Born in Shillong, Nang Pamela Chowlu, a first generation entrepreneur had never imagined that she would run a homestay one day. “I was never trained for this sector, but I did love a good challenge”, says Pamela.
After studying architecture in Pune, and working in Delhi, Pamela soon started working with the government of Arunachal Pradesh. Marriage brought Pamela to Namsai, and she fell in love with the small quaint town. However, Namsai was not a popular destination for tourists because of poor road connections. The government officials often visited the circuit homes in Namsai, but were not very pleased with the upkeep of the available accommodations. The innate curiosity coupled with a creative streak motivated Pamela to experiment with a two room travel accommodation.
When Pamela shared her idea with her family, they were very apprehensive. She didn’t have a lot of capital, and often heard statements such as “who is going to come to a two bedroom homestay?” But throughout her journey, her partner believed in her and she believed in herself. Rather than taking a loan from the bank, she built it piece by piece. “Today, everyone likes to rush into their ideas, I always worked towards it consistently and over a period of time”, says Pamela. With a lot of patience and running from one government office to another, she was able to get approvals for her space. Soon, the government officials started staying at Pamela’s homestay, and were left very impressed by her attention to detail and her quality of service.
Today, her homestay has expanded to 12 rooms, a completely functioning kitchen and a team of 10 women whom she now calls family. Her homestay usually is booked weeks in advance, and often gets foreign visits. She fondly recalls one of the visits of a group of ladies from Belarus who made her see the town in a different way. “We often get caught up in our daily work and forget to appreciate what’s around us. My guests remind me to appreciate my local culture and indulge in the beautiful experiences that Namsai has to offer”. With the pouring love from her visitors and a consistent urge to grow, Pamela now visions to add more rooms to her space, while adding diverse global cuisines and local experiences.
Pamela’s homestay aka her baby resides in a beautiful location of Namsai, surrounded by a hoard of trees and orchards while replicating traditional wooden houses of the town. Her space would make you feel nothing less than living in a bird’s nest. So, when you plan on traveling to the North-East, don’t forget to pay a visit to Pamela’s ‘Woodpecker’s Nest’. And while you are at it, make sure you try the traditional Khampti dish at her dining.
Author: Pallavi Agarwal
Woodpecker’s Nest Homestay: Click to follow Woodpecker's Nest Homestay