Monday, 23 December 2013

Town in the hills

After three months of language training, cultural orientation and project planning, I am at last starting to work on the project in my placement area, Lamjung.  It's very exciting, if a little daunting. The  difficulty I have experienced learning spoken Nepali has left me feeling inadequate in that field, and now I really do need the language, but I'm sure, with daily practice I will become more confident and proficient.

Lamjung is a district of Nepal, set in the foothills of the Annapurna range, about 7 hours travel by bus north-west from Kathmandu. I am now based in a smallish town called Besisahar, which is at the end of the tarmac road, with only tracks beyond leading up into the hills and mountains. The long 12-14 day Annapurna Circuit Trek starts here, although it is possible to catch a jeep ride up the track to the next small town and save on some of the distance. Besisahar is the administrative base for Lamjung District, districts being the equivalent of counties in the UK.  The town, perched on a small ridge, is surrounded by hills and rivers full of blue-green glacier meltwater.

The town itself has a bustling main street lined on both sides with small shops, which seem to sell most everyday things one would need; even mobile phones and motorbikes. Locally grown fresh bananas and oranges are sold from stalls and baskets by the roadside and are delicious.

The most spectacular thing about the town has to be the views of the snow-capped mountains to the north. The view from the hotel balcony at 6am on my first morning there was breathtaking. Worth getting up early just to enjoy it!

This town is to be my home for the next two years. I can't believe how lucky I am to be sent to work and live in such a spectacular place. What an adventure!!

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