We made it to Pokhara! Over a week has past very fast and we’re all getting settled in the city of the Anna Purna mountains. One of my favorite things about Pokhara, apart from being so close to nature, is the enormous variety of cafes to sit and relax in. We are spoiled with options of vegan, vegetarian and even ayurvedic (ancient Indian medicine) cafes, bars and restaurants. And if you love music, there are many spots offering live shows/spontaneous jams. Just this morning I was sitting at the Juicery café listening to a foreign man playing the violin, at the same time as zipping a great Americano. And yes, the whole scene was overlooking the Fewa lake. Dreamy no?

Today we had a lesson about non-violent communication. We watched a video with the great thinker Rosenberg, about his mediation strategies between groups of teachers killing each other verbally to tribes killing each other physically. He talks about people’s ability to put on different ears (he’d refer to the ears of a giraffe) to listen to other’s needs. Further on he explains how we express what we feel and need in an honest way without making blames and judgements. He says that the ability to not express our needs in the right way, feeds the arm manufacturers and the pharmaceutical companies (anti-depressive pills). The lesson came on time since we are in the first stages of the challenge in writing a group paper, now we have some real methods to use in our upcoming discussions and attempts at honest and satisfying communication.

My group is a group of four: me, Monica, Vilde and Kristian. We decided to write about Tibetan refugees in Nepal, a quite sensitive subject that we need to be careful about. The aim is to look at if/how China influences structural violence from the government in Nepal towards refugees living in the country. I’m so excited to get started! Outside of Pokhara, there is a village (also referred to as a refugee camp) where the majority has Tibetan roots. Also, somewhere in the mountains here, there are 4 or 5 Buddhist monasteries waiting for our curious eyes.

This week is a short one since we got the long weekend coming up. We got Friday off and as a very much welcomed add, Monday and Tuesday. A big group of us are going hiking in the Anna Purna region, a five day trek up to Poon Hill, while some are staying in Pokhara to simply relax. Others are going on a trip to Chitwan national park (where there is a chance of seeing tigers in the wild!).

As I’m writing this I’m sitting by the lakeside of Pokhara once again, waiting for the sun to set behind the mountains. I just got back from the city center were me, Malin and Kristian went to a Tibetan clinic to talk to an eastern doctor about their ancient medicine. I told him about some physical issues I’ve had and he recommended me to eat more coconuts and try buffalo milk (amongst other things). This was quite a refreshing and alternative change from the white pills of the West.

There are so many new and exciting things to try or learn about here in Nepal! Legends of Hindu gods and goddesses, Buddhist philosophy, endless mountain treks and paragliding or water-rafting adventures, take your pick! Me and Malin, and the rest of our group too, will experience some of these in the upcoming weeks. We’ll write all about it soon.