Antioch Engagement Nepal News Outreach

Antioch Reflection: Nepal

Written by Antioch Servant Aliceann Trostle

June 21-July 22, 2019

When first arriving to Nepal, we were told we brought the rain with us: the rainy season had been long awaited and our arrival day was the first day of true rainfall. Although it didn’t last and we suffered two more weeks of dry, hot weather, our first night there still felt like something special was beginning to happen. Once you get used to the lack of air conditioning, the warmth of the country became wonderfully inviting (although fans remained your best friends). I personally believe my tolerance for spicy food also increased, as I was exposed to some of the most wonderful and unique cuisine I’d ever experienced. The fashion, culture, and community left me in awe everyday when I stepped outside.

Our first day in the school was extremely nerve-wracking for me, especially being surrounded by Lizzie, Jody and MaryAnn, all of whom teach or will teach for a living. I felt out of place, inexperienced, and anxious. However, it only took about 10 minutes with the students and teacher for those feelings to quickly vanish. Everyone was gracious and immediately inviting, despite the fact that I’m certain they felt the same nervous feelings. After a few days, it felt like a schedule I’d been accustomed to for months. Everyday, I was greeted by the cutest and warmest smiles, hugs, and giggles from the most adorable 3rd graders I’d ever seen. I learned all of their names (including how they were spelled) within two days of being there, and they all knew my name as well. After a week, the school and the classroom felt like home. After 4 weeks, I was nowhere near ready to leave behind the students and staff. What seemed so foreign in the beginning of our month in Nepal felt so familiar by the end of it, making it multitudes more difficult to leave than it was to arrive. I’ll never forget the experiences, memories, and the friends I made on this trip; I will carry a piece of Kathmandu, Nepal with me at all times.