Category Archives: A Day in the Life

Weekend Boarder Life

2017-02-13-25

Students build a snowman during a weekend winter snowstorm.

by Bea Feicenbiner ’19

As a boarding student, sometimes I am left wondering what I can do on weekends. Every weekend has a theme, but some have more activities than others. Weekends like Harvest Weekend and Student Council Weekend are jam packed with things to do. All of the weekends can be fun for the students, but some, like Alumni Weekend, have less activities than others.

Of course, my roommate is always there and I have friends in my dorm. On weekends, more often than not, I have a friend sleepover in my room or I sleep in hers. I can walk into Newtown to get some ice cream or go to Starbucks. Sometimes we will walk over to the shopping center across the street and get lunch before running errands to Giant or Rite Aid. Newtown Book and Record has a great variety of entertainment if I need something new. There is a lot to do around town on the weekends.

My personal favorite weekend is Student Council Weekend. SAGE, another club I am a part of, also has a weekend. We do fun activities that include bonding opportunities with members of the community that otherwise you might not have met. Harvest Weekend is super fun, especially for boarders. Day students are invited too, but for domestic boarders who do not get to spend as much time with their family. Carving pumpkins and making buttercream brings people together. For international students, the Harvest Weekend activities might be the first time they are experiencing these things. Other weekends are club affiliated. Umoja Weekend and Footbag Weekend happened not long ago and they both included events that were fun for the whole campus.

There are other things to do instead of weekend activities and day trips to Newtown. The Deans’ office is always open to hang out in and the SAGE room is open Friday and Saturday too. During the warmer months, there is four-square on Red Square and during the colder months, you can borrow sleds from the Deans’ Office and sled down South Lawn. If you’re looking for a quiet place to study, the library is open on both Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes dorm parents and prefects will host activities, like tea parties or clothing swaps.

No matter what the weekend is, there is plenty to do, so you should not worry about being bored.

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“Be Authentic”

Dana

Dana Falsetti ’11 during assembly.

by Bea Feichtenbiner ’19

Lots of college students have no clue what they want to do with their life. They wander aimlessly from class to class, stressed but not overly worried for their future. They commit to multiple majors before choosing a career. Dana Falsetti ’11, a plus-sized yoga teacher and Instagram blogger, was one of these students.

During her college years, Dana thought she wanted to be a lawyer. Little did she know, her calling was something else entirely. Now, instead of practicing law, she travels the world teaching inclusive yoga. Recently, she has been to Arkansas, Denver, Seattle, and Thailand. She is only twenty-three, yet she seems to have a world of knowledge.

“Growing up,” Dana said during a recent George School assembly presentation, “my life was defined by the numbers on the scale.” Dana struggled with her weight all throughout childhood. In her sophomore year of college, she lost over a hundred pounds. She expected to feel happier, prouder, and better. However, this was when she hit her lowest of lows. The expectation she had was shattered. She felt the same as before she lost the weight, just lighter.

It was the summer after her sophomore year when she started yoga, on a spur of the moment decision. A studio near her house was offering classes for the summer for a relatively low price and she just went to check it out. She expected it to be easy, but her expectations were again shattered. Not only did she struggle immensely in the class, but she blamed it on her weight. She hated the class, but she went back again anyway because she “had something to prove to myself.”

After taking yoga classes all summer, Dana started an Instagram account that now has over 280,000 followers.

Instagram now calls Dana a public figure, while Buzzfeed wrote an article called “19 Badass Instagrammers Who Prove Yoga Bodies Come in All Shapes And Sizes” that featured her. She has been on the cover of Om Yoga Magazine, she was nominated for a 2017 Shorty Awards for Excellence in Social Media (Health & Wellness), and she has a combined social media following of over half a million.

Her Instagram documents her life as a yoga teacher, body activist, and empowered woman with captions that read like journal entries. Each one promotes body positivity, confidence, and strength.

Social media has been a favorite of trolls and haters since its creation, but Dana does not worry about this. She ignores the comments against her by simply not caring about those opinions. She is happy with who she is and her goal is to help others be as happy as her.

So her best advice? “Be authentic.”

 

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How many clubs is too many clubs?

2016-09-05-77

by Eden McEwen ‘17

Who remembers club fair? The throngs of underclassmen and overeager club leaders put on the show of a festival, offering everything from mini donuts to fun sized candies to samosas as not so subtle bribes for student emails and half hearted pledges of  interest. The Fitness and Athletic Center last September was stuffed with dreamy promises of a club filled future. What happened to those promises?

