The last few weeks have gone extremely crazy from visiting the White House Garden to presenting my research paper at Virginia Tech University. Since life has been moving from one event to the other, I haven’t actually been able to sit back, reflect, and then process. There’s another feeling of guilt that you haven’t been able to give time to your family as it is the festival month going on in Nepal. Blessed to have a family that has been the most understanding and accommodating. To write to my brother that I won’t be able to even have a call on the day of Bhai Tika was sad but the warm reply that he sent understanding the context was truly joyful to see him growing into a caring mature man.
To balance work and fun that too in a new country where there’s so much that you hadn’t seen and done before in itself is a challenge. But I am glad to have these warm people around me. I had been planning to go on a hike for quite some years now. Had planned it several times and then had to drop them off every time sometime because of my own work, the other times there was no one around to tag along. Though I love walking quietly whenever I am on a hike, I need someone to walk along on that quiet journey. So when Deepak came up with the hike plan, I had to make it happen for myself. Though I had to work around a lot on my schedule, I am glad as I look back to that day. Even without planning a lot, I was able to complete one of the difficult trails (that’s what my friends shared) in DC.
Studying all my life in the schools and universities of Nepal, I had a different fascination for the universities and libraries that are here. I am envious of the resources that the students who are studying here get access to. So to be in one of the classes and present my research adds a different meaning to it. Grateful that I have people around me who support me in my academic pursuits. Sweta di has always been that source of motivation and inspiration. She gracefully invited me and accepted me as her guest and hosted me in her house and supported me with the logistical arrangements. Also, grateful to Prof. Suchitra Sumanta for her graceful invitation to her classroom. I am mesmerized by her humility. Also, the interaction with the international students living at Mozaiko: A Global Living Learning Community at VT. When you see limitedness within you, life shows you how limitless it can get. My journey to Virginia Tech was something similar.
Then, coming back home to DC, I had a beautiful celebration of one of my fellow friends’ birthday. Two of my other co-fellows had cooked multiple dishes for her and what a wonderful celebration we had along with her. What a joy to celebrate her presence! Oh wow! how can I miss that quick energetic conversation with Nasrin, one of the Echidna alumna. She brought all the energy back to all of us that we had been lacking for a few weeks because of all the hassle that we have been through as we were.
That weekend then we made up our mind to visit National Harbor. Yet again, Deepak was the one to come up with the idea. Having someone like Deepak in life makes life fun to roll around with. The cold breeze, the lights, the aura of the harbor just made everything mesmerizing. It definitely made me miss my husband. It resembled the place that we both used to go on dates.
Washington DC has helped me explore different sorts of music. Riyaaz Qawwali and classical Karnatik music was something I witnessed live and was mesmerized by both amid the celebration of Tihar. Apart from that to celebrate Laxmi Pooja away from home for the first time was an experience. And yeah, cooked my first selroti too and sent it to my mother. She was definitely on cloud nine for my initiative.
One of my first experiences was to work amid these celebrations. In Nepal as the holiday week was going on, here I was swamped with work commitments. From presenting to the global team to participating in Designing for Empathy Summit, last two weeks was all events. Finally to find this day myself to have a full day rest and sleep feels like a privilege.