After being involved with the Nepalese Canadian Association of Ottawa (NCAO) and Canada Foundation for Nepal (CFFN) throughout the past decade, and getting to know many of the Nepalese families who have moved to Ottawa, I finally have the opportunity to see Nepal for itself. While I’m there, I will get to see some of the capital city, Kathmandu, as well as the countryside where the best way to get from one village to another is to trek.
It all started about a month ago when a friend of mine wanted me to go to Japan to visit a mutual friend. This trip was feasable – and how often will I get an invite to Japan? Just as I was about to make that happen, it was brought to my attention that the Non-Resident Nepali Assocation is holding their every-other-year conference around the same time as the Japan trip. At this confence, I would be able to present an update to a project that I’m leading on behalf of CFFN. Also, I could see CFFN’s Community ChildCare Centre first hand, and also work on the Open University venture. Since I’d already be halfway around the world… Why not go the extra mile (well couple thousand miles)?
The decision to do both Japan and Nepal complicated the purchase of flights. It was prohibitively expensive to do an Ottawa-Nagasaki-Kathmandu-Ottawa round, and it would take far too long and require too much coordination to do round trips between Ottawa-Nagasaki and Nagasaki-Kathmandu. All the discount flight and trip websites were really starting to stress me out. That’s where Baba came in!
Baba, from Himalayan Travels & Tours in Toronto is the person to go to when you want to fly to Nepal. Everyone that I spoke to said she has helped them and recommends her. Baba was able to put together an itinerary for me at a cost much lower than I could myself. All people and things considered, she was the most important – I would say that Baba made this trip possible for me. For that, I am absolutely grateful to her. Plus, I really enjoyed telling people that I had to call my travel agent!
Now that I’m less than 2 days away from flying to Japan, packing is my greatest obstacle. I have to pack light, but enough for my trip. If I leave or forget anything, it’ll be 6 weeks before I can get it. Knowing me, I should probably glue my passport to my forehead!