In the lush, green and hilly area in the middle of Nepal you find Syangja district. Along the Siddharta highway, about one hour from the well-known city of Pokhara (with views of the Annapurna mountain range in the Himalayas) lies our new hometown Putalibazar. The name of our town literally means the butterfly market, and we can vouch for this name as we have seen far more butterflies of all shapes and sizes within our few weeks here than ever before.
While our town is not big, with about 10 000 inhabitants, it has a countless amount of small shops. To our happy surprise we found a handblender in our own little village Gumti (where we live within Putalibazar) and we were over the moon about the opportunity to make falafel - with Nepali ingredients, so a proper multicultural meal.
Putalibazar also has cafés where we can eat our favourite lunch – momos – and there is a surprisingly high amount of jewellery shops here. However, when considering that nearly all Nepali children have their ears pierced when they are 6 months old and that married women commonly wear golden earrings and usually necklaces too it is not so strange that there is a high demand.
What is very noticeable to us is how seasonal access to certain vegetables and fruits are – we will suddenly have plenty of mango or guava for a period of time. For instance, the orange season is coming very soon (this was the first thing we were told about our district) and Syangja is famous for its delicious oranges - now we have high expectations and look forward to getting creative with oranges in our cooking!
Putalibazar is a town surrounded by beautiful nature, with plenty of valleys, hills and rice fields, and the large Aadhi khola river running along it and throughout most of the district. We enjoy this to the fullest as there is a trail into the mountains right behind our apartment that goes past many picturesque villages and gorgeous views - so on Saturdays (our one day off from work) we have made a habit of hiking along this trail for some hours and exploring new paths. This habit began after our Bahini (new little sister who we will tell more about later) invited us to visit her grandmother who lives thirty minutes along this path at a small farm with buffalo and goats. She served us (buffalo) milk tea and popcorn!
We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about our new hometown!
Soon we will follow up with more about the people who live here, including our sweet house family and the dedicated Red Crossers we meet.