Field Note #126: Pavan's Visit Home
I do not think it is a normal thing to fear going home. It may be for some people, but I love going home. Honestly, I live a very comfortable life in a small town in Alabama. My family and friends all live within minimal driving distance, and my parents have a nice, comfortable home to sleep and shower in. I have all my needs met in my hometown, so why did I fear going home? I was only going to be home for a week, for family matters, and I planned to return to Nepal to finish my stay until December. It seemed great to go home for a week, but I was scared to return.
I was afraid because life in Alabama is easy for me. It is safe and comfortable. I imagined I might go home, and convince myself to stay. Why go back to Nepal? For me, it is often uncomfortable, I have no family in Nepal, and in general life is harder.
I did end up going home, and I did have all those thoughts. I realized how great life in my hometown is. But I kept to my word, and I returned to Nepal. I carried all the images of my family members, the friends who are enjoying new phases of life, and a girlfriend who recently graduated from college. However, landing back in Kathmandu, I realized something. My home has changed for this season. I realized that my time at home in the U.S. built a desire in me to make a difference. In fact, life in the U.S. is so good millions of people, including Nepalese, are trying to get into the country every day. I was born in the U.S. I have never had to go through the rigorous visa process or face racial prejudice or struggle to find the money to live there. Now that I am back in Nepal, I understand this. If people are trying desperately to get into my country because it is so good, then I am blessed to be able to come to their country. I understand how good I have it, and I can try to bring some good to people who maybe are not in such good circumstances.
I don’t say all of this to say Nepal has nothing good. It is quite the opposite. Nepal has so many good things to offer. If I had never taken the step to come to Nepal, I would have never seen all the good in this nation. I live with a family that cares for each other. They sit down to eat dinner together every night. The people are hospitable and anyone on the street will help you find where you need to go. The culture prides itself on taking care of your family. I have been adopted into a new family for this season. The mission is clean water, and working with my new family to achieve that end. I only hope at the end of my time here that people can take the good I bring from the U.S. and I can take all the good qualities people have shown me here to my family back in the U.S. The world has so much good in it, but it takes people willing to challenge themselves to find it.
- Pavan, Nepal IPM