We stayed with the Bastola family on their organic farm for a week with Julian. Their farm is incredible! It is gorgeous and bursting with life, with amazing views of Begnas Lake to make it even more beautiful. There are over 500 different organic plant species including vegetables, fruits, and medicinal plants. Their main crop is black pepper, which can be seen sprawling around most tree trunks on the farm.

As flowering season was upon us, beautiful colors burst all around us. Many gorgeous birds visited and left us in awe of their bright hues. Butterflies frequented the area, fluttering around trees and lotus flowers.Every day we would wake up quite early and help out as needed on the farm. My favorite activity was helping plow one of the fields to plant maize.

We used buffalo borrowed from neighbors to plow the earth and spread manure. They were in the process of planting many new crops, so most of our work revolved around getting field space ready for planting.It was incredible living with the Bastola family.

They made room for us in their home, a traditional Nepali-style house with a mud-floored kitchen and a few bedrooms. Nepali houses feature a covered porch in front, as well as a narrow staircase leading to another covered porch upstairs where more bedrooms can be found.

We ate delicious dal bhat prepared by Ama (the mother of the home) daily. Her dal bhat was by far the most palatable we ate in all our time in Nepal. She also made delicious roti, as well as our favorite treat, masala milk tea.Having the experience of living with a Nepali family made us understand Nepali culture so much more deeply. We had a chance to see how genuinely Nepali people value family. Family members work together, encourage one another, tease each other and always stick together. Family closeness extends to neighbors as well. When walking around the village, we could tell how well everybody in the area knew and respected one another.We wish the best for the Bastola family as they expand their farm, and recommend others visit their farm if they are in the pokhara.

Dani Haims and Taylor Engels