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IN TRISHULI 24/ 7 24 DAYS

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I was so worried and scared about going to Trishuli. Why? Well because it was, something totally knew from what I now was used to in KTM. I was also told that Trishuli was a village. What I pictured was a village village with no fancy houses or anything that looked like a city. What met me when I came to Trishuli was a road with lots of shops on both of the sides. Then we drove with the bus a bit farther up and I saw normal brick and cement houses, everywhere. The place was a bit small yess but fancy yess. I did not expect this at all, but pleased yes. When we were to be shown where we were to live I pointed to this house, for I thought it was so beautiful, and said to Vilde “I hope we are going to live here”. She did not think we would, me neither deep within myself, but we did and we do live there.

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We are working with a school (NBA – National Bethel Academy) for children in nursery up to 5th grade. Vilde and I had been told that we were going to be English teachers. Well the options for what we could teach were even more open than that. When we talked with the principle, he said we could create our own schedule and it would be fine. Well this nice flexibility became way too much for us, so we asked if they could just make a schedule for us. Well they did and we became Art and Craft and PE teachers. I felt that was perfect for us. We are both artistic and I love PE.

I am not a teacher. I have not even been educated a bit to be a teacher. My examples of teachers are the ones that thought me and the examples I have seen on TV. How would it go when I was to try to teach?

We were to have classes with 3rd, 4th and 5th class. Their English skills better then I hoped for. Their manners good and their interest in us huge. I think the fact that Vilde and I had all the fun subjects with the students made them more enthusiastic with us.

Class three, crazy. I think this class was the hardest for me to handle. The kinds all so cute, smart, and helpful, but they had so much energy. Where did they get it all from? They did not like their seats. They did not like to sit still too long. When we gave them a task and were finished which btw was a competition for some of the students they would run up to us and show us. Suddenly we were surrounded by four five students showing us their great work. In this class, keeping your head straight was very important.

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Class four, wanted us to teach them all the time. When we thought them, they sat in their seat and they tried to do what we said, but English could sometimes be a problem. When we had PE with them, they were always enthusiastic and wanted to try all our wired new games. However, we did not teach them every day. Some of the students really wanted us to come and teach. They would ask us repeatedly. Mark their English teacher would let us come with them in one class and the students would be so happy, and then the next day ask for us again.

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Class five, the eldest ones. Teaching them was very fun and challenging, and to find things that would capture their attention not always to easy. When we thought them Art and Craft they would always take what we said so seriously. I rather enjoyed that, but at the same time scared for saying wrong stuff to them.

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Now when my time as a teacher in Trisuli is over I am kind of pleased with myself. It went better then I could have expected. The students were so awesome. So do I want to be a teacher? Well to be honest not really. After having had two classes with them I felt exhausted at the end of the day. Challenging and fun to teach them, but a future for me, don’t think so, NOW atleast.

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BUTWAL

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On Wednesday the 29 of January Vilde and I were to go to Butwal for a youth camp. We were originally going to Trisuli, but because of some delays with the school we were to work with, we were not able to come as planned. We then were to go to Butwal first and then Trisuli. Going to Butwal was so much fun. SO, here are some of the highlights of the trip:

The day we were to leave for Butwal we had slept over at Tyrannus hall. We were there the day before to have bible study as is usual on Tuesdays. However, this Wednesday we were not to go back home to our house and prepare a new bible study. This time we were to wake up at 5 in the morning get ready and go to Kalanki to get a local bus to Butwal. Waking up that early was rather difficult and painful. We had gone to bed at around 12 or later. I tried to sleep but it became more or less impossible, because the time was too short. When we were to wake up I think I only slept three hours or less. On our journey to Butwal, we were accompanied by Barat and PA Thomas, which I was very grateful for. It was so nice not to be in charge of the journey and just let someone else lead us. We took a taxi to Kalanki and waited there for almost two hours before we got on a bus.

Vilde, Barat and PA Thomas at Kalanki. 

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Since Vilde and I were just following we did not ask to many questions and just followed Barats and PA Thomases lead. We got on the bus, but there were no one else there. We looked at each other and agreed that we would just trust Barat and PA Thomas. Besides I was to tired to really understand the situation, I just wanted to get on the bus and sleep. I tried to rest, but the bus was just standing still. I waited and waited and then finally it moved, but it was only to get closer to the sidewalk. I then sighed and tried to sleep anyways. Then again it started to move. I got so happy and tried to find a comfortable position for my head, when I looked outside the window, and to my big surprise, the bus turned around. We were suppose to go straight forwards but it turned back again. I got so shocked, turned to look at Barat, but then just accepted it and went to sleep. When I woke we were surrounded by monks, outside and inside our bus.

