We have been actually quite busy since we returned from our trek. We've been trying to meet with some friends we know here before we take off. We haven't rested much, but we've had some unique experiences here in the Kathmandu Valley the last few days.
First of all, the after we got back from the trip, we went to Shankar's village, since we had promised we would go there before we left....what a memorable experience. We are glad that we did it, but we would never want to do it again. He and his mom live about 2 hours from Kathmandu by bus, so we met his brother Ram early and went to the bus station. We got on the local bus and were happy to have seats to ourselves. The ride there was incredibly beautiful with the rice paddies and rolling hills the entire way. We kept laughing at all the people that sat on the top of the bus....we wouldn't be laughing for long. Once we got to the village, we had to walk through the rice paddies and woods for about an hour. Shankar and his mom were ecstatic to see us. Their home was very basic, and we stayed there for about an hour. While we were there, we had some Dahl Bat, walked their land, Shankar played the flute, gave me a Nepali hat and held my hand a lot (its customary for men to hold hands here).
After trekking up the hill to catch the bus (and we thought we were done hiking) for more than an hour, we got to the place where the bus picks you up. As the bus came to us, we noticed that it was PACKED full. The only place for us was on top...so up we went! We held on tight with the other 20 people up there as we weaved through the mountains. It was actually quite fun...until it started raining. They told us to come down out of the rain, so we somehow managed to squeeze into the aisle with the other 30 people (literally). There were 6 of us standing in the doorway, 3 of which had their heads sticking out the open door. Needless to say, it was a long and smelly ride. The lady behind me had her head stuck out the window the whole time, puking randomly. We had never been so grateful to get to Kathmandu.
The next day we left for Pokhara. Its a 7 hour bus ride, only this bus is for tourists only. It was also a beautiful ride, but you feel as if you've been beaten up by the time you get there from the crazy driving and bumpy roads. Pokhara was relaxing and enjoyable. We are now back in Kathmandu. Yesterday we had lunch with a friend who is here in Nepal for 3 months with Word Made Flesh. Today we had lunch with a Christian Nepali friend who was an interpreter for our team 6 years ago. It was encouraging to spend some time with him, as his faith is so strong despite the persecution of Christians here.
We have decided to come home a few days early. We changed our tickets and will be leaving tomorrow. We have had such a good time on our adventure. We are definitely ready to come home though. We are looking forward to taking a shower without flip flops on, sleeping without our sleeping bags (you don't get much for $8 a night), and most of all....we are looking forward to not being hassled all the time as we walk down the street. Oh, and I guess we're looking forward to seeing our family, too!
When we get home, we'll post some more pictures and hopefully some videos. Also, we'll continue to use this blog as we move and have more adventures. We'll be home on the 26th...please call! We look forward to hearing from you all.