Today we did our first Back Street Academy class. For those of you who are interested, Back Street Academy is a way of getting to know the locals as you travel and taking classes in their homes. It is also a way that some of the locals make their living. It is an amazing concept and I am really excited that my husband found this. The Back Steet Academy is in several countries. The list I could find said: Nepal, Laos, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar. If anyone is interested you can look them up at backstreetacademy.com
So today Samuel, David and I took a taxi to a meeting spot and a beautiful young woman named Dawa met us and took us back to her home. Dawa's mother Tenzin would be our teacher. We were learning how to cook Dhalbat, rice and chicken, Nepali style.
Tenzin and her famiyl live in a Tibetan settlement in Pokhara. They are also known as Tibetan refugee camps because the families here fled as China took over Tibet in 1959. Dawa's father was 4 when his family made the treacherous journey over the mountains. He lost 2 sisters during the trip. There are four of these settlements in and around Pokhara. Several of the Back Street classes are taught by the Tibetan families. They still do not hold citizen papers in Nepal, so they make their living by making jewelry, rugs, etc.
|The Tibetan Settlement. It was clean and well kept. There was also a SOS barn children's home here.|
The boys both got to participate in the cooking and we wrote down everything so we could recreate it in our own home. Sam turned twelve last September and on his list for this year was learning how to cook. Pretty cool that it is a Nepali meal that he will be cooking.
Samuel quietly said to me, "Mom, how can they cook when the kitchen is so small and they don't have nice stoves?" I love that my boys are seeing another side to life. My answer, "they cook with what they have and it will be delicious." He left it at that. I think he was quite excited to be a part of this. He repeated many times that he was excited that this was school. We will be taking a few more cooking classes with Tenzin. Their family was extremely kind.
The picture above was Dawa serving the completed dishes. Ahhh, rice! My boys love rice. They also really enjoyed the meal they learned to make. David would not stop eating! It was amazing that we were able to be in someones home and learn a little more about their culture and language. Tibet culture is different from Nepali and they have done a good job trying to keep their culture while adapting to Nepal. Tenzin still wore a sweatshirt that read, "Stand Up for Tibet" on the back. They have their own schools, monasteries, temples and dress. Yet you would not be able to pick them out on the street. Dawa said that the Nepali people treat them with respect and do not discriminate against them. However, because they are not allowed Nepali citizen papers they cannot leave the area either.
We will definitely be returning to take more cooking classes. I believe momos are on the menu next time. David will be glad because they are his favorite! There is also one for learning to make Tibetan bread. I think we will be enjoying them all.
On another note, we were invited by our landlady to enjoy a Nepali meal with them. She is an excellent cook and I am still stuffed! She has two boys ages 14 and 11, so I hope that Sam and David might develop a friendship with them. That would help them not feel so isolated. I did not get a picture tonight, but maybe Andreas will post one on FB.
Have wonderful day. Your prayers and comments are appreciated! Don't forget to find your own adventure, or come join ours!