The first weeks of a club are glorious. As a long time club leader I can tell you 30+ people at a meeting feels like an early Christmas. But by Christmas, the email lists or Outlook group members dwindle from plenty to enough to depressing. That is just the number of those willing to receive the weekly emails, never mind who actually bothers to show up.

Why does every club season have such a drop off? And why, every fall, do two dozen clubs pop back up just to die before November? It seems that we have too many clubs and too few club survivors. The culture of clubs at George School follows a steep wave of interest, but there must be a secret to those who survive the winter.

The long lasting clubs are easy to name. Argo, JSA, MUN, Body Project, UMOJA, Open Doors, Goldfish, and Java. They fulfill the basic needs of club culture, hitting on the basic interests of George School students. Other clubs have been born and died all the while, or existed as a “why not” instead of a “must have.” They are harder to name, as they come up only as we laugh at the yearbook page in May. Anyone remember PRO, or maybe Puzzle club? Terra, Beatbox Club, Medical club, or Young Writers? They have come and gone, but existed for the hot second long enough to be featured in an decently size club photo taken in late October.

If you look at any population graph, there is always a carrying capacity, an asymptote that represents the line the population will always return to when it crosses over. Let us break it down. Let us talk rabbits.

Spring sees a huge spike in the cotton-tailed population, but the environment they are in can’t sustain such rapid growth. There are only so many holes to live in and so much grass to eat, and with the introduction of predators the population is forced back to a stable carrying capacity.

Clubs can be seen to operate the same way. There are only so many places we can comfortably congregate in, only so many days of the week, only so many times.

We only have four days in our club-week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday  (Friday only sometimes, for those leaders who are daring and believe in their club members’ loyalty). There is only a limited number of meeting places, too. For large clubs, a classroom does not cut it, and there are not many community spaces focused enough for the agenda of a club.

But what kills off clubs the fastest are the predators. Sports games, night classes, and the relentless struggles of stressed-out, overloaded students kill club attendance like the plague. No one is going to tell their teacher they could not study because they had to go to Badminton Club; no coach is going to take Wednesday night Improv as an excuse out of a varsity tournament.

So what happens to the club community? Is it possible that the number of clubs George school allows shoots the clubs themselves in the foot, stretching the student body too thin to keep any one of them alive?

There have been attempts to curb the club population. A few years ago, Student Council had proposals up for different kinds of clubs, downgrading some to interest groups and raising the prestige of others. There was outrage, there was apathy, and ultimately the plan fell through. As of now, with all of the things George School demands of students, club participation is the first sacrifice.

Our club population will forever fluctuate, you can tell by looking through past yearbooks. Take a look at the Club Fair week one, and then at the Community News postings by the last month of the year, and you can see the decimation. Is there a way to build a healthier club system that will get approval of Student Council members?

Until something in the culture of clubs changes, it does not seem likely that we will have any more long term clubs, or any fewer short-term start up clubs. The constraints of George School keep our outside gatherings at a steady carrying capacity. Living the life of a struggling club’s leader is heartbreaking. On the other hand, it is hard to imagine that the behemoth clubs of 30+ attendees could ever fail.

In the long run, far longer than any of our matriculation here, clubs will maintain themselves according to the student body’s interests.

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Why I Said Yes to GS

2017-02-20-07

Bea, seen here in her Oxford University Sweatshirt, works with another student on the Curious George. 

By Bea Feichtenbiner ‘19

George School is so much more than I thought it would be. In seventh grade, I began thinking about colleges. I know that is early, but I have always been hyper focused on my future. During this time, I wanted to major in English and obsessed with England. I decided that I wanted to go to the University of Oxford in Oxford, England, and I would do anything necessary to get there. I learned of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma from a family friend and I looked it up. Only two schools within an hour of my house offered the diploma. I knew this would help me get into my dream school, so I convinced my mom to let me look at them. The first school, Harriton High School in Lower Merion School District, was the closest to my house, but I would have to move to attend school there. George School was the second closest.

Neither my mom nor I felt any harm in applying, so I started the application. I went for a tour in October and I loved it. It just felt right. I finished my application and anxiously awaited a decision. The portal said decisions would be posted at midnight, so I planned to stay up. When the clock hit twelve, I logged in and sure enough, my decision was there. “Congratulations,” I read.

