It was now almost March. The weather began to improve, in that during the daytime it leveled out and during the night I was not forced to wear three layers underneath my sleeping bag. Since Week Five marked a new month, I will take this time to put some names to faces of my host family, although it can be tricky to capture portraits since Nepali people can be a bit camera-shy.
This is Anshu. You have already met her in my earlier chapters and must already know that she is fun-loving and loves to play. What you don’t know yet, however, is that she is highly dedicated to her schoolwork and making sure things are done on time. She is also a great help around the house with chores, and although she may grumble sometimes like any 10-year old might, she is hardy of spirit and full of energy when helping her family. We often fetch water together from the local tap, which sits right the foot of the house. Hundreds of people gather there daily to fill up their random assortments of water jugs. Anshu’s name means “sun ray”.
This is Sarita, my host-aunt. She is hilarious. My Nepali names, Sambabu (Sam-boy or Sam-baby), Shantaram (Man of God’s peace), and Bok lagyo babu (hungry baby) were all accorded to me by her. She can bring laughter to even the most uncomfortable subjects, like my vomiting and diarrhea affliction. Sarita’s name means “river”.
Meet Kanchan. She is a cousin of the family that visits frequently. She does not speak much English but definitely understood my facial expressions, as those have become my primary means of eliminating language barriers in Nepal. She joined for card games and loves to shop. There are many jokes made within the Shrestha household and Kanchan is more often than not the instigator of these. Kanchan’s name means “gold”. Fun fact: the third-highest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga, situated in Nepal, has a similar name. Kanchen or Kanchan means “gold”, and Junga means mustache. Gold Mustache Mountain.
Abibsha. She is my 16-year old host-sister and has also become like family to me. On my first full day in Nepal, she showed me the way from the host home to the school, the supermarket, and the ATM. If Anshu, her little sister, is committed to schoolwork, Abibsha is even more so. I am continually fascinated by the work ethic that Nepali people exemplify. During my stay at the host home, Abibsha was often my translator for times when no one else knew how to say a phrase or question in English. As for the meaning of her name, I do not know.
I have not yet captured any pictures of my host father, mother, or host-grandparents, but when I do I will accompany them with short backgrounds.