Tuesday, September 27, 2011

my cockroach boyfriend is going to miss me

Dear universe,

please for a moment let me VENT to you how much I hate visas.

(oh, and to those readers who thought that this blog was all funny videos and deep thoughts--you were very wrong. This is just the beginning of many future rants to come. Yeaaaa buddy.)

So, I came to Nepal on July 13th, 2011. I was excited to spend 6 months & 2 weeks here working with Choice Humanitarian. At the airport I got a 90 day Tourist visa, and was planning on renewing it when the time came.

Flash forward to now. I have been here 2 & 1/2 months. My visa expires on October 10th. I am leaving to India in 2 days and will arrive back on the 8th.

I was planning on getting another 90 day visa at the airport when I returned back from India. Because of my experience with cutting it close getting my Indian visa, I decided to take a nice little trip down to the Immigration office today, just to make sure everything would run smoothly when I got back.

Ooooh boy.

Why do I seem to be SO NAIVE ABOUT VISAS?

This is what I discovered:

I can only spend 150 days TOTAL in Nepal for each calendar year (Jan-Dec)
After my 3 month visa expires, I have to go and get another 1 month visa
When THAT visa expires, I have to get ANOTHER 1 month visa.
And the time I am in India does not count towards those 150 days
Then....I'm done. No more visas for Naakali.

After my calculations, my time is up on December 16th.
...and that is after I subtract the days I'll be in India from my 150 days.

I have three options:

1) I go through a TON of paperwork, letters, agreements etc and try to get a non-tourist Visa. Even If I apply for this visa, there is a chance I won't get it.
Positives: I could get to stay in Nepal until Jan 22 (Christmas in Nepal!)
Negatives: More $$/not for sure/lots of work for me and Choice

2) I Leave Nepal on the 16th, go to (*Insert country here*) until January and come back to
Nepal until I leave (Jan. 22)
Positives: I get to go visit another country, and come back to Nepal
Negatives: LOTS more $$, I miss Christmas in Nepal. Oh, and more $$

3) Change my flight home from Jan 22. to Dec 16.
Positives: .....least amount of money?
Negatives: I have to leave Nepal which equals sadness & no Christmas in Nepal

What am I going to do?

please someone tell me.

Monday, September 26, 2011

D&C 82:3

I had a magic moment a few days ago.

I was sitting in class with my primary kids. We were all in a circle, and I was teaching them the parable of the talents. In my mind, this was a really important lesson and I was trying my hardest to convey the truth that they were all talented daughters and sons of God.

We have one boy in our class named Januk. He is about 8 or 9, and doesn’t speak English (as far as I know). He is very quiet in class and listens well, even though I’m sure most of my fast English goes right through him.

For an activity in my lesson, we went around to every student in the class, and told them a few of their talents that we had recognized. I wasn’t sure how this activity would go but I was pleasantly surprised. It all went well and finally we came to Januk. I wasn’t sure what the other kids were going to say, considering he was very quiet and reserved. I was blown away.

Ayusha told him that he was a great listener. Prasab told him that he was always reverent in class. Jeev asked him what Januk thought his talents were, and he said singing. Singing! I was so proud of my kids.

And then came the magic moment.

And the end of class, we were all memorizing a scripture. Even though Januk was trying really hard, I could tell that it was going to be hard for him. Then I saw one of my kids, Ayusha, start to help Januk. She held the paper and went through every word, over and over for about 10 minutes. All the other kids had already memorized it and were waiting to present to the class. I told them we had to wait for Januk and Ayusha to be ready.

Then, one at a time, each student stood up and said their memorized scripture to the class.

“For of him unto whom much is given much is required...”

At last we came to Januk. He stood up and seemed to focus his eyes on the back wall. Slowly he said,


Word for word, slowly but surely, he recited his scripture to the class.

And that was the magic moment. The moment he realized that he had done it.

Right when he said that last word, our whole class started to clap for him and tell him good job. I gave him a huge crazy hug (probably scared the heck out of him).

Tears came to my eyes when I saw the beautiful love these kids were showing towards each other. Nothing in my lesson could have taught them what Ayusha and Januk did.

There are magic moments all around when you look for them. I thank Heavenly Father every day that I can be in such a place that these magic moments surround my everyday life. I am a lucky girl to know Januk, Ayusha, Jeev, Prasab, Rebecca and Ravi.

I love you, my senior primary class.

Thanks for showing me what love is all about.

