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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

A home full of brothers

I’ve never had brothers before; I have two sisters, so much of what I grew up with was more American girl dolls than toy trucks. So when I got to my home-stay two weeks ago I was apprehensive about having four new little brothers. However, I quickly came to love my new family and enjoyed spending my afternoons playing tag and soccer with my brothers. It didn’t take me long to realize that my home-stay brothers are quite similar to my sisters at home. The youngest one, Sakshyam, reminds me much of my younger sister, Ava. He’s always talking and loves being the center of attention. Often times I come home to him begging me for a piece of candy or to go play with him. It’s an exciting and fun change to have brothers, and there’s certainly less drama surrounding who stole whose clothes.

My experience with my host family is very similar to the rest of this trip. We are constantly learning how to adapt to new and unfamiliar situations, and eventually we become comfortable with them. I like to believe that in order to grow as a person you must first be put in uncomfortable situations. Throughout my life I’ve tried my best to learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable, and that has proven useful in the last three weeks. I came onto this trip knowing that my comfort level would be pushed; I can already tell that mine has. At first, I wasn’t too confident walking down the streets, but now I can find my way around without panicking about getting lost.

This trip has been just as much getting to know myself as it has been getting to know about the culture and people around me. Although I didn’t come here hoping to have some sort of self-revelation, I’m realizing that I’ve grown more from this short time in Nepal than any other time I’ve spent abroad. Having the opportunity to open up to the other students on this trip has allowed me to trust those around me, and I feel like I’ve known them all for much longer than just a few weeks. Learning about new subjects such as development and Hinduism has opened my eyes to different opinions and problems we face in the world.

This new world that I’m living in has given me the opportunity to grow as an individual, and for that I’m incredibly grateful. It’s only been a few weeks, so I can only imagine how I will feel at the end of this journey. I’m hopeful and excited for what’s to come.