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They started at us and we started at them. I think they were just as confused as we were. We later figured out that the mokes had rented the bus and had four seats available that somehow became ours. We therefore drove with the monks for 8 hours to reach Butwal. The experience just sitting in a bus full of monks was weird and exiting at the same time. They were so friendly and offered candy and oranges to us.

 

 

 

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On our way to Butwal there had happened a road accident. All the monks rushed out of the bus and went to see what was happening. Vilde and I also went out but to look at the beautiful view.

 

 

 

 

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Me, PA Tomas and …… looking at the river and people working. 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see all the red dresses monks in the crowed.

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When we finally arrived to Butwal we could see many bike rickshaws. I said to Vilde, it would be so much fun if we could ride on one of them, and before I knew it, we were sitting on one. It was so much fun, though I felt bad for the man cycling with us and our luggage.

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We could not spot any taxies in Butwal. We soon realized that the bike rickshaws were the taxies.

 

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We then left our luggage in PA Thomases room and went for the camp. When we arrived there, there were not too many people, youths there but they came gradually.

On our way to the church.

 

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They still had their christmus decorations on the walls. However it still decorated the church.

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My camp experience this time was totally different from our first camp. For example, when we were to sit down and listen for hours to lectures in Nepali, sitting on the floor was easier than expected. I was proud of myself; it only took four months to get the hang of it. (It still pains a bit sitting too long, but I am not dyeing to get close to a wall or chair) Another thing was that on this camp they did much more activities. Ok, it wasn’t crazy much, but they sang more and had songs with movements to shake our tired bodies.

 

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The second day of the camp Vilde and I introduced three games to them and they enjoyed them all. When we tried the games at the yearlier camps it was not recieves as  successful as this time.

We are playing “the winck game” (blunkeleken). They has so much fun and people got so shy which for me was so funny to watch. It also looks like Barat is enjoying the game. 

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And it looks like Vilde is enjoying the game.

 

 

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The third day we shared about Norway with them:

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We got some new friends:

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It was so funny. When i was to take a picture with the girls the old lady just joined as if it was the most natural think to do. She was very sweet and she belonged to the church the camp was held at, so I mean why not. She was a part of this…

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When the camp was finished Vilde and I went to explore Butwal. For me it was so much fun for my dad had worked there when he was younger and my mom had stayed there aswell. I felt like I was somewhat walking in their footsteps. Even though there was much construction work going on and the weather was not to good, just walking around knowing that my dad and mom had stayed there made me happy. 

We found the Odd Hoftun Street.

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Really cool Nature.

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We found a sweet road that somehow remainded me of Mandal.

 

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One month on one page

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Hey trusted readers of my blog. I have not been so good at keeping this up, I know. I have been to busy building relationships. I promised my dad i would write once a week. Has not been so succsessfull till now, not sure it will later either, but i will write now and then so just keep reading.

ZOO

Vilde and I have been through so much the last month. For the first time sice we came to Nepal we visited the zoo with our close frieds Rachel and Bikram. It was so much fun. I felt like the child within me just leaped out. Vilde and I were fascinated by eveything I really enjoyed the changes that had been made from my last visit to the zoo when i was much much younger. The animals had gotten more space which pleased me.

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There is a tiger in there somewhere not so easy to spot. IMG_5156

Rachel and Bikram were exited about seeing the tiger. They said it was difficult to spot it which i found out in a later visit to be true.

 

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Vilde beeing exited about beeing in the zoo and having a “who has the longest neck” contest with the ostrich. IMG_5173

KURTA

After having stayed in Nepal for over two months, dressing more like nepali women became our wish. We therefore wanted to get ouselvs a kurta each. Vilde wearing her first kurta in public, looking more dashing then ever. (Her pants are her own the reason be that the pants that followed her kurta were pink which she was not pleased with. Which makes sense for there were no pink what so ever on her kurta.)

