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

Routine Vs Rituals

One of our students mentioned at check-in one morning that “routine has begun to set in”. The Urban Homestay portion of our semester can feel a bit tedious at times, it is one of our longest stays (~3 weeks!) in one place after all. Breakfast at Program House, Group Check-ins, Language Lessons and ISPs every is easy to fall into the routine of the walks around town.

There is routine, and then there are rituals. Your morning walk to the PH, your ISPs, your daily yoga practice..they can be routine or they can be rituals that help you ground yourself into a more mindful existence. Patan is one of the best places for a long stay: a historical city where you will find a god at every corner, art on every turn and numerous courtyards to have tea in. There is a saying that “Life is so subtle sometimes that you barely notice yourself walking through the doors you once prayed would open”.  As what feels like an eternity in Patan is coming to close, here are some memories from the last week that might have been overpowered by the sense of routine:

Student Excursion: Lakuri Bhanjhyang hike

Our first student excursion team took us for a hike to the hills where we all got a breath of much needed fresh air, some yummy daal bhaat and some time to journal as well.

Solo Travel Nepal 2017 Finalist Binita Jirel  came to chat with us about her experience about solo traveling in remote parts of Nepal and her learnings about risk management, planning and her sense of adventure. Solo Woman Tavel Challenge was started by Jason Shah (a previous Dragons instructor) and Pemba Sherpa, and one of our instructors, Kripa, was a grantee for the 2016 travel challenge.

Spoken Word Nepal / Word Warriors poets Yukta Bajracharya and Deepa Bohora came to share their poems and did a writing exercise with our students. Yukta is a pioneer poet in Nepal, sharing the joy of words through programs all over the country.

Student Excursion: Godavari Botanical Gardens

A relaxed picnic in one of the most beautiful gardens in the valley followed by a cozy movie night.

Film Screenings and Talk with Documentary Filmmaker Kesang Tseten

Kesang dai is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker from Nepal whose documentary films shed light on many social issues. We specifically watched The Desert Eats Us and Saving Dolma which show the stories of Nepali migrant workers in Gulf Countries. Kesand=g dai then joined us for a talk on Nepali migration to these countries.

‘We also watched a play, went climbing and celebrated Shiva Ratri with our families. Many went shopping, found cute courtyard coffee shops and some also visited the monkey temple. The official language classes and ISPs will come to a close soon but hopefully, you continue to find rituals in your routine (: