Bulu, Nepal



The village I come from in Nepal is called Khopasi. It is a one-and-a-half-hour drive from the capital, Kathmandu. My family has lived there for years. Although I never really felt at home there, because I was born in India. My father became the director of a mining company so my parents had moved to Assam, just across the border. Four of us siblings were born there, only one was born in Nepal.


When I was nine years old, we returned. I spoke very little Nepali. It was only then that I felt like I was getting to know our culture. We were raised very sheltered in India. Until then, I had noticed little of the caste system. But now I saw that we belonged to a high caste. My dad had shops, land, his own house… we were doing alright. Lower caste people didn't have all that. There is and remains a lot of poverty in Nepal.


My parents were not conservative. I was allowed to be quite independent, for example in choosing my own husband. That is more common these days, but at the time it was very modern. I was also allowed to travel to Europe on my own, which was unusual for most young women. We had friends in Leiden, so that's how I ended up here. The plan was to stay for some months, but I've lived here for 30 years already!


I am very eager to learn and I am always looking for new challenges. All my life I have wanted to learn new things. I didn't even speak the language yet when I already signed up for a training course as a caretaker for seniors. I completed it in three years. Luckily, my internship offered me a job. They also supported me in becoming a nurse in a nursing home. This time I completed the four-year trajectory in half the time. After that, I did management training and became a manager.


Again, I was looking for a new challenge so I started as a nurse at the lung department at Alrijne Hospital. That was challenging, because I suddenly had to know all kinds of medical terms. I have enjoyed working there for five years already. But still, I wanted more. So, I became a specialized geriatric nurse. In the past year, I have also been able to supervise students in on-the-job training.


Of course, I wanted to learn more, so I started playing tennis a few weeks ago. You can always discover and learn new things, if you are open to it.