My teaching responsibilities here are officially finished! I won’t pretend that I’m terribly upset about that, but I am sad that my time here is coming to an end. I’ve made some great friends, and it will be hard to say goodbye to them.

The last days of extra classes with the class 9 kids were good. We made it through two dramas in their book, and I think that the kids understood the main ideas of both. With our foolproof story-teaching formula, how could they not understand? As long as you explain the story 5ish times, you’re set.

I’m glad that Jenrika and I are on the same page about the kids needing to be able to think for themselves. We’ve both been trying to work on that, and it makes me feel like everything I tried to teach them over the last couple months isn’t going to go completely to waste after I leave. I feel bad that she’s going to have to continue the efforts alone, but hopefully we’ve laid some sort of foundation… maybe?

My workstation… aka the desk in my bedroom

My afternoons have been spent working on the architecture plans for the addition at the Bible school. Okay, not all of the afternoons. I’ve also spent some time reading and swinging on the roof, but now I’m running out of time, and I really need to get those plans done. It takes SO long though. I don’t have the computer programs that are usually used to make plans, so I’m drawing them by hand. As if that didn’t already take forever, I also don’t have all of the tools that you would normally use for hand drafting. I have a pencil with those points that you take out and stick in the back of the pencil when they go dull, an eraser, and a ruler. That’s all. Fully equipped, I would have a drafting table with a slide rule, a ruler, multiple pencils of various hardness, a sharpener, a triangle, shape stencils, an architecture scale, and a thin eraser. At the very least. Since I don’t have all of those things, it’s taking me much longer than it otherwise would, and my drawings are definitely not going to be as precise as they should be.

I am enjoying working on them though. I have everything mostly figured out, so now all I have to do is draw lines… well, and covert dimensions so that the drawing is to scale, but that only requires a little thought. Even with that, it’s a relaxing task, and it will fun to see the finished product… assuming I ever manage to finish.

The crew!

Today, however, was an exception! To celebrate our last day of extra classes, I went to lunch with Jenrika, the other teacher who’s been teaching this week, and two other teachers from school. It was so much fun! I really did feel like a normal person, and even though they didn’t speak in English all the time, they at least TRIED to. If a conversation went on for too long in Nepali, someone translated to clue me in. It was really nice.


Me and Jenrika, the English literature dream team

We were going to go for a walk after lunch, but the wind started blowing dust around (I’m telling you, the dust is one of the worst things about being here… If you were here, you’d understand why people sometimes wear face masks. Breathing that stuff in is not good) and it looked like it was going to rain. We went back to Jenrika’s house instead and just hung out. I felt like I was back home hanging out with a bunch of my friends. It kind of stinks… I finally feel like things are really coming together for me here, and I’m leaving in a couple of days. Well, all I can do is enjoy the time I have left and celebrate the fact that I achieved my goals of making real friends and feeling like I belong.


We also played dress up, and who doesn’t love that? Jenrika is from Bhutan, so she has a bunch of traditional Bhutanese clothes. They dressed me up in a kira… and when I say, “they dressed me up”, I literally mean that I was like a doll. I don’t know how anyone dresses themselves in these outfits. First, I put on the wonju, a long-sleeve, sheer blouse (long sleeve like it went about a foot past my fingertips). Next was the kira. It’s just a big, rectangular piece of fabric that you wrap around you. They put a “half-kira” on me which means that it only went up to my waist instead of all the way to my shoulders. The toego goes on top of that. It’s like a jacket with sleeves that go about to your fingertips. The sleeves of the wonju and the toego are folded up together, the toego is secured with a brooch, your hair goes up in a bun, and you obviously also need to add a necklace.

Getting ready for my modeling career.
Bhutan and Tibet… and the USA and India… So many countries represented in one picture!

By the time they were done with me, I felt like a queen. I also felt like I was going to melt into a puddle because the kira was like a blanket and the toego was NOT lightweight. Jenrika also had a traditional Tibetan dress, so one of the other teachers put that on and it was like an international clothing party. It’s really cool visiting these places where the culture and traditions are so strong and SO different from home. What would the traditional dress of the United States be? Jorts (jean shorts, for those of you not down with the lingo) and t-shirt?

We’re supposed to hang out again today, so cross your fingers for good weather! (I know, how weird is it that I have actual PLANS! To hang out with friends! As if I’m a normal human!)

