By Brooke AMEN
Brooke was a Trek to Teacher in 2018 in the small village of Tolka, Nepal. She continues to share the beauty of the Himalayas and the Nepali people while managing the Trek to Teach Instagram page.
“What are you running from?” Out of context, it sounds like a line out of a cheesy rom-com or a horror movie. Add the image of an American girl going for a jog through a small village in the Himalayas and it begins to make sense. I never thought that working out could qualify as a cultural exchange, but I quickly learned that burning calories intentionally was not a part of the norm in Tolka, Nepal.
When I traveled to Nepal, I knew I was going to be living a very different lifestyle than the one that I had come to love at home in the USA. I usually spent most of my free time in Wyoming fly fishing and skiing obsessively. Turns out, there isn’t a ski lift or fly shop to be found in the Annapurna region, so I had to make some adjustments. I had to figure out what I loved so much about the hobbies I was obsessed with and discover how to reap the same benefits in a very different environment. I found that I primarily loved fly fishing for the peace of mind that it gave me and skiing for the muscle-building and cardiovascular health that it provided. These hobbies quickly translated into journaling and running/hiking.
Food security was an issue in Nepal before the Coronavirus outbreak. Now, the impact of COVID-19 has halted the harvesting season and will escalate the need for food quickly. With schools being closed, our focus at Trek to Teach has shifted, once again. Five years ago Nepal was struck with a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that shattered road access to remote regions, making it impossible for food and medical supplies to get distributed. The country has been on national lockdown since March 24th, and we are feeling a sense of Deja Vu with all movement on the roads, by vehicle and on foot, strictly prohibited with very limited exceptions.
By Laura Shaw
Laura is a former high school teacher and coach from Canada who went to Nepal with Trek to Teach in 2019 and now volunteers with the organization to train future teachers.
In Nepal, volleyball is much more than just a game; it's a community and a way of life. As you trek through the rural villages of the Annapurna Region in Nepal, you would be hard pressed not to come across a makeshift volleyball court or two somewhere along the way. Most of these courts have lines hand carved with a stick and the nets are often tangled messes of string, supported by wood posts hammered into the uneven ground. Some courts barely fit on the terraced fields, but are clearly spaces dedicated to the game. They might not look like much, yet with the backdrop of the Himalayas, these courts suggest there’s a lot more than just a game played here.