Heart and Soul of Our Journey
Our trip to Chitwan with a small group of fellow Mitrata travelers (while others were in Pokhara) was the heart and soul of our (Bonnie and Gordon’s) journey to Nepal. For more than 13 years we have supported Sudan Adhikari who is beginning his fourth year at Chitwan Medical College, studying to be a doctor. This was our first meeting. We arrived at the teaching hospital and as our group waited someone said, “there’s Sudan”. We saw a serious young man, a medical student, approaching and recognized the boy we first met as a photograph 13 years ago. The meeting was a bit awkward but filled with emotion. We felt pride in his accomplishments but it was somewhat like we were meeting a member of the family after a long separation. As we found our way into conversation the awkwardness left and was replaced by warmth and smiles. The more we got to know Sudan, we felt very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be able to help provide this wonderful young person the opportunity to become an extraordinary young man/doctor. We are as proud of him as if he were our own son (or grandson). We are sure his mother is equally proud, as well. We are so thankful the Mitrata Foundation brought us together and we will keep Sudan in our hearts -- and on Facebook. Nepal is very fortunate to have both Sudan and Mitrata.
The first day in Chitwan was capped by viewing the sunset at the river. Evidently, the crocs also enjoy sunset as they were only about 2 feet from the river bank – watching us as well as the sunset.
Other highlights of the Chitwan portion of the trip:
Early morning canoe and jungle walks and then, in late afternoon, a jeep trip into the edges of Chitwan National Park where we saw three kinds of deer, birds, crocodiles, pea fowl, one monkey (we only saw one but he probably had a family somewhere off the jeep path). No sightings of the great white horned rhino on the jeep ride but the next day, some went on an elephant ride and got to trail a rhino.
Our lodge had a lovely pool and food cooked especially for us with Nepali interpretations of mashed potatoes, spaghetti with olives, French toast, wonderful soups and, of course, rice and dal bhat. Our guide, Depesh, was caring and attentive to all of our needs. Our driver was tremendous in getting us safely from Bandipur to Chitwan with only a few gasps from the passengers.
- thoughts from child sponsors Bonnie Layman and Gordon Jameson, Hillsborough, NC
Steve, Bonnie, Gordon and Sudan
Sudan listens to Bonnie’s heart and lungs
Sunset on the Rapti River
Canoeing down the Rapti spotting crocodiles and birds
Tracy and Amy on the jungle walk taking a rest under the bough
Conversing with a water buffalo
Sweet, smart girl humoring tourists