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Hi from Kalimpong!

Hi Yak Board,

We are in Kalimpong still and we started our homestays last night. I really love Kalimpong, especially compared to Kolkata and Siliguri. Kalimpong seems different than Kolkata in almost every way. While Kolkata was noisy, hot, and smelly, Kalimpong is quieter, cool, and misty, and full of natural smells. Since we have no phones, it lets me feel super connected to the nature and myself. I also surprisingly love the food. It’s my first time having Indian food and the food Sharon’s family has made at the program house in great.

The homestay is not exactly what I expected. I was hoping to live with a large family and to have multiple brothers and sisters, but I have none. My baba (dad in Nepali) and aama (mom) are very nice, and baba knows English very well and likes to talk to me, while aama does not. I am hoping to be more included in their lifestyle in the future (cooking, cleaning, and going to town).

We had our second Nepali lesson today where we learned some more phrases, half of the consonants, and a song. The most important phrase for me in: Malai Nepali ali ali matrai aunchha, which means “I don’t speak very much Nepali.” It doesn’t seem like I will be speaking much Nepali with my homestay family as baba speaks very good English, but it’s also on me to ask him to help me learn it. I may want to continue learning some Nepali when I come home. I have drank so much chai tea (3 cups today already!). After lunch I will meet my ISP mentor. I am doing silver smithing in town. I’m excited to go to the monastery and to go to the rural homestay (hopefully I will have younger brothers and sisters!).