The next morning, I logged on again at 6:30 a.m. “Congratulations,” I read again. I ran upstairs to wake my mom up. She was excited, but we both knew what this meant: we had to decide whether or not I should go.

After I pondered it for a couple of weeks, I convinced myself that I needed to say yes to GS. I made a PowerPoint of pros and cons and presented it to my mom. We accepted the admission a week before it was due.

Then I had to tell my friends and my family. Some were shocked and some were not, but for the most part, everyone supported me. I got many comments about how I was “brave” or “crazy.” I didn’t understand this. Going to George School felt natural, I didn’t need to be brave or crazy. I felt like I belonged. That didn’t stop the butterflies in my stomach when I actually got ready to go though. For the first few hours, I was convinced I hated it. But then it got easier and I made new friends.

I am not going to lie, even now, three months away from my junior year, I sometimes feel like I made a terrible mistake. I miss my family and my friends, I miss my old life. But I don’t really regret it. I have my moments of doubt, but it has been a great opportunity and I am not going to waste it wondering about what might have been. George School is one of the best things to ever happen to me—it has a way of making you belong, no matter who you are.

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The World Roars for Women’s Rights

by Michelle Bronsard ’18

For this article, six women were asked about their views on Trump’s presidency, the Women’s March, and current women’s rights issues. Their opinions do not represent George School’s position, mission, or views.

On Friday, January 20, 2017, President Trump was inaugurated  in Washington DC with a crowd of about 800,000 people attending, according to most sources. The next day, Saturday, January 21, millions of people from around the world protested his inauguration by attending what was organized as the “Women’s March” in Washington, DC or sister marches in other cities across the globe.

Approximately 700 sister marches took place in New York City, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, and other locations in  the United States. Internationally, marches were  held  in Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver, Buenos Aires, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Oslo, Barcelona, Berlin, Vienna, Belgrade, Nairobi, Tel Aviv, New Delhi, Sydney, Melbourne, and numerous other locations.

As the name suggests, the purpose of the women’s marches was to inform the Trump administration about the importance of women’s rights. Most marchers seemed to be concerned with the alleged lack of respect that Trump has for women. This view of him comes from numerous non-consensual kissing, groping, sexual assault, and even rape accusations by some of his female employees, clients, dinner and television show guests, as well as models from beauty pageants.

Additionally, Trump has made provocative comments about potentially dating his daughter and other young girls, and he bragged to Billy Bush in 2005 about his ability to “grab [women] by the pussy” because he is “a star” and “they’ll let [him] do it.” This all has led to several women fearing a country under Trump’s administration because of his seemingly aggressive and disrespectful behavior toward women.

Many women are concerned that reproductive rights, such as the right to abortions, and social issues, such as equal pay, are at risk.

An event as important as the Women’s March was not going to be missed by George School students with an interest in politics and human rights. Nadia Arenas-Purvinis ’18 attended the Washington, DC march with several of her friends. For her, the march was an opportunity to take a stand against sexual harassment:  “I went to the march because I feel like this is a good time for women to unify […]. I loved it because there was a great sense of community even around people I didn’t know. It was comforting to me having all these people around me fighting for what we believe in and for our rights.”

When they heard about these events, English teachers Avery Stern and Melaina Young ’93 felt compelled to get a group of students together to attend a march. On Saturday, January 21, a group of about thirty students and faculty members left campus for the Philadelphia Women’s March. When asked what motivated them to attend the march, the students stated that they were concerned with the new administration’s future policies.

Emma Yoder ’18 pointed to Republicans’ intent to defund Planned Parenthood as one of her reasons for attending the march. Michelle Tyson ’18 expressed worry over the treatment of minorities: “I’m at this march because I think the United States is heading into a world that disparages the minorities of our community, and that includes queer people, black people, illegal immigrants…” Despite the students’ different interests, there was a shared belief in the importance of community. Catherine Tatum ’20 felt inspired by the many people around her: “It’s really important to come together because right now what we need is unity.” Emma added that “through this unity, we find power.”

Avery and Melaina were greatly impressed by the students’ enthusiasm. Avery explained how important their participation was because she “felt more so after this election than ever before that every body, physically, counted.” Not only was the presence of the students important for maximum media coverage of the march, it was also a way to establish an uplifting mood at a difficult and alarming time for many of the marchers and their families. Avery recounts the time she “climbed up the steps with a couple of students . . . and just to be able to look out on the sheer number of people who showed up was very invigorating.”

