By Blair Sando
My ten-week visit to Nepal was nothing short of remarkable … and I have Mountain View Eco Farm to thank for that. Though my journey to Nepal was not easy, after a few short days I began to really dive in to my role on the farm. I began to learn more about this world and about myself than I ever thought I could.
In the morning we would rise with the sun, dig our hands in the beautiful soils of the Nepali hillside, and hide from the afternoon heat in my favorite spot under the lychee tree. Each day was filled with the most delicious meals – Nepali pancakes with honey from Chetana’s parents bees, rice and lentils served with home-grown squash and ginger, and warm chapatti with okra and other farm veggies (just a few of my favorites!) Chetana was gracious enough to let me help her in the kitchen, and it was during these times that we got to laugh and tell stories. She made me feel like her true sister.
A huge part of my stay at MVEF was watching little Siddhartha (Govinda and Chetana’s son) grow into such a handsome little boy. We celebrated his first birthday and I saw him to walk and talk, all in one trip. He brought such joy to my days on the farm and I loved learning about Nepali family life as I witnessed Govinda and Chetana’s immense love for their “babu.”
There was incredible learning to be done outside the farm as well. I spent many days walking around Begnas Bazaar, downtown Pokhara, and canoeing in Phewa Lake. I trekked 100 miles around the Annapurna Circuit where I saw unforgettable Himalayan views and made friends from all over the world. I even got to spend a couple days in the jungles of Chitwan National Park before I flew home. Getting a widespread view of Nepal was easy with the support of Govinda and Village Volunteers.
I was lucky enough to be in Nepal during some very exciting festivals, during which I was able to partake in so many cultural traditions. Govinda introduced me to family members and neighbors where I received tika, a Hindu blessing, fruits, and some fun times on the bamboo swings.
This beautiful farm helped me to create an experience that I will cherish forever. When I think back on my time in Nepal, I will always think of and dearly miss my Nepali family. Still to this day, they make sure that I know I have a home in Pokhara. I can’t wait to return.
Blair Sando volunteered at Mountain View Eco Farm in Pokhara, Nepal in September 2015. Thank you so much for sharing this warm and wonderful blog post with us and the Village Volunteers community, Blair!