It suddenly occurred to me that I have been living in Nepal for the past 21 years, and I wanted to let you know – ‘Why?’
I knew I wanted to be in Nepal the moment I set foot on its soil. I’d come for a three-week vacation of trekking, river rafting, and Terai safari. The three weeks flew by, and I found myself sobbing uncontrollably as I watched Kathmandu vanish beneath me from the window of my return flight to the UK.
It took me three months to return, in April 2001 – I’ve never looked back, and I’ve loved every minute of my experience and growth here.
So, what is it that keeps me here? The first reason, I believe, is the people and everyone’s welcoming nature. In this country, I’ve never felt like a stranger, and I’ve found so much friendship and willingness to help. I’m fascinated by and never get tired of different cultures, religions, traditional dress, and, of course, food.
Aside from the people, it is impossible to write about Nepal without mentioning the sheer awe-inspiring beauty that can be found everywhere from the soaring Himalayas to the flat lowlands of the rice-laden paddy fields of the Terai. As a foreigner, I appreciate the architecture of ancient temples, monuments, and even small, product-laden shops in places like Ason.
Another reason is the ability I have to contribute my skills to those in need. A personal goal for my time here has been the challenge and never-ending road of teaching English. We all know how important English is and has become in Nepal, and I feel a strong desire to contribute my skills to help everyone gain a better understanding of it.
Over the past 21 years, I have assisted students in a variety of ways while working for both the British Council and my own company, English For All. For example, students to study abroad and achieve their goals, business people to advance in their careers, mothers and fathers to improve their language skills in order to communicate more effectively with their children, and government ministries to communicate with their foreign counterparts. Every time, the immense satisfaction I get from seeing someone improve is worth every minute of my time.
There are far too many other reasons to write here, but I’ve always said that if I feel elation as I fly out of this beautiful country, my time here is up. I’m fairly certain it won’t happen.
Thank you so much for making me feel so welcome.