Rule Number Seven (While in Asia): Nepalese geckos are wild animals, not pets.
I saw these little critters running around my bathroom, the walls of my bedroom and all over the safe house kitchen, and I couldn’t get over how cute they were. I used to have two lizards as a kid, and I thought it would be fun if we were to catch one of these “geckos” running around the house and make it into our pet. Jokingly, I told my idea to the House Mother, and she just laughed at me. It was then that another one of the girls informed me that these cute little lizards are in fact extremely poisonous! If they bite you, there is no cure, and you will die. Comforting! I have gone from affectionately watching these little guys crawl around on our walls to running at the sight of them. From now on: No Asian pet lizards for me!
Anyone reading this who has traveled to a developing country will understand what I mean when I say that Cipro is your best friend while abroad. I almost didn’t bring any of this potent medication with me on my current trip to Nepal, as I hadn’t needed any while I as here in January, but last night, I was ever so thankful that the doctor had convinced me to pack it. For those who don’t know, Cipro is what you take when, politely speaking, the digestive track is a bit out of whack. I am not sure what I ate yesterday to throw my body into this awful frenzy, but thanks to my handy dandy traveling pills, the pain should be over soon. Moral of the story: Never leave home without Cipro!
On a happier note, a few days ago I had the pleasure of attending a graduation ceremony. It was a bit different than the ones seen in the States, complete with caps, gowns and fancy diplomas, but it was nevertheless still as meaningful to those graduating. The ceremony took place in a village about an hour and a half from the safe house; the primitive “road” to get to this particular village made for a rough journey, but I’m kind of partial to these eventful roadtrips! All of those graduating were women and girls, and we were attending to present them with certificates signifying that they had completed six months of sewing training. Such an accomplishment is particularly meaningful in Nepal, as many of the girls in this country are not educated and do not have an opportunity to receive such training. This training will lead to a sense of purpose for them in their village and will serve as a preventative measure to decrease their vulnerability to trafficking. The women and girls were all incredibly joyful, and I was fortunate to be a part of such an important event in their lives.
Yesterday, I learned how to make milk tea for the first time! It has become my favorite drink in the entire world (literally), and it even tops coffee in my book, which is a rare achievement. It is made by boiling whole milk with black tea, this fantastic organic sugar, masala and cinnamon. The combination of these ingredients leads to pure bliss in a cup! You can try making it at home, but I assure you the best milk tea can only be found in Nepal!
I am off to sewing training! My punjabi is coming along, but I afraid I may not ever go out in public wearing it.