Week number four at Sunrise English Boarding School began to feel like another home in itself. There are certain love-hate psychological see-saws that come with being a teacher of small children. For example, I began to love the smiles, waves, and sheer joy they expressed to me each morning as I walked onto the school grounds. A high-five here, a fist bump there, and a “good morning, sir!” everywhere. I began to dislike the way the Nepal sun seems to be piercing through every possible crevasse or opening, like in that brief moment when a car pulls into the driveway of a home and its headlights cast stark shadows on even the most obscure objects in the house. When you are not standing in the Nepal sun, you begin to freeze. I began to love the teachers and principals as I learned all their names, what kind of food they ate at lunch every day, and how long each of them had been at Sunrise. I began to dislike the food given me, but after a single incident only: all in one school night a violent fit of vomiting and diarrhea overtook me and I was rushed to the hospital. The doctor, at hearing my symptoms, told me I probably had an infection of Giardia, a single-celled parasite in combination with some sort of food-borne infection. Overnight, I was given 5 liters of fluids and restored back to health, and took with me a prescription for Giardia, which worked wonderfully.
The Host Home
In week three at the host home, before my sudden illness, I asked my host mother, Usha, to teach me how to make their traditional Nepali hot sauce called Achaar. I cannot dispel the secret, but I can say that it is made with a mortar and pestle and takes some time to prepare, even for small amounts. It is a very concentrated, tangy mixture that has the consistency of guacamole and salsa mixed, and adds the perfect amount of spice to the traditional lentils and rice meal. One night that evening, Anshu and I played cards. When Anshu got tired of winning every game, we decided to come up with a new card game. I grabbed the badminton racquet and we took turns pitching and batting all 52 cards all around the room, some of which took all evening to find after they went flying. We then took some selfies and Anshu was chewing some pretty obnoxious candy with her mouth open. Over the next month my goal was to teach her how to chew with her mouth closed.