My Nepalese Home

See Part I of my Nepal journey here

While in the village we stayed with the family of our friend, Netra. After walking down the hill from the rocky road where we parked our car, we made a short hike through a beautiful cornfield and past a cabbage patch before arriving at amma’s house (amma is the Nepalese term for ‘mother’).

My Nepalese Home - Life in the rural village of Dhungkharka, Nepal where the local school and community center is being rebuilt by DEFT Community

My Nepalese Home - Life in the rural village of Dhungkharka, Nepal where the local school and community center is being rebuilt by DEFT Community

In the corn fields

We were welcomed immediately upon our arrival by amma and her big family.

Despite the language differences (I speak no Nepalese and my new family spoke no English) and the fact that I’ve always thought of myself as a ‘city girl,’  Dhungkharka quickly became another home to me.

Where we stayed consisted of two main buildings, two outhouses (one with a squat toilet and the other with a Western style toilet and a shower), and a vast mountainside of land used for crops.

My Nepalese Home - Life in the rural village of Dhungkharka, Nepal where the local school and community center is being rebuilt by DEFT Community

The larger of the two buildings was 2 floors and an attic. The ground floor housed the families animals– goats (and baby goats!), hens, a rooster, a cow, and buffalo.

My Nepalese Home - Life in the rural village of Dhungkharka, Nepal where the local school and community center is being rebuilt by DEFT Community

Peter devoted himself to catching this rooster– he was never successful

My Nepalese Home - Life in the rural village of Dhungkharka, Nepal where the local school and community center is being rebuilt by DEFT Community

The rooster master (the only one among us who managed to catch that crazy animal!)

The next floor had bedrooms for the family and the top was an attic previously used for storing grain and other necessities.

My Nepalese Home - Life in the rural village of Dhungkharka, Nepal where the local school and community center is being rebuilt by DEFT Community

Checking out the attic

Although the building was still standing, there were several cracks and visible construction flaws that we noticed. How terrifying must it be to sleep here never knowing if an earthquake might come that causes the building to collapse?

This is a very real possibility when you are living in a seismic zone. The second building (where I slept) was two floors before the earthquake caused the top floor to collapse. A makeshift roof now covers the two rooms on the ground floor which have become a bedroom (with three beds) and a kitchen.

My Nepalese Home - Life in the rural village of Dhungkharka, Nepal where the local school and community center is being rebuilt by DEFT Community

My Nepalese Home - Life in the rural village of Dhungkharka, Nepal where the local school and community center is being rebuilt by DEFT Community

Amma and her entire family (her sons, their wives, and their children) all live together in these two buildings. I couldn’t believe the sacrifice they had made by giving up 3 beds every night for our group.

Throughout our stay amma and her family continued to show incredible generosity. They kept us full of dal bhat and tea (more on the amazing food and drinks we had soon) and were so warm and friendly that I  forget now looking back that we didn’t actually exchange any words in a shared language aside from namaste (hello/general greeting) and dhanyabad (thank you). 

My Nepalese Home - Life in the rural village of Dhungkharka, Nepal where the local school and community center is being rebuilt by DEFT Community

my amma and me

When it was time to leave amma told me that she hoped I would come back soon and not to forget about her before giving me one of the necklaces she was wearing. She spent the rest of the morning hugging me and smiling at me and it made me even more sad to be leaving.

My Nepalese Home - Life in the rural village of Dhungkharka, Nepal where the local school and community center is being rebuilt by DEFT Community

It will  be months before I am able to personally return to Dhungkharka to see amma and my Nepalese home, but the experience has only further motivated me to do what I can to help her and her family from here in Hong Kong.

Help support the rebuilding of the local school and community centre in Dhungkharka and learn more about the project through my blog and on our crowdfunding campaign here

  • Patti

    You are having the best adventures!

  • Jennifer S.

    Sounds like an amazon experience!

  • What a beautiful journey!

    xo,
    Esther