The call to participate in person and demonstrate resistance in large numbers was heard around the world. Carolyn Tate, an English teacher at George School during the 2015-16 school year, now living in London, went to the Vienna Women’s March during her stay in Austria. “I felt compelled to attend a Women’s March because being a citizen, even abroad, means being engaged […]. At this point, I think, we need to put our bodies on the line. Physicality, even in the internet age, does matter. Numbers matter. Being in a public place and having your voice recorded as a loud emphatic “NO” matters right now and will matter in the future when we study how America and the world responded to Trump’s grab for authoritarian rule.”

Clearly, there was a popular opinion that showing up to the marches was key to being heard.

Carolyn added that going to the small march in Vienna was a way for her and the other marchers, including many American expatriates and Austrians, to resist other rising authoritarian movements around the globe. “When the United States elects a racist and misogynistic leader who has publicly announced his intent to establish a white-ethno state, this affects the whole world.” Indeed, there is a rise in right-wing nationalism in several european countries, including France, Hungary, and Austria, reminding some people of fascism prior to World War II. Carolyn pointed out that “Trump is terrifying and his specific policies and plans need to be addressed, but he is also part of a larger international trend of violent ethno-nationalism.” In her opinion, this may explain the high level participation and the great number of marches across the world.

In light of the massive turnout for these marches around the world, however, it is crucial to note that Trump’s comments and allegations did not stop him from garnering more than 62 million votes in the presidential election. What came as a surprise to many was that 53% of voting white women cast their ballot for him.

As many Trump supporters have claimed, it is difficult to predict what a Trump administration might mean for women, so giving him a chance, they say, does not necessarily threaten women. Additionally, Trump has been known to be an active supporter and mentor to various women working in his businesses, and his cabinet includes four women.

People on the left had some misgivings, as well.

In the planning stages of the marches, several commentators questioned their purpose and efficiency. The lack of concrete policy proposals from the march organizers had made people wonder about the wisdom of holding these marches now, rather than after a specific objectionable policy was submitted for legislative review or actually put in place. They feared that an absence of purpose would lead to low turnout.

However, many participants already had in mind specific ideals and rights that they were willing to express and fight for. Although there was no concrete result from the marches, they were successful in raising awareness about numerous issues as well as giving people hope and space to develop the fighting spirit that they feel they may need in the next four years.

Avery had some final advice for the community: “Keep marching. Keep protesting. Keep donating and calling congressmen and voting. For the women who are in positions of power: keep advocating.”

 

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A Single Glorious Day

Photo 1

by Avery Stern 

Important Note: Having worked with dogs in many professional settings, I know the mark of both a healthy and docile animal. The dog mentioned in this post was both – I also had him checked out by J.D., our supervisor, who has ten dogs himself and has seen multiple successful adoptions in similar situations to this one…I also called my Vet friend. Everyone was responsible.

So we begin.

This is both a thank you letter for the wisdom each student has granted me, and a letter of wisdom to each of those I have thanked.

I am heading to bed tonight with a tiny hole in my sweatpants from a playful stray puppy. With cornbread crumbs on my heels. With a few small dollops of stucco in my hair, paint-stained finger nails, and wretched stomachache I’ve carried with me for days. (I’ll tell you now that if you’re a vegetarian, eating your first rib in 13 years off a student’s plate in a divey restaurant in Memphis isn’t the way to go. Might I suggest the fried chicken?)

I am also headed to bed tonight, ten days before my 25th birthday with a revelation I swore I would never have: You cannot save the world. You cannot even save a sliver of it. (The 20 year old in me is shrieking at the impossibility of this statement. “Quiet,” I tell her…hear me out).

I came to this revelation through the previously mentioned stray puppy. The puppy, whom I named “King Tutwiler of Tutwiler, Mississippi,” followed me home on a mid-day run. I’d passed a literal pile of puppies the day before, all heaped together for warmth in the rare 34 degree southern weather. But while those dogs showed moderate interest in me, they stayed put. Wiler, however, chased my heels for a mile jog back to the Habitat Dorm at which point I was determined to feed, vaccinate, wash, and ship him home on our American Airline flight this Sunday. (Ugh, I am a bleeding-heart I know).

