Days 1 ~ 31
Traditions of Nepal
June 28th: We will begin our journey in Newark before heading east to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal!
June 30-2nd: We will meet Amrit at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, before heading to Bhaktapur, one of Kathmandu Valley’s three ancient kingdoms, where we will have time to orient and immerse ourselves in Nepal through various activities, discussions & explorations.
July 3rd-8th: The following morning, we will fly to Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest city, in the mid-hills of central Nepal, before driving to the village of Waling and Ale Gau (the home of the Ale family & Amrit’s village). We will spend a total of 6 days here, participating in everyday rural life, from early morning milking of buffaloes, planting rice fields and preparing dinner with our host families. At this time we will also be doing our student-led service learning project, or “learning service,” in a local school where we will learn with and from the local students.
Our mornings will consist of student led daily morning meetings, language classes, and discussions on a variety of topics including ethnic diversity, religious traditions, development and the values/challenges of Service Learning.
July 9th-11th: From Ale Gau we will trek into the mid-hills surrounding the village to the village of Sirikot, explore the surrounding villages and have the opportunity to meet with the local jankri or shaman. During this time we will be staying in homestays along the way.
July 12th-15th: Saying goodbye to Waling, we drive back to Pokhara for our flight to Kathmandu. Once in Kathmandu we will visit Boudha, a Tibetan Buddhist part of the city before beginning our 2-day meditation retreat at Kopan Monastery, one of Nepal’s largest monasteries perched on the rim of Kathmandu Valley. Our retreat will be led by an experienced Tibetan Buddhist teacher, and is a great opportunity to delve into a personal experience of Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy, meditation and practice.
July 15th-25th: Following our retreat, we will begin our 10-day urban home stay in the old Nepali kingdom of Patan, just a short drive from Kathmandu. Living in a Newari community, we will focus on Nepal’s ethnic, religious and ecological diversity through classes, lectures & guest speakers and discussions, and Independent Study Projects. The intention of this time is deep immersion into the culture using your increasing language skills, spending time with host families and ISP mentors, bargaining at the local bazaar, or market, and independently exploring the city.
During this time you can expect the schedule to be as follows. Monday through Friday you will come to the program house in the morning for optional yoga and/or meditation, breakfast, Nepali language lessons, a guest speaker or an instructor or student led lesson/discussion followed by lunch.
Afternoons will be dedicated to your Independent Study Projects (ISPs), where each of you will dig deep into an aspect of the culture that most interests you. During this time you will be using public transportation to move around on your own, exploring the city independently. Weekends will be dedicated to spending time with your family and student led excursions to various places throughout the city.
July 25-26th - These last few days of our course are dedicated to reflecting on our journey thus far, preparing for our journey home, and it is a time to celebrate!
July 27th- Afternoon flight home! ...