Dawa’s Story

In 2017, 44 young men and women from Nepal Orphans Home attended college, despite the odds stacked against them. 

Dawa Sherpa, August 2015

Studying at North Seattle Community College, Seattle, WA

January 5, 2015, Monday was a beautiful morning; my visa interview day in American Embassy, Kathmandu at 10 AM.  I reached Embassy at 8 AM. There was a long line of people with documents on their hand; some were students like me and some were, maybe for other purposes. Slowly, I went inside, there was a strict security check before entering in an interview main building. After the check in,
I went inside carrying my documents. The front desk girl reviewed my documents and gave me a token number, and told me to take a seat and wait for the number to be called. I could see in front of my eyes that many students visas were approved at the same time many were denied. No doubt, I was nervous a bit while I was waiting for my number to be called, but as my number was called I told my heart “let’s do
There was a lady in the counter. I acted very confidant and answered all her questions. I thought the interview would be long, but it wasn’t. After few questions and answer, she asked my passport and told me to pay the student fees in the cashier office. She didn’t tell me anything whether my visa was approved or denied. Then I asked, does that mean I received a visa; her answer was “YES”, smiling. That was the word I was waiting for and I was so happy. I paid the student fee, left Embassy and went home directly. I swear, I was smiling all my way to home. When I reached home, my family knew that my visa was approved seeing my smile and a bright face. Then, there was a joyful moment in the house. My parents were really proud of me.
My flight to US was on March 11, 2015 at 10 PM. On that day all my siblings and friends came to see me in my house with some cards and farewell gifts. That was the best moment for me because I was surrounded by so many loving and caring people who have always helped me and supported me in my life. Finally, I left home around 7 PM to airport and some of my friends along with my parents and sister came to drop me off in an airport. I could see my mother’s eye full of tears because, I was never away from my house for even a single night in Nepal and now, I was leaving for a couple of years to another country, very far from Nepal. That was the love from my mother and a family but, they understand that studying and living in US will make their son a successful person with better education. I still remember the tight and intense hug that I gave to my mom before leaving in an airport. I miss my family more than anyone and also my nephew who was born just before a month of my flight to the USA. My sister sends me a video and pictures of my nephew which makes me so happy and excited to go back home, hold him and cuddle with him and give him all the love. I miss you Dawa (My nephew name is Dawa too!) 🙂
Traveling in a big plane was a dream since childhood and I was happy and excited for that. I had a layover in Dubai airport for 6 hours. This sounds stupid but I didn’t sleep even for a single hour in Dubai airport while others were, thinking that I would fall asleep and miss the 2nd flight to USA, so I spent 6 hours looking and experiencing things in Dubai airport. Dubai airport was really big and full of everything. I never thought an airport could be this big. The view from the plane was so awesome. I enjoyed being in air and looking a perfect view from the plane.
Finally, I reached Seattle-Tacoma airport around 1 PM. There were Laura (Sister), Justin (Brother), and Nancy (Mother) coming to pick me up in an airport. I was very happy seeing them and a little nervous because, I knew that I would only be a Nepali guy in a bunch of white American. We went to mother Nancy’s house from airport and on the way I saw America; real America, which I have seen only in T.V and heard from other people, a totally different country than Nepal. Clean environment,
less noise and a big buildings.
That was exciting. My first night in the US was at mother Nancy’s house, and because I was having jet lag so I went to bed right after I reached her house around 2 PM and woke up the next afternoon around 4 PM. Long and sound sleep. After couple of days, Sister Laura and mother Nancy took me to Seattle for sightseeing, where we rode ferries and went to big wheel which was so fun and joyful.
I lived with mama Chris (Host mother) at her house when I was at Green River Community College. It was fun and I also got to taste real American food. She enjoys cooking and I can say she is a great cook. She used to make cookies for my for lunch which I miss them now. It would be injustice not to mention about Willa. She was a
good friend of me while I was at her house. She used to come in my room, sleep with me sometime, and play with me. I even took her to party outside sometime, which she enjoyed. I forgot to tell you but, Willa is a dog.
