Following My Daughter to Nepal

By Crooked Trails participant, Jane Privateer

Jane and ama in NepalWhen my daughter traveled to Nepal with Crooked Trails in 2010, she returned and expressed the joy and excitement of her experience. She was cared for by an amazing family that provided her with love and guidance. I observed that she grew in so many ways. We decided to travel to Nepal in 2011 together with Crooked Trails. It was the experience of a lifetime for me.

Chris, our director, offered traveling suggestions that enhanced our journey. Before we arrived at the village, she suggested we take part in the community, to really extend into the daily life of our families. It gave me permission to really connect. We traveled to the village and my daughter and I were assigned the same family that she had stayed with last year. They now were my family too.

The first morning I was with my family, I awoke at 4:30 am. It was completely dark but I could hear people stirring outside. I fought my shyness and discomfort of not knowing the language or my new family well and got up. I put on my headlamp as there is no electricity available in the village at this time. I walked down the stair steps in our family’s village home and out the front door. I saw many women in flowing red saris outside their homes preparing the morning cooking fire and getting water. The water is only given to this village twice a day for 2 hours at 4:30 am and 4:30 pm.

To the left of the door, I saw my Ama (mother) breaking twigs and wood and starting her fire. I went over and sat down on the ground and she smiled and offered me a mat to sit upon. We did not say any words but looked deeply at each other with openness and warmth. My Ama knew me through pictures last year that my daughter had shown her. I knew my Ama through my daughter’s loving stories of her family the year before.

I observed her work and started to participate in snapping twigs. She looked up with a delightful bright smile and put her hand on mine. She giggled a bit and showed me the proper way to break the twigs and sticks so they would fit in her small cooking fire area. I then observed her stoke the fire with a metal tube that she blew into. I tried that too and she laughed at my novice approach. I kept observing and finally became proficient. The other women in the village were watching and smiling.

The connection was palpable. No words were necessary. We were communicated through a global language of respect, love and connection. I am grateful to Crooked Trails to provide an opportunity to travel with a purpose. My experience traveling with Crooked Trails affected me deeply and continues to be present with me in my daily life as a Nurse Practitioner in the United States.

Join Crooked Trails in Nepal this year! Applications now being accepted for Nepal Fall 2012.

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