The warm April sunlight wakes Pasang. Yawning, she sheepishly checks the time. Her eyes open wide as she realizes it's already 7am, and she’s going to be late! In a hurry, she changes her clothes to her school uniform and has breakfast before finally sprinting to reach her bus stop.“That was a close call,” she thinks as she steps onto her school bus.
As the bus rolls its way into the city’s hustle, Pasang thinks back to her hometown. Her Himalayan village is a lot different than the city. The food, lifestyles, even the air—everything is worlds apart, includingher education. Back in her village, she used to have to walk for almost an hour to get to her classroom.But in the city, schools are a lot closer thanks to the bus that she is riding for the official start to the school year, which begins mid-April in this Himalayan country.
She resumes looking out the bus window, glancing at a common sight on school mornings: girls with their two neatly braided ponytails securely tied with ribbons, while boys run around with coats and ties.Many are excitedly talking with their friends.“They are probably sharing about their holiday,”Pasang imagines.
Walking off of the bus, Pasang sees her friends and quickly runs towards them as they all go to their classes. Like her, many of her friends come to the city since getting quality education is a luxury in the remote parts of Nepal where their villages are located. It’s tough to live away from home, but studying is something Pasang loves and her parents have encouraged her in it.
Pasang sits at her assigned seat, putting her bag down. She shudders lightly, remembering how heavy her bag is going to be in a few days. Schools in Nepal do not have lockers where they can keep their books and notebooks, so each school day these have to be carried to and fromclass…it's going to be one large heavy bag!
The teacher comes in and Pasang stands up to greet them. Usually, the students don't need to leave the classroom as each subject teacher takes turns coming to the room for lessons.
“Good morning, teacher!” her voice echoes with the others.
The teacher hands out the school routine and calendar, which Pasang quickly turns to check the holidays. As there is no long summer break in Nepal, the only vacation would be during the country’s major festivals of Dashain and Tihar in the fall. That is the only time she can go back to her home.
Although her heart is still deep in the Himalayas, she carries the hope of becoming educated and returning to be her community’s future leader. So she will learn. She promises herself another year of hard work and a mountain girl never goes backon her word.
The above story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, events, and incidents are the products of imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.