We can perhaps by-pass the absurdity of what ensued when I arrived, floppy puppy afoot. The kids bottle-necked the door, some smartly cautious about interacting with a stray, others donning long sleeves, boots, and pants, and trusting that if he wasn’t nippy all they would need afterwards was a shower. John called his mom in hopes of fostering him claiming, “he’s the goodest of boys!” She agreed.

Sarah and Storey both agreed to take him for shots and a check-up at the shelter. I indulged the idea. Perhaps my Vet friend could take him in? No, her roommate did not like animals. My sister? An almost mother of two. So “Def no.” My boyfriend? A “soft” no, but a “no” nonetheless. My Parents? “Hahahahahah NO.”

But, I had to save him! WE, the good people of the George School with our house-building and community-engaging and compassionate hearts! As a tiny stray he could get run over by a car, attacked by a larger animal, starved to death. Yes, this is true—but perhaps that is life. Perhaps Wiler was serving as the symbol or metaphor of the much larger implications of this service trip.

We cannot save all of the stray puppies, however phenomenally cute, and we cannot build enough houses for all those in need. Sad? Yes. True? Unfortunately.

What we can do, as the well-educated and privileged people that we are as George School community members, is to acknowledge that we can “mud” all the dry wall in the kitchen, or install support beams for a whole roof, or give a puppy the best day he’s had in this three months of life. And these contributions are good. They are so, so, so, good. And if life is just a sum of its parts—just days all strung together, then one of those days is bound to be the best one of all and I’d like to be a part of someone’s.

So thank you Nodor, Sophia G, Sophia S, Sarah, John, Storey, Micheala, Elvis, and our supervisors J.D. and Ben for teaching me the humbling power of a single glorious day. I hope you continue to treat everyone with the same selfless love, respect, and generosity that you did to Wiler and I thank you for the love, respect, and generosity that you have shown to me.

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Final Day in Nepal

There was great rejoicing yesterday when the group arrived in Pokara at the campsite so we are all together again.  We said an emotional farewell to the porters and cooks who cared for us so well.  Today we also said goodbye to our wonderful Sherpas. They have been at our sides through service, ball games and trekking.

We flew from Pokara to Kathmandu, checked in at the hotel, returned camping gear, took hot showers and then went off to Thamel for some shopping.  We had a delicious dinner, continuing our ritual of sharing highlights of the day.  Such a mix of regret to leave this beautiful country with eager anticipation to be reunited with family and friends.  We head home tomorrow night.

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Nicaragua March 17

Dear families,

I believe you would have been so proud of your children today. Today was their final day in classes at La Nicaraguita, and their job was to graciously and patiently receive the outpouring of affection that was likely coming their way. And come it did. The students in the preschool and elementary school showered your children with hugs, kisses, high-fives, selfies and many keepsakes and hand-written notes that communicated their tremendous appreciation for two weeks of companionship and attention. Attached with this blog are pictures of each of the GS students with their respective classes.

Tonight, we party. That is, the host families and the schoolteachers join us at Rafaela’s house for a celebratory supper and banquet-style appreciation of all concerned. And, yes, in case you wondered, there will almost certainly be dancing.

Tomorrow, we get up early and head homeward to Philadelphia, by way of Miami. It is sure to be a bittersweet departure from Nicaragua, but at the same time we are all looking forward to coming home (teachers included). Consequently, this will be our final posting from Nicaragua. We hope you have enjoyed your children’s writings, as well as Cheri’s magnificent photos. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to learn and grow alongside your sons and daughters. ¡Adiós!

Tom (and Cheri)

