The exhausting 22 hours plane ride, unusual bed times and powerful aches are all bearable for a vacation to Nepal, my home and one of the third world countries. Many associate Nepal with poverty, corrupt government and Mt. Everest, but I see it as a country comprised of rich culture, kind people and most of all it has been an eye opener to me.
Every time I get a chance to visit Nepal, I feel as if it is the best gift my parents could ever give me. Before landing, I can get a feeling in my heart that is a mixture of relief, anxiousness, and excitement. Although America and Nepal are very different in systems and customs, I barely have a difficult time to adapt. I feel as if I am obligated to accept the differences and enjoy my time to the fullest.
The minute I step out of the airplane, I can already begin to feel the differences between America and Nepal. The Airport does not have air condition or clean bathrooms therefore the smell of sweat, pollution and unsanitary bathrooms will welcome one to Nepal. I never complain about the situation because it allows me to be thankful for the things that I take for granted here in America. As I get out of the airport, I am surrounded by my relatives, who have waited for years, for that moment. Some tears are shed, with the mixture of laughter. The excitement and the relief make up for the pollution and foul smell.
The first week flies by really fast because it is filled with reuniting, eating delicious foods, and by giving gifts to all the family members. Since we are from the amazing country of America, everyone expects some kind of gift even if it’s a box of chocolates. After the first week, my family and I go to our dad’s village Yampa, in order to visit his family and to escape the bizarreness of the city life. We prefer the greenery and the freshness of the village. Life in the village is more difficult than the city’s. There is no air-condition, no indoor plumbing and the electricity goes out often. Sometimes, I find it hard to believe that my grandparents actually love to live there and they wouldn’t trade places with us for anything.
My grandparent’s house is one of the most recognizable houses in the village. Since it’s on the side of the highway, even travelers recognize Yampa because of the house. Every time my family and I go there, we are treated like foreigners especially by the little kids. It is a grief that we are treated like outsiders in our own country. The kids stare at us mysteriously and admiringly, hoping to get a treat from America. We take candies with us to give to the kids. They take it with such joy that they make me feel guilty for all the times that I would be mad at my parents for not buying my favorite outfit or technology. They make me realize that we shouldn’t be too caught up with things in order to be like the rest of the world. Since there are no technologies to distract me, I often sit on the veranda and watch the kids play and work, unaware of the world around them. For them, Yampa is their home, country, and the world. They may not be aware that they have shaped me into a less selfish and a more thankful person but I could never thank them enough for opening my eyes.
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