One of these is dancing. Judging from the children’s moves, Nepalese seem to be natural born dancers- UK volunteers not so much. But despite the difference in rhythm and talent, you find yourself dancing together- and it doesn’t matter anymore whether you know three, or five thousand words in Nepali.
Similarly, singing allows us to express ourselves without language. We can attempt to learn the lyrics, without having any clue what they mean. Many silences are filled, and many moods lifted, with the sound of Nepali folk music, from which you can never be too far away. Wherever you go, dance and music are languages that are universal.
Another time when words are unneeded, is when you are handed a hot cup of spicy sugary chiya (tea). There is an unspoken mutual appreciation found in sharing a cup of tea. Before the day begins, you can sit together with your host family, and if you are lucky enough, watch the Himalayas appear through the clouds. It is also very much appreciated in our group tasks. Many of our sessions are focused on planning for the weeks ahead, or reflecting on days past. It is nice to take a moment to remember where you are right now; surrounded by hills, corn fields, families, goats and washing lines. Amongst the hard work, activities such as dancing, singing, and drinking chiya, allows you to be in the present with the people of Ripthok.
Written By UK Volunteer Sylvie (November Charlie 1)