I finally turned a corner on not feeling guilty for being gone on my most recent trip to Nepal. As a part of my job with buildOn, I get the privilege of living with different host families twelve times a year around the globe. As a trek coordinator, I manage teams of Bronx high school students and volunteers traveling to a community to break ground and construct a primary school. This experience is called trek, and yes, you can get involved. My host families have all been amazing.
However, my latest host family in Nepal was unlike any others I had stayed with. They left me feeling full of so much warm love and happiness that I didn’t want to leave. For 9 nights, I became part of the Sunar family in the Bhagatpur Village. Despite our language barrier, our differing skin tones and our unique understandings of the world, I truly knew I had found long lost family members that I just had not had the opportunity to meet yet.
Every night when I wandered back into my room of their tiny concrete home, I was exhausted. It would have been very easy for me to take my bucket shower, eat my dinner and go to sleep without much interaction. Instead, no matter what time I rolled in, my three host sisters, Joti, Alicia and Aribica were eagerly waiting to greet me with the biggest smile and a “Namaste brother!” I couldn’t help but smile and quickly put my things down to join them for dinner.