My first week was what they warn you about. The hostel for RCDP was located in the business area of Kalanki, where children start their school day next door at 6am, horns honk incessantly, buildings are constantly under construction, and finally when all is quiet after 10pm… dogs bark all night long. Many of the volunteers we had living in the hostel just adapted within in a few days. I was not one of them. By the first few days in, I had contracted some virus probably aided by sleep deprivation. When you’re sick, sleeping 1 hour a night for a week straight, it has the potential to destroy you, and it was doing exactly that to me.
My anxiety was skyrocketing, I couldn’t sleep at night and had to leave work to pass out in the day. I was completely unfamiliar with my surroundings, was running out of Rupees, and living my days like a zombie. In short, by Thursday I was loosing my damn mind. I felt the guilt of letting everyone around me down. I was calling my parents at 2am just to pass the time because I was up all nigh with no one to speak with.
I was near rock bottom (don’t worry that is still yet to come). Sometimes you have to trust in the kindness of someone unfamiliar. I called up my new American friend Amy, and she was quick to support me. I needed to get out of that damn hostel. Over a short time Amy and I have become ridiculously familiar, as we realized a plethora of shared experiences that united our pasts. Amy and I had dinner and then she helped me get set-up with a hotel for a night in Thamel for the night. Relief at last…
…Or not. I was still suffering from high anxiety and having the entire hotel staff play cards above your head until 3am in the morning was not helping. Neither were the Nepali standard of rock-hard beds, something I still have yet to adjust to. I didn’t sleep that night at all. This was not good.
I called in and got out of work for the day. They understood the situation (apparently many have suffered this) But where would I stay for the night? I could not go back to that dreaded hostel. I struggled with ideas, looked in to new hotel options until I received a call from my new friend.
To be continued.