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NORWEGIAN PORRIDGE

After having had dal bhat for a long period of time, making something more familiar was much longed for. We then decided to make PORRIDGE. In my family it is custom to eat it every saturday which can be too much and I can sometimes get sick of it, but making it here became something much diffrent and I ate it all with much delight. IMG_5233

Vilde enjoyed it just as much as me. IMG_5232

FIRST VISIT FROM NORWAY

Øystein Ruud came to check up on us which was rather fun, he being our first visit from Norway.

Two former Hald students, Sharad Lama, Vilde and  Øystein Ruud. IMG_5236

SECOND VISIT FROM NORWAY

Just a day after Øystein arrived my mother came for work related purposes and of course to visit me. She stayed here for two weeks. We had much fun together, and at the same time it felt more safe having her here with the election going on.

When my mother came she did not come empty handed. IMG_5240

Sharad invited Øystein, Vilde, me and my mom for dinner. IMG_6421

We were invited to some close friends for dinner. IMG_6435

We went to Haatiban…..

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…where we saw the cutes cat sunbathing…. IMG_5288

… and picking pine cones for christmas decoration. IMG_5328

Visit from my mom. We went Nepali style and served nepali tea and biscuit. IMG_5401

VISIT VJ

After much back and forth about time and date VJ, Vilde and me managed to set a date for visiting VJ. VJ made dal bhat for us… IMG_5382

..while we sat and waited. IMG_5384

We went to the roof and saw his awesome view. IMG_5372

ADVENT

My mother had brought with some purple candles from norway so we could make the real advent mood in our apartment. IMG_5412

LAUNDRY DAY

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CHRISTMAS TREE

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CHRISTMAS PREPARATION   IMG_5465

Making christmas cookies with Rachel and Bikram. IMG_5781

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HOME MADE Gingerbread house… MUST HAVE IMG_6050

VILDE’S BIRTHDAY / VJ’S BIRTHDAY PARTY IMG_5545

Friends helping us decorate the room for the party. IMG_5555

Birthday prince and princess exchanging gifts. IMG_5571

Their cake.

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Playing with the snow inside. IMG_5644

THIRD VISIT FROM NORWAY

Welcome to Nepal, Family Johannesen. First bustrip… to visit Devendra. IMG_5902

FOURTH VISIT FROM NORWAY

Joakim arrived just one day after Vilde’s parents. IMG_6012

Here we are at our curch , family of God church. This is the youths gathered and exchanging gifts. We had secret santas and all which was very fun.

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SIGHTSEEING

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Close to Kathmandu Durbar Square   IMG_6136

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Nagarkot

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Beautiful view.

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MORE PREPARING FOR CHRISTMAS

Some help to make more christmas decorations.

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The boys making christmas decoration

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Decorating the christmas tree.

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A bit more christmas cookies needed.

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CHRISTMAS EVE

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Happy..

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Also happy..

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And me Happy..

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We were sad for a while because our christmas tree lacked christmas lights but Frida (Vilde’s younger sister) fixed that for us all. She went out and got some “nepali” lights for us which just made the day shine even more.

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Chritmas eve was also spent in our church with our church family were we were served dal bhat which was rather a surprise. We had just eaten “pinnekjøtt” (stick meat), so we were very full, but ate anyways. It was fun and we saw traditional nepali dance and plays and singing. It was a wonderfull evening that went by faster then one can imagin.

Today it is new years eve and i must say i miss Norway. I dont feel like Nepal knows that it is new years eve except some resturants with their “new years eve” menu, but I’m her spending it with Joakim so all in all its good. Vilde and her family left for Thailand on the 26th of December and are celabrating it Thai style i believe.

Well anyways HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE

Band…Election

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Time is passing by faster then what I would have liked it to. This is both because I am enjoying my time in Nepal and because I have a paper to write. When it comes to my paper, I wanted to interview some Nepali people. I started dreaming about all the people I wanted to interview. I wrote a list and made questions. It wasn’t before I was walking with Vilde to our usual language class Monday morning when I was brought out of my dreams and intro reality. The streets were empty and many of the shops were closed. People walking, people cycling, people were everywhere. It was BAND (band means: closed).

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Why was there a band? Well because of the election. Election with around 60 parties. However there was this party that was aginst this election. They did not support this election and tried therefore to hinder it. Vilde and I heard about bombs going off around in Nepal. Were we scared? Well… yes a bit, even though the area we live in was more peaceful with army people everywhere. We were advised by our friends and guardians to stay inside. Well this then meant that interviewing the people I wanted to interview became a challenge. I did not really want to go far and people did not really want to come to me. The whole plan then had to be postponed for one week. The band lasting for 10 days or so ended with the election on November 19, a Tuesday.

