Hi! I have been anxiously awaiting for a peaceful moment to write my blog (even though this is the country of peace I am quite busy!). Although now I am writing, my laptop is dying and I am in a garden at the Funky Buddha with no outlets… oops. This post may be short but I know that you all will still enjoy it! It has been just over a week since I have arrived in the mysterious and wonderful Kathmandu, Nepal. Upon arrival, even in the complete darkness, I was absolutely mystified. Experiencing the city, the atmosphere and the mix of cultures within an Asian country for the first time was everything I had imagined it would be and so very much more. Before my trip I was reading a book in Barnes and Noble that assigned colors to days of the year. So it would say “If you were born on this day, etc. etc.”. My color was Nile Green, and if you happened to be born on this Nile Green day you have a passion for travel, a love for writing, and are very verbal. The thrill of arriving in a foreign country all alone, to become a part of a culture in which I have never experienced is just as exciting every day that I wake up in this strange place as it was that very first moment my little American feet reached the Nepali soil. That being said, teaching in this peaceful and humble country is more rewarding than the beautifully strange views. Of course it has its challenges. Teaching at the extremely strict public school is daunting and terrifying. In my first week I have also unfortunately witnessed my first “Nepali punishment”. The education inequality between genders is severe. It appears to be more appropriate for boys to speak up and act out rather than for the respectable young ladies. Though this reserved personality seems to hinder their learning abilities, as more time is spent trying to satisfy the rowdy young men. I try to give extra attention to the more shy and distant girls. It is also very difficult to teach the younger children as when Jesse (my roommate at SDCN) and I teach it becomes difficult to assert authority, as I would never strike a child. The children have become aware of our more lax (compared to Nepali) teaching style. Though the power of communication and human understanding shines through as the children are beginning to listen and appreciate our American ways of teaching, praise, and proper English. Though there is the occasional mocking of my lovely foreign “shhh” or “sit down” (they really enjoy standing and learning?). The children are as innocent and adorable as ever. As an only child I revel in the fact that they refer to me as “sister”. The kids in the school resort to “ma’am” but have picked up on the SDCN kids (who are sprinkled throughout the school, as I teach English to whatever grade the principal instructs at random times) yelling “Sister! Sister!”. There is so much pressure placed upon these children, even at the age of 6 up to age 16. As soon as I correct one child I will turn to catch another child erasing his (also correct) answer to write down what I have just instructed the other student. Even if it is a free response question I will often find the exact same sentences. The children work very hard and I am so proud of their improvement. There is so much more to write but such little time. With the daily and long power outages, either there is no wifi or my electronics are dead. I could never get tired of exploring these streets. Every day becomes easier and I become more familiar with the landscape, yet even on these same streets I notice new invigorating things. The stares are never menacing but rather sheer curiosity, and as soon as I smile a smile is ALWAYS returned. We live in a beautiful world. I am too blessed to be able to experience this small culturally diverse piece of it. Namaste friends.