My time in Khanikhola – Laurien Van Balen

From the moment I arrived at Kathmandu airport, I was confronted with the chaos of this country, but also with the openness and hospitality of the people. Many people started to talk to me, asked me where I was from and helped me with claiming my baggage.  When I got my baggage, I came out of the airport, and there was Ajay, with a big smile on his face, and a paper with my name on it. I immediately recognised him from the pictures I saw before I came, and he welcomed me very enthusiastically. Outside the airport, there was even more chaos than inside. A parking full of people and cars, honking their horn. People walking in the middle of the street. But I was very happy to be a part of this chaos.

I arrived in the evening, so it was already dark. In the car on the way home I could see all the lights of the cities and the villages. The men in the car were laughing and asking me all kinds of questions, so I felt really good. Once we arrived, I could see the silhouettes of the mountains in the moonlight, and even in the dark I was impressed by the view. When we got to the house, I met everybody and they were all so welcoming. I was tired from my long travel, so I went to sleep pretty early that night, excited for what the next day would bring.

I arrived during a school holiday, so I could sleep in the next day. When I woke up and came out of my room, I was amazed by the view. The garden was full of beautiful flowers, and behind I could see some houses, green mountains with farm terraces full of all kinds of vegetables and even some himalayas. It was breathtaking.  While I was admiring the view, I was offered some coffee, and I was immediately made part of the family.

I have been in Khanikhola for almost one month now, and Global Home really feels like my home. Every morning when I get up, I’m still amazed by the view, and part of my morning is just sitting and staring at the mountains, because I want to take it in as much as possible. Ajay and Bina are so nice and friendly, and Bina is an amazing cook. We cook most of the meals together with her, and every time it tastes so good. ‘Derei mito’(Super tasty) And we laugh a lot. A lot, a lot, a lot. And then there’s Immi. She’s so cute, and always running around with a smile on her face.

The holiday has been over for 4 days now, so since then I have been volunteering in the school, and I absolutely love it. I mostly play with the kids, and do some creative writing or other exercises with them, and I love every single one of them. They are very smart and eager to learn new things about me, my country, politics, english, and so much more. When we arrive in the school in the morning, all the children smile at us and ask us how we are. It’s so nice.

I am leaving in 20 days, and I really wish I could stay longer.

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