Namaste! We arrived in Kathmandu on Wednesday afternoon and everyone was super excited to be here! For me, it has been 12 years since my last visit and I couldn’t wait to see if things had changed or just how much I remembered of this magical country.

My memory of all the sounds, smells and sights quickly cam flooding back as we drove from the airport to our hotel. It was good to be back and I think I was grinning from ear to ear at the anticipation of our adventure – both trekking and our experiences with the people.

The next morning we met by some of the wonderful TRIFC volunteers that were going to join us on a little sight seeing. Off we went to see Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath (the monkey temple) and finally lunch in Thamel with a little last minute shopping for necessary supplies for the trek.

Our final stop of the day was to visit the children at DHC. One of the sites that TRIFC has been helping to support. DHC is a home for disabled and disadvantaged children. Children with disabilities in Nepal are often shunned by their families, hidden away from the world or simply abandoned. They are considered to be suffering from a past life sin and therefore a disappointment and embarrassment to their families. TRIFC and others are working very hard to change how disabilities are perceived. After meeting this amazing kids at DHC, my heart breaks for all of the others that are not given the opportunity to thrive. We had a fantastic time with the kids. They were all so very sweet – singing songs with us and teaching us how to play drums, playing ping pong, basketball and soccer with us. Seeing their smiles and sheer joy with these simple activities, and how much love they have for everyone nearly had me in tears when we left. We got a cooking lesson from the kids and Amrit (the director of DHC), and shared a fabulous meal of Nepali food. Thank you TRIFC for all that you do for these amazing children, and for allowing us to spend some quality time with them. I think each one of us would be eager to talk about how special it was.

As we said goodbye and headed for our hotel, we also said goodbye to Nirmala, who spent the day with us and is probably the most inspiring woman I have ever met in person. She is blind but is an absolute firecracker! She has accomplished so much and wants nothing more in life than to help others like herself. She has devoted her life to this cause and I have no doubt she will make a significant change in this world. Nirmala – we all completely adore you! Thank you for spending so much time with us.

Today we are off to Pokhara and then a drive to Naya Pul where we will begin our 10 day trekking adventure. I’m so excited I couldn’t sleep (again), so am writing this at 4am. 🙂

I hope to be able to write again, but finding wifi might prove challenging. We shall see.

Love to all!

Stephanie, Beth, Harumi, Trish & Lee