Shirah Foy
Shirah Foy
Nepal 2012
Namaste! I'm a native Oregonian who loves to travel, enjoys a good conversation, a long walk, and a hot cup of tea. This summer I'm in Nepal, teaching English in a Buddhist monastery in the high Himalayas. I love to hear your responses to my adventures and experiences, so join me! Read More About Shirah →

In Hopes of Leaving Kathmandu

It’s everywhere: More filth than I’ve ever seen. I can’t get used to it. I don’t want to get used to it. I’ve never been so eager to get out of a city.

There is trash – piles of it – on every corner and in every gutter. The sidewalk is often 4 feet above the street, and the trash pile attains at least the 3-foot mark. The smell is suffocating. I fight the urge to throw up every time we reach the main road.

My only hope is in the Himalayas. I know things will be much different there. I can handle few amenities: no hot water, dirt floors, a simple mattress on the floor to sleep on, rice & lentils three times a day. But I absolutely cannot warm up to the trash. One volunteer – a girl from Perth, Australia – has been here a week or two and said yesterday, “Oh, you get used to it. After a while the trash doesn’t really bother you so much.”

I’d rather not wait and find out. After my one-week intensive language course, I will be so glad to get out of Kathmandu and fly up to Lukla in the high Himalayas. From there it’s not a 2-hour trek to the monastery, as originally suggested, but rather a 4-hour trek. I’m happy to hear we’ll be even more removed from the incessantly littering public.

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