I don't know where to start with this blog post - so much has happened in the last two weeks. Judy and Rob and the Canadian students arrived in Kathmandu with a bang and a bit of culture shock. I don't know what was more overwhelming, the traffic and lack of any kind of road rules, the burning fires on the streets, lack of power (currently there is only four hours of electricity a day in Kathmandu bc of water shortages), the no toilet paper in the toilet rule, or just everything being the exact opposite of Canada!!!
After three days of craziness in the city, we headed out to the ten day hike in the Helambu region. I don't know what was heavier the clothes in all the packs of the amount of chocolate and junk food the kids bought for the hike. I think they were anticipating NO FOOD in the hills. I swear they each had at least 15 chocolate bars and packs of cookies, but shortly after the first day they starting to realize how heavy everything was and were unloading the junk to anyone willing (luckily Cory and I were willing:-) I was thinking it was a smart thing to do until at every lodge we stayed at for the next nine nights they proceeded to buy the lodge and village out of all chocolate and cookies available. I have never seen people consume so many Mars and Snickers in my life - it was quite impressive. I don't know if it was because of the multitude of choices for each meal (Dal bhat for dinner and noodle soup and potatoes for lunch every day) that caused the chocolate crave but whatever it was it was keeping the villages in business for the next 10 years.
The Hike was beautiful, although after having no rain for six months we were lucky enough to have rain every day for a at least three hours and a few storms to boot. We stopped by many schools that Judy and Rob and the kids had fund raised for and brought supplies too. In Sermatang the last stop and the home of the Yangerma school that Judy and Rob had supported until it was closed by the Moaist in 2001 (they bombed the school and wrecked everything in it, as well as told them they had to close the school). Previous students presented Judy and Rob and the students with a ceremony recognizing their support. They are re-opening the school on April 14 this year after being shut down for the past 8 years, due to civil conflict so we wish them the best of luck!!
The town also held a special cultural night for us to attend to. It was all going well as the villages taught us their cultural dance until they ended it and turned to us Canadians saying - "Now Your Turn!". So what do the Canadians come up with to teach as our cultural dance??? The Macarena, The Chicken Dance and The Hookie Pookey!!! The women loved it!! There we were up at 3,000 metres doing the Macarena with the villagers......who would have thought!
It was an amazing time, we loved every minute of it and can't wait to get out hiking again (well sort of:-)
Love K and C