The laws of attraction

February 21, 2018 | Nadia, POL, Nepal, Mines Action Canada, Nepal Ban the landmines campaign, Support Officer

It is a luxury to be able to turn on the lights, plug in your kettle, charge your phone, take a hot shower and have wifi at any time. My first day of work had no working internet, so I really got the chance to bond with all 6 of my work colleagues. Other than experiencing some pretty manageable third world problems, I am thriving in my independence and contributions to the local organization. I am half way through my internship and I am dreading leaving my office friends, nurturing boss, food vendors, monks from the monastery guesthouse (my accommodation for the first 2 months) and my jigiris (extremely close friends in Nepali).

I may have gotten food poisoning twice, the common cold twice, a chest infection and bed bugs within the first 6 weeks, but I have grown more than I ever have in my short 21yrs on Earth. Learning a new language, embracing the bountiful bi weekly Hindu and Buddhist festivals, spotting one horned rhinos, trying dangerously tasty (spicy & oily) foods and crossing the chaotic streets with the cows and goats are aspects of my current life that I take pride in. I might have emotionally adapted quickly, but my body and immunity have proven themselves to be far from invincible. Nonetheless, it has not taken away from my experience as I do not let it overshadow all the meaningful relationships and lessons I have created thanks to my “say yes to everything” mindset. Solo existence is undoubtedly a prerequisite for complete freedom. I set my own boundaries, curfews and visions, which also means I hold myself accountable for all the consequences. For this reason, I am learning at an above average speed.

My work environment is the perfect balance of challenge and comfort. My coworkers and boss have taken the time to acquaint to my skills and personality while ensuring my assigned work is a manifestation of them. I step into the office Monday through Friday (10am - 5pm) with a list of specific tasks to complete. I am grateful for not having a shortage of articles to edit, fundings to apply for and INGOs to research. My boss validates my writing style and is frequently asking me if my workload is satisfactory. It is consoling to have a boss who nurtures your strengths, clearly defines your priorities, and portrays so much compassion when persistently asking about your emotional and physical well-being. Not only am I fulfilled by the warmth imbued in the workplace, but by the actual responsibility I am granted with.

In the fifth week, I was put in charge of a weekly poster campaign that reflects my organization’s pillars and initiatives as a way to celebrate significant milestones in the mine action movement. The task entails creating weekly digital poster and joint article and publishing them on the Nepal Ban Landmines Campaign website. On one hand, I am at ease applying my creativity to making posters, but on the other hand, it is my first time using Wordpress, and although my coworker patiently gave me a brief tutorial, I am left to meticulously navigate the system independently.

This state of independence is not only radiated in my professional life, but also in my free, leisurely time. My spontaneous and planned adventures may have endured some minor complications, but it is all part of the process of enhancing my intuition; confidently knowing what to do the next time something similar occurs. I trust my gut feeling more than ever to guide me towards the most wholesome escapades, like minded individuals and enlightening duties. The series of fortunate events that take place are ultimately in my control. Every small decision I make can determine the intensity of memories I make. The law of attraction is so potent here; or as the Buddhists call it Karma.

For instance, I have really been in the mood for painting recently. So I went to an art studio in a progressive, aka “hipster”, cafe and created an acrylic on canvas piece. From this initiative, I got invited to be an artist at a body painting event, what a dream! Moreover, the next day at work, a co worker asked me to paint a soccer field for an upcoming young women in robotics workshop. Even with my runny nose, dry cough, and infected nose piercing, I felt and continue to feel fulfilled and overjoyed. There is not one day that I wake up and sleep without saying out loud, “My life is amazing”. My passions are so abundant within and my thoughts are so powerful, that they materialize themselves in all facets of my life; an energy flow that attracts positive experiences from a positive headspace. This might sound overly spiritual, but I am more certain than ever that humans of any age can manifest a destiny they desire. Applying for this internship being one prime example.

On a more academic account, I cannot be happier with the decision I made to complete a semester in a foreign country exposed to the de facto side of NGOs. It is Briefing about my time in Nepal to my friends back home makes them envious that they did not seize the same opportunity. It is hard to fathom that I am simultaneously earning credits and moulding my identity in an unfamiliar context, too good to be true actually.

I feel like I am the truest version of myself here. My new nose piercing pretty much epitomizes my happy-go-lucky yet impulsive nature. Anyways, the internship evaluations have been extremely fair and interesting, essentially encouraging us to reflect and analyze on ourselves and the environment. I may not be studying journal articles or writing 15 page papers, but I am acquiring the practical knowledge and emotional intelligence that a classroom setting does not always offer.

For now, I will indulge in my morning masala milk tea, roti, samosa and chickpeas, cherishing every single day that remains of this transformative University placement. I am thankful for making the choice to come to Kathmandu and for my parents for being so supportive, but I must ultimately give a shout out to uOttawa for their dedication to ensuring students engage at an international level. Cheers to growth and appreciation!

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