Settling in & Nepali hospitality

Nepalis are among the friendliest people I’ve ever met. And, everyone at GVI — and their many connections and friends in the area — have made me feel very welcome so far. It was a long journey to get here — 3 flights! — but I am settling in to Pokhara.

After a first-day dinner with some of the GVI volunteers, I spent Saturday getting to know Pokhara. Bhanu, a tour guide who runs Skylark Trekking with his brother Tara Gautam, graciously showed me around Pokhara for the day. We visited the breathtaking Peace Pagoda, Devi’s Falls, the International Mountain Museum, the Bindyabasini Hindu Temple, the Tibetan Refugee settlement of Tashi Palkhel (we arrived just in time to see the monks chanting in the glorious Jangchub Choeling Gompa), and Pokhara’s suspension bridge. I can’t thank Bhanu enough for an amazing tour; he is so knowledgeable about the area. If you are ever in Nepal, look Skylark up!

Pokhara is a much larger city than I had first thought. Bhanu explained that its metropolitan area actually exceeds the capital, Kathmandu, and Pokhara is clearly growing. With help from the Chinese government, Nepalis are building an international airport. Yet, the city is also bursting at the seams, with most of the activity centered on the lakeside commercial district — which is teeming with motorbikes.

Tomorrow, the workshop begins! We tested out the equipment and made some final arrangements. 18 participants will join us in the morning for the first session. I’m excited to begin teaching.