June 10, 2011 2:24:00 PM
When Sarah Harmon, a 17-year-old honor student at Columbus High School, leaves for a foreign mission trip to India and Nepal later this month, she will be equipped with some valuable information.
Harmon and Menuka Ban, an international student studying at Mississippi University for Women, recently met on campus for a cultural exchange before Harmon leaves for her trip with Global Expeditions, a part of Teen Mania Ministries headquartered in Dallas, Texas. She left Columbus for orientation in Dallas Saturday and flies out on June 13.
The meeting was set up by Harmon''s grandmother, Chris Harmon of Columbus, after seeing Ban''s picture in the local newspaper.
Ban, who was born and raised in Bhaktapur, Nepal, is a junior majoring in political science and mathematics at MUW. Bhaktapur is a neighbor city of the capital city Kathmandu.
The two students discussed climate, attire and the fact that Nepal is 12 hours ahead of Mississippi time. Ban also told Harmon about places where she could get American food and advised her to tell the food preparers to hold back on the spice.
"There are so many places to visit," Ban said, noting Nagarkot, a popular tourist destination. "You can see the sunset and the sunrise."
Harmon said she was very excited about the trip. "It''s really nice to be able to speak to someone firsthand who has actually lived there."
Ban added, "I am so excited that someone from this part of the world is going to my country."
The two plan to meet after Harmon returns from her trip on Aug. 4.
Harmon is the daughter of Wesley and Nora Harmon of Columbus.