I went to Green River Community College on 22 March, which was the first day of my college in the US. It was an orientation day for the new student for spring quarter 2015. I was always curious to know how the US college would look like, and when I saw, it was awesome. It was so big and clean. Normally college in Nepal have 2 or 3 buildings with a small playground but, I was surprised to see such a big area covered by the single college. There were lot of International students from different
countries, most of them were from China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. I thought I was only a student from Nepal but later I came to know that there were 3 more girls from Nepal. We stayed together during whole orientation talking and sharing things about how we made our journey to the US. I was happy, at least in a group of thousand students there were 3 girls from Nepal. We also went to college camp (Core) which was for 2 days where we enjoyed a lot. There were so many activities which were totally new for me like, Zumba dance which I loved most. I rode a horse, too, and it was very scary when my horse was out of control many times.
The next day after coming from a core, it was the first day of my classes at Green River. I went inside looking at the class location and schedule on my phone. Having difficult to find the classroom, I was late for 5 minutes. There was an instructor in a classroom named “Allison”. First day means obviously introduction day of each other so my instructor introduced herself and then we students. My classmate were from China, Japan, Korea, Bahrain, Indonesia and a Saudi Arabia. I was the only one
from Nepal in my classroom. Later, my classmate became a good friend of me.
The thing that amazed me in the college at Green River was, we call the instructor even by their first name which is supposed to be very rude in my country, Nepal. The instructor were so friendly and comfortable to talk to. I shared many things of Nepal and how things work differently in Nepal than US, and my classmate and instructor were happy to hear those. The another thing I loved about Green River (US college) is the class size. The instructor can communicate with every students and can help students any time. Sometime, it was weird to see the instructor laughing out so loud of some jokes and funny part which I enjoyed very much because no teachers in Nepal feels so free and comfortable, and laughs like that.
I forgot to tell you about the bus ride from my host home to college which would take approximately one and half hour to reach college to home. I had to rid
e two bus to get to the college. The bus in the US is so cool, hardly people have to ride standing which I never had to. The bus schedule from my home way to college and college to home was so tricky, and I hated it. If by any chance, I would fail to take
the first bus then, I would miss the second bus and I had to wait so long about an hour to get another bus in next station, which I hated the most. What I love about here is, the roads are so clean and people follow the traffic rules so strictly. The thing that amazes me here is also, people barely honk their horn of the vehicles or cars, while in Nepal people honk their horn so often. The best thing I have known and liked about here is also the first priority the drivers give to the pedestrians. I have
experienced this many times. Whenever, I wait to get across the street, the vehicle stops and shows me the sign to pass and then they leave, which I love.
I enjoyed living and studying in Green River college but only the thing was there were no Nepalese living around near my place, and the 3 girls of my college also decided to move to Texas to their friends. Later, I came to know that there are some people from Nepal living in Seattle, so I thought of moving closer to them to Seattle so I transferred to North Seattle Community College in North Seattle.
One of my friend’s sister used to live in Seattle so she arranged me an apartments to live in and now I am living with a Nepali guy sharing an apartment. It’s fun to live with Nepalese. My college starts from September 28 and I am really looking forward to it.
I love everything about USA, and it’s a very cool place to live in. It was a dream to study in USA since I passed my SLC in Nepal and now, it’s a dream that came into reality. My dream and journey to USA was only possible by the support from Life’s Handy Work. Therefore, I would like to thank Life’s Handy Work for believing me and providing me an opportunity to come this far to get better education in the US. I would like to personally thank sister Laura and brother Justin who
were in contact with me when I was in Nepal and helped me and supported me through all the steps to get me here in the US. I also appreciate Life’s Handy Work for their outstanding job they are doing to help students in Nepal Orphans Home in Nepal for their college education.
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