understood.

    We walked as quickly as possible to the bus station (Anita wasn't home but it was a good thing as it would have been so difficult to explain so would have been easier for her to hear from Sumira), and we got the bus to bus park, near the office. It was crammed as per!!

    When we got off the bus, we had our massive bags and it was raining, so we decided to get a taxi. Just our luck ... we are talking to the taxi driver negotiating a price ... and bam ... the Granddad taps us on the shoulder. It was so awkward as we had our big bags on us, but he wasn't able to understand what we were saying. And then he said 'Anita anita' and started pulling us over to a tea shop ... and there was Anita! It was a very difficult 5 minutes trying to explain to Anita, so in the end we rang Sumira and passed the phone over. At first she looked confused but then she understood so when she hung up she was aware of where we were going. At first she looked sad but then her face lit up when we said 'present' and she had a big smile on her face and kept shouting 'GIFTS gifts' haha!!

    When we got to the office, we booked our bus ticket (1300 rupees each), and we gave in some charity money from home. The taxi driver that took us from the bus stop waited outside for us, then took us to Hotel Pomelo, Thamel.

    We chilled for a couple of hours, then went for dinner. The hotel was amazing - and only five pounds each! We had great wifi, a big room with big beds (we were so excited to go to sleep in it!), and a proper toilet!!! Bliss.

    We went to an Italian restaurant, Fire and Ice. We had garlic cheesy bread for starter to share, both had pizza for main, and Hope had brownie for dessert. However when the bill came - we were shocked! There was an extra 23% added on top of everything (VAT and service charge) and the bill was over 4000 rupees!! We were both guessing 2500 maximum just 2 minutes before. It was mad! It's only approx £30 BUT we are in Nepal and meals are supposed to be like a fiver each !!! We then realised we would have to withdraw more money :(.

    We walked back to the hotel (in the pouring rain), and chilled out at the hotel. We didn't end up sleeping until 2 ish as there was a group of dogs outside barking at full volume!!! But luckily the beds felt so comfy in comparison to the wooden beds.

    Overall, it was a great day (but very stressful when we had the 2 hour rush!!!)
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  • Day9

    DEATH road to Pokhara

    July 21, 2017 in Nepal

    We are not on the bus anymore as my phone sadly died. So it's now 20.18 on Saturday 22nd, and we are just at a reggae bar about to eat dinner.

    We wished Sheri a big
    janmadinakō śubhakāmanā 🎉 🎉 🎉!! The family got her a cake, and banners, and bought her some presents. It sounded like she had a fab day!!

    So the bus was a very long 9 hour journey yesterday. It started okay, but ended up being very bumpy, and pretty scary (Hope saw a bus on its side that had gone off the track over the cliff!! - mental). Many people had told us that the journey to Phokara is pretty scary, and that has people had died, but we didn't realise the extent of it until speaking to a local man on the bus. He said that it wasn't rare for buses to go over, and that it was usually people not following the rules, or driving carelessly. Luckily, he said that he didn't know of a tourist bus that had gone over. We were originally looking at a micro bus (which is more expensive, but does the journey in just 5 hours which we thought was great at first ... but we are so glad we didn't now! Many people told us not to, and now we understand why!).

    We got in to Pokhara at around 4.30 pm, and got a 200 rupee taxi to the hostel; Kiwi Backpackers. When we arrived, he told us that there were no more dorms available (which were 600 rupees each) but because we had booked online, he had no choice but to upgrade us to a private room. Which was fab ! We were starving so dumped our bags and went for some food. Due to being so hungry, we literally went to the first restaurant we saw ... which wasn't the best of ideas as Hope's veggie burger and chips was not very nice (how can you get chips wrong???!). My pad Thai was nice, but not amazing. HOpe was still hungry so for some pringles on the way home haha! We weren't wowed at what we saw of Pokhara at this point. But we hadn't had a chance to have a look around yet, so didn't judge too quickly!

    We chilled in the room for a couple of hours, then went out for drinks ... and obviously ended up getting drunk. We went to a cute bar called Moondance and had a couple of cocktails, then a reggae bar (the one we are in now) and had the nicest cool cucumber cocktails (2 for 1) then went to a number of different bars, until we were pretty drunk, and had a fab night! There is a curfew here at 11 though which is very strange, so the police came to shut everything down at 11. So we went and got some chips from a restaurant (strange that bars all shut, yet some restaurants are open which sell alcohol?!). To be fair, we had to be up and ready for a day of walking today at 10, so it was probably a good thing that we had to go back at 11.

