Nepal is not a rich country. Where I was living in a village, what they have compared to what most of us is scarce. Nepal is however rich in its people. These people are of the most gregarious and welcoming I have ever met.
I was welcomed by the village as family. As time went by and I remained there for six months, I had my close friends I would spend time with. When I would be walking by their house, I’d be invited in by the whole family to come and stay a while: to eat, to drink, to dance, to just spend time and hold their baby. We’d husk dried corn to make popcorn, they’d teach me to milk a cow or to use their tools to harvest grain. We’d bathe together in the waterfalls or just sit and enjoy the sunshine. We’d drink so much tea.
One day my friend and I were at her home, as we sat in her one room home, I sat on her bed while she stirred the fire that was her stove in the corner of the room. She gifted me a jar of very special pickled veggies she had made herself. These pickled veggies were absolutely insane and delicious. She knew how much I enjoyed these. It was truly such a meaningful gift.
And just to add to this… I recall right after the earthquake in 2015, volunteers and myself (with All Hands Volunteers) were clearing a fallen home up in the foothills near Kathmandu. This took days of throwing the rocks and bricks into piles. Using shovels and pick-axes to take away the fallen debris, especially the wedged in doors and windows. We would unearth a lot of things that had been covered in the sudden quake… clothes, jewelery…and a jar of pickled veg. We pulled it out and the Nepalese woman came over, opened up the jar, smelt it…and then we all indulged in her delicious pickled veg found amongst the debris.