February 29 was not only a leap year day but also an extraordinary and unforgettable day for me. I slept with a mind made of flying with the Korean Airlines (no masks and sanitizer were available because of COVID-19), and only in the morning, I found out that my flight itinerary was changed with Qatar Airways for the next day. Nonetheless, I was excited about the trip, and thanks to Deerwalk, I was being stationed at the US Office for March 2020.
I had a superb collection of feelings for this flight. The first transit at Hamad was clean and easy as compared to JFK. It was a whole different level of around 7 hours in one of the biggest terminals in the world. It was 2 a.m. when we checked in at the hotel in Burlington. Abanish Dai took us to the Lexington Office, and they welcomed us warm-heartedly. I started my day with a strong large Starbucks to keep me awake during the office timing.
The real drill started at around 10 a.m. as I felt dizzy and sleepy. I felt like it was because of last night’s sleep deprivation, and I went outside for a few minutes and was doing fine for about 10 minutes and had the same dizzy feeling. I was relieved to know that these three were having the same feeling. Luckily, we left the office early that day.
As soon as we got out of the office, we did some grocery shopping. Suresh Dai invited us for a party, picked us from the hotel, and welcomed us with beer and snacks.
Eventually, the jetlag faded away, and our lives went normal again. The COVID-19 cases were growing gradually, and we heard about the cases in the Massachusetts and Washington areas too. We went to some splendid malls and showrooms for window shopping. We bought some clothes at the Old Navy and GAP stores. We planned for New York for the coming weekend and traveled on Friday late evening. I voluntarily withdrew my participation since my return ticket was coming from Washington (IAD). I had made my mind to travel to DC and NY during my extended tenure.
Manish Dai invited us to his new place on Friday, and we took a shuttle and Metro to commute to our destination Revere. I stayed overnight there. On Saturday, after his errand, Manish Dai gave me a grand tour of MIT and Harvard University and their surroundings. I had time to see Charles River where I believe the boat race is held between MIT and Harvard. He suggested that I should visit the Prudential Tower and Boston downtown for one weekend. We checked in to the “Shine Bar” to try their Draught collection and burgers.
Two of the important tasks during my visit were Auditing and Boot Camp. Awanish Dai suggested an outline for the audit. These two tasks were challenging and exciting for me as I had separate deadlines for each of them. We were delighted to join Tim and Julie for dinner in a fancy Italian restaurant where we got a chance to try some delicious Italian cuisine.
My two colleagues made a weekend plan to fly to Texas to meet their friends and relatives. I commuted to my relatives in New Hampshire. The very best Mukta Didi dropped me to the Merrimack Outlet where I grabbed some of my stuff, and my cousin picked me at the mall and headed to Address 97 Beech plum drive, Manchester, NH. I am very grateful to Mukta Didi for such a warm gesture. Also, I would like to thank Sagar Dai, Awanish Dai, Suresh Dai, Sanjeev Dai, Sangita Didi, Manish Dai, Neeraj Dai, and the entire to be NRNs for inviting us to the evening party/dinner, and not letting us miss Nepali food.
The third weekend was one of the most expected and adventurous weeks of our visit. It was scary to hear more confirmed cases of COVID. The first reason was that we were all set for a weekend at Miami South Beach; another was my Boot Camp (9 hours X 6 days) was ending that week. It was adventurous as we had to evacuate our hotel due to a gas leak and switch to another hotel at Waltham on Tuesday (17 March) afternoon. Meantime, Ashay Dai and Pramod Dai were working hard to bring us back to Nepal safely as soon as possible. We had no clue that Wednesday (18 March) arrived so soon. Luckily our tickets were rescheduled earlier. We had to get ready to depart at 20:00, and Sagar Dai invited us for the delicious buffet dinner.
I would like to thank Pramod Dai and the team whole-heartedly for routing us back safely in such a short span. To recapitulate, I am very thankful to my tour buddies and colleagues at Deerwalk Nepal and US for adding such unforgettable memories to my life.
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
[Saurav Chapagain, Compliance Officer at Deerwalk Services Pvt. Ltd. Nepal, visited Deerwalk Inc, USA, from March 1, 2020 – March 18, 2020]