    Overall, it was a fab evening!
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  • Day11

    Sunday blues

    July 23, 2017 in Nepal

    It's 7.53 am and we are on our way back to Kathmandu from Pokhara. It's the end of the weekend so we feel a bit sad, as it's been so much fun! But only one week of volunteering until we are going to Kuala Lumpur.

    Last night was boiling hot in the hostel room! We didn't manage to sleep until past 12.30, and both had to take cold showers to cool down (it probably also didn't help that we saw the biggest cockroach ever next to Hope's bed).

    Our alarm went off at 6 am, and we got ready, checked out, and sat in the common area whilst waiting for the hostel coach to take us to the bus station. Hope didn't fancy eating, but I had the pancakes for breakfast.

    Today is going to be a very long journey, we are looking forward to getting off. It's already extremely bumpy and we have not long set off. Not fun!

    ****
    This journey is so bumpy and so scary, that I literally just cried. The driver is going so fast and keeps overtaking, and we are on the highest cliffs!! Luckily Hope is fine so she's holding my hand haha. I can't wait for it to be over!!!!

    ******

    WE ARRIVED Alive and well ... eventually (thank goodness)! The journey ended up being 9 hours again as we were stuck in traffic for over 2 hours when we arrived in Kathmandu.In the end we got out, but it was near to the bus park so it helped us out. As the traffic was horrendous, the taxi driver charged us 800 rupees for a taxi back to the host family. We thought it was normal due to the traffic (though he later charged 1000 when he said it was 'much further than we agreed' ... lies! But even so, the family said he should have charged no more than 450 so we were well and truly screwed over!!!).

    Last night was great. We have the host family our gifts, and all sat round the table. Anita was so happy to have us all back, and everyone's English is so much better. Anita showed us her wedding photos (we are now thinking that she got married at 20 and not 12 and that she confused the numbers). We had dinner, and Hope and I were having seconds of everything as we were absolutely starving. From such bad meals the last few days, we were actually so excited to be eating dal-bhat again (we never thought we would be saying that!).

    After dinner, instead of cleaning up as normal, she let us go down as she knew we were tired. It was so sweet of her.

    Sheri felt poorly so had an early night, but me, Melanie and Hope watched the wolf of Wall Street in our room. We watched most of it, until we were too tired to stay awake (and are watching the rest of it now .. on Monday!)

    We had no electricity annoyingly as the weather was so bad, so we couldn't charge our phones overnight! But we asked Melanie to wake us up this morning.
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  • Day7

    Le petit déjeuner de ce matin est plus goutu que celui de la veille. Je commande un pain Tibétain avec de la confiture. Il s'agit en fait d'une galette entre le pain et le beignet avec de la confiture.

    Nous partons du lodge à 8h20. Nous montons progressivement à travers une jolie forêt de pins. Nous traversons ensuite des prairies bucoliques avec des petites fleurs dans l'herbe. Le long du chemin il y a plein de rhododendrons en fleur de toutes les couleurs (roses, rouges, blanches). Nous montons jusqu'à peu près 3000m. Forcément après être monté il faut redescendre. Nous arrivons à 12h30 après 3h20 de marche à Ringmu situé à 2700m d'altitude.

    Après avoir mangé l'éternel dhal bat nous redécollons à 13h30. Nous grimpons pendant 55 minutes jusqu'à Tacksindu à 3031m. Le sentier très rocailleux n'est pas très agréable. Nous devons maintenant descendre jusqu'à Nunthala 700 mètres plus bas. Il nous faudra 1h30 pour y arriver avec parfois des morceau de pentes assez raides. Heureusement que les bâtons sont là.

    Ce soir nous mangeons tous des pâtes pour changer du riz. Santa nous apprend un jeu de carte Nepalais.

    J'achète le Wi-Fi de l'auberge à 200 roupies. Je découvre mes messages d'anniversaire de la veille. N'ayant pas eu de réseau la veille et ne sachant pas quand sera la prochaine connexion, j'en profite pour appeler les parents et mon loulou 😍.
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Gwarko

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