Jalebis, Dahi and Chai Along the Border

Gary Shostak

Since returning from his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, Gary has devoted his career to improving the lives of others, working in state government health care and social services. He has returned to South Asia several times, worked with Bhutanese refugees in Massachusetts, and currently volunteers at an English tutoring program for immigrants in Boston.

Gary Shostak fondly remembers tasty moments from his time as a Peace Corps volunteer near the India-Nepal border.

From 1967 to 1969 I lived in a small village about two hours walk east of Birganj, Nepal along the border with Bihar. Every two or three weeks I would leave my village of Jotpur at first light to walk to Birganj for mail and to see other Peace Corps volunteers. I had a favorite chai wallah who also served freshly made jalebis along with really excellent dahi. His roadside shop was always my first stop as I got to Birganj. I shall always remember savoring the sweet and sour combination of dahi and jalebis taken with milky tea while chatting with the chai wallah and his regular customers.


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