What I heard from some Nepali people was that for this election they hoped for a constitution. That was their biggest wish. Now only time will show what will happen.

On November 20, Vilde and I sat and had Nepali lessons. Right next to us, many, many people were standing in a crowd, waiting for the results. Mostly men were standing and waiting.

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November 22, today, the results was announced. People walking in around and crowding about celebrating and waving flags. Are people pleased with the outcome? Well it looks like it and the people we have met have not said anything that has proven otherwise.

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I am back

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Its gone such a long time since I last posted something. I have been quit bussy with language classes, traveling around Kathmandu Valley and henging with friends. So i thought now i would share something with you all again.

Nepal consists of many different ethnic groups with different traditions and believes. Because of this there are so many festivals and holidays here. One of the festivals is called Tihaar and is the second biggest festival. Vilde and I got to observe it very closly which was very fun.

Our great nepali teacher Samjhana told us about the Tihaar festival in details so thought I would share with you what I learned.

This year the festival lasted for 5 days. They (Hinduists and Buddists) never know for how long it will last because they follow the luna calendar.

1 Day (01.11.13): Kaag tihaar (crow tihaar)
The first day of tihaar they worship the crows, because they are their messengers. The People give them food and yellow and red powder.

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2 Day (02.11.13): Kukur tihaar (dog tihaar)
Today they worship the dogs. The dogs are thier securety gards. If they dont have a dog of thier own some worship the street dogs. Today they wash them, give them tikka and give them food including meat.

3 Day (03.11.13): Gaai tihaar (cow tihaar)
This day they worship the cows in the morning. They give them tikka and give them flower necklace around their neck.

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Later in the day, they worship Laxmi, the goddess of wealth.

Goddess Laxmi

Here you see some ladys cleaning a building with thootbrushes. They do this because Laxmi will come and look at the houses and see which is the nices one and see which house she will enter. If she enters a house it will bring much fortune on the family.

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Today is also quit special because they have something called Bahilo (a singing and dancing program). Some years back Bahilo was only for the girls. However today it is for both the girls and boys. They go from house to house, and sing and dance. They then get sel roti, fruit or money. If there, are bigger groups more organized by school or locals, they will be invited to some houses and entertain them for 1 or 2hours and then get a bigger sum of money and fruit.

Vilde and I got the opportunity to see and kind of participate on this Bahilo dancing and singing shows. Devendra, a former Hald student, whom we are going to work with for a short period of time at the schools he teaches at, included us when his school was going around. It was so interesting watching the students dance and sing.

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Devendra explaining the songs to Vilde

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4 day (04.11.13): Goru tihaar (ox tihaar) / (mhapujaa worhip (only for newari people))
This day is given to the oxes. This is because they used to and still are used in the farming. However today there is also used more technology.

mhapujaa, is the belief that there is a God in every part of your own body. This day is then also used to worship yourself.

Today there is also something called “Deusi”. This is dancing and singing just like the «Bahilo» on the third day. Before it used to only be for the boys but now in the modern day they just mix them. Girls and boys go together. This is the same as on the third day. They go from door to door, entertain and get something for it.

5 Day (05.11.13): bhaai tihaar (this is the main day and it is the brother tihaar)
Today the sister in the house has to give tikka to all her brothers. They give tikka with seven colors. She also gives gifts, dry fruit and other foods. The brother will do the same back to his sister. If you do not have a brother you can “make” one by giving tikka to someone who does not have a sister. This then makes you two brother and sister.

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The tradistional food for this festival is SEL ROTI. Nepali families make 200 or more because they eat, give when children come and entertain and when they get guests. WELL my point is that  VILDE my teammate who loves to cook, make wird deserts, and always wants to try things out found out that she wanted to make SEl ROTI. So the last day of Tihaar we tought we would join kind of by having sel roti. Here is the prosess:

Vilde has crushed a lot of rice, making it fine flour:

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Ready to be deepfried in oil.

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The first try.

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The result of the first one.

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Vilde, happy as can be continuing making more sel roties.

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Then ready to eat and drink nepali tea.

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Quick Summary

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Vilde and I are making our own food, Daalbhaat. For every time we make it the spices increase. We are getting better and better,. Our goal is to be as good as the locals.

