Your PST is in an amazing area where the people will want to help you practice your Nepali. Don’t bother to pack many clothes. Pack enough so that if dogs decide to eat your clothing during IO, you will have enough clothes before you have some made. KTM is expensive so I suggest waiting to get some at PST site, but it will take about 4-7 days to have them sewn. A kurta surwal should only take about 200NR to make and the fabric (depending on the quality) should not cost more than 500NR total for 3 meters. That was my experience, at least. I know others paid more, especially for the ones that came in a package, but this is more to give you an idea on what things can cost.
Treasure the friendships you make in PST and even though you may not be sure of your cluster - give it time and you’ll be surprised how well you may end up gelling. Be aware that when you get your permanent sites, there is a great chance that you won’t be nearby the people you have gotten to know well. Look at it as an opportunity to get to know others because you’ll still be able to keep in contact with everyone you want to even though you may not be nearby.
Diet…pack protein powder!!! Traditional Nepali meals are kadja in the early morning and afternoon with lentils, vegetables, and rice in midmorning and early to late evening. Kadja involves anything from bread to ramen and includes tea. There are forms of protein in lentils and you can get eggs easily at PST site, but when you get to permanent site is when you begin realizing how the lack is affecting your body.
I haven’t been a morning person anyways, but I found myself getting 10 hours of sleep and still feeling tired when I woke up. It wasn’t until I talked with my mom in America that I realized it probably was because of my protein lack. Sure enough, I asked for a double helping of lentils and we had meat too one night. The next morning, I got up much easier. You will learn how to make super flour, which is great for protein - but it’s good to have the protein powder because at first you won’t know where to go to get the ingredients!
This is a bit of time away for you, but when you get to permanent site - do not wait for people to show you around. My suggestion is on your first full day to leave your house and begin walking around to find out where things are. It does not matter where your Nepali language is - just begin familiarizing yourself with your village in the immediate area. You can spend time with your family during dahl baht and the evenings. Hopefully by doing this your family won’t be as overprotective of you when you go out farther. (Doubtful, but one can hope!)
If you get my LCF - you will be getting a great one! I’m sure they all are, but my primary experience was with my own. B saved me from a major meltdown I about had after trying to figure out how to say something. My dai is an English teacher, but was not understanding what I wanted to say and how he handled it had me go to my room almost in tears. I texted my LCF asking how to say it as I tried not to fall apart because how I wanted to say it was really important to me. Needless to say, even though PST was over - my LCF texted me the word I was looking for, which in turn stopped me from my meltdown. He has been an INCREDIBLE support throughout my time at site as I try to figure out how to integrate and discover my community’s needs.
Hope this helps as you begin your preparations to come to Nepal! Looking forward to eventually getting to see you! To those at home, I hope this shows you a little of what I have learned and experienced during my time here so far. Love and miss you!