Bizarro World

I’ve seen this done in way too many other PCV blogs. Due to necessity only will I reproduce an email I sent to my parents. Enjoy.

To: Parents
From: Scott
Subject: Bizarro World
Date: 2002-04-10 10:25 a.m.

Namaskar from Nepal!

Here’s a short update since I have the time to write one. I forget what I’ve mentioned previously. I do much writing to many people. I’ve lost track. Life in Nepal is constantly spiraling out of control, or at least the illusion thereof.

So my new home will be Birganj (also spelt “Birgunj”) as of the 8th (or thereabouts) of May. Look it up on map, it’s probably there. If not just imagine a straight line (somewhat) due south from Kathmandu and when you hit the Nepal/India border—bam!— home sweet home.

Currently I’m here in Birganj looking for a deraa. There is a volunteer from my group who has been placed here as well, along with another volunteer who has been transferred to Birganj from Maoist Central.

Seems that the Maoists might soon be inclined to burn down her school. So the two ladies are living together and I’m thinking of a place by myself. There are two volunteers who live in Birganj and will for another 14 months. They’ve been great by showing us around town. I’ve had it pretty easy, really.

Lentils, or daal, drying in the sun in front of my house.

Lentils, or daal, drying in the sun in front of my house.

Deraas here in Birganj are usually a section of a house where a family lives, meaning you have a separate part of the house with several rooms. I’ll probably have a bedroom, common room, kitchen, patio, and then a toilet of some fashion.

I found a place that was great, except for the kitchen. Scary. I’ve been running errands in Birganj. We’re supposed to visit a few offices to make our presence known (and approved).

This morning we went to the DEO (like a superintendent’s office) and the CDO (like a governor of sorts), both moderately fruitless, but very telling of the next few years.

Life in Birganj, like I’ve said before, is truly a mix of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark with Mad Max: Enter the Thunderdome. I’ll let that run around your imagination.

Adjusting has been difficult and overly enjoyable. Nepali people are patient and talkative. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people on buses and tempos about which fruits they prefer, whether or not tomorrow will be hotter, if bisye milk is better than yak milk, et cetera. They’ll talk to you about anything.

For all who have written, I’ve read your letters dozens of times. (The same with the online posts, which are wonderful.) Life is going to be just fine here, even though Peace Corps life can seem like a meat grinder.

The other PCVs are fine people, and the experiences are life changing. I think I’m joining my colleagues for momos in a few minutes, so I’m going to go.