Jeev, Ravi, Ayusha & Rebecca

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Oh, India.

Unknown procrastination sucks.

Here's the story:

I'm going to India on the 30th (awesome) with an american family here who's dad works at the embassy here (they are also awesome). We're staying for about a week and we're seeing some of the awesome sights of India. Wow, I really need to stop saying awesome.
Radical, treasured, beautiful, exalted, mind-blowing, marvelous...all good options.

Anyways...I am stoked to go. Then I find out that you can't get visas for India UPON ARRIVAL. Which means I haven't applied for one yet. And...I leave in one week. Knowing that "yeah it'll be ready in 5 days" really means it'll be ready around next year in Nepal, the situation is looking a little grim.

BUT, I have hope. Because the Loooord is on my siiiiide! Yes, I just sang that. But really, it'll all work out. Because I went today and sat in line for 2 hours, to discover that if all goes well, it will be ready on the 29th (after I pay them a fortune, of course)!

Talk about cutting it close.

Hmmm. this was a really long blog post that really had no point. Haha.

In a nutshell:

I'm stupid and didn't apply for my visa until today.
It should be ready on the 29th.
I leave to India on the 30th.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


These past few weeks in Kathmandu have been so busy! And I have loved it. I have been learning SO much every day here.

For example, I have had this internal battle between taking taxis or the local bus. For the first 2 months here, I have been taking taxis. They get you to your destination quickly (that is so completely in comparison to the rest of transportation in NEPAL), you are not squished (unless you are fitting your whole extended family in the backseat), and you have a 60% chance of having a safe driver.

BUT…they cost about 150-350NRS to wherever you are going. And that is after I have had them remove the White Girl Tax. Yes, that is a real thing. They don’t call is “white girl tax” but the government allows taxi drivers to jack up their meter for tourists. Laaaame.

Buses. Please close your eyes and imagine something with me. You have to go to the grocery store. You grab your bag and head out to catch a local bus(Microbus=size of 12 seater van). Finally you flag one down that is going where you need to go. You tell them “Mai la Sukedhara Chowk (or wherever) ma roke dinus.” Then you attempt to fit. With 20+ people fitting in a 12 seater, this can be quite a feat—for anyone. Now, imagine me: The 5’10” white girl. Who, thanks to rice, has recently gained some good poundage, climbing into this van. Don’t forget that this is a pretty rare occurrence, which insures that everyone on the bus will be eyeing you down, wondering how the heck you got lost and ended up on this bus. Oh, and the whole time you a praying for your life. I am SO curious what you have to do here to get a license. Cause it really can’t be that hard.

BUT…a bus ride costs about 10-15 NRS.

Let me do some math for you here. Actually, let my iPod touch do some math for you.

150-350nrs = $1.95-$4.50

10-15nrs = 13 cents-19 cents.

I might be the most frugal person in the world, but I don’t care. I am SO taking the bus. And I am so loving it! When else do you get to be squished up against some random Nepali person and totally confuse the heck out of them? I have decided that I am honored to have this opportunity. Yes, honored. GAH I love good deals.

On another note, I have a karate/kungfu/judjistsooo(?) master as my housemate. His name is Sudip. I believe his debut on this blog was a few weeks ago. I am lucky to have him living here. Wanna know why? Get ready for the BEST fight match story in the universe (no, I did not fight him. Although with my newly acquired sumo body, I would not shun from the fight).

The story starts on a delightful Wednesday morning when my father flew into KTM and graciously brought me a nice, unhealthy pack of topramen from home. Don’t judge—we both know you love that stuff too. I put it on my nice little food shelf in my kitchen to save for a special date with myself. The next morning, I find my topramen pack ripped open and eaten (I may or may not have gotten emotional). I know Sudip likes to eat but I had a hunch that it may have been a critter. Turns out I was right.

Fast forward a couple weeks. It’s 6:30am. Sudip knocks on my bedroom door.

“Keti bainey Keti bainey!! Look, look!”

Half-asleep, I walked out of my bedroom to find a huge RAT on the ground outside the kitchen.

This is how our conversation then proceeded to go:

“SUDIP! I don’t want to see a rat!! GAHHH! Suuuuudip!!!”

“Keti bainey, I killed it! It was eating your noodles!”

“I know it ate my noodles! I hate that rat! HOW THE HECK DID YOU KILL IT?”

“I punched it!”


