Sunday, August 22, 2010

Namaste part 2

The view from our house

Well it is day 3 since I arrived and I won’t lie it has been a bit of a struggle to settle in so far...missing home and familiarity, but no doubt all a part of the experience. Yesterday I went to my host family accommodation where I will be for approx 1.5 months....the house is very good by Nepal standards and I won’t complain because I do have it good in comparison to the millions of people that don’t have a roof over their heads.......butttt....I won’t lie...I did sit of my wooden bed with a mattress about 5cm thick and ask myself ‘what the heck and I doing here’ after taking one look at the bathroom....all I could ask is ‘what is God teaching me through this’....I guess He is teaching me to get over my toilet phobia...and be content with what I have....and it did make all the difference when my roommate Sam arrived the next day took one look at it and said ‘bleach’....we bonded...over a squat toilet...because we spent the rest of the afternoon scrubbing it together...and when it still wasn’t clean we decided to go out for the night....

                                moving into our room                                        

my wooden bed...good night sleep...i think not!

bleach bleach bleach

We went into Thamel the tourist part of Nepal and had dinner...savouring each bite because we knew the next week would consist of Dhal Bhatt...for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Dhal Bhatt for those who don’t know is rice and lentils and a potato bean curry...which at first isn’t so bad...but not exactly what I want to wake up to in the morning! This is coming from a person that at home would eat rice every my love affair with rice is going through a troublesome patch...I may have to leave rice for another staple when I get home...shock horror!...did I really just say that?...

mmmm chicken

I digress....(food seems to have that effect of late...) Thamel is a bussling town filled with restaurants offering you food from pretty much all over the world and about a million people wanting to sell you things...from bangles to marijuana! It’s a scruffy little place really, full of shops upon shops and if you delve a little deeper you will find cafes serving illy coffee... (this is the part where I do a little jig...) and free wifi...perfect!

Enough of the tourist talk, let me get to why I am really here, which is to volunteer with Projects Abroad with their care programme. My placement is at a school called ‘Snowlands’. 

The front gate of the school

 The school was set up for children from poor backgrounds who would not have the opportunity to go to school or have a decent upbringing. The children live at the school and most have travelled a long distance from the rural villages and the Himalayas to get to the school. One of the girls told me she walked for 1 month to get to the school and some of the children have not seen their parents or family for many years because it’s too difficult and expensive for them to get back to their villages, while some of the other children do not have parents. The children are so beautiful and welcoming. As soon as I got there they wanted to know where I was from and what my name is. The first week was exam week so there wasn’t a lot to do except help them with any questions they had and after exams play, draw and chat.

studying for exams

Oh and I won't forget to mention our daily communte to the school...yes we start our 1.5 hour journey in a bus which is really a van with about 30 other people...and I'm not some stage in the journey I will end up on the floor or with someone sitting on me...or better yet someones bum in my face...all apart of the character building process no doubt...have I mentioned that I love mornings!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so untill next week i'll leave you with this.  
Don't you just love b.o

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