Treasured Memories of Patlekhet Homestay
The sun is shining, the mercury is climbing, and the trees are finally in blossom. Autumn is ready to come, and it's time to get outdoors and take advantage of the vivid colors before the weather turns cold. Talking of having a little journey, I can’t help recalling that treasured experience of my homestay in Dhulikhel.
It was Saturday morning, with fine weather. Our trip began at nine o’clock from Lalipur, Patan, to Dhulikhel, an eco-friendly and beautiful village, which took us two hours. On the way, my eyes couldn’t move away from the fantastic scenery on both side of the road. The sky was so clear that I could see the moving clouds and flying birds. The houses seemed so tiny and located separately on the hills.
With joy and excitement, we finally arrived at the Patlekhet homestay. When we got there, the villagers came out and gave a warm welcome to us. At that moment I knew that the two-hour drive was worth it. First of all, they put a tika on our forehead, which means good luck. Out of respect, a group played Nepalese folk music to welcome us. The sound was so loud that I barely heard what they were singing. Some enthusiastic women invited us to dance with them. They twisted their bodies and laughed happily as they swayed to the tunes. Honestly, they weren’t professional dancers; however, it was their confidence and enthusiasm that drew our attention. After the welcome ceremony, the head of the village briefly shared some basic information about the village with us. I was overwhelmed by their kindness, charm, and hospitality from the very beginning, and couldn’t wait for the schedule planned for us.
After lunch, the weather changed. It started to rain heavily, but one-and-a-half-hour later, the rain stopped and something amazing happened. Just like the Chinese always say, “Sunshine is always behind the wind and rain.” We were so lucky that as the sun came out, a rainbow appeared in the sky, which was clearer than I have ever seen in other places. “It is very usual to see rainbows here, sometimes you can even see a double-rainbow,” a boy living in the mountain said. As we walked higher, the more beautiful the view became. With the wind a brisk breeze, trees shaking their leaves, and the grass swinging to and fro, it made me realize that nature is truly an intrinsic part of our lives. We spend too much time on the smartphone, internet, and other electronic devices. it’s time for us to see what the real world looks like. When we see the leaves budding on a tree, or when a timid flower pushes through the frozen ground, or when we smell the freshness of nature, sadness and pressure will fade away, and new hope will come to us instead.
Walking a few miles away from the homestay, going up to a little hill, there is a secret garden inside, which greatly impressed me. Imagine that you are in a fairytale in which the godmother plants lots of magical flowers and herbaceous plants in a small garden like this. Actually, it was an old American lady who lived there who planted organic vegetables and fruits. All of the food we ate in the homestay came from this farm. They have a program called ‘Everything Organic’, which appealed to local people, and even people from all over the world, to join the project. This program was spoken highly of by some Chinese from Taiwan. Not only can one plant some healthy and organic vegetables for others, but also get a chance to work with the local community and feel the environment of peace and love. “Nowadays, people are willing to accept organic food and abandon foods that use chemical fertilizers,” the American lady said.
When the day got dark, they organized an evening welcome party for us, which lasted approximately for one hour. Women dressed in colorful and bright costumes, and men held different instruments in their hands. At the beginning, an old lady asked her granddaughter to dance, but the little girl was too shy to dance in front of us. That’s when her grandma stood up and danced graciously with free abandon. After the old lady’s warm-up performance, the whole atmosphere became more enthusiastic. A girl who wore a peacock costume appeared. She twisted her body as she danced and made eye contact with us. I have to admit, most Nepalese songs are suitable for dancing, as soon as you hear the rhythm, you can’t help moving your body. Later, they held our hands and asked us to dance. Unintentionally, we became members of the dancing group in the center of the room.
At around eight-thirty, we had to go back to our homestay. When I said goodbye to those friendly villagers, I had a lump in my throat, and I wished I could stay here longer. “Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are…,” I sang the song along the road to release my sorrow. I only caught a fleeting glimpse of the sky, and then I found treasure. The sky was full of stars, which you can never see in the city. I guessed that was a present from God to these simple and selfless people.
If you visit Nepal, living in Patlekhet Homestay can give you more experience than other touristic activities. It is a chance to learn more about Nepalese culture. I will never forget my experience in No.7 house. Their help, their warm welcome, their smiles, they have become the most precious memories in my heart forever.