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Nicaragua March 16

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March 16

by Tali

After a fun day at the beach with the Nicaraguans yesterday, we returned to our routine schedule for one final day working with the students at La Nicaragüita. Once again, we had another great breakfast together and sometime around 8:00 a.m., the sixth-grade class walked us to the school. The second I arrived in my classroom of five-year-olds, about half of the students sprinted over and attacked me with some of the biggest hugs ever. This case was the same for Alyssa, Maia, and Greg as all of their own students were overjoyed to have them in class for another fun day and showed their excitement through adorable embraces. (I assume the same was true for Niccolo, Alexander, Philip and Alex, but I didn’t see them on the other side of the school.) About a half-hour into class, the teachers informed the students that it was another mini-sports day. This meant that each student in first through sixth grade would take part in a variety of games, while the three, four, and five-year-old students would get to watch the older classmates compete since they were too young to join in. We played a few different types of games; one was a running race, one round of tug-of-war, two watermelon and cantaloupe eating contests, and soccer. All GS students took part in the running contest and tug-of-war, and while we didn’t win, they were lots of fun. Alyssa, Niccolo, and Alex played against three other Nicaraguans in the first round of the eating contest (Niccolo won) and Alexander and Philip played in the other one against four Nicaraguans. Niccolo and Philip led the GS team in two quick rounds of soccer. The morning was filled with great effort from all participants and spirited cheers and giant smiles on the sidelines. Once the sports were complete, we spent a couple more hours in the classroom with our students doing our respective activities. We finished off the morning with our final dance class with Roberto; he taught the eight of us a salsa dance routine.

We began our afternoon by having a delicious lunch at Rafaela’s house, followed by some time to relax before we headed back to the school for afternoon classes with the seventh through eleventh grade. Once we got to the school, we split up and headed off to different classrooms to spend time with the Nicaraguan students one last time in the classroom setting. Niccolo and Alex spent time with the eleventh graders, Alyssa and I visited the tenth graders, Maia and Greg worked with the ninth graders, Alexander was with the eighth graders, and Philip assisted the seventh graders. We had to cut our afternoon a little short and we returned back to Rafaela’s house to have an early dinner at 5:00 p.m. Right now, we are waiting to go back to the school to have a get-together with the eleventh graders and spend some more time with them before we leave Nicaragua.

It’s going to be a bittersweet evening with our peers, and tomorrow will be a tough day for all of us as reality sets in that we will be heading back to the United States very soon. We are all so lucky to have spent two weeks in this beautiful country with phenomenal people. It’s been a wonderful adventure and we’re all going to miss spending time together in Nicaragua. This trip is a unique and amazing opportunity and we have created so many memories together to hold onto and cherish for years to come.

#Nica2k17

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Nepal

I am starting to forget what I have already shared and what I put in my own journal.

A dog adopted us at Australian camp as we trekked to Dhampus. She did not turn back (with encouragement from the kids) but stuck with us all week until we trekked out, when she headed back that direction.  The kids named her Teshi and snuck food to her. After first worrying about her health, I came to respect how well groomed she was and how she did not seem to have a negative impact on the village. She lay by the side of each student when they were feeling ill, which I learned as a signal.  She watched over the camp each night, and would give a little greeting if you got up in the night or really bark at an intruder (dog, goat, or fox).  She pulled a few kids out of the river when they slipped. I think she was a good antidote for homesickness.

I am sure you want to hear about trekking.  The group will have lots more to share.  There are paths laid down hundreds of years ago.  In places they are grassy or dirt, but more often, stones have been laid down like uneven flagstone with big gaps between. Or they have bee stuck in the ground because so it is like walking a cobbled street in Rome but the stones are wildly irregular.  Now put that on a 30-45 degree slope.  The trek to Landruk included hundreds of steps, unevenly spaced.  Scott said they went up all afternoon yesterday.

They reached the farthest point last night and are working their way back today and tomorrow.

I went up to the World Peace Pagoda today while T rested her ankle.  It sits way atop a hill overlooking Phewa Tal lake and Pokhara.  The view from there is notable, but today was hazy.  The return trip included hiking down the mountain and being rowed across the lake.  Lots of para sailors out.

It was a big adjustment to come back to the city from the quiet of the country.  Pokhara is the trekking start point, so as in every other country, streets are filled with people of many nations, some just shopping, others prepping or resting.  Shops full of souvenirs and trekking gear. Vendors eager to lure you in.  Cows lying on the sidewalk.  Cars and cycles and people going every which way.  First, it is English left side driving. There are no stop signs or lights.  At major intersections there is a small column in the middle, creating a roundabout.  Merging is the name of the game.  Priority goes by size of vehicle.  If you think you can pass a slower vehicle, you honk and do it, trusting that the guy coming at you will yield. You honk at all blind corners ( a lot of that on the jeep track yesterday) and if you want a pedestrian or driver to be aware of you.

I enjoy watching the school children gathering to walk to school in their tidy uniforms. Public schools walk, private bus.  Must get 20 kids in a 10 seat bus. Have seen several Montessori schools.  More high school age kids in town.  Private schools teach all but 1 class in English, public v/v.

Hope you are enjoying these notes.

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