Quarantined in Nepal – Blessings in Disguise
I flew into Kathmandu from Melbourne, Australia on the 15th of March 2020, and one week later I was transported to the Nala Monastery about two hours outside of the city to start teaching ESL to the monks. Just one day after my arrival, the national lockdown was ordered and I haven’t stepped foot outside of the monastery grounds since. I’m also living here indefinitely because commercial flights have stopped running and I won’t be prioritised for repatriation flights because I’m neither elderly nor travelling with children. Also, I’m not currently in the city, and so the journey to the airport (much less back to Australia), would be lengthy, complicated, and potentially dangerous.
But all of that aside, I feel incredibly lucky to be ‘stuck’ in lockdown/quarantine with some of the most giving, perceptive, compassionate, funny, optimistic, and open-minded people I’ve ever known. I’ve loved running around with the little ones, and speaking to the senior monks about life/books/movies/music/etc.! I’m always pleasantly taken aback by everyone’s wicked sense of humour, and the way they’re all readily willing to learn about and listen to – but never judge – my own thoughts and ways of living back home.
Indeed, without the lockdown, I don’t think I would have gotten the chance to get to know everyone as I have, and for this, I am extremely grateful. Also, I have much more space and opportunities here than I would have at home right now. I am able to practice simple daily luxuries, such as walking, getting some vitamin D and fresh air, and interacting with people.