Sudip then proceeds to show me how he heard the rat, crept up on it, and socked it in the head, killing it.

……um what?!

I laughed for a straight 10 minutes. My roommate is a boss.

My precious noodles have been saved by my karate/kungfu/judjitsooooooooo boyfraaaan.

(ps, the rat looks small, but believe me when I say it was a monster. EW.)

Oh, and we had an earthquake here. CRAZY. I was at the Esplin’s house (an LDSC couple working here) planning our branch’s youth conference. We were sitting at the computer typing up the plan, when all the sudden everything started to shake. And I mean shake. We all just sat there for a minute, in complete shock, before someone finally said “This is an earthquake!”

We then proceeded to hear a knock on the door and gate. The girl that lives in the little house next to them was home alone and had run over. And all the surrounding neighbors were trying to get inside the Esplin’s yard because it had the most open space. As we were walking outside to open the gate (yes, the earth was still shaking. Probably not the best idea…) my na├»ve little self said “wow this is cool!” to which someone replied “no this is not cool!”. Haha. I’m such a stupid girl.

Finally it stopped and all was still. The power was out, people were screaming and crying, but the earth was finally still. And then it hit me how utterly TRAGIC a really, really bad earthquake would be in Kathmandu. There are SO many poorly built infrastructures and most people have no idea what to do in an earthquake. We were lucky that it wasn’t worse. I am praying for Sikkim, India. The epicenter was there and I believe 39 people died. The total death number in all the areas where the earthquake hit combined is 66. So sad.

Well, I am off to go to the tailors. I am so excited. What an awesome system. You buy whatever fabric you want, take it to the tailor, they measure your body, and make whatever clothes you want. And they are custom fit to you! Plus it’s only like 250nrs($3.30). Scoooore.

Hope your days are filled with laughter and learning! Next time you find a rat in your house(which I hope is never),try Sudip’s method of extermination. I’m sure it works like a charm.

Love you all,


Ps, I miss hot showers, Thrifty’s ice cream, and Target.

-Boys from Primary. Who wouldn't love these boys?!-

Thursday, September 8, 2011

60 days.

Today was a learning day.

I learned that patience is something I am learning. Every day.
I learned that life is so complex and so simple, all at the same time.
I learned that we are all here to help each other out.
and I learned that we are given the hardest challenges when we most need them.
Today I remembered all the people who have helped me.
Thank you.
I hope you know who you are.
Today I smashed two cockroaches with my journal. yum.
I thought a lot about poverty.
Today I listened to Nickel Creek and remembered why I love them. Highly recommend.
Today I felt gratitude to my God.
And I wished that everyone felt His love, as I do.
I learned that here on Earth, we are refined.
and sometimes it's by fire.
Today I edited an 18 page report. it was hard.
I read Little Princes by Conor Grennan. also highly recommended.
and I thought about my 7th & 8th grade core teachers. Wherever you are, thank you for all you did for me. Having you as a teacher made junior high bearable (ah so awkward...).
Today I wrote a talk for church.

and today I sent good vibes to you! I hope you are so happy!

If you're not, go drink a dr. pepper, put on some good beats, and have a little dance party.
Invite some friends, if you're feeling real adventurous (woot woot).

And before you go to bed, say thank you. To your mom for putting up with you, your roommate for living with you, your brother for keeping you tough, your dog for always thinking you are awesome, or your God for blessing you. I promise it'll make you feel better.

Then please enjoy your thick mattress, soft pillow, and lack of cockroaches for me.


(Remember me? I'm the crazy girl living 7,851 miles away.)

Hi mom. Hi dad. Thanks for reading to the end...


...although it won't let me play any of them online because "they" somehow know that I am in Nepal and I guess I'm now restricted.
Hope you can enjoy for me. I'll stick to my ipod.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday

While my dad was here for 5 days, we were able to go some really cool places and see some awesome things. It was nice to hang out with him and finally speak some English! Although he told me that my English has turned into "survival" mode. Who cares if I leave out the unnecessary words?
The Nepali's understand me fine if I say "toilet where?"

Some pictures from our adventures:

Pashupatinath: sacred cremation sight

Actual cremation at Pashupatinath.

Swimming in the water where they dump the remains of the burned bodies.

Kathmandu Valley.

Monkey Temple


Sun rays.



New friend from Nepal who is blind and still listens to all my dad's interviews.

SAV School

Thanks for the beautiful time, Dad. I loved having you here!