Nepal Part 1- Kathmandu and Mahendra Jyoti Village

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

I am so relieved to have internet after a 3 week struggle! If you read my previous post you will know there was literally no way to blog in Nepal in the circumstances I was in. Looking back, there was also no time. Now I'm snuggled into a Starbucks couch in Asakusa Japan with a grande soy matcha tea in hand and feeling quite relaxed. Now here goes!

Yanto and Sipho at breakfast at our stopover in KL.

Me and our fabulous team leader Lydia. Without her this could not have happened so smoothly or at all! She's an all round great and good person, everyone can see it.

We hardly have any couple photos as the camera was usually nestled around my neck. Will make do with this sub par car selfie.
The first glimpse of the mountains from the plane window. Little did I know how close I would be to them the very next week....

We stayed at the Hotel Moonlight in Thamel, Kathmandu. It was fairly dodgy to say the least, but functional. I experienced: little/no wifi, no electricity, doors that don't lock (we had to change rooms multiple times!), no hot water and probably the worst- a bathroom with the light switch placed directly under the shower. Yanto turned off the switch and the light remained flickering. I flicked it on again and got a massive electric shock through my fingers and up my hand, heat, sparks and everything. I actually could have been electrocuted. Not fun.

Many a photobomb!

This is Nepal's (practically) only local dish, dal bhat. I thought it was delicious and wished we had it more as we ate 'western' food most of the time. According to our awesome guide Arjun, Nepalese eat this 2 or more times a day.

All ready to eat his dal bhat!

Nepalese like their buildings bright and colorful! Sometimes it works, sometimes not. This is the view from our hotel, I thought it was pretty!

Nepal is definitely the poorest country I have been too. Most of the city streets look like this. Surprisingly there was no unpleasant smell although this may change in Summer. We went in Winter and it was very mild- I got by with leggings and a jacket!

I love Marigolds! They look so round and fluffy.

This is what I mean by Western food... Not my favorite and a diet of this and plentiful 2 minute noodles made me break out :(

Nepal is quite free of graffiti compared to Perth. I thought this was a rather cool stencil ;)

Fun fact: Marigolds are one of Nepal's national flowers!

One of the nicest toilets we were to encounter.

We also passed the slums. We were told a story from a few months back where a private plane crashed in the slums and the passengers were stuck inside for 7 minutes screaming. There was a large crowd of people around the plane but not one of them tried to help because in Nepalese culture, to die whilst rescuing someone will affect your afterlife. Apparently the risk of this happening was too great and the plane exploded and everyone died :(. How's that for a culture difference.

We stayed in a rich man's guesthouse in the village of Mahendra Jyoti for the week of the project. There were 3-5 in a room and those are straw mattresses. You actually get a bruise on your hip if you sleep on your side!

The cutest little polar bear puppy I have ever seen! Every time I saw it it was tied up on a leash 2 meters long. Who knows if it will ever be untied. The children throw stones and kick the puppies and dogs in the village. It made me extremely sad, but I suppose the worse the people live, the worse the animals live. :'(. I miss Pika Pomeranian so much.

One of the rooms in the new building we funded. This is how it looked on the first day.

I proved to be quite popular within the school, even though I am terrible and awkward with children. Everyone called me beautiful all the time and it felt very strange- no one (except Yanto!) tells me that back home. It was so flattering :$. Anyway I received this many welcome flowers... I had them all around my neck and actually started overheating so I had to take them off!

The kids in their old classrooms. See how squishy they are! I wonder how hard it must be to study in that village with no electricity at night time. Can you imagine that?!

The view from the guesthouse. Every day we walked about 1km to the school and back.

All meals were had on the balcony! We each were assigned a roster to help Arjun with the meals, but most of the time he waved us away and was content to cook for 17 hungry foreigners by himself. He was the best tour guide/cook/all rounder I have ever met. I highly recommend him and will post his details later in case anyone wants to travel to Nepal!

Smoke in the village!

So many goats!

Uhhh... Volunteer OOTD?

This kitty mask given to me by the lovely Grace came in so useful for keeping out dust and paint fumes!

For the first 3 days I was in charge of painting a mural for the 1-3 year olds. First we sanded, puttied and then whitewashed the wall. Then we gave it a white acrylic base coat and tah dah!

The colors we were to work with. Note the lack of primary colors which made mixing extremely difficult!

Day 1.
Day 2.

Baby polar bear!

Day 2.
Day 2.

The finished product on Day 3! Not bad for a days notice and no draft eh? What do you think?!
Stay tuned for the rest of my Nepal trip! I'm going to go shopping now and get some more thermals from Uniglo- it is a lot colder in Japan than in Nepal. No rain in either place though which is fabulous!

I'm staying in a random part of Tokyo- Asukasa which is mainly known for its temples... There are not many people here and I'm looking forward to tomorrow when we activate our rail pass and go to Harajuku! I am loving Japan so far, the food tastes so much better here and the people are absolutely wonderful and helpful. I'm hoping I don't fall in love with it too much....



  1. Amazing Kimberley, Thanks for sharing. I was there a month back and you should brought back some fond memories. Gratitude & Merry Christmas, Cheers, Rohit

    1. Thanks Rohit, there's heaps more to come when I have the time! Merry Xmas to you too!