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Friday: We got the opportunity to do some manual labor. We helped clean the Nbcbs’s garden.

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Saturday: We joined Rachel in her church. Here I experienced the wirdest feeling. I felt naked on my head!

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After church Rachel invited us to her home. We were served lunch, tasted great.

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Sunday: Sharad showed us one of the eldest churches. Every Sundays they have english worship meetings. That was so nice to finally be able to understand the whole happening from start to end. We also got to sing english songs which felt so great.

(Sharad, P.A. thomas, Vilde)

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Monday and Wednesday: Vilde and I have now started Nepali lessons. We are also having fellowship with children from “One way home”. We told them the story of the three piglets and the bad wolf. We then drew the story. It was so much fun because the kids were so exited and loved to draw.

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Tuesday: I showed Vilde where i have lived and the school i went to (KISC). It was so cool walking down the same streets i have walked so many times before. There were many changes. There were new stores and there was a lot of road work going on, but i was still able to recognize the roads and I got a lot of flashbacks.

My house (or the gate to my house):

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KISC:

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Road work:

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Vilde buying a ncall card for her phone:

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On our way home we chose to take the bus because we had walked for such a long time. When we took the bus it suddently took a wird turn. We knew we had taken the right bus so we got so confused. We then understood that it stoped to get more diesel. Vilde and i were laughing so hard. The bus was packed, but come on the bus must have diesel…

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Thursday: Preparing bible studdy. We needed inspiration so we went out and ate momo.  We went for a walk and sat close to the road. Here is a part of the road to the “Norwegian house” where we have Nepali lessons.

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We have now had three Nepali lessons. I know understand 1% more then before.  I am so pleased.

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My Identity

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confusedOne of my hopes coming to Nepal was to be able to better understand who I am. So when people or when I wonder “Kaja who are you” I know somewhat, what to answer. Am I Norwegian or Nepali was my main question. Coming to Nepal  was suppose to help me. However, by coming here I realized that it is not as easy as am I Norwegian or Nepali. The question now is also am I a “NEWARI”. Now what does that mean?

My birth name was, Rita Shresta. This means that I belong to the Newari group. There are many ethnic groups here in Nepal. They have all a language, which is quite different from each other, and the Nepali language. I have met many people who belong to the Newari group. When I inform them that I also am a Newari or was born in a newari family, they ask me if I know their language. I just look at them and say “no”. Then they tell me how important it is for me to know my own mother tongue. I am so confused. I tell them that “I think I will start learning Nepali first, and then maybe learn some newari”. They don’t really except this answer. They suggest that I learn it simultaneously. I just smile and allow them to teach me some Newari language. Therefore know I know how to say “ Taske balla” (very good).

I live in Kathmandu valley. As mentioned before it is made up of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. I live in Laitpure. Well, in all of these three cities there is a palace square. Many years back there used to be a ruler in each of the palaces that ruled Kathmandu valley. They were all newari people. The Kathmandu valley has a long history with the newari people. So, today most of the newari people are to be found in Bhaktapur were we visited on Wednesday. They have their own language, their own bricks for buildings houses, their own forms for windows, they have their own form for making old people socialize and they are very religious. When we were in Bhaktapur we got to see all of this.

Did I feel more at home there? Well I am not in such contact with my Newari side. However, by being in Nepal I am sort of forced to understand and learn more about the Newari people. I do not really mind this, but it can be too much sometimes. Wherever I go around in the Kathmandu valley, I meet people who are Newari or try to teach me more Newari. Therefore, now I also know “Sikke Balla” which aslo means “very good”.

I still think the biggest issue for me is am I a Norwegian or Nepali woman with Newari genes. Or does there need to be this or in the middle?

When Vilde and I were in Pokhara we went to many tourist places. We went and saw many things. The price for the tourists were sometimes 10x as much as for the Nepali people, and other times 5x more expensive. Well my point is that I could have easily “lied” and said that I was a Nepali. Now would that actually have been a lie? My passport says that I am a Norwegian citizen, but is my passport the one to define who I am? When people say to me that you are laying by saying, you are a Nepali woman. I think to myself really, why?

But then again on the other side, I sometimes prefer calling myself a Norwegian woman. When I am in difficult situations, I just say that I am Norwegian. Am I using it as an excuse to get out of the situation, or am I telling the true here as well?