You know how sometimes when you’re stressed out about something, you don’t realize it until the thing is gone and you feel the hidden weight get lifted? Apparently, school stressed me out. I know that I have to get back to work next week, but for now, I’m going to enjoy a little freedom.

This weekend, Ruth and I went on a little shopping trip to get me some Indian clothes! I love the clothes here. Everything is so bright and fun! I don’t think I’ve talked about clothes yet, so let’s do that now.


Me wearing a kurta and leggings. Also, this is a picture on our roof, and I want you to take a moment to appreciate the fact that they’re growing corn on the roof. That’s awesome.

Some of the clothing styles vary across the country, so I can only speak for the things that I’ve seen here. I’m also going to simplify this A LOT, but there are a few different styles that are most common so we’ll focus on those. Let’s talk about women first. In daily life, you can find plenty of women (mostly younger women and girls) in Western clothes, usually jeans and modest tops. For Indian clothes, I’m going to simplify it down to two categories: kurtas and saris. Saris are probably what you picture when you think of Indian clothes. Generally, these are more formal, but I don’t think it really matters. Older women especially will wear them all the time, though I assume you would save your sparkly and fancy ones for a special occasion.


One thing that varies based on where you are in the country is how you drape your sari. You have a blouse (often a crop-top length) on underneath and a petticoat, and then a long rectangle of fabric. I asked someone to explain the wrap/drape process for me, and she said that you wrap it around your waist, pleat it 7 times and secure it, then wrap and drape it back over your shoulder, pleating it 7 times again. So, there’s an example of one of the million ways you could drape your sari. Simple, right?


A semi-creepy shot that I cropped out of another picture to show you the other type of pants (salwar).

The type of dress that I see women wear most often is a kurta. They’re about knee length or a little shorter, and it’s like a loose-fitting dress with slits up the sides to around your upper thigh. Underneath, you wear pants. There are tighter leggings that are bunched up at the bottom (churidar) or loose genie-type pants (salwar). Most women also wear a scarf (like a summer weight fashion scarf), and every part of the outfit will be impeccably color coordinated. Beyond this, there are other tunic-style tops and other variations on a kurta, but like I said, I’m super simplifying and just talking about the things I’ve seen the most.


I got a couple kurtas and a pair of leggings, and they’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s hands down the most comfortable clothing I’ve ever worn that’s considered acceptable to wear in public. It feels like you’re wearing a nightgown and some pajama pants, but you actually look nice. Plus, you could run or climb over a wall or be a ninja in them because of the slits in the sides and the stretchiness of the pants. I like to feel like I can move in my clothes. Why is this not a thing everywhere?? I’ve been told that saris aren’t as comfortable (and your mobility is definitely limited), but I haven’t tried one on so I couldn’t say for sure.


Awesome princessy little girl dress.

For men, the same goes with Western clothes in daily life. A lot of people wear jeans and polo shirts, and for looking a bit nicer, you’ll see normal button-ups and ties. The male teachers at school all wear dress pants, shirt, and tie to work, and the women wear kurtas or saris. On some nicer occasion, they might wear the male version of a kurta which is pretty much the same as the women’s but made for a man’s body shape, and they have similar genie pant or slimmerpant options to wear underneath. Then, there are tunic-style shorter length shirts and such too. I’ll be honest; men’s clothes aren’t nearly as awesome. Plus, I’m not a man, so I don’t pay as close of attention as I do to the women’s clothes. They do have cool clothes that people wear for formal occasions, but daily life is mostly boring pants and boring shirts that are just like what people wear at home.


Little girls have the BEST clothes. They can wear awesome Disney-princess-costume style dresses, and it’s totally normal here. This also should be a thing everywhere. They’re all so fun and shiny and sparkly, and I wish I was 8 years old again so that I could join.

Tonight, I’m packing up my new kurtas because… road trip! Well, technically… train tracks trip! I’m going to Darjeeling with a couple girls from church, Anisha and Neha. It’s a city in the mountains and is supposed to have some amazing scenery. More importantly, I heard you can see snow leopards there!! They’re my favorite animal. And when I say favorite, I mean like SUPER favorite. I love them. A lot. So yeah, I’m VERY excited for scenery and travelling and most of all, for my true love, snow leopards.

One more picture to attempt to show some clothing (I should have gotten some better pictures of people wearing different things before this post, but I did not plan very well). Anyway, the woman on the far right is wearing a sari, and same with the woman in red, four people from the right. As you can see, the guys are all in boring button-ups. Though sometimes they wear shiny shirts which are fabulous.