Outlanderings

Adventures of Two Americans Living and Working in Nepal

Archive for the tag “austin”

The Disorienting Sounds of Football

Yesterday, I woke up early to a familiar, yet (in this instance) somewhat eerie noise – the sounds of a televised American football game: referee whistles blowing, the deeply-suave, cartoonish voices of sports commentators, and a dim background of cheering fans. With my head buried under a pillow, still trying to separate dream from reality, I thought, “Where am I?”

Sitting up, I realized I was indeed still in Kathmandu. But the blare of the football game trickling into my room had me second-guessing, and also hoping. Maybe if I followed the sounds I would find other sweet offerings from home, like some nachos, perhaps, or a buffalo wing or two. What if my friends were out there talking trash about each other’s respective teams while munching on guacamole? My excitement was building.

Shuffling out into the kitchen, though, I just found Travis sitting at the table, hunched over a cup of instant coffee and a bowl of muesli, streaming the Boise State Bowl Game on his laptop.

The disappointment was crippling.

Not only did I realize that there were no nachos to be had, but Travis’ laptop is robust enough to stream things off the Internet in Kathmandu?! Not. Fair.

It’s strange where our senses can take us, whether through familiar smells or sounds, and how they are powerful forces that root us firmly to a place. I am sure if the situation had been reversed and I had woken in my bed in Austin to the noise of roosters crowing, a million dogs barking, and women yelling in a foreign language it would have produced a similar sense of complete disorientation.

That said, I still want some nachos.

No Direct Flights from Boise to Bangkok? Shocking.

Over the past several months, this day has, at times, seemed like it would never come. At the same time, having spent so much time talking about it and planning for it, it’s also seemed like this day has always been with us, permeating our every conversation and activity. But now it’s finally here! Tomorrow we leave for our nine month stint living and working in Nepal. In all, there will be seven flights in between our departure city of Boise, Idaho, where we’ve been visiting Travis’ family, and our final destination of Kathmandu (where we’ll arrive after a brief, five day detour to Thailand.)

The school site we worked on last year with Edge of Seven in Nepal.

To give a little background, the proposition to move to Nepal came up several months ago, when Travis was offered a job as the lead designer and architectural fellow on a five village educational and infrastructure projectin the Solukhumbu Region of Nepal, where Mount Everest is located.

We’re not exactly college kids anymore, so a move of this caliber definitely required careful consideration and planning. On top of leaving our jobs, leasing our house in Austin, Texas, and cramming the belongings we didn’t sell into a 10-foot-by-10-foot storage unit, we also had to say farewell to our family, friends, and our little dog Chester, who will be well cared for by Travis’ sister Andrea and her boyfriend Brad while we are away. (Thanks Andrea and Brad!)

Chester: A Face Only Everybody Can Love

But, truth be told, we both felt right away that this was not an opportunity to be missed. Not only do we love Nepal, its culture and its people, but, having spent two months in Nepal last year working on an Edge of Seven school building project, we know there is much to be done there and are grateful for the opportunity to contribute in any way.

That said, there are many things we’ll miss about home, food being one of the first things that comes to mind outside of friends and family. I won’t take up space listing everything we’ll miss here, as I am sure anyone who plans to keep up with this blog will hear enough about our queso cravings and longings for basic electricity in the months to come.

For now, the plan is to arrive in Kathmandu next week and immediately begin working and apartment hunting. In addition to the Solukhumbu Development Project, I’ll also be pursuing other projects and work with NGOs based in Kathmandu and look forward to keeping everyone updated on new developments, adventures, and culinary experiences as they arise! We’ll be building the blog out a bit more over the coming weeks, so stay tuned, but if anyone has any topics they would like to learn more about or issues they’re curious about, please send us an email and suggest it for a blog post!

And before we officially get started on this journey, we have to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our amazing friends and family members, who have been there for us and helped us throughout this endeavor. We couldn’t do it without your support!

We are ready to get going. Next stop – Thailand!

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