I remember my first day in Kathmandu like it was yesterday. Everything was new, strange and loud. But that’s more than three months ago. I don’t feel like a stranger anymore. Now Nepal feels like a second home and I already miss it. Even though the country is struggling with different problems like the earthquake or the border blockade, people here are just fantastic. To tell the truth, I have never met people so welcoming and obliging. I have become calmer than before and learned some more about myself after coming here.
It was hard to pack my backpack before leaving. As I walked around Patan for the last time, drank my last cup of milk tea and ate incredible Dal Bhat of my friend Dal Dai, my thoughts drifted to things that have changed even the simplest ones. At the beginning, I used to have a hard time sleeping here because dogs barked in front of my window. I complained about them but later I began appreciating them being around. I could spend hours just walking around my neighborhood or sitting on the roof of my house just listening to the noise of the city.
There is so much to explore in this wonderful country. I feel grateful for having the opportunity to know to it and its people. It feels bitter sweet now that my time here is over and I don’t know if my work here had some kind of impact but I hope I gave something back. Life has strange ways of introducing people to each other. It allows you to make close bonds and become friends, just to take you back to the other side of the world.
-Denis Janker, ASA intern in ECCA from September-December 2015