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22 January 2011

Nepal #7: Time to Meet the Crew!

It's about time, I'd say. Over the three weeks the group changed, depending on the activity (trekking or not trekking), the state of our stomachs, and of course flight delays. In total we had:
  • 8 Cornell students (Morgan, Ryan, Alex, Alberto, Mike, Jen, Karla, and me)
  • 4 Cornell instructors (Dave, Jim, Katie, Zac)
  • 1 Urja (awesome trek organizer and leader of the porters)
  • 6 Nepali students that joined us for the home-stay and trek (Kusum (Karla and my homestay friend!), Ratna, Sarita, Ashwin, Ruby, and Shiba)
  • Lots of porters on the trek (whose names I sadly do not all remember, but Karla does!)
  • Our own homestay families
In mine, Karla, and Kusum's case our home-stay family in Mane Gaoun (Mane Village) consisted of our Shoba didi and Rajendra dai and their two kids (daughter Soni Bahini, 7 and son Susil Bai, 3), our dai's mother (we called her ama, grandmother). We also had two Bhutan refugees living with us named Sita and Januka, who were probably a few years older than us. Here's a picture of us with our home-stay family (missing Rajendra dai and Januka):

Below are the Nepali students that joined us. They all study (or studied) in Kathmandu and speak English very well (which was super helpful during our home-stay!). Most of them were doing their Master's in botany, sociology, or anthropology, and they all had some connection with the Cornell Nepal Study Program in Kathmandu. They were all really fun, interesting, and smart! We had a great time together. Thanks to Facebook we will keep in touch :)

From left to right: Ratna (we shared a tent on the trek), Kusum (home-stayed together), and Sarita (she squeezed in with me and Ratna when it was soooo cooollllddd on the trek)

From left to right: Ashwin (full name Obindra), Shiba (short for Shibaraj), and Ruby (short for Rabindra)

Here's a picture with almost all the Cornell students on a day hike from the village to Satdobate:

From left to right: Ruby, Me, Alex, Jen, Mike, Morgan, Karla, Kusum, Ratna, Jim, Ashwin, Sarita, Zac, and Ryan. The only one missing is Alberto, who decided to stay in the village for the trek and study architecture (he's an architect at Cornell).

Here's a group picture of everyone that went on the trek. It was taken by Katie Walker on Rabindra's camera.

What's incredible is that for typical treks there are WAY more porters that go along. Since we weren't expecting them to carry our clothes/personal items and since they weren't dragging along all kinds of luxuries like chairs and western food we could have a smaller group. All the porters were really nice and fun to hang out with!

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