For the past 3 days, Uma and I have been travelling the breadth and width of Kathmandu to try to maximise the money I have collected from UK .A sum of of 900 USD was spent on the Orphanage. With Uma's contacts, we were fortunate to get 20% discount on most items, talk about arm twisting and blackmailing... Therefore we were able to purchase more than we originally planned. We both are shattered by the running around, but very pleased with the end result
They are the following:-
102 pairs of girls pants (large); 40 pairs of girls' pants (medium) ; 102 pairs of bras (32/33 )
110 pairs of boys' pants (small and medium ); 50 boys' vests(55 -65 cm ); 10 large vests and pants for boys;
100 bed sheets ;100 towels
And I purchased for the toddlers' room which I work in (because they are special ):
3 large winter blankets, 3 bed covers. 10 pillow cases, 2 large towels plus play dough and balls .
I was able to put aside 200USD from the pot towards the milk for the children . All the clothing and beddings are piling up in Uma's lounge at the moment. . They do look to be a fair amount of stuff.
Uma is insistent that they should not be taken in and just left with the staff. She feels strongly that they should be presented formally to the chair. After all, it is a very big donation by any standards. I have to go along with her because she lives here, and she knows how the land lies, etc.
Today is Children's day in Nepal. I was told early on in the week that there will be sweets and goodies distributed to all the children in the various rooms.I arrived to find the day room for the toddlers locked. Eventually I found the regular worker in the day room upstairs in the children's bedroom, or rather the sleeping room. It appears that Mendira, the worker in the day room has had a family bereavement. She will be away from work for the coming week. There is no replacement staff That's the reason the day room is closed. It would seem that they will all be couped up in this room until she returns. I suppose that goes for the 2 and 3 year olds in a different room as well. Furthermore, there was no evidence of any goodies being distributed to the kids while I was there
I went into the sleeping room to find over 15 or so young toddlers sitting, crawling, howling and/or sleeping on the floor.. They were all clamouring for human contact and affection. I realised then only half of the more forward ones are placed downstairs in the day room where I have been for the past 10 days.The less mature ones are left upstairs all the time in the sleeping room. If I picked one up, another will be crying wanting the same . In the end, I just sat on the floor, with 3 or more climbing into my lap and over my shoulder with arms round my neck, just for some human contact. It is heart breaking to see and experience that urge in these young toddlers through no faults of anyone, but the system.
For a long time , the orphans were adopted by many well meaning foreigners across the globe.Then questions were raised in the country about the whys and wherefores of orphans being brought up in a foreign culture. There is a ban at the moment for adoption by foreigners. I understand that the ban will end in ?3 years' time when the policy will be rescinded.
I have also begun to understand the fact that toddlers as young as a year old will call anyone 'Didi'. Its a replacement word for ' mummy' . Every adult they come into contact in their young lives are all ' Didis'.. There are no mummies here. Uma's lot are very fortunate.They all call her mummy because she treats them all as her own . She says she feels guilty sometimes when she has to say to people that she has 8 orphans when in fact they are her children........
I came home today more smelly and grubby than usual.......