Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve (Day 1 in Nepal)

Hello from Kathmandu, Nepal! We are so excited to finally be settled into our hotel in the busy city of Kathmandu. Our hotel is located in Thamel which is a touristy part of the city with lots of outdoor markets and temples around every corner. We landed this morning around 11...without luggage. All 5 of us are missing our checked bags with all of our warmer clothes but hopefully we will get them back next year...(tomorrow).

The taxi drive from the Kathmandu airport to our hotel was an eye-opening and chaotic experience. First of all, we were driving on the opposite side of the road. Then we continued to weave between cars  while dodging pedestrians, dogs, and motorbikes....oh and goats. After checking in to the hotel we had a nice lunch (with lots of coffee) on the sunny rooftop of the hotel and met up with SLU alumi Brijlal Chaudhari '10 and Animesh Giri '08 who will be assisting us in our travels and helping translate while we conduct our research. Taylor Smith '12 who is traveling in Nepal also visited us for lunch.

We then toured around the part of the city called Durbar, visiting numerous temples and monasteries. We toured the Durbar Square where kings of Nepal have historically been crowned during their coronation. Strolling through the streets we saw many outdoor markets where gifts, trekking gear, spices, vegetables and many other goods were sold. We also witnessed an organized Maoist speech being held outside Durbar Square. Students were able to visit monasteries and light ceremonial candles while getting a first hand experience of the local culture.

Looking for our luggage in the Kathmandu airport

Cynthia and Lizzie in the taxi from the airport to the hotel

Chris outside of the Sacred Valley Hotel

Crowded markets of Kathmandu

Lizzie and Charlotte in front of Buddha's eyes in Dubar Square

Lizzie lighting candles in a monastery

December 30,2012

The flight from Syracuse to DC was on a tiny propeller plane, a first for many of us. Although this flight was delayed almost an hour, we somehow made our international flight. Landing in Washington DC with five minutes to spare our group sprinted through the airport just in time to board the plane to Bahrain. About 12 hours later we had a short layover in Kuwait before heading to Bahrain for a 8 hour layover. While in Bahrain we learned to play cribbage, ate at an American restaurant since no authentic food was found in the airport, and had a very interesting/dangerous experience on an overcrowded escalator. We all met interesting people on our flights from all over the world and all different ages. We are all looking forward to meeting plenty more people and many new experiences to come.
Cynthia and Charlotte boarding the propeller plane in Syracuse 

Chris excited to be en route to Nepal

Saturday, December 29, 2012

December 29, 2012

Team Nepal 2013 is excited to be embarking on a journey to Nepal this January. We are patiently waiting in the Syracuse airport to board our plane to Washington DC in the hopes of catching our plane to Bahrain and continuing on to Kathmandu. Whether or not we will be leaving the United States tonight is questionable but we are looking forward to the many adventures that we will have in Nepal in the near future.

Meet the team:
Brian says "it's a milquetoast kind of evening."
Chris says "run like the wind!" while practicing his deep breathing yoga techniques.
Lizzie says "hold our flight...have a heart people."
Cynthia says (she can't talk, she's on hold with the airline's customer service)
Charlotte says "blogging is fun."

Looking forward to new experiences in Nepal and sharing them with the SLU community and the rest of the world. Namaste.

Syracuse Airport, 12/29/12