Quick post, once again...
Left Thakurdwara today, finished up teaching after 2 very rewarding weeks. Hard saying goodbye to the kids, their sad faces definitely showed they will miss us, as we will them...Will post plenty of photos of them as soon as we can, as in not today, but hopefully soon from Pokhara. Have a few hundred or so, so in addition to eating some much-missed beef products (steak, teriyaki... yum, yum), we'll be nerding it a bit. But just for a few days, then we'll be trekking in the mountains, according to the current plan!
We did go trekking at Bardia one more time, got soaked by the rain but we didn't see any tigers. Just a few wild boars frantically crossing the river in the rain, plus a mixed-species pack of spotted deer and monkeys. After waiting, soaked, we started itching as we dried out and the humidity kicked in, so we decided to award victory to the tigers and retreat back to civilization, though we did wade a river on our way back, and then spotted a bunch of amazing pied hornbills flying through the jungle.
Back to teaching, it was a very enjoyable experience, and has us freshly excited for our planned year in South Korea. While teaching in Nepal and teaching in South Korea will undoubtedly have little in common, we think the first day(s) will be much easier having at least a little experience under our belts. In the next couple of weeks we will begin researching Korea more thoroughly, to start determining the many things that we need to: what age students, public/private school, location (city/more rural), what recruiter we wish to work for/through, etc., etc.
Fortunately we have a lot of valuable resources available, not only www.daveseslcafe.com, but also our several friends who are currently teaching there, plus some fellow travelers that we have exchanged contact information with along the way. Obviously we'll let you know once we start making any real decisions :-)
That means that our current itinerary is as follows (though it will probably change, knowing us :-):
We'll continue traveling in Nepal up until around June 15, when our visa expires. Most of that time will be spent in and around Pokhara, then Kathmandu, trekking and visiting cultural/architectural/archaeological sites... you know, what tourists "do."
Then we will head back to India, since our multiple-entry visa there is still valid, though we do not know for how long, or even where we will go, given that the summer heat is going to be just about unbearable wherever we are, never mind the monsoon rains. We would like to see Sikkim, home of the rare red panda, if we can, which is also near Darjeeling, home of the famous tea, but we shall see. We will, inevitably, fly out of Calcutta, since it is the cheapest sub-continent flight to our next destination: Thailand.
A while ago we had dreams of teaching there, but apparently the current situation with the government makes that difficult, such that the low-paying jobs that are available are unreliable and usually illegal. So we will be visiting only with a tourist visa, which lasts for 30 days. We may try and squeeze in a visit to elsewhere in SE Asia (Cambodia, Vietnam, or Laos), but we will have to see how our finances are by then :-)
From Thailand we are then planning on flying to South Korea, and start teaching English there essentially right away (our flight should be paid for, as part of our teaching contract).
So that's that for now, hope all is well wherever you are!
On the American end of things, we are super excited for our dear friend Brian, who will be heading to Moldova to teach English as part of the Peace Corps, starting in about a month. His dog Lucy will be a new member of Anderson's family, as his parents are going to be taking care of her. Brian has a new blog at http://brianfenoglio.blogspot.com/, I'm sure he'd love it if you checked it out!
Also, our equally dear friends Hunab will be dropping their debut album within the next two weeks, if you live in Iowa City be sure to go to their CD release party/show at the Yacht Club on May 19, we obviously will be there in spirit, but would prefer to be there physically! Hopefully you'll be able to buy it soon off of their website, http://hunabmusic.com - right, Luke?
Hope all is well wherever you are,
Peace and much love from Nepal,