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Trek View on Nepal: Himalayan Studies Gap Year Semester with Where There Be Dragons


My first week in Nepal has excited all of my senses.  New sensations have surprised them, familiar sensations have comforted them, and the combination of the two has made me more aware of all of my senses than I have been in a long time.

Sound, in particular, has fascinated me. I am accustomed to the city noises around my house: sirens, car horns, people shouting, trains rumbling by, air conditioning or heating whirring. Bhaktapur has provided me with an entirely new combination of sounds.  Each morning the first noise I have become aware of is the birds chirping.  As the sun starts to burn through the morning haze, other noises emerge: bells ringing, dogs barking, cars honking, people shouting, the occasional cow mooing.  I am unaccustomed to the sounds I consider so urban to exist alongside the sounds of nature.

The other morning I created a “sound map”, where I placed myself in the middle of the page and recorded the sounds I heard around me.  I will try to recreate it here, although I’m not sure I can capture something as dynamic as my messy handwriting on the computer.

Sound Map:    Car Rumble —> growing                                                        dogs yipping

cars                plane (w/ arrow passing overhead)plane (“)    siren           dogs

hammering   horn                                           honk                               woof

car horn                         bells           machine whirring               bells       woof

water running                  motorbike            bells            bells       honk

siren                                  voices, phone, water  ME  Caw, twitter   yip

Wooof Woof                             light clangs   Caw,Caw  chip  tweet

yip yip                            slam        chip